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Category Archives: late night ramblings

Babble

Acorns and panda puff balls are what I’ve been stepping on these days in our apartment– says a lot about the kind of people we are. It says that we are parents of nature collectors, and panda puff devourers who skip the milk and go straight for the crunch. It also says that we haven’t vacuumed in a while.

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I have five draft posts that I have written and never published, after re-reading them I thought “umm, better not”. They were all different forms of whining about a week long sickness that is currently breathing it’s final breaths. The result: I sound like an old man whose been smoking most of his life. My youngest declared me unfit for reading books with her. I concur.

Tomorrow I am supposed to get my final fit test to see how much I’ve progressed in the past two months of gym going. I am still super weak from the sickness and I lost I a lot of muscle during my rest (lost five pounds) so I’m not sure what I’ll be testing tomorrow other than fatigue. I still plan to go because I promised my instructor I’d go.

Can you tell I’m lame and blank these days. I am just writing this post to get things out of the way and break the spell. Hopefully this should do it. Also my man found my camera charger, so here’s something to look forward to.

On a less lame note, I finished a book during my sickness, because when you have conjunctivitis in both eyes, and have consumed the capacity of your eye tolerance to stare at a screen for long periods of time, you figure: maybe you should start reading that book you’ve been meaning to read a while back, and so I did. It was a very good book. I had consulted a while back with twitter of which book to start me off with Neil Gaiman. Twitter gave its word: American Gods. And so it was (after I got sick and was forced to sit–or rather lay– and read) The story was set in different parts of America, but mainly in America’s Midwest. My kind of place (wink) so now I want to go visit The House On The Rock because it sounds ridiculous, entertaining, and creepy all at once, or at least that’s what the book suggests. Also the story is set in winter, and it spoke of harsh temperatures, several feet of snow and numbing cold winds. So now I have gone completely mad and actually missed real, bone-penetrating cold, winters. We have sunshine and forty degree weather these days, and i’m thinking lame (lameness is apparently my theme tonight). So instead of being thankful I am wishing for snow. Also my man bought me a box of these. Prepared is how I’m feeling right now.

Before I had read anything by Neil Gaiman I started following him on twitter because I was already following a lot of his followers and so Twitter suggested him on my list of people to follow. So like the good girl that I am I took twitter’s advice and followed the man. So when I started reading his book I somehow subliminally heard his voice narrating his story to me, and I even saw his avatar picture speaking to me without moving it’s mouth. Just like it has tweeted to me before without moving it’s mouth, so we became friends. Just like that. It’s strange how people will connect with you and identify with you through a voiceless medium. It’s also a little creepy because we really don’t know each other at all (I am including you dear reader in this epiphany, yes, I don’t know you, except if I do) but he sat in that little corner in my head and spoke to me in a friendly way, and so I decided that he’s alright. You know? Yet for all I know he could be a wife beater in real life. I could be connecting on a personal level (’cause you know reading is very personal, and I was very sick and vulnerable) with a wife beater. Just a thought that popped in my head that I thought to share with you.

… and reader, I am not a wife beater. Feel free to connect with me on a personal level.

Peace.

Right now I am:

Listening to my youngest cough in her sleep. It breaks my heart every time I hear it.

Praying Grabby’s  “pink eye” doesn’t spread to the rest of the household but especially Mei. She’s terrified of eye drops.

Dreaming about pumpkin pies and giant birds with their big edible organs. (Heart and liver)

Contemplating shutting down this website, it’s becoming more and more challenging to write about my self and my family.

Scratching my noggin in hope of some memory stimulation of where I could’ve possibly put my DSLR’s charger.

Waiting for my exam results. It’s a long wait (8 weeks!), thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers, they were definitely felt.

Enjoying a very generous gift from the-best-gift-giver-ever. Thank You!

Grateful for not having to wait a year to purchase necessities on a Black Friday. Probably most people just go to grab steals but I’m pretty sure there are some of the others too. Alhamdulilah.

Praying for the impoverished.

Feeling confused, sad and sometimes really really angry about the middle east. God protect and have mercy on your people.

Trying  hard to remember how angry I was at Hamas and their stupid attacks three weeks ago against the murder of innocent civilians, yet finding it very hard to remember after the flattening of the highly populated Gaza strip.

Thinking this is how Radicals are born.

Missing my mom.

Peace.

I have no title in mind so I’ll just type this: Vote!

I have a confession to make. I am kind of scared… of winter. It’s coming you know. I know that because all our maple trees and the other trees I cannot name stand tall and bare, we also wake up to a white dusting of frost covering our grass, oh that and the daylight saving hours–sundown is at 4:44 pm– Pretty solid affirmations of the season to come. Also November kindda gives it away don’t you think?

