Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mrs. Cullen: The Racquetball Playa

Dear Friends,

I started playing racquetball. My dad plays with his friends at our gym. Hes so good at it, thanks to God. So, I decided that I want to start. And boy, is it tough. Its probably one of the hardest sports I’ve ever played. And that’s because it can be dangerous and it’s a lot of work. I know all sports require running around but the reason RB is so tough is because you are in a small room and you have to make quick movements. I have dreams of becoming old and being a pro, teaching my children the sport, who then teach their children, who teach their children. I even have dreams that I teach my grandchildren and that I’m the coolest grandma ever. Oh. I also dream that I teach my husband. And beat him at the game all the time. And then we get a racquetball room in our home and yeah. I doubt any of that will happen. The first day I played I only lasted 25 minutes. My dad is very good. The second day I got “sick” after ten minutes. The third time my dad made me play alone. He thinks I need to practice my serve and I need to practice running around and not being lazy. This is true. Anyway. I think I’ll become good. God willing. I just need to play a lot. I really wanna do this. I feel like I have no special talent. Maybe this can be my “thing.” We shall see.

Anyway. When I played with my dad I was so into the game and having fun. But when I played alone I felt odd. I felt like everyone was watching me as they walked by. On top of that the basketball courts are right across the RB room. And you have to wear goggles when you play. So, I felt kind of silly. Which I should not feel! Because the whole back wall of the room is glass so everyone can see. I wish I didn’t care.

Nothing else interesting is happening in my life. Well I have been having some revelations about life. But that’s all. My diet is going…okay. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I will not lose weight. I feel like its impossible for my tummy to become small and flat. But I’m sure it just takes time. It can’t just happen over night. Blah. If I could see improvement fast then I’d be soo motivated. But that’s not how our bodies work. Otherwise everyone would be at the gym.

Oh speaking of revelations. I have lately been pondering about the purpose of life. I think I know the purpose, according to Islam. So, I’m trying to shape my life to fit the purpose of life. Ya know? Anyway, what is your purpose of life???

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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blue and purple polka dot pajamas, at the pool


When I was six, I used to wear a homemade bathing suit to the pool.

At age seven Muslim kids are required to start practicing rules they must abide to after hitting puberty. Covering up was one of them.

The apartment pool rules were, “Only bathing suits allowed.” Therefore my mother got to work.

My ballerina-looking swimsuit was getting too small and my legs needed to be covered.

She bought colorful blue and purple polka-dotted nylon and spandex fabric. She bought just enough to make sleeves and long pants. It was baggy.

I was proud of my mother’s stitch work. I wasn’t too happy about the bathing suit but I understood it was something I had to do, otherwise, no more going to the pool.

It was a glistening beautiful day in Florida. The sun warmed the chlorine-filled blueish-green water. Everything seemed perfect except, the kids were quite mean.

“Why are you wearing your pajamas to the pool?,” they screamed. They shouted, pointed and laughed. They followed me around.

Again and again the repeated the menacing question. Twice to me, then to my parents.

I felt afraid. Embarrassed.

I kept saying, “I have to. It’s a part of my religion.” (As far as I remember).

My mother looked uncomfortable. She told me to ignore them.

We were the only ones – Muslims – at the pool. We were the only ones who cared to cover.

I think it was the same day my sister almost drowned in the pool. She was 2 1’2 years old.

Forgetting the pool rules, my mom jumped in the 3-feet end to save her 2-foot child. Clothes, shoes and all.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tales from a Mean Teacher

One of my students managed to get his arm stuck in a stairwell railing the other day.

How that happened boggles the mind, so I don't think about how it happened.

I just know that it did.

Normally, I would have pitied the poor kid. But I couldn't with this one. This is my lets-see-how-far-we-can-test-Ms.-Attitude's-patience and lets-see-how-loud-she-can-yell-when-I-do-things-I'm-not-supposed-to-do-kid.

I didn't laugh in his face. Although others did. But I couldn't help but put on a smirk when I realized which kid of mine was stuck there.

He wouldn't let me help me out, refused to let me touch him, and demanded that the fire department be called.

Can you say drama queen?

It wasn't as serious as he made it seem. I'm sure he would've got out sooner if he just allowed us to talk him through it instead of blubbering like a big baby.

I'm not mean, I just have zero tolerance for students who refuse to follow rules and get themselves in situations like this.

And you know why I think it happened? Because he was running up the stairs, rushing to get to gym class. Gym class that really wasnt going to leave without him.

