Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Is art really art
if not admired?

Is love really love
if not reciprocated?

Can I really be me
if I can't have you?


I guess I go out to be found.

You can't very likely be found if you are in the house, can you?

If I can't really find myself,

I'll just wait until someone finds me.


Crap, now I have to go before the wrong person finds me.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I just raised my voice. How can you call it a mistake? We had so much fun that weekend. I don’t like being punished (or feeling like I am) for what I didn’t do.

Today I thought of taking off my hijab. I would never do it, insha’Allah. But I thought it. And for a moment, I could almost feel the wind in my hair. I could almost imagine what it would be like. The breeze through my hair! But I thought of how everything would be the same in the world, except I would be out of sorts. And I took the thought out of my head. I shut off the whispers. I felt the breeze on my face. I dreamed of it in my hair.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Personal Truths

Well, last night I started this really cool writing project. I decided to write down as many of my thoughts as I possibly could. My mind is rather fragmented, so I knew it would be crazy. But the truth is that I walk around and think of short quips that I want to share with someone. Then again, my blog is the most important....umm, person (?) in my life. (Darn, I've sunk so low :).

So anyway, I've written seven pages already. Yeah, I know: CRAZY! But it was seriously the most fun I've had writing (that and describing my dreams...which I still have a few to write). So now I'm gonna post it all, even though I'll probably regret it (it's 7 pages!). This should be interesting.

Oh, and this is not the end of my project. I think I will keep up with my "Personal Truths" and continue to update all my one-liners (or small paragraph-ers). Life is short, write it out.

Julia Stiles is probably my favorite actress; she has an English degree from Columbia.

I love Jane Austen; she never married though she wrote the best novels.

“Pan’s Labyrinth” was the one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. (Reader---if in fact people still read what I write…if they ever did---if you have not seen this movie, stop everything and do it now. SERIOUSLY!)

I don’t really know how NOT to be in teacher mode.

I hate books that have mistakes that could have been caught by a good author (or a normal English teacher).

I tend to edit what I read (especially if written by foreigners).

I hate books about Islam that are in English because they are generally poorly edited.

If a book has mistakes, I usually cannot continue to read them.

Imam Zaid Shakir writes extremely eloquently, masha’Allah.

I have masochistic tendencies. I have the scars to prove it. Even after all these years, I still have a way of noticing…

I love foreign films; subtitles are fun.

There are levels to secrets; these are only topical.

I love running by the river. It’s always cooler there.

I love it when someone I’ve never met cheers me on when I run. It’s so utterly nice.

Once I gave my number to a guy in the car next to mine when he asked me for it. I was so flattered that I don’t think I knew what I was doing. I was so shocked afterwards that I immediately changed my voicemail to just the number so he wouldn’t leave a message. He eventually stopped calling. I’m still flattered. I’m still in shock.

My friend once accidentally used lip liner as eye liner when we were on our way to a party at a friend’s house. We laughed about it in the car. Tonight when I did the same thing, I laughed out loud as I sat in my car. It looked nice anyway; the laugh was great too.

John Mayer is amazing. Actually, he doesn’t know it yet, but he’s really a Muslim. Oh, and he’s also my husband. Maybe someone should let him know! J

Poetry is the best form of writing. There are no conventions to follow necessarily. You can choose the words and the lines and the punctuation (or lack thereof), and everything you write and every way you write it matters. Most importantly, it matters to you. Poetry is better than pictures or food or touching; it is the picture of the world as you see it, the food that tempts the sensuous appetite, the touch that leaves you satisfied yet wanting more. Poetry exceeds my words.

I don’t believe in erasing what I write on my blog. I mean, I thought it, I wrote it, it was, it is, too late. No shame in what’s already not in my hands.

I don’t really regret, I just learn.

I don’t want kids, but I think I secretly do. Sometimes I see a baby and love him/her. Sometimes I threaten the world with my imaginary kids.

I want to have a child with red hair. I used to look at the single guys and think, “I just might get to have my red headed child if I marry him…” Man was I immature. ( I still do this.)

I’m rational. In an irrational, emotional kinda way.

It is totally irrational to have children. It is pretty irrational to get married. It’s a good thing God gave us emotions.

“I’m only good at being young. So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun.” John Mayer (a.k.a. my husband---see above) singing “Stop This Train” from his album Continuum.

I bought Continuum. I don’t regret it.

I usually don’t like a CD/song on the first go. It has to simmer in the background for a while. I have to be able to sing along to love it.

I love flowers. I buy them for the house all the time. My mom loves to be gifted flowers; who doesn’t? Flowers make the world colorful. Flowers are an easy way to happiness.

My best friend just married yesterday. I cried because I wasn’t there. I cried to myself because things will never be same.

My other friend just had a baby. A baby. Alhamdulillah. A baby boy. Unbelievable. When did they all decide to grow up without me?

I want to slow dance. I want to play a song and slow dance with someone. (Preferably my husband---John Mayer J)

I can’t be serious for very long; it’s against my philosophy.

Confidence is what really makes a woman attractive; nice boobs help too. J
Actually confidence is what really makes a woman attractive. Test it. If a woman is truly confident, it’ll show. It’s what makes other women like her and men want her. It’s my philosophy, thought it’s not mine alone.

I need to travel. I don’t get to do it often, but I love it.

I love to drive. Driving is the ultimate power trip. Driving is a great way to clear the mind, explore the conscience.

Once I drove out of town for heck of it. I drove to a street named Schoolhouse Road. I wished I had a camera.

I passed a road named Gay St. last Tuesday when I was on my way to KC. I wished I had a camera.

Sometimes I have dizzy spells. They don’t really alarm me; they keep me grounded really.

I started calling a friend to wake her up for Fajr everyday. It’s quite nice to get hasanat so easily.

When I was younger (a ninth grader I think), I went to a party at a Muslim girl’s house. My dad let me go to this sleepover because he trusted the family. We went to her aunt’s house. We watched an R-rated movie (with lots of things I’ve never seen before). With vodka in the fridge, a few girls had screwdrivers a blessed few never knew. I was the girl they never would have told. How did Ms. Goody-two-shoes know? Why can I never forget? I think the one’s who did drink it were all younger than me. Why would she have vodka? It hurts to think of it.
I erase things from my memory. Sometimes they come back to me and I know that it was something that shaped me but hurt at the same time. Amazing how a mind can pick and choose memories.

I loved my mother. For a long time after she died, I hated my father. I wished he had died for a long time. Now I can’t imagine life without him. I loved my mother. I love my father.

I’ve only dreamt of my mother twice (that I can remember). I still think of her often. I can still vividly remember some of the dreams.

When my step-mom moved in, I was the biggest bitch ever. “This cabinet is mine,” I told her that first week (maybe even first day). “When I get married I’m taking it with me. So you can put stuff in it if you want, but it’s mine.” That’s just a taste. It was worse than that even. One day though, it all changed. I don’t know how; I don’t know when. Allah’s mercy was great though. His forgiveness greater, insha’Allah.

When my step-mom was pregnant the second time, I was angry. I love my sister now. I can’t imagine life without her. Just goes to show Who knows best.

I am a sucker for my dad. I love him so much. I don’t want to make him mad, so I usually won’t do anything to tick him off anymore. We used to argue all the time (for the sake of arguing---it was quite fun) but things are just too complicated now. I’m just his good daughter now. No time for normalcy. I do love my dad.

I love to argue for the sake of arguing. I usually take the opposite side of any argument (even if I personally don’t agree) just to have some fun. Don’t get me started on the Palestine/Iraq problems Arabs always like to discuss when together. I don’t believe in the “Blame it all on America/UK/Israel” philosophy so many subscribe to. Total BS. Ahh…maybe I should have been a lawyer.

I quit my job. I did it for lots of reasons. Now I need something to do. I think I’ve found it. I’ll wait to divulge.

I look best in a pink hijab.

A lot of my clothes are black and white. Basics I guess. Weird since I love color.

I’ve grown to hate wearing abaya. I’m not sure why since I do have a beautiful abaya. It comes in cycles anyway; hate it this year, love it the next.

If you can make $60,000/year at a computer, why doesn’t everyone become an engineer?

I never thought about money or how much I make until my brother became an engineer. Now I feel like crap. At least I love teaching, right? J

I painted my room a couple months ago. The tape is still on the ceiling of half the room. Maybe I’ll take it down.

I missed the fireworks this year. I was pretty mad. But that’s okay. That’s life.

I don’t like to make a big deal out of things that only really affect me. And if there is nothing we can do about something, why get so mad?

When I was little, there was an anti-drug commercial that was so touching I still remember it. A girl was plucking her eyebrows until they were all gone. She was on heroine.

When I’m really bored, I like to pluck out my leg hairs (when they start growing back) in one spot. I know, psycho!

Sometimes I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes I leave tape on my wall.

I have to make my bed everyday before I leave my room.

I hate breakfast. It’s easier to skip it than figure out what to make for the family. I’d rather just eat a banana.

I love bananas. I love them when they’re still a bit green and hard. I hate soft bananas with dark spots. YUCK! Green bananas=happiness.

I always buy yellow flowers. I never notice it until my mom points it out.

I’m 24 years old and I don’t know what I’m doing here.

My mom died at 39. I used to count down the years. (15)

I am seriously afraid of growing up.

I dream of having my own personal library. Buying books is like an investment. I want to live in a house with a room dedicated to books alone. Books are my true love.

I want to write a book. Udhiya Confessions: The Life and Times of an American Muslim You should hear some of the Udhiya stories (sheep running away, sheep eaten by dogs, sheep running away…it’s actually funnier than that J).

There’s a goat in my backyard. I call her Minnie Maaz. Clever, I know. (Maaz=goat in Arabic…Minnie Mouse=great Disney cartoon character who wears a polka dotted dress and large bow in her ears)

The trunk of my car is empty…all of my junk is in my dad’s car. Mwa-ha-ha! (evil laugh)

I’ve been in charge of a youth girls lock-in for four years now. It’s become an amazing success because of all the people who have helped. And mostly it’s a success because of Allah. Alhamdulillah!

I’m secretly a little afraid to go to Hajj. I’m secretly jealous of everyone who’s already gone.

I want to see Libya. Soon. Insha’Allah.

I don’t like people who talk a lot of crap. I don’t like people who say things they don’t mean to flatter you; things that are totally wrong to say. “If we only knew that you had such a wonderful daughter, I would have married my son to her.” Her son is engaged to her brother’s daughter---his cousin for goodness sake! She doesn’t even know me. Arabs!

I’ve learned to speak Arabic. It may be a little broken, but it’s all good, alhamdulillah. I can still read and write well enough I suppose. At least I can read Quran and sometimes totally understand it.

I remember a lot from Arabic classes I took in elementary/middle school and college. It’s amazing how much I remember.

Once, my Arabic teacher taught us a magic trick. He showed us the trick in the middle of the year when we were bored but said he wouldn’t show us how until we had finished the book. He really didn’t tell us until the end of the year. I still show the trick to some of the kids sometimes. It’s pretty awesome!

I love watching movies with Julia Roberts in it.

I hope to go to Florida this summer. Well, if Maysa ever gets back here.

My friends have abandoned me this summer.

I used to be the youngest person in our group. “I don’t mind being the last,” I would think, I would say. I do mind now.

Everything we used to laugh about has come upon us. Everything we used to think would never happen to us has crashed right into our laps. Don’t ever think it can’t be you or yours.

In the last few years, three young people I knew died: Riad at 21 (I was 20), Wisam at 19 (I was only 21), Jonathan at 26 (I’m 24). May Allah have mercy upon them, upon us.

What can I possibly write after that? My mind is fragmented; crazy things always pop up. But what can I possibly write without being insensitive? What does it matter?

Lists, like poetry, are easy to write. Only the author is in charge.

I prefer writing in my journal to typing on a computer.

I am amazed that I’ve kept a blog for more than a year. (how long has it been?)

I love reading old journal entries. It’s like I’ve actually accomplished something. Sometimes I giggle at how dumb I used to be.

I think people with blogs are a little self absorbed. We are. Everything we write is so amazing that people should read it. Events in our lives are that important we should share it with the world. The problem is that nobody reads it. The problem is we know we are a little self-absorbed and don’t care. The problem is it’s still therapeutic. The great thing is we don’t really care.

Once Upon a Marigold is a great young adult novel. I need to find it. I loved reading it.

I love YA novels. Usually short and simple enough to read in one day.

Harry Potter’s 7th book is coming out soon! YAH! Can’t wait. Oooh…maybe I should be rereading the sixth one now.

I still haven’t finished cleaning out my classroom.

I hate to leave my students. They’re going to be so sad that I left. I’m still sad I’ve left. I think I need to tell my coworkers before everyone hears it from other sources.

I always wanted to jog in the rain until the day it poured down on my. At first the sprinkle was nice; then it started to rain harder. I also walked farther than usual that day. It wasn’t fun.

I want to ride a bike in the park. The machines haven’t started working yet. They are there just to tease me. Frustrating.

I love sushi. I always think of sushi. I have begun a long, intimate relationship with sushi.

I also love cheezits. Last year the girls wrote a poem about how much I love them. I married them and then ate him. Very praying mantis-like, eh?

Nadrine and I have rules about marriage. We’ve seen too many problems that could easily have been fixed or avoided. We’ll have to remind each other of our rules, but they are good ones. Now that she’s married and far from me, we’ll need to review the next time I call her. I sure miss her.

When I travel by plane, I always write some of my duas down on a paper or in my journal. I love writing in my journal from thousands of feet in the sky. Last time I wrote my duas in Arabic. It was fun. It’s more fun to read them now.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Last night I went out on a limb and decided to go out alone. I don't usually go places I don't know (or possibly own in a psychological way) all alone. As a matter of fact, I'm sitting outside of a coffee house (inside of my car) because I don't really wanna go in as a loner. Funny thing is that I don't really care what others think. But I don't really want the pity. Which means that I kinda do care. I think I'll stop this convo now.

Anyway, so I went to Utica Square for one of those free concerts they have every Thursday. It's actually really nice since it's for families and neighbors. It was a steel band (actually the same steel band I heard two years ago and didn't like). Although I didn't think I'd actually like it, I did! I sat alone and wrote in my journal. I love to do that in a crowd with music in the background. At first it's a bit scary-like. A bit weird to be around so many people and not talk to a single write in a journal instead; to converse with paper. It was awesome. At first I was reluctant and then I just couldn't stop. It was in fact invigorating really. :) SubhanAllah.

Just as I was really into what I was writing, the inevitable happened: someone interrupted me. It was someone I knew. She introduced me to some of her friends. It sure is nice to be recognized in a crowd (I'm sure my scarf was no giveaway)....

The last time I went to concerts was two years ago. It was for a class. I never knew that music could be so much fun. I never knew that there were so many places to listen to a free concert; so many places to get lost in a song. I always write in a journal when I listen. I can't help it. The music tells some story; the words tell a story; the musician tells his own story. It is so broad yet so narrow. I can't quite capture its essence.

Once I was interrupted by a guy as I was briskly writing away. He had the decency to wait until the song was over. I sat on the edge of my seat (which was a grassy ledge) at the riverside ampitheater. It was a beautiful evening; just cool enough to make it pleasant, just late enough to make it dreamy. I still remember the feeling I had. I can still feel the music. It was so powerful. I still have my notes, my thoughts. It was an amazing piece of classical music. Something about an Indian (Native American) girl (maybe a princess of sorts). It was so magical. And when it was over I was interrupted.

He was handsome and young. He was with a couple of other people. He wanted to know if I was a musician. He hit on me. I smiled politely, spoke nice enough. I walked away; surely wishing to talk more, but walking away nonetheless.

I'm stronger than I thought. Sometimes I'm wrong though. Hmm...