Thursday, October 4, 2012

Calorie Reunion 2012

Hello everybody! I missed you while I was out sick again and then galavanting around Southern Minnesota. I meant to post this on Monday after I got back, but somehow it's Thursday and who knows how that happened.

Maybe these guys picked me up and didn't tell me about it.

I'll tell you about my excellent adventure down US Highway 169 after the warp.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A little less talk.

I meant to post about this last night, but I got wrapped up in the fervent and delightful chaos that is hanging out at Salihah's house. In addition to her 5 boys, her little two-bedroom home was packed with her mom and another friend as we bounced around between making bottles, doing dishes, and serving up this delicious shredded chicken taco meat stuff from the crockpot. I was also half-heartedly trying to take part in an online orientation for a new class (more on that later) while balancing a baby on my lap, but that ended pretty fast. The evening culminated in dill pickle chips, Cheetos Puffs®, and sweet-n-salty candy bars while browsing (and ridiculing) fall-layering knitwear online. It was bliss.

This lady would have been disappointed in us.
And BTW, that new "MyPlate" alternative to the Food Pyramid doesn't make sense in any language.
I tried reading a brochure.

This post was supposed to be about taking action. We'll get there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

20-Minute Mile.

Thanks to the magic of Google Maps and the Paintbrush tool in Photoshop, I have artfully illustrated here the route of my lunchtime walk today. There's more about it in the exercise section of the post but I didn't have anything pithy to lead off with today. Shocking, right?

Ok so maybe it wasn't really a mile, but since I don't have one of those awesome wheel-distance-measuring thingamajiggers my dad used when he worked for the street department, who can say with real accuracy how much I ever walk on these meandering journeys I take? Oh, he would just die if he realized I have no idea what that thing is called. It will confirm his constant assertions that we were in fact never listening to him!

Anyschnitzel, this isn't about walking certain distances or not disappointing your dad. It's about taking pictures and then showing them to people on the Internets to prove you actually walked.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

34th time's the charm.

As my dear friend Salihah would say, I made my 34th revolution around the sun last week. I didn't blog on that day because A) I had kind of a crappy day and B) I don't celebrate birthdays so posting about it would just frustrate people who wanted to wish me well and I only like frustrating people sometimes and those times are usually when I'm in a good mood and want to mess with some heads.

Please don't ever do this to your child.

Anywhoodles, I'm older and that's that.

Monday, September 10, 2012


You didn't hear from me last week because I was totally and completely unplugged from technology (well, as much as one can be here in Minnesota without heading Up North to BWCA and getting lost/wet/eaten by a bear). I mean I was not tweeting, blogging, or facebook-ing. I was also not working for three magnificent days plus the weekend. It was basically amazing.

Let's pretend that dog is Willy the Cat, ok?

It would behoove you to read about my lazy exploits ahead...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rotten zucchini.

Blogs are like fresh vegetables. You get all excited about all of the beautiful things you could grill, roast, or dip in tempura batter and fry (YUM!) and for a little while, you bask in the colorful glory of reds, greens, purples, and yellows of the Earth's bounty. Then you forget all about them for a month while they go soft and wrinkly in the crisper drawer. Well, you don't REALLY forget. You think about them every once in a while, and you pull them out and see if they're really, truly dead or just "ready for chili". Guilt sets in, and you start to avoid the fridge altogether while you cook out of your pantry (old Cheers episodes) and bring home takeout (MasterChef Season 3) or just gorge yourself at the State Fair (Mr. Mom on Netflix). There are apparently a lot of things you can do on the Internets besides blogging.

Maybe these people can come up with something to freshen my blog every once in a while.
In the interest of not becoming one of those people on Hoarders, today I am dusting off some carrots that still have some life in them and making chicken and dumplings. As you can tell from reading this, I am also posting on my blog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Going for the Gold

I knew the Olympics were going on during Ramadan, and I had thought a little bit about how hard that must make the competitions for the Muslim athletes who will be fasting for around 18 hours a day. But not until this morning did I consider how much personal sacrifice is made in an effort to win worldly rewards like gold medals, and promotions at work, and tacky little statues of bowling men, even. People train for most of their lives to be Olympic athletes. High-powered executives lose countless hours of sleep while burning the midnight oil at the office, ordering in Chinese food and taking off their ties at some point (oh, is that just in the movies?). Even league bowlers spend a lot of time and money to get the accolades of their buddies and the jealousy of their beer-bellied rivals.