And yet, even after that painful ten minutes of standing there, stuck to a stairwell railing, crying uncontrollably, he still continues to run up (and down) the stairs.

I hope he gets stuck again.


Okay so our good friend Little T tagged us with an "award." Basically you write five random things about yourself. Seeing as we have more than five writers on the blog we decided we'd all write one random thing about ourselves. Enjoy :)


I'm not a bossy person. More like a pushover sometimes. But when I was a kid, I used to boss my sisters and cousins around and make them play random games with me that we would make up. We made up this game called Wacky Adventures.And gave each other really dumb cheesy names. I cant even remember what they were. Or maybe I do, but they're too lame to share?


Also when I was a kid, my sisters and cousins and I thought that we invented the Macarena dance and that a helicopter was recording on video, our dance moves, and stole from us!

~Constructive Attitude


I have an obsession with new things--specifically stationary. I'm not really a writer and have never kept a journal or diary but when I see a pretty notebook--I want it. I like looking at pretty cards, post-cards, even colorful scrapbook paper! I like the feel of a brand new pen--not the bic ball-point crap kind--but those nice flowy pilot ink pens. When I was 12, on my first visit to Pakistan, I bought a whole case of ink bottles and a pack of ink pens--they're used widely over there and a requirement for students. Needless to say, when I got back here I could find no use for them...and I was unmotivated to use it anyway because my hand-writing sucks!! Just today, at Office Max, I was walking through the stationary aisle and I felt nostalgic (thinking back to elementary/middle/high school--I think a trip to Office Max was traditional for me before the first day of school) because I could smell the "new-ness" of the paper packs, notebooks, and utensils. I don't know, I can't explain it I just can't.

~Artistic Logic


I sleep with the fan on. Even in the winter. At first I thought it was because I really love feeling cold air. Seriously. Winter is my FAVORITE season...I just love bundling up in layers, having my cheeks get all rosy and pink, and seeing my breath in the air.

I used to walk to school in the winter in middle school. One day I got fed up with the 15 minute walk and asked my mom to pick me up. My mom just pinched my cheeks and said, "oh hunny you just look so cute and adorable when you walk in the cold," gave me a kiss, and walked away.

But I really do love the winter. I mean I used to ... then I went to Egypt twice and got used to 105 degrees weather. I know... very weird. So anyhow I came back and now I get really cold really easily which was not my nature. But guess what? I still sleep with the fan on. I think its just the noise of the fan being relaxing. You know what I do now? I turn my heater on for about an hour right before I go to bed. Then I turn my fan on and sleep cuddled up under two blankets.

I think I'm crazy...

~Youthful Wisdom

I talk like REallyreally fast. And used to talk reallyreallyreallylikeomgreally fast. Thank God I improved.

I flap my hands everywhere when I'm talking. Oh dang! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to jab your eye!!

Technology hates me and is out to ruin my life. And THAT is a fact.

I zone out when people start talking about important things. Like at interviews, meetings, with instructions and with Professors. Basically when it's really important that I don't.

I love Jon Stewart. I think he's hilarious, down to earth, honest and awesome.

~Controlled Chaos


Mom. A lot of people call me that. Friends, cousins, sibling and even The Husband. Some even tease me and call me grandma. If you're someone I know and/or care about, I feel as if it's MY responsibility to take care of you whether it's through giving advice to making sure you're bundled up if it's cold or making sure your stomach is full. I'm sure my friends would rather have a friend at times, instead of a mom but I REALLY CAN'T HELP IT SOMETIMES! I dunno when "it" happened (it = natural motherly instinct kicking in) but I'm thinking it could have started with the birth of my sister who btw, is my only sibling and is 11 years younger than me. The Sister considers me her second mom, lol. Anyway, I don't mind being "mom" or being teased about it. I just hope one day this behavior translates into me becoming a great mother to my future children, inshallah. :)

~Somebody Out There


Ok random thing about me...

I love dancing. No I REALLY LOVE dancing. I lovvve the feeling of letting go and just movvvving to beats that make my heart pound!

Every night I turn out the lights and put my iPod on and just dance :)

~Snake Charmer


I'm allergic to eggs.

~Mrs. Cullens


To keep this randomness going we all decided to tag two blogs we love and enjoy reading...

  1. Melanie's Randomness
  2. Life's Balance Beam
We're excited to see what you guys say!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eating, praying, working helps fitness

Hello bloggers! I'm a guest writer for this blog. I believe in seeking and spreading the truth. I'm Muslim, live between a small town and a large city, and I love to write...

With the pressure to stay slim, there are a few things you can do everyday to stay on track.

Being unintentionally slim:

1. Pray five times a day.
If you pray in the morning it forces you to get up! Waking up gives me energy and drives me to get more done during the day.

2. Do housework.
Be honest, not many of us get to the gym as often as we want. Or ever.
Cleanliness is a part of faith, according to Islamic traditions. One who is clean is purified in body and soul. Less clutter also motivates more energy and freedom.

3. Fast a month for spiritual inclination.
Fasting helps you stay fit. Your body takes a break for all the extra intake.

4. Don’t eat dinner too late.
I have a hard time falling asleep after I eat anyways. Health experts say it’s best to give your stomach a two-hour rest before hitting the sack.

5. Only eat what you need, not what you want.
The Prophet said in an oral narration: "No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath." [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa'I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih]
Eating less helps us digest our food, and prevents over-eating which leads to laziness.
A professor at Wayne State University recently said, “We live in a country where people are trying not to eat, when the rest of the world is trying to find their next meal.”

6. Nurse your baby (if you have one handy).
Old-fashioned people used to nurse their babies. According to the New York Times, a new trend in breastfeeding children has come back into the modern era. People have realized the multiple advantages of nursing, including better mother-child relationship, fewer illnesses for the baby, and mothers shedding extra calories.

7. Drink a lot of water, even when you don’t want to.
Doctors say people should drink eight glasses of water daily. Water eliminates headaches, makes your skin look younger, prevents illnesses, helps indigestion, and reduces the risk of cancer, according to

8. Don’t drink pop.
Did you know highways are cleaned with Coke to remove blood because of the strong acids used? See what the company has to say:

9. Avoid too much meat. Balance with vegetables.
Some meats and vegetables cooked together can help you get more nutrients.

10. Take constructive criticism.
Don’t starve yourself. Eat properly. If people say you’re getting skinnier, eat more. If people say you’re getting fat, eat less.



I love Palestine. I really do. I don't know what it is about the place. Maybe its the beauty. Maybe its smell of the fresh air in the early mornings. Maybe its the historic alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem. But mostly I think its the people.

I recently started watching this documentary. I'm not done yet...actually still in the middle of it. What do you guys think?

To Shoot an Elephant

Monday, January 25, 2010

I would not want to be...

the woman who fell on top of a rare Picasso painting in the New York Museum of Art, and tore a 6 inch hole right through the center....

I would not want to be her tonight....

and if I was her, I would make up a heroic story like I don't know....

that I was across the hall, far, far away from that painting when I noticed someone choking besides it at which point I ran as fast as I could to save them...and while performing the Heimlich maneuver I accidentally nicked, slightly nicked the canvas with my elbow--but saved a human life in the process --and isn't that all that really matters? Isn't it?

I would not admit that no such heroic feat had passed before that rare piece of art, and that I actually stumbled on it because I cannot balance myself for the life of me--or in this case a priceless piece of history.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why are those terrorists shouting AllahuAkbar?!


Do you know what that means?

Do you know what language it is?

Do you know who uses it?

Shall I answer your questions?


It's an Arabic term. It means God. Muslims are the one's that are usually heard using it.

Islam, as some of you know, is a monotheistic religion i.e. the belief there is only one God.

The God we worship is just God. He's not a different God. Or a different being. The same God that Jews and basically Christians worship.

Why do I say basically Christians?

Well, this is where the main and most important difference comes in between Islam and Christianity.

Muslims monotheistic belief in God is similar to that of in Judaism. Where God is unquestionably one being, with no partners, without the concept of Trinity.

Before I digress too much on this topic I want to mention that Muslims do however believe in Jesus. But we believe that Jesus was a Prophet and also believe he will return to defeat the anti-Christ. And unfortunately for the sake of my wrists and keeping this post short I will stop here about Jesus.

Allah has become a word that many non-Muslims in the west have come to misunderstand. I've seen people yell saying Allah is the devil. Which never made any sense to me, especially when they where preaching and telling us to worship God.

It's like...ohhkayyy

Funnier thing is, many Arab Christians use the word as well.

Because it means God. The God that we all believe to have created humankind, the earth, and the universe.

Sometimes though Arab Christians will add another term after Allah for God, the father and God, the son.

Sometimes I consider going to those individuals that tell me Allah is the devil and is evil and having a discussion with them. I wonder if learning something will confuse them.

Some people argue it's our fault for using the word Allah because it confuses other people. My answer? It's not like we don't use the word God. How many times have you seen the writers on this blog say God? Quite a lot.

Like Hebrew is that language for Judaism, Arabic is the language of Islam.

Many of us are not Arabic speakers but have learned to read the Quran in Arabic. And learn to say our prayers in Arabic. We use many terms in Arabic like Insh'Allah (God willing), Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), and the famous Allahu Akbar (God is Great). And those are just a few.

I will have to end my post here despite having other things to talk about like the controversy going on in Malaysia. But insh'Allah when my hands are better my posts won't be so crappy but until then, I hope you did learn something.

CC out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Identity Crisis

This is a story of how I got stripped of my identity today.

I went to Barnes & Noble, just to browse through some books; because I had some free time I wanted to spend it in a place where even if I'd be tempted to spend money, it would benefit me somehow.

Anyways I was looking through some recipe books. Bad idea, because I had skipped lunch to get some extra work done @ the office and those food photographs were getting to me. In fact, they haunt me still. *Drools*

There was a book there titled "Southeast Asian Cuisine"...orrrr something like that. So I thought, yay, I'll probably recognize these recipes. See, coming from Pakistan, I consider myself of Southeast Asian descent--being that Pakistan is located in south-east asia.
But every recipe I flipped through was "Yun Kun Pao" or "Shim Shun Shao"* or whatever, you get the point. So apparently Pakistan is not in South East Asia. So where is it?

I'm utterly confused.

You know when you fill out applications or surveys or such things that ask you to circle in your ethnicity. Well I always decline to answer, not because I'm super secretive about where I come from. In fact, I'd love to categorize myself (I like labels. Yum.).
I don't do it, because they never had South East Asian as an option to pick from. Writing just Asian would mean I'm from China or Japan or Korea, etc... I can't pick Middle Eastern, because, well, I'm not Middle Eastern. (Although some people would like to tell me otherwise. "You wear a head scarf. This means you're ARABIC"). Pacific Islander? I don't even know what that is, Alaskan?

Granted I am sort of bad at directions, maybe I've just been confusing myself all these years.

Sigh. Someone help me re-classify myself.

(I know I can easily google this, but it was a chance to post. CC will be happy.)


*Obviously I made these up, not intending to offend anyone who IS south-east asian and is thinking where is she coming up with these recipe names?? I just can't remember what exactly they were.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Till Death Do Us Part...until we meet again in the afterlife of course!

December 27th was my one year anniversary! I wanted to be all cute and post something on 12 am December 27th BUT clearly as you can see THAT didn't happen. It was cuz I was in Canada and didn't have a post prepared nor was I willing to sit and write one since I was so damn exhausted from attending the RISconference, which BTW was great!


So yes, I spent my anniversary + 3 extra days at an Islamic Conference in another country. Oh and C.C was with us too!! Hiii C.C!! =] OMG that reminds me, on the measly 4 hour drive to Toronto, we pulled over twice because my bladder was acting outta control and boy can I tell you that the public "washrooms" in Canada are SO FREAKING CLEAN! At least the ones I used. They had an inspection sheet posted on the wall and these washrooms were cleaned every 15-20 minutes. NOW that's what I call service!! I think Canadians have time to spend cleaning their washrooms because hellooooo, they have universal healthcare and we all know that just makes everything sooooooo much better. Really. Ok so back to my non-i-versary. Basically at 12 am anniversary night, my husband and I looked at each other, smiled and said, "Happy anniversary". And you know whaaaat? That was totally OK! I remember at the beginning of December, A.L. asked what I'd be doing on my anniversary and I told her I'd most likely be at the Islamic conference. She said, "have a GOOD time at RIS and at your 1st anniversary. its perfect, you will spend a weekend uplifting your islamic spirituality TOGETHER... that's perfectly romantic <3"


And AL was so right! Who says gifts have to be wrapped? Or that you even need to exchange gifts? My husband and I were together, safe, happy and healthy! We didn't need to go on a date or to dinner/movies to enjoy our 1st year together. I think being at the conference together was more memorable than throwing an anniversary party or getting some blingblingchingching, not that there's anything WRONG with that ifyouknowwaimsayen. ;)

The husband makes me happy. Real happy. I should tell him that more often. I'm usually too busy imitating karate moves, pinching his cheeks and throwing fake punches his way. don'task cuz I aint gonna tell.

Oh btw: Happy one day belated birthday to C.C!! And happy 2 week belated birthday to C.A.! Danggggggg everybody's gettin' old! ;)

Until next time, peace!

Shark Attack

Do you guys remember when reality tv shows were JUST becoming popular? I was so sick of them from the start, but now that its been a decade (and there's nothing else on TV), I occassionally watch one episode here and there.

Ok I lied, some of them I watch regularly. Like, my favorites are ANTM, Project Runway (I *heart* Tim Gunn), and The Apprentice (I don't *heart* Donald Trump, but he amuses me with his enormous ego).

The other day I was flipping through the channels when I came across a new show called The Shark Tank.
Its about these inventors who each get a chance to pitch their product/idea to 5 very rich people. I mean filthy rich. They probably wipe their face with 20 dollar bills when they sweat.

Anyways, these people are straight to the point and sometimes brutal. I cringed when they ripped apart this 19 year old who had an idea for eco-friendly t-shirts. I wasn't impressed by his product at all, but he was so determined. He was still in Business School at NYU, probably a sophomore, but he knew exactly what he wanted and he answered every single question they asked him. I liked him, I'd probably hire him if I needed a PR rep (for what? I don't multi-million dollar company?).

Four more inventors came on after him and all of them sucked, frankly and the show was getting boring because none of the rich people would invest. Finally, the last two inventors came ( a team) ...their product was something very simple. They were cyclists who wanted to invent an easy way to remove grease from hands after fixing their bikes (when they were on the trail and no soap and water were available). Anyhow they came up with an orange/citrus based sanitary wipe which worked really well (in their demo). They call it "Grease Monkey" -- look it up if you like. Their presentation came to an end and all, except 1, investor backed out of it. I wasn't suprised because even I wasn't truly, truly impressed by the wipe, it seemed like something anyone, anywhere could make a rip off of and then it wouldn't be unique at all. But that one remaining investor kept thinking and thinking and that's when the girl inventor stepped up her game. She kept on pushing him and presenting her case more and more strongly, she just wouldn't stop and I think in the end that's what sold him. He agreed to invest and right then another investor changed their mind and invested too.

Anyways the point of my story is, seriously, it was soooo impressive how determined she was to get the investors attention. Even if her argument wasn't that great, she wasn't shy at all to keep talking. I would love to be able to do that. I was actually cringing for her, before he agreed, because I thought he was going to embarrass her or something (like I said they were extremely brutal to the inventors).
So yea, if you're thinking of doing something you feel passionate about, stick to it. Also because being sappy is my job on this blog, I'll offer you the moral of the story: people believe in you if you believe in yourself!! Even if they don't, at the least they can't knock you down because they know you won't put up with it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Any day now

Any day now my hands will completely heal insh'Allah (God Willing)
And I'll be back here typing or back on your blog commenting.

I've been gone for more than two months. But I'm confident it won't last. Insh'Allah!

Have you all been following Haiti? Anderson Cooper was doing an amazing special the other day. He was talking to a doctor working in Haiti in a makeshift hospital, basically by himself.
Doctors were turned back by the UN because of security concerns.

And today I saw a news headline about another doctor in Haiti who was saying that 1/3 of her patients might die by night if she doesn't get any help in her makeshift hospital.

I don't know much else about the whole UN thing. But it's terrifying.

On other news. Did any of you hear the song that was chosen as the official song for the FIFA world cup 2010?

It's by a Somalian Canadian known as K'naan. His original song is beautiful with really powerful lyrics. And a catchy rhythm.
Check it out.

And this is the remix version of it. This will be the official World Cup song. It's very different from the original.But awesome still in its own way.

Ooooooh Wooooooh

(0 : 22)Give me freedom, give me fire, give me reason, take me higher
See the champions, take the field now, you define us, make us feel proud
In the streets are, exaliftin , as we lose our inhabition,
Celebration its around us, every nations, all around us

(0 :48)Singin forever young, singin songs underneath that sun

Lets rejoice in the beautifull game.

And toghetter at the end of the day.


(1 :00)When I get older I will be stronger

They'll call me freedom Just like a wavin' flag

And then it goes back
And then it goes back
And then it goes back

(1 :12)When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom
Just like a wavin' flag

And then it goes back
And then it goes back
And then it goes

Oooooooooooooh woooooooooohh hohoho

(1 :39)Give you freedom, give you fire, give you reason, take you higher
See the champions, take the field now, you define us, make us feel proud
In the streets are, exaliftin, every loser in ambition,
Celebration, its around us, every nations, all around us

(2 :03)Singin forever young, singin songs underneath that sun

Lets rejoice in the beautifull game.

And toghetter at the end of the day.


When I get older, I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom
Just like a wavin' flag

And then it goes back
And then it goes back
And then it goes back

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom
Just like a wavin' flag

And then it goes back
And then it goes back
And then it goes

Wooooooooo Ohohohoooooooo ! OOOoooooh Wooooooooo


When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom
Just like a wavin' flag

And then it goes back
And then it goes back
And then it goes back

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom
Just like a wavin' flag

And then it goes back
And then it goes back
And then it goes

Wooo hooooo hohohohoooooo

And everybody will be singinit

Wooooooooo ohohohooooo

And we are all singin it

-CC out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mrs. Cullen: The Death Eater

Dear Friends,

I'm so hungry. I've been craving yummie foods for the last few days. Sigh. My mom is making me diet. Shes making me eat salad every single day. I have to eat it for lunch. And I have to eat it for dinner. If I don't eat it for lunch then I can only eat a small portion of the food I am choosing to eat instead. It freaking sucks. For snacks I can only have fat-free yougurt. Sigh. Oh and fruit. FML. Ok this is kind of a good thing because, God willing, I will lose some weight. I am kinda fat. Not really. I just have a big belly. Sometimes if I stick it out as much as I can, I look like I'm pregnant. I'm not pregnant. I don't like babies. Omg. The other day on the radio, Lady Gaga was saying how she doesn't eat anything because shes a popstar. All she has is coffee. I dunno how you can just admit to that! Sigh. I wish it was possible for me to control eating. I love food too much.

Anyway. I've also started going to the gym. I had stopped for a while because school was in the way. But now I'm back. The gym is an interesting place to observe people. The whole time I'm there I feel like everyone is watching me and judging me because I don't have running shoes. Or because I wear a lot of layers of clothing. But thats only because it makes you sweat more, which is good. Blah. I love the gym because its .2 seconds away from my house and because they have TVs. I love watching Ellen in the morning or Wendy Willams. Wendy Williams is so ODD. I have no idea who she is and where she came from. I love watching her show cuz shes odd. Sometimes my 30-minute jog is done but I stay for another 30 just to finish watching a show. I'm so lame.

Anyway. So I'm starving and working out. Its just been a two weeks of working out and one week of dieting. It sucks. I always listen to the cosmetic surgons on the radio and wish I just get some surgery done. But I can't. Because its expensive. And people would talk about me. If I didn't know anybody in the world, and had a lot of money, then I'd do it. I mean why is it so terrible? Blah. I've also been dying to eat out. Somewhere that my mom doesn't see me. I know this dieting and exercise is for me, but still shes watching me like a hawk. Its not like she forces me to do it, but when she says things like "is there a freaking worm in you thats eating all your food because you never stop getting hungry," it makes me sad. There isn't a worm. Ew.

Anyway, I really hope I go out to eat somewhere this weekend. Yum. Sushi. Noodles. Salmon. Fried Chicken. Cold stone. Sigh. Ok I have to go to the gym because I slept all day and so I feel like a fat lard.

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Praying for Haiti

I cannot begin to imagine what the people of Haiti are going through right now. Especially as I sit here in my bedroom, and look around at my own world. It's like something off of a movie. My world is peaceful and calm. My biggest worry being that I have to go to work tomorrow and I dont have any lesson plans done.

While in another part of the world, on the island of Hispaniola, the world is in utter chaos and nothing is as it was. 100,000. 100,000 people dead. And counting. The number keeps going up. There is no way that it could possibly go down. Some thinking that it could even go as high as 500,000. And over 3 million people were affected by the earthquake. An enormous amount.

The other day my friends and I were talking about the safest place you can go during an Earthquake. Apparently the safest place would be in any doorway of your house. Something to do with the foundation of the house.

Haiti stood no chance. The infrastructure in the impoverished country is not up to par and none of the buildings stood a chance. Sixty percent of the buildings in Haiti were built carelessly and were extremely unsafe.

People die all the time. It's a part of life. But when a large amount of people die, be it a natural disaster or war, or what have you, you cant help but take a step back and say Whoa, death is no joke. We can die whenever.

It's like God is taking you by both arms, and giving you a firm shake and saying "Wake up!"

I'm praying for the people of Haiti. My thoughts are with them all. May God help them all and give them all peace.

If you would like to help the people of Haiti, by donating money, please visit this link, which provides you with a list of places you can donate to.

And please keep Haiti and its people in your thoughts and/or prayers.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Does anyone love their job?

Every Sunday evening, I feel this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's a feeling of dread and annoyance.

The next day is Monday.

Monday equals the beginning of the work week.

I want to be one of those people that absolutely loves their job, and cant get enough of it. However, I dont want to be obsessed with it to the point where my entire life revolves around it and I'm not able to have a social life in any shape or form. But I dont want to dread the next day and the early morning as much as I do.

I'm so blessed to have a job right now, grateful to be earning, and being able to help out my family in some sort of way. But it sucks to begin a work week over when you just had a nice weekend of R&R.

I know that being a teacher is a rewarding job. The reward part of it comes much later on, towards the end of the year, when teachers are so burnt out, they can't really be bothered to notice the improvements and gains that students have made, and the knowledge that students have acquired.

Some days I force myself to repeat over and over in my head, "Alhamdullilah I have a job." Literally. Over and over and over and over and over. I need that constant reminder in my head to get through each day. Please dont misinterpret what I'm saying as me being unhappy at my job, it's great when I'm actually working, but sometimes I rather just sit at home all day and be a bum, read a book, or watch a movie. Which I know everyone would also want to.

But is there anyone out there that genuinely loves their job and it brings them pleasure to begin the work week? Someone who doesn't feel a sense of apprehension when thinking of the work week?

If so, I envy them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stop Treating Me Like a Criminal

I'm really upset. Truly disheartened. And above all, just annoyed.

I went shopping today with my mom and sisters. They all needed boots. So we went out to some shoe stores to look around. At Famous Footwear we started looking around at tall leather boots and those Uggish type of boots. Mom even tried one on but too bad the size was too small.

Anyhow, I looked over my shoulder and there was this lady who worked there standing by our aisle with wandering eye. She looked really uncomfortable. You know when you're standing and you have no idea where to put your hands? Or where to look? And so you whip out your cell phone and start texting random people or pretend you have something important to check? Yea, well she couldn't play with her cell phone on account of her working. But pretty much she looked strangely out of place. She kept glancing over at us while mom was trying on her shoes.

Finally 10 minutes later we decided there was nothing worth buying so we left. As we were walking off the lady watched us leave and finally walked away from where we were standing...she went back to the front of the store where she was originally stocking shoes.

Seriously?? The store had her stand there to watch us? Of course. Go watch the Muslim family because who knows what they might do!

Don't get me wrong...maybe she was standing there for some other reason but honestly she wouldn't have a strong alibi.

You know what upsets me the most? I am an American and yet sometimes I feel so unwelcome in my own home, in my own land. Once when I was in middle school the day after 9/11 some guy came up to me and said, "Go back home, raghead!!"

Where the hell would you like me to go back to, huh? I was born and raised right here. This is home and there's nowhere back to go to. And whenever I have gone to visit my parents original countries I feel completely out of place. Literally.

I have a lot more on my mind about the news lately and how media corrupts minds SO easily. But instead I think I'll cool off and eat ice cream instead. Woohoo for obesity!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Handbook For 2010

I fell across this note on a friend's facebook (who says facebook isn't useful?). These are not really resolutions but more rules. I think I'm going to print this and tape it to my refrigerator. Enjoy! :)

Handbook for 2010

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Have a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Simply Me.

Au Revoir!

Mrs. Cullen: The Blah

Dear Friends,

I'm so blah. I've been so busy the last year and all of a sudden I have nothing to do. NOTHING AT FREAKING ALL. And it really sucks. I had this exam yesterday. And its over. And now I have nothing to do. Everyone is back to school/work but I start my break now. And I want to have fun. But no one wants to have fun with me. My sister was supposed to be here for the week. But something came up. And she had to leave today. She only stayed for two days!! And both of those days I was studying. Sigh. I'm really depressed that she left. We had made so many plans for the week. Sigh. And I wanted to go home with her (she goes to school in New York) but that didn't work out. Blah. I'm just so blah. And my only friend in this world is on vacation in some stupid state. Sigh. I was so excited to be free because I wanted to do all these things. But I have nothing to do. And it sucks. I wish I was busy again. I wish my exam was next month so I could be studying.

