Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Weekend fun

Here it is midweek and I’m just getting around to our weekend of fun!

Saturday afternoon Amira and I spent some time with Grandma and Grandpa. Later in the evening met some friends (V, Michael, Mixed Up Me and Charming Child) at a pizza restaurant where one of my friend’s, Najwa, (dancer name) and her group put on a Burlesque and Belly Dance show. We had just a great time.

Sunday afternoon V, Michael, Amira and I went to Ikea’s and meandered around the store for about 3 hours. Then decided since the kids were probably bored from shopping that we’d take them to the park to burn off their excess energy.

It was a great day to be at the park with the exception of the two obnoxious little hoodlums (age 5 or 6) that were literally terrorizing the guests of the park with their huge water guns. Our first observation of these two little hoodlums was of them squirting this teenage boy and who appeared to be the parents. It was cute at first because I thought it was a family having fun.

Amira and Michael wanted to swing on the swings, so V and I were pushing them all the while still watching the other people visiting the park. We see the two little hoodlums filling their guns and rush over to the sandbox area where they start squirting the children that are playing there. I looked over to the initial family as I thought these little no-goods belonged to them. In the meantime the parents of the kids in the sandbox came running up and grabbing their children and taking off, but not saying anything too the terrors. A grandmother pushing her grandchild on the swing said she’d like to do something to those two boys because she’s been watching them unsupervised terrorizing everyone.
Now a cute little girl (named Anya) around 7 years old is riding her little pink bike with training wheels and her matching pink kitty helmet….just looking as adorable as ever. Minding her own business and concentrating on riding her bike these two little monsters appear out of no where (well really out from a rock by the sandbox) and start blasting her. I can’t take it any longer, so I start yelling "HEY! HEY!" They continue shooting Anya, so I approach them since obviously the parents previously mentioned haven’t done anything, but laugh at this scene, which of course fuels me even more that they think this is funny. I got right in the boys' face and said, "hey, I don’t know who you think you two are, but you are being very rude and disrespectful. I suggest you stop this right now or I’ll be taking your guns and throwing them in the trash." They run off…..Anya rides her bike back to her parents, and I continue pushing Amira on the swing. Amira says, "they aren’t very nice boys are they Momma?" "No sweetie, they are rude and don’t have any kind of manners. Moreover, there parents are rude too because they are allowing this behavior when in fact they should be teaching their children manners." In the meantime one of these little good-for-nothings pulls down his pants and urinates on a plaque that is mounted on the outside of this building structure which just so happens to be the restroom.

These two continue now attacking another family who was innocently taking pictures of their own children playing on the slide. I looked at the original family ready to go beat them up because assuming they are these kids parents and doing nothing is really, for a lack of better words, starting to piss me off. I look at them and say, "does anyone know where their parents are?" And these people point behind them to a couple of ladies that are just sitting there talking. Someone finally goes and gets the moms of these two little no-gooders and all but drags them to the crime scene where their two are causing so much trouble. They literally just stand there and continue their conversation, but not really addressing their children. Now, I want to beat them up.

Michael and Amira now want to play on the teeter-tauter, so we walk over there still eyeballing these little terrors reeking havoc all over the place. V is standing next to Amira and Michael on the teeter-tauter and I’m sitting on the little sidewalk area monitoring the whereabouts of the hooligans, and there’s a family sitting over my right shoulder. The husband is on his cell phone, wife is sitting there and their daughter is playing on the toys. All of a sudden husband ‘breaks wind’, and I’m nearly at the point of losing my mind with the lack of manners people have these days. Now I must get up and go over to V before the toxins kill me. I tell V about the toxic bomb that just went off as well as how much I’m want these two boys to try to squirt me because I’ll yank their guns out of their hands, stomp on it and throw them in trash. I know, I know, I’m getting to the point of lowering myself to their level but remember they are pissing me off. In the meantime little Anya has gained her courage to now confront these boys for their ill behavior. She’s riding her little pink bike a safe distant from them and loudly saying, "I don’t like that. You shouldn’t do that – that’s not nice." She made me smile.