Walter is not even messing around here. Smokey was over the line.

Non-Lebowski fans, just forget about that picture. You don't really need to know.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Mississippi.

Count to six. I'll wait.

There—a child just died of hunger. According to the World Food Programme, this happens every six seconds. Think about it too much and you will dive into a depression hole so deep that not even an hour-long episode of 30 Rock guest-starring Kristen Wiig and Zach Galifianakis will get you out.


But we do have to think about it a little bit. Bear with me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hope floats your boat!

My little poll to the right timed out today, coinciding with the start of Ramadan (now it makes sense, huh?)—and while not a lot of people voted, the favor went overwhelmingly to hope as a motivator. I used to be crippled by procrastination and have some flare-ups now and then, but I'm mostly driven to accomplish my goals by a hybrid mixture of hope and encouragement.

I'd love to hear from you about your tricks and tactics to banish the "I'll do it later" monster from your life.

Finding flowcharts for my blog on the googles is my version of drawing a pterodactyl.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Goofy sandwich with Business Bread

Yesterday I had a true day off but I accomplished a lot at the beginning and end.

I forgot to blog about it, so here it goes. Just to update you on my whole sleep study appointment, it didn't happen. Due to the efficiency of the State of Minnesota in dropping people from their healthcare plans the minute they forget to pay, I couldn't keep my appointment. There's no way I was going to pay for it and try to get reimbursed. As my pops says, I was born at night but not last night. Anyway I got a ton of stuff done with my day off including an oil change (half off with handy direct-mail coupon!), grocery shopping, a bunch of e-mail answering, and other odds and ends. I did pay my insurance premium too, so I'm back in business for my new appointment over a month from now.

After all that productivity it was time to get stupid. I got together with two besties and we ate ice cream truck treats, halal beef jerky, chips, and other junk. We decided it would be a good idea to dye our hair with henna and proceeded to make a huge mess all over our heads, the bathroom, and other areas of my friend's apartment. We gabbed and made dinner while the chunky, nasty dye paste cooked under plastic bags tied over our heads. It was great.

I'm the skeptical one. Toni's shock-ed. Salihah is very smug about her news.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Warp Level

It seems I've sort of skipped over a few days here, kinda like when you warp in Super Mario Bros. and end up in World 4 by going through a tube. Yeah, we can just say I warped, rather than admitting I neglected to blog.

Ironically, you can lose whole days in real life playing this game too.

Ok, now that that's over with, on to writing the things! The things that I am thinking!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

80% ain't bad.

The post title will make more sense later on but for now, I just have to say that people are fun and they make life great. There. Most of you who know me will read this and go, "Say, WHAT?? Who are you and what did you do to my cynical and socially isolated friend?" It's true that despite the fact that I talk a lot, I rarely actually want to talk to anyone (we'll leave that to the therapists to figure out).

However today there were lots of other-people-funnies, most of which didn't require me to be in the conversation. The boss's kids were at the office and totally cracking me up, making jokes about how they're so African they play catch with an eraser and other side-splitters. One of our colleagues in Ethiopia was using some hilarious broken English in an e-mail, and our Bosnian contractor screamed some super-good admonishments into the phone at one of his workers. Ok this was yesterday but it was too good to leave out. He actually used the phrase, "This isn't gypsy land. This is real land!" I can't believe I survived the laugh attack.

The theme here seems to be that I hang out with a lot of diverse people (true) and they are funny as a result (totally). This makes me seem slightly insensitive (guilty) but it's all in good fun and I love every one of these characters for their unique personalities.

We got nothin' on the East Africans, let me tell you.

The sweeping generalizations are over (for now).

Monday, July 9, 2012

Not the worst Monday ever.

This one wasn't too shabby! We'll pretend I didn't take a really dumb way to work as I experiment with the best route to the new office which is right smack in the middle of no-highway-even-close-to-here-construction-zone. There is a Pizza Hut nearby, but who does that help? No one. Anyway even though I was a bit late, I got a ton of things accomplished, we had a reasonable staff meeting, and now I'm home with the AC on, blogging the night away with you.

It looks a little like this except I have red hair and wouldn't be caught dead in a Snuggie.

Did you know there are superhero Snuggies? Sheesh.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thick and Thin.

I've decided I will once again post every single day, as I did "in the beginning", no matter what I have actually done toward my goal of 20 minutes a day of Islamic studies and exercise. I think (no, I KNOW) it helps me stay motivated when I'm accountable, and I miss writing every little thing that comes into my head, whether for your amusement or not (most probably not).