The good news is I am excited about spending longer hours in the kitchen again, I have high hopes. I borrowed this book from the library to get excited about kitchen affairs again. I’ve been burned out for sometime. Homemade granola, bread, and pies remember me? Homemade crackers, sauerkraut, and pasta here I come (didn’t I mention my high hopes?) Also, here’s one more reason to get excited about kitchen affairs (listen up family, and lurking readers wherever you may be) my dear Egyptian friend Yasmine just started her own food blog (awesome blog name right? ‘mumkin’ translates to ‘maybe’). Just to give you a back story about my friend, she hails from the same neighborhood in Cairo as your humble slave, she is the one who suggested that I meet her husband’s roommate– who happens to currently be my dah-ling husband. So yeah, we’re pretty tight despite the distance. She currently resides in the west coast with her wonderful family.

Yasmine was once known to use tomato paste for american recipes calling for salsa (the word salsa means tomato paste in Arabic, you get the confusion right?)She’s come a long way since, one thing you should know about Yasmine before you commit to her blog. She’s a perfectionist, if she gets into something she’ll research it until her eyes pop out. She’s recently (well not so recently, has it been almost a year now?) joined the cross fit band and adopted their healthy eating habits (a trick for flour devouring ol’ moi) the Paleo diet. What gives me hope is she has a sweet tooth and three males in her life who are known to devour anything edible that comes their way. The girl manages to make paleo friendly cakes, cupcakes, granola, and desserts, how about that? If you’re still not impressed then you’ve probably wasted precious time over here, hop over there and see for yourself.

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In other news I have my oral exam tomorrow, so all prayers, thoughts, energy (whatever you have I’ll take it) are much appreciated!

I announced on FB (because that’s what people do on Facebook) that the current challenge facing me in my new job is meeting all these people I am interpreting for. I mentioned that it’s a challenge because I’m an introvert, which was received by shocked responses from some of my closest friends. I guess I do a good job hiding it. Also, I’m not sure some of my friends understand introversion very well. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy people, I really do, and I like crowded places, and sometimes I’ll go to the farmer’s market just to get shoved by people, I mean I did grow up in Egypt. But it’s a lot of work for me, it consumes all of me to do so, and I need to just be alone for some time to recharge and then I’m good to go. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’re one of us. Watch this, it might help. Also introverts are awesome!

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We carved our pumpkins the day after halloween, and guess what? they’re just as fun and they didn’t protest at all. We possibly have the friendliest jack o lanterns in the neighborhood. I think it gives away the presence of little girls in our household.

One of our night time routines are bargaining about the number of books to be read for bedtime. Tonight Grabby pushed this pile all the way from her bedroom, we settled on three: This, this and this. It’s very hard to say no to books, but someone’s gotta do it, or we’ll be up all night. If Mei is not super tired, she’ll linger in her bunk with a flashlight and a book.

And with that I wish you a good night filled with good reads.

Peace.

Priorities

So it boils down to should I go to the Gym today or tackle the laundry and make an elaborate dinner instead of steamed everything blah. I finished most of my laundry and the girls fansy stuff that need to go on the gentle cycle and get line dried. The man does the rest. And no these are not #firstworldproblems because they aren’t problems at all, they are blessings.

Someone shared this short video about poor africans filmed in their slums reading twitter hashtags of first world problems. He named the video “first world problems read by third world people”. The title is already incorrect because I come from the third world and I experience similar “first world problems”. The irony of this is, the short video maker didn’t make a point at all. The hashtag is a parody. It’s people recognizing their lame complaints and making fun of them. Which is kind of the same like #muslimrage. If you’re familiar with Twitter world you need to check this hashtag out, I contributed a few in there.  Here’s my personal favorite (which unfortunately I can’t take credit for):”@HijabiGrlPrblms: You lose your nephew at the airport but you can’t yell his name because it’s JIHAD. #muslimrage”

Where was I?

Oh priorities. There must be a balanced way where one can exercise, eat right and not obsesses about it. It’s important to care about the right choices, but there must be a balance where one remembers his real purpose in this world, right? To do laundry…KIDDING!

Conclusion: Breaking habits are good even breaking from a good habit. Eat something that contains a stick of butter sometimes, it’ll do you good–unless you have high cholesterol, then skip it and eat oats instead.

You see why I haven’t been coming here much recently? 

Also….JIHAD!

Peace!

Btw this post was written in its entirety as a reminder for myself, I get carried away sometimes.

Fall links

I catch myself smiling while driving the girls to school every morning. The magnificent season is what fall should be called. My mother once told me that she would’ve probably become an artist if she was raised amongst such beauty. She was only talking about Canada Spring. “You need To come and see Fall in the midwest” is what I always tell her.

On with the links:

This made me happy this morning.

Did you watch this show yet. It’s really well made and very informative, ( not for young eyes.)

This song has been stuck in head for a while now. Love it.

Nathan Fillion is prepared for the zombie apocalipse. Are you?

“Don’t you feel like you’ve–For lack of a better word and bordering on sounding cheesy– summoned the inner warrior during your work out?” “I feel terrible during the work out, did you see my face?” My gym instructor was noticing my increased strength at class today. Also, I managed to lift the kettle ball without bruising my wrist, says something right there! This video is at the gym I go to. Tough tough tough! This guy would be handy when the zombie apocalypse hits.

Warrior.

I’ve been making different sides for our meals lately. I made grits tonight, I’ve also been making bulgar, lentils, and wild rice. I might pick up baking bread again now that the weather has cooled off enough to make my toes complain. What sides are you into these days? I ‘m always looking for inspiration.

I used to add a lot of bands and thing to my headscarf before marriage and motherhood. I’m thinking of re-adopting my funk after spotting this. We’ll see if I have any patience left in me.

That’s it!

Peace.

 

Our Cousins

My mother with a big smile asked the western looking two young kids (about 4 and 6 years old) sitting on the table opposite us– at our neighborhood KFC– about their country of origin:

“You speak Arabic with a “Shamy accent” are you from Syria?”

“No”

“Lebanon?”

“No”

“Jordan?”

“No”

“Palestine?”

“No”

At this point their mother who was probably using the rest room came in with a frown on her face and held her two kids close and answered:

“We are from Israel!”

My mother immediately pulled our arms tightly and her face transformed from a big smile to the most hateful face I ever remember her giving to anyone “stay away from them, don’t speak or play with them, do you understand!” my mother yelled.

We knew better than to argue with that face. We (meaning my sister and I) were fourteen years old and very confused.

After making our speedy exit from the restaurant and sat in our car the questions started:

“But mom, they were only children, and the war has been over for decades”

“the war is never over! we were sent faulty weapons that blew up our soldiers instead of shooting the enemy”

We are not a war generation, we will never understand. Is what my mother always said.

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The first time I set foot in America I saw a jewish man dressed in his full jewish attire, I started to point at the jewish man to my husband (he promptly put my hand down and reminded me about the rudeness of my gesture) “I’ve never seen a visibly Jewish person before, only on TV” –which now that I think about it is curious since I traveled to Europe before.

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A couple of years later we permanently moved to America. Our first upstairs neighbors were two American graduate student girls from New York, they were also Jewish. They invited me to Latke pancakes on Hanukkah and gifted Mei with a hand knit baby hat with a knotted cord at the top to represent the umbilical cord. They brought us meals on my first week of recovery from labor and one of them sold authentic Jerusalem olive oil to help support the palestinian olive tree farmers. I am not a war generation, I will never understand…

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I have a Jewish cousin whom I’ve met only once in my life. My uncle was married to a German woman, had a son and a daughter, then got divorced. They were raised in Germany. The girl was raised christian and the boy converted to Judaism and moved to Israel. The last time I saw them, they were teenagers and I was in kindergarten. I used to get a kick out of the fact that I have a Jewish cousin. I find it normal now that I am married to an American myself.

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After having my first born by a month my mother made it to America for the first time in her life (also possibly the worst winter she’s ever experienced in her life). I did not tell her that my neighbors were Jewish and we all hid from her that my husband’s aunt, my dear aunt (the woman who spent many nights and days of Mei’s early months with us caring for her and allowing a first mama some precious sleep and making wonderful healthy meals) was ethnically Jewish. We wanted my mother to give her a chance, and at the very end of my mother’s stay, we told her. Quick background about my mother, if you’ve watched any greek or Mediterranean movies before and think these people are passionate, I have one questions for you: have you met my mother?  During her brief stay, my mother grew to LOVE my dear aunt. So naturally when she found out she was shocked and devastated. She cried for a long time and then… she hugged my husband’s aunt. We are not made of stone, we have our loyalties, our culture and our experiences but we also have a heart.

Now my mother explains to her friends (who I assume are from the same war generation) “No, they’re not all bad, there’s a difference between Zionists and Jewish people. I met a good one, trust me”

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There is this recent controversial advertisement that is in several NYC subways. It is really offensive to say the least. Jihad is an arabic word to mean struggle. The highest ranks of Jihad is Jihad al nafs or the struggle against ones lower self. My mother accepting her heart and love of this wonderful woman over her culture, upbringing and her generation was a high form of Jihad. If what my mother did was savage, and this racist message is an act of the civilized man. Than I believe we should all support “the savage”.

Also thank you to our Jewish cousins.

Peace.

Deep Inhales

When I’m homesick, I usually google old Egyptian TV shows or movies and watch clips and cry and smile at the same time. But when I’m “dunya-sick” I watch Clips from the Ellen show (not the celebrity based ones, although sometimes I watch those too) because our world seems ugly when the headline news are counting death tolls in a warzone or a(/nother) mass shooting in a first world country, or an unjust verdict regarding the cold-blooded murder of a young activist in Palestine about a decade ago. And so Ellen helps. Try it, you’ll have faith in humanity again. The huffignton post has a feel good news section, make sure to subscribe to it.

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Grabby slept an hour shy of midnight tonight. She was exhausted yet couldn’t close her eyes. I laid next to her and heard her inhales stop midway and that’s when I knew.”Grabby can you breath?” “Yes” “but is the air going in all the way or does it stop?” “It stops” “do you need your inhaler?” “Yes”
I gave her two puffs as instructed. I had really hoped she outgrew it. Deep inhales– they’re a blessing.

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Mei spotted this today… and then it flew.

Peace.