Now these two are on the top of the slide and squirting their guns down the slide, thus making it wet and messy for any other kid to use. I’ve had enough. I stomp over there, "HEY! I already told you once to knock this off. Apparently your parents don’t care what you do, but you are disturbing everyone’s peace. STOP DOING THIS!!!!!!" (so much for peace, huh?) One little boy looks right in my eyes – expressionless actually – pumps his gun and squirts water down the slide one last time. Well you know the game is on now because I have to take him down. I jump up on the equipment and for a split second saw panic in their eyes because I was going to get those guns and destroy them. They start running across the little bridge of the equipment yelling "mommy, mommy, mommy----eeeeeeeck". Although they ran to the safe haven of their mom’s (who said in a soft voice – "don’t do that" to her charming little jewel), I said "your children are out of control—you best do something about it." To which they gathered their kids, parted ways and eventually the scene at the park was calm.

Now that’s the meaning of "terrorism". Neither age, creed, race, nor religion define terrorism—just the mere infliction of terror onto others defines it.

Monday, Amira and I took Grandma shopping (by the way Amira got Princess sunglasses) back to her house to get Grandpa so we could all walk over to the neighbors for a BBQ. Perfect way to end the nice long weekend, alhamdullilah.


Salam Lost-Libyan,

Thought you might like this picture for your background display.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Brain to lip transmittal failure

Last Friday was a crazy busy day for Amira and I. Generally on Friday’s I work from home with Amira. She does her thing; I do mine, and at the end of the day we are ready for the weekend. This last Friday, however, proved to be busier than we had anticipated and found ourselves running until nearly 4:00 p.m. with no nap for Amira. This is neither good nor pretty for a 3 ½ year old.

Anyway, we had to run to the California Secretary of State’s Office to file some new business corporations and LLCs (Limited Liability Company) documents. This process generally takes an hour from beginning to end. We park, load the parking meter with coins, go to the 3rd floor, submit our documents and are told to come back in an hour to an hour in a half. No problem, as this gives Amira and I time to walk around in the nice weather, alhamdullilah. This particular Friday was no different than usual with the processing time of the state department. So, with our hour or so of free time, we walked to the bank and then I asked Amira if she wanted to share a glass of tea together and sit outside and watch the people, cars and birds. She says, "yes Momma that would be very nice."

So, we walk into La Bou’s (little bakery/coffee shop) and I get a glass of ice tea (Apricot flavor----very yummy). Amira wants her own glass, so we get a little dixie size cup and one of those little thin stir sticks used for mixing coffee as she likes to use that as a straw. Now we have our tea and are off to sit in the outdoor patio area and enjoy the perfect weather. Amira’s looking around while drinking her tea and I can see there’s something brewing up in her mind. She says to me, "Momma, how come we can’t have sweet tweets?" I said, "sweet tweets?" "What are sweet tweets?" She laughs so hard and says, "no Momma, not sweet tweets----how come we can’t have sweet tweets?" I’m a little perplexed by this, but her laughter is keeping me calm. I said, "baby, what are sweet tweets?" She again laughs so hard she can barely talk and her cup of tea is almost falling out of her hands. "Momma, I didn’t say sweet tweets. I said how come we can’t have sweet tweets." By now we are both laughing so hard because she clearly knows what she’s talking about and I have no idea what she’s talking about, but we are both trying to understand one another. We fall quiet for a bit and just look at our surroundings. Again, I see Amira thinking. She finally says, "Momma, how come we can’t have sweet TEA?" I laughed so hard----"OH!" "Oh, you want sweet tea?" She’s got tears in her eyes because she’s laughing so hard, "yes, Momma I would like some sweet tea". So off to the bakery/coffee shop we go to get some Sweet ‘N Low to sweeten it up.