I hate being not-busy because of a couple of reasons. 1. Its boring 2. It gets me thinking 3. It gets me thinking and I become worried about things/emo. 4. Its boring. I really have nothing else to say. There is a lot I want to do. But I hate doing things alone. I wish I was independent. I wish I could go shopping by myself. I wish I could go to the movies by myself!!! And get a haircut by myself. I can't even drive to school without calling someone. Sigh. I need to become independent. I think I'm going to buy Harry Potter 6 and watch it by myself today. Sigh. Or I think I'll watch Avatar on my computer (illegally). Sigh. Basically I'm just emotional.

On a positive note, I've started working out!!! I hope I keep up with the "work-out plan" my 15 year old cousin created for me. Hes so buff! I don't want to become buff (ew). I just want to lose weight. I'M SO FAT. So hopefully that'll work-out for me (pun intended). Oh I'm not working out because its the New Year and this is some stupid resolution that I made. Those are made with the intention of breaking. I just feel that I'm overweight. So I need to work out. I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions. They are lame. Although I did decide to cut some habits. But not because of the New Year! Ever since CA wrote her post about trust, it got me really paranoid (more than I already am). So I decided I really need to watch what I say. Not just because I'm afraid someone will tell my secret, but also because I don't want to get jinxed for whatever reason. Ok I'm gonna go wallow in self-pity. Just kidding....maybe.

Anyway, if you are like me. Read this. And try not to be emo. Emo is so not the new black.

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

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I think they're retarded but these are mine. I realize i'm a few days late but whatevva :)

This year I will....

Try my hand at Astrophotography and photograph the stars!

Spread Joy!

Throw a penny in a fountain!

Be Remarkable!

Make my bed!

Wear sunglasses!

Take public transportation!

Cook Beef Bourguignon!

Say hi to a stranger!

Become an expert on something!

Drink more tea!

Start a pencil collection!

Watch an episode of Oprah!

Watch a movie in 3D!

Be spontaneous!

......along happy, be healthy, be wise, be nice, be goofy, be pretty, be symbiotic, be crazy, be serious, be thankful, be studious, be dance-y, be jump-y, be laugh-y, be cool-y
hope you had an amaaaaaaZING New Years!
here's to a great year!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Say Cheese!

The Arabic meaning of my name is happy. And every time I tell people the meaning of my name, they say it makes sense because I'm always smiling from ear to ear. And I love to smile with my teeth. My family can be funny sometimes, and when we take family pictures, my dad always tells us to close our mouths and smile without our teeth. He says that when we smile with our teeth that it makes us look like idiots (He really doesnt mean it in a harsh way, but when you translate the word from Bangla to English, it sounds harsh. But I know that it's not his intention to be mean). It's just cultural phooey, if you ask me. My siblings and I can never decipher between him joking or being serious, so we just laugh and end up smiling with our teeth. Thus probably ruining the picture.

You might find it amusing to know though, that I'm very self conscious of my smile. If I could change one thing about my physical demeanor, it would be my smile. I mean it wouldn't be the only thing. But if I had to pick only one, then it would be that. Growing up, kids are not that nice to each other. And I used to get teased a lot for my big smile, small teeth, and very big gums. When you get called out like that for those features, looking in the mirror, you start believing it. And you keep believing it, even when people tell you otherwise.

Since then, when I smile or laugh, I cover my mouth. Sometimes I do it. Sometimes I don't.
Some days I cringe thinking about my smile. Some days I say to hell with what others think. All depending on my confidence level that particular day.

One day while being evaluated by my assistant principal, I tried to put forth a very hard persona. Thinking my superior would like it and see that I meant business with my students and that I was a firm teacher with excellent classroom management. When we discussed her observation and evaluation, one thing she critiqued me on was my lack of smiling. She said "You're always smiling. But I didn't see it a single time while you were teaching. Kids need teachers to smile at them. You could be the only one that they get that from in an entire day. They need that."

Boy, did I feel petty.

A lot of the times I can be mean and cruel to my kids. Yes, I know that. It never clicked with me that lack of smiling wasn't helping them in any way. And I've noticed, since my superior has pointed it out, that when I do smile and laugh and give an occasional wink to my kids, it makes them so happy. Like it's a secret between us.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says,
"Your smile for your brother is charity."

Some of my kids have rough lives. Hell, a lot of the kids at this school do. And coming to school, is a hard task for some of them. And I'm sure coming to school with a "grumpy" looking teacher doesn't help the matter.

If I can help them by teaching them a thing or two, that's great. If I can make them feel good, by a simple act such as a smile, even better.

It's simple things, small things, simple small things, that make all of the difference.