He seems to get the idea.

Today is just a quick little post—don't worry. I know how to take 'er easy on a Sunday.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Digging out.

It's been a while—I missed you! I just looked at the date on my last post and it was the day we started moving our office. That part went fine—the movers were super-efficient and professional—but the ensuing two weeks of nonstop hold music and frustrating, circular conversations with our phone and internet "provider" were about as unproductive as my year off from college in 1998. At least I didn't lose my driver's license for a month and my job at the grocery store forever like I did that year.

This creepy Monopoly Man is riding a narwahl. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Maybe moving to the next part of this post will help you get your mind off that infographic nightmare.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Reader's Digest

This thing has sort of turned into more of a digest than a daily blog lately, but I feel a sense of accomplishment listing out the things I've done in the last few days. So until stuff calms down at work/home (When would that be you ask? Well, NEVER!) I am going to continue to take some liberties. At least I'm not all sloth-y and avoiding you because of how ashamed I am for not doing anything. That would be worse. Right?

After seeing this adorable baby sloth I feel bad suggesting they're lazy.
In fact, they're just slow. Physically.
Not sure about their mental quickness. No time to do sloth research.
I'm not lazy, just busy. Really!

Longest photo caption ever!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

We don't need to talk about that.

Let's not talk about how I lost another blogging week without knowing what happened. Let's gloss right over that. Good. Thanks.

Now my dear blog-ees, please know that I love you. A whole lot. I just seem to be having some trouble getting back to my routine and all these pesky things keep piling up on me. The biggest one is that the organization I work for decided to buy a building. Around the first of June. And they decided they needed to close within two weeks. I KNOW!! And THEN they decided that we need to move into it before the end of the month. OKAY.... And guess who's in charge? YUP.

This was basically me when I got the news of my new part-time job-within-a-job.

Well, we move Monday/Tuesday and despite some scares today with the phone and internet demons, I mean people, somehow things are on schedule. Alhamdulillah.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Back in the saddle. For now.

Wow, it's not easy to take the reins again once you bust a wheel and your wagon goes all wonky and off the trail and you lose a horse to cholera and everyone in the back of the wagon is screaming and bouncing around every time you hit a rock. That has been my experience anyway. Being sick and then going to camp and all of these other things put my Exercise/Islam/Blog schedule into the ditch and those towing people take forever, especially when you're Out West in a wagon.

I promise this was the first google result for "Oregon Trail Wagon Game".
The Muslims will totally get the oddity of name #5 in this case,
and the reverts around my age will be like, WHAT?! when they put it with #1.

I somehow didn't die of dysentery in the past 30 days though, so let's get this show on the road!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Once a year, I turn into a 17-year-old girl (which I never really was in the traditional sense...) and I go to camp. Well, at least for the past two years. I hope it's forever. This last weekend was three days of 84 girls 15-20+ and nonstop screaming for all different kinds of reasons (spiders, mosquitos, cheering competitions, being picked to line up for dinner first, you know). It was a blast.

I think if a boy somehow made it into camp, he would dissolve on impact with the girl fumes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Doctor Day.

How could it be a whole week since my last post? Being sick has totally put me out of commission in so many ways. I haven't seen friends in person either, and I've basically just gone home every night after work to try to sit still and not be dizzy with a splitting headache. So I finally made appointments with my doctor and the Target Optical eye exam guy just to rule out an old prescription causing the problems.

Today I got some answers and some pills, plus a whole lot more.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today's serving of the 20/20 Project is going to be just a mish-mash of different things I want to talk about because that's what you get to do when you have your own show.

You want chicken fingers? Ok. We have a cold shrimp salad with boiled egg.

I'm going to type whatever strikes my fancy today.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Zoo Day

No really, it was Family Day at the Zoo today, an annual event put on by Building Blocks to bring any and all Muslims in the community together for food, fun, and just a little bit of depression brought on by viewing a sparse offering of sluggish animals in a pretty tight space for a "suggested donation" of $2 for adults. Basically the zoo is free. And if you're feeling bad for the critters, they have kept the original tiny cages on display where the animals used to be housed, so you can put that little thought away right now! A big plus is that it's just about a mile or two from my place.

More important than the zoo is the wonder of seeing hundreds of hijabs floating over the vast fields of perfect green grass made even more punchy by about two weeks straight of rain. Thankfully the clouds parted early this morning and it was PICTURESQUE to say the least. 80 degrees pretty much all day and not a drop of rain. Alhamdulillah!

This was the first photo uploaded to the BB facebook page today.
You can guess what the guys were thinking about and it wasn't hot dogs!

More fun in the sun on a bun coming up!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Too late? Too little??

Whatever. I am not the power-yoga core-building fat-burning machine "As Seen on TV".

I am also not the dedicated scholar with my nose in two books at all times while listening to a lecture and translating an article from Arabic to English (God help us if anyone ever asks me to do that).

I'm normal and flawed and have countracted Vertigo. I just think it sounds cool to say it that way, don't get all correct-y with me because I am aware that dizziness isn't contagious.

Anyway I am slow to post and when I do it can be a downer to read to the bottom and find out I didn't say anything at all.

Today I am determined to say at least one thing, regardless of the fact that I am using my phone to Swype this and my middle finger is getting numb. I don't know, it's the easiest one for me to use!!!

Anywhoodles, I did go to a youth lecture last night with a friend and her boys and we met up with another lady we hang out with a lot. The lecture will be a weekly talk on manners from an Islamic perspective. They are using a book with 100 ahadith on manners. I didn't catch the compiler/publisher but I am sure someone reading this can help us out.

The talk was good and the brother speaking did a good job keeping the kids in line. He talked about how in order to grow up strong and deal with real life after you leave your mom and dad you need to discipline yourself. Sit respectfully in class, even if it hurts a bit. Show attentiveness to the one speaking. And above all, show the utmost respect to the Creator of the heavens and the earth by worshipping Him alone. Tawhid, the oneness of Allah, is the first thing we need to instill in ourselves and our kids. It's part of good manners!

I took this very much to heart. We fall all over ourselves to talk to a celebrity (traditional or the new kind, the celebrity sheikh) or even our favorite researcher/executive/CEO of [insert company/industry]. But do we humble ourselves in prayer to Allah? Do we even acknowledge He is watching when we go to do a sin? Do we take partners with Him by asking the dead to help us (rampant overseas) or by revering another human being along with him?

Far above these acts is Allah. He doesn't need our worship. We do. He gave us faith as a gift and the least we can do is appreciate it. Alhamdulillah.

No pictures today. No silly quips. Just a reminder for those who reflect.

Oh, and may Allah bring refuge to the people being murdered in their homes by the Syrian government, led by a man so cowardly in the Face of Allah that he claims he isn't killing these kids in Houla and elsewhere. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raj'oon. To Allah we belong and to Allah we return. If you don't know about this crisis please look it up. It's one of the few things that everyone is in agreement upon right now, despite party lines. That the bloodshed must stop. 15 months is 15 too many.

Personal plea: Please don't see "The Dictator" and support the parody of what's actually happening right now at the hands of a true dictatorship. How can people laugh at such atrocities?

May Allah make me among those who speak out for justice and humanity.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Loose noodles.

I'm having some sort of inner-ear problems. Usually this would be followed up with a joke about how dumb I am or another brain-related jab at myself, but this thing's the real deal. My good friend had similar issues a while back and is a pro in this arena because her ears have always been stupid jerks that make her sick.

Basically for the last two weeks since my sinus cold (infection?) I have been ultra-dizzy, mainly in the evening. It gets worse around 5:00 p.m. Maybe it's because of a long day at work looking at the computer or as my gal pal says, because I'm moving my head around all day and the infectious fluids are sloshing about, but in any case it's hard to do anything. I can't walk, turn my head, or pick things up without getting all "rollercoaster-y". This pretty much rules out any form of exercise.

No thanks.

This is really bumming me out because I feel so off-the-wagon since getting sick and I want to return to my routine.

However, I am not interested in feeling like I need to vomit just to burn 45 calories in 20 minutes. I ain't no idjit as my dad would say. Instead I will work extra-long on my Quran memorization tonight since that has been falling off as well. I will review Surah al-Maun and work on the new one, which I have to look up here because I can't even remember which one it is!

Health Tip of the Day: Ambitions are one thing, but limitations are always there. Push your limits until you reach the point where you are pretty sure that the activity will make you spinny or otherwise worse off than you are now. Go at it again later with more vigor when you are able!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Breaking News

Can someone tell my blog readers I don't feel good tonight so I won't be posting?


Forgetful Jones.

I totally and completely forgot to post anything yesterday. I also forgot to do anything. I remembered at about 1:00 a.m. but it was too late to turn back time. I'm not sure how this all happened but I don't really like it—I hope it isn't a sign of things to come. I will definitely make a concerted effort to prevent consistent forgetfulness insha Allah (Allah willing).

But as they say in the meetings "today's another day" or "you live to die another day" or "live and let go" or something like that. I don't know, I never went to one.

This guy got way too many chances though. But that's like, my opinion, man. 

At least I didn't forget to brush my teeth or something. That's just grody.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Someone's got a case of the Mondays.

And by Mondays, I mean the most awesome day ever. Maybe not quite, but it was pretty good.

First I dropped off my car, Ruby Sue, at the dealership to say goodbye. We had 36 months of ups and downs together but it was time to part. Especially since I only had about 800 miles left on my lease allowance and those guys are NOT MESSING AROUND when you go over.

Ruby, I want to say thank you for the good times we had. You saved the whole office that one December when we drove like banshees through a blizzard, careening past stuck tow trucks; swerving madly around people trying to walk in the street (and not get run over by me); and speeding by bewildered rear-wheel-drive-vehicle owners who were left standing on the exit ramp wondering where they ever went wrong. Here's a hint: You bought a minivan that used to be a taxi. 

It's sad to say goodbye but things weren't always perfect and at some point, you have to admit that your value isn't going up. I wish you better days as a graduation gift for a B+ Concordia student.

You had me really worried when this happened last spring but we got through it together.

And another touching love story begins...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Topping it all off.

This blog cannot convey what I went through at class today. I talk about the transformative nature of each AlMaghrib class but this one was truly gut-wrenching, uplifting, terror-inducing, and redeeming all at the same time. Part of me wants to apologize to non-Muslim readers that today's post won't really have anything for you, and part of me wants to gather all of you in a room for a week to tell you what I have learned and explain this beautiful religion. Religion in the Western context isn't even a good word to use here—it's sullied by all kinds of disgusting acts from people of all faiths (including Islam).

Islam is a way of life. We say/hear that a lot but it is an important distinction. It answers the question I get from people when they ask "Do you really have to do that?" or "Why do/don't Muslims do this/that?" If people don't learn how to apply Islam to their way of life they won't know what to do or why they are doing it, much less be able to explain it to others. Which is why I insist on seeking as much knowledge as possible.

Please enjoy my two favorite photos of the week, celebrating normal Muslims making Islam normal:

I'm totally getting a bike. A cruiser like this one would be perfect.
His entire prayer took less time than the introduction of one speaker (There's a video on YouTube).

It gets a little more serious soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Humility via humidity.

I think our AlMaghrib instructor brought Louisiana with him this weekend. This is the only explanation for it being so hot and humid in our classroom today. I mean I know it can be hard to leave your home but we are not ready for this yet in Minnesota! My glasses were fogging up. If it wasn't homesickness, maybe he asked them to crank up the heat so his points about how you have to go through some work to seek knowledge would hit home with us a little bit more. That's fine, but he shouldn't have been surprised when we all started falling asleep in our chairs.

Stay hydrated, Barack!

The class turned out to be totally worth staying awake for.


Here are some of the tweets I knew would come in overnight (see last post). This class is going to be so good! If there's no one quoted, ot was the instructor, Omar Suleiman who said it last night:

"The good deeds of the normal people are the bad deeds of the righteous people."

"Instead of suppressing our desires, we have to conform them to the Sunnah (example of the Prophet, salli Allahu alahi wa sallam)."

"Sins need to be burnt through the pains of the Dunya (this life) or through the fire of the Hereafter."

"How could you enslave a man that's already free?" -Umar bin Khattab" (this is in the UN Charter!)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, "Shaytan would rather get you with innovation, instead of sin." Because with innovation, you will never repent since you think you're doing good. WHOA!!!

"Believe it or not, Fitnah is a gift from Allah (swt)."

Wise words!

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm still alive.

I know, I have been remiss. I knew this would happen at some point but it's a little too soon for my liking. Also I apologize that this post is picture- and humor-less.

This head cold has been kicking my butt all week, but the old me (well the new me from last month) would have found a way to exercise anyway. I didn't!

Don't worry though, I am not finished with this project. I just need to figure this out. I'm still dizzy from the sinus stuff, liquids are draining from my nose when I bow in prayer (dang you neti pot!), and I have a full-weekend class with AlMaghrib, which started tonight and is awesome so far. I cried twice which is rare, even for Free Friday.

What I will do for you dear reader is find good tweets from my classmates and paste them here with some of my notes. I can't commit to much more than that at this point.

Since I left my notebook in the car and everyone who would tweet about class is probably still getting home, praying ishaa, and eating dinner after class, I will wait until morning when there will be tweets galore. Here's a great GEM (Genuinely Enlightening Moment) for now to get you through the night:

"Your nafs (soul) is like a strong horse. The goal is not to kill it, but to tame it." -Hasan Al-Basri

This class, on tazkiya (purification) is all about using practical strategies to come closer to Allah in worship and daily life. May Allah purify our hearts and bring us closer to His mercy.

If I don't get a chance to walk over lunch tomorrow, I will make time after class. Insha Allah (God willing).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I've had a monster cold/flu/sinus infection or something for the past two days. My skin has gone from "dang, she's WHITE" to "Oh dear, someone call a doctor. Her freckles are gone!"

Needless to say I am not exercising. Unless you count the shuffling between my bed and the couch. I left work early yesterday and took today off completely. My head feels like I got nostalgic for being four and stuffed an entire box of raisins up my nose and now they are living in my forehead.

I don't know what they're doing up there, but it's pretty funky.

I also haven't done much in the way of Islamic studies. I know I should, but I just have zero energy. I am still making all of my prayers including fajr at 5:00 a.m. so at least I can say that, alhamdulillah.

Until I'm better, please enjoy one of my favorite strips from Calvin and Hobbes. I basically had every book of these and read them about a million times. It was kind of a problem that I loved:

As Calvin would say: More updates as events warrant!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life is Grand.

The honeymoon isn't over. I'm still jumping with joy for my new place, new neighborhood, and new outlook on life. Today the lilacs are positively bursting with that beautiful "Oh yeah, school is coming to an end" scent that everyone in my neck of the woods knows from age 6 and up.

Take THAT, winter!

I'll come back to Earth soon, but just let me have my moment in the sun, k?

Saturday perfection.

It sounds crazy to say I had the best Saturday in a long time, especially since I worked today. But it really was great. First I was surprised by a volunteer and good friend who came unannounced to the office. She sealed 200 catalog envelopes while I worked on a report and we chatted. We ate strawberries together and I didn't have to seal envelopes—WINNING! After a few more hours of working in a quiet office while the boss is out of town I was freed at 4:00 p.m. into a glorious 74-degree afternoon of cloudless sunshine.

Savor it, people—I am not this chipper often.
But isn't this beautiful? I'm on a muted aqua and red kick, if you didn't notice.

The day got better as it went along.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I hear you.

I've had a shaky relationship with one of my co-workers since I started in my job about two years ago which seems to stem mostly from misunderstandings and vast personality differences. It doesn't help that this person has somewhat limited English skills and a very limited caché of American idioms which I use like Tammy Faye Bakker used mascara. These realities, coupled with my complete lack of tact and decorum, not to mention my low tolerance for sensitive people and situations make for some pretty rough staff meetings.

I don't even have a DVD logo to watch or anyone at work that would get this joke.

Don't worry, things are looking up.


Last night's post was pretty awesome. At least for the probably two people in a far Eastern time zones who read it before I accidentally deleted it on my phone's mobile app. Since I don't believe in trying to recreate humor from memory (and trust me, I know what words I wrote here, I just don't think they're funny the second time around) you'll just have to take my word for it. I will reveal that my exercise was Nerf sword street fighting with kids after dark. I'll at least post the super-radical pic here so you can have some SNES memories.

White people and their girlfriends love a good street fight.

Oh, and some of the great Street Fighter avatars in all their low-resolution glory:

In the Islam section, we profiled a great warrior, Mus'ab Ibn Umair (may Allah be pleased with him). He was a diplomat first and would always reason his way out of a fight if needed, but went down with both "guns" blazing in the battle of 'Uhud. He refused to drop either the banner of Islam or his weapon and he didn't stop until both hands were chopped off. That's one bad brother! 

I can't promise that tonight's post will be anything like the One That Got Away, but alas, life is fleeting—get over it!

Until later ...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring renewal.

It's a glorious May here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and the last couple of weeks of rain have jump-started the lawns and trees into hyper-green mode, making for verdant and refreshing scenery all over the Twin Cities. This has also been a season for the new-and-improved in my life. I just moved to a fantastic new place with a boss view and all the amenities a blue-collar girl from Southern Minnesota could want. I'm planning to change my name ASAP to follow the commandment in Islam to keep one's father's name regardless of marriage or divorce. Although I will be going back to my old name it will be "new to me" again, like when you find a beautiful treasure you forgot you even had in the upstairs closet of your parents' house after your mom threatened to finally throw out all that garbage that's been taking up space in her house for the last 14 years since you moved out. I'm also due to get a new car. My lease is up soon and I'll be selecting a new object of abuse that I can drive too fast around curves, fill with all my junk for different activities and events, and cover with a fine layer of french fry salt during my many on-the-run meals.

It's fun getting new stuff.

Now if only I could get a new brain that would work like mine did when I was 22, we'd be in business.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I know I get silly on this blog more often than not, and I do think that having a sense of humor makes the day go by faster. But every once in a while it's good to be somewhat introspective and take stock of what we have going for us. That's why I've been trying lately to show more gratitude to you for reading, my family for supporting me, and above all, Allah for everything.

I lasted about two minutes before posting something weird.

More humility on deck ...

Family Ties

As I move through life and people come in and out of my life, I start to realize the importance of the consistent bonds with family. They aren't always easy to maintain and distance or disagreements can stretch and strain them, but for the most part, they don't break. I have a few really good friends I can count on when I am in need, and I am so thankful for that. But I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have my family behind me through thick and thin. Before this gets to sappy, let's have a funny throwback pic from one of the greatest shows ever on television:

I'm totally Jennifer. Mandi's Mallory.
I guess that makes Bobbie Alex P. Keaton. Now it's funny. 

All jokes and ridiculous wall decorations aside, this is dedicated to the ones I love.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chugging along.

I had to work real hard today to force myself out of bed, into the kitchen to cook, and off to Arabic class, etc. Some days I wonder what it would be like to trade places one day with one of those flaky people who blow off their responsibilities (real, imagined, or self-imposed) on a regular basis. I don't mean the woman who calls in sick twice a year to watch daytime TV in her slippers. I mean like a 19-year-old college drop-out with serious delusions in the "what's important" department. I may have been one of these people for about a month or two in the late '90s but I don't remember much about that. All I know is I kinda want it back, just for a bit.

When's the last time I just watched planes??

But then again I don't. Because I wouldn't have this blog and that would be NO FUN.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Sorry, this is not a good way to start out a post. But I am BEAT. I was falling asleep folding laundry with a friend tonight while she was uncharacteristically awake and chipper at 11 p.m. despite having a boatload of kids and some medical issues. I guess we switched places. I haven't been sleeping well for like, ever, so that's part of it.

Hit the snooze, mom!

The rest of today's post will be short and hopefully complete before I nod off.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy home.

It's true that I am being a little annoying about my new place. I mean, it's pretty rad and so far the pros far outweigh the cons. I will likely be over the honeymoon stage soon, but until then, bear with me or avoid this blog like you would that annoying friend who has fallen in love and won't stop talking about it. Nerm, I don't mean you. I'm real happy for you.

Their love is fake. Unlike my feelings for the washer and dryer in my apartment.

More of the blushing bride coming right up.

Thirsty Thursday.

You wouldn't know it from how the day turned out all warm and sunny, but there was a crazy torrential downpour this morning that started the minute I walked out my door and stopped the minute I walked into the office. I'm not making that up. I almost took a photo from my balcony of the big, heavy, smoke-colored cloud pressing down on the historic buildings across the street, but I was late for work so I decided to get into my car before the rain came. I didn't. I don't know about where you live, but in Minnesota there are two kinds of drivers when it rains/snows/sleets: The nervous lady going 32 mph on the freeway in the right lane; and the Class-A Jerk in the red Audi flying by everyone and crossing lanes like he's playing air hockey. I think I am the only person who doesn't fall into one of these categories but I could be wrong. Maybe the others drive at different times.

Coulda used one of these on Lexington Avenue today.

Don't worry, Ruby Sue didn't get stuck or anything, but it was touch-and-go there for a while.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Half & Half

No, we're not talking about the main ingredient in the evil-barista-invented "brevé" which has about three days' worth of your recommended fat built-in. We're talking about my lame-o efforts today. But we will get to that. First I wanted to say thanks for reading my blog. You don't have to, yet here you are. It really means a lot. I am doing this first for Allah, but you are a big part of my motivation to keep going and to post every single day, even if I only kinda sorta do the 20 minutes thing.


I don't get why she took the free hug from Darth. I think the clone is just dreamy. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life goes on.

Today I went back to work after my two whole days off for the move. It was a bit like I had been away longer (and I'm sure my neglected fish would agree). There were two new staff members having their first day at the office, and one of them, a woman about my age, sits with me instead of the guy who was in our space before. All of his stuff was in a box in the conference room. I guess everyone has to move at some point! The new girl is especially great so far. We're very alike on many levels—we both love office supplies, an organized environment (preferably equipped with Macs), and dark chocolate. I found out she's a personal trainer so while there's no way we could be compared on that front, maybe she could give me some pointers for the exercise portion of this project. Also she makes the third full-time woman in the office so the girls are totally dominating. Look out!

I get to be Lily Tomlin.

Turn the page to see if I poisoned anyone today.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting it together.

I am real sorry that this blog has totally become about me moving. It's just that it's occupied about 14 of my 16 waking hours for three days straight. But it will be over soon. Actually, things are already shaping up in here because A) I have an awesome friend who spent about 8 hours with me on this today and B) I am not about to live out of boxes. It's just not cool.

Today's my last day of moving martyrdom, I promise. Then I will be getting back to real exercise and real Islamic studies. For real.

The Biggest Loser wins again.

You may have noticed that this post is about 12 hours late. Actually, you probably didn't notice because this blog isn't really a part of your life now, like it is mine. I deeply regret my tardiness anyway, but I have about a million (this time legitimate) excuses. If you are a regular reader, you know that I moved yesterday. My seemingly innocuous little jump from one small apartment to another about 2 miles away started out great but quickly turned into one big, wet, pain in the posterior by the end.

This was me at 11:30 p.m. last night.

If you make it through this whole post without crying, you are stable enough to be my friend.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

On your feet!

Every time I move, I have a new appreciation for mothers, domestic workers, janitors, and basically everyone else who works hard all day long with very little reward. Today was no exception. Though I officially move tomorrow, the real work was done today. Mostly by my sister because she is a go-getter and I was wandering around the apartment taping little baggies of hardware to things so I wouldn't have to search for the right screws when I want to hang curtain rods. My mom was helping too, wiping down the mini-blinds, cleaning a year of gunk off the front of my kitchen cabinets, and generally eradicating my nonsense with about 72 Clorox wipes. I do not care about the environment while I am moving. It's just a fact.

I should get her pharmacist's number. 

There's more writing ahead.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Night Bytes

That's the name of my new computer club. You can join but you gotta bring your own mini-screwdriver (not a drink) and 4 GB of RAM for the donation box. Also, the door password is 1Up4mAri0&1uIgi so you better have it memorized when you get to the keypad made out of a graphing calculator taped to the door.

Just kidding. I don't really know anything about the computers but sometimes a joke wins over reality. My buddy knows a thing or two (She's been C-prompting since before you were BORN, son!) but we usually just trash-talk PCs and try to get as much out of our aging Macbooks as possible since they are darned spendy.

Name the movie reference and get a free Slurpee coupon to use in another state.

The giveaways on my blog are not going to be as good as Pioneer Woman's.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


New Me would definitely win in a gloves-off contest against Old Me. I'm not trying to pretend I've really changed that much in two months, but there are definite differences in my attitude, motivation level for everything, and the number of hours I spend with these people since starting this blog.

Here's a play-by-play of today's fight (read the points with a little "ding" after each for fun):

Old Me: "Could these people drive any slower?"
New Me: "Alhamdulillah."   1

OM: "Let's just mail it with the errors."          
NM: "We can figure this thing out."   1

OM: "Packing is still exercise, right?"            
NM: "It's awesome out. Let's walk."   1

I don't think armpits are awra for men.

As you can see, New Me totally killed. Before you vomit all over your keyboard (NOT recommended) and go looking for the "unsubscribe" button, I want you to know that Old Me isn't totally out of the running and I am not going to become one of those prissy "perfect" people. EVER. For example, Old Me keeps talking New Me into eating the leftover candy bars from our class concession sales because I put $20 into the kitty for change and never took it back. This means I am owed 20 candy bars. Well, 14 now. UPDATE: I just mixed a bag of crushed-up Peanut M&Ms into some peanut butter cookie dough (of course!) so now we're at 13. 13 candy bars left.

Guess what else? You also win today by default because I took some beautiful pictures of the "lake" on my walk. Eye of the tiger!