We laughed about that on and off all weekend long. It was the perfect way to end a crazy busy week as well as start off a three-day weekend with a bang.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I find myself pondering something. Being relatively new to the blog world, and unfamiliar with all the ends and outs, the acceptable and not so acceptable manner of behavior, and overall philosophy of the entire operation.

There have been some things that I’ve observed that I find extremely fascinating. One, it’s amazing the amount of individuals that are out amongst the blog community. In fact, almost an overwhelming amount. Second, I’m amazed at the unity between bloggers, either through “real life” family or friendship relations, or merely from finding similar interest. Thirdly, the passions each have and are kind enough to share with others. Whether this is from personal experiences, culinary delights, spiritual viewpoints, sharing their sense of humor, etc. Moreover, I’m amazed at the amount of bloggers that take the time to write their own blogspots as well as find time to read/comment on others.

Yet, most riveting to me is how either influential or igniting one’s blogspot can have on another, to the point of either exciting or enraging something within the commenter. Moreover, I’m seeing the need to control or dictate on the behalf of the commenter to the blogger. Certainly, if the blogger is posting about something and inquiring on others opinions this is where I can see the above warranted. However, if someone is merely posting their thoughts, ideas, babblings, etc., do we have a right to control or dictate what they post?

Certainly some post are more thought provoking than others and stimulate different reactions. Therefore, shouldn’t we look within to see what is generating the immediate reaction (either positive or negation) we feel? For the immediate positive or negative reaction that arises is merely from our own experiences that we are either consciously or subconsciously aware of, and ultimately stir something within us. Just curious what the outcome would be if we addressed those feelings within side ourselves before immediately posting a pointed (finger pointing) comment on someone’s blogspot. It would appear as humans we are so quick to tell others how to live, act, respond, etc., yet do we hold ourselves to the same standard?

I am interested to know your thoughts.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Food for thought

You know, one is never too old to learn.

First, Friday night out with my girlfriend, V, to listen to music, be around adults and watch people. Hahahahaha – I use the word ‘adult’ loosely after my experience listed in Shame of a Gender.

Then Saturday night out with my other girlfriend, M, to a wedding. Actually I was her escorting date to the event of the century---so thought the bride and groom. It was an outdoor wedding at a country club. The ceremony was performed on a deck over looking the beautifully manicured lawn of a golf course. In the background was the lushness of the manicured greens, extending to a flock of beautiful oak trees and then finishing the view of with a distant mountaintop and sunlit skyline………….breathtaking view actually, mashallah. Without going into any more detail about this wedding aside from saying it was ‘interesting’.

Now back to the educational part. As Mani pointed out the word
'shame' is one of those words that Syme, (from Orwell's 1984) recently deleted from oldspeak dictionary.. glaring accomplishment of our sinning collective, this brings me back to the topic on hand.

My girlfriend, V, who I went out with on Friday evening seems to always be up on the latest lingo and fashion, which I truly appreciate as I see her as say a translator for those of us that are out of the loop yet needing to understand what’s going on. So V, you go girl!

Again, digressing, sorry. V mentions to me as we are sitting watching the people….”Wow, there’s a lot of muffin tops here”. In an attempt to appear “with it” I scan the room for a table of muffins only to come up empty handed. So, of course now that means I have to inquire from the expert on what she’s talking about. She is always polite and never insulting………and says, “oh, sorry. Muffin tops are” ---see picture and link for full disclosure below.

Can you imagine? I laughed so hard I literally had tears running down my cheeks. Because after she so graciously explained, my eye suddenly became clear of the fact that indeed V was right---there were a lot of Muffin tops there.
This brings me to another thought. Is it distasteful, shameful or even sinful to look at one’s self in the mirror prior to going out in public? Or…………does one take a long lingering gander at themself adorned in the mirror and utter the words (no, not like the Queen from Snow White—Mirror, Mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?”) “DAMNNNNNN, I look gooooooooooooooood!,” then flounce out the front door brimming with confidence?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Shame of a Gender

Last night my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to go out, listen to music and watch people as we were unescorted by children. :o)

However, since neither one of us goes out at night aside from the ventures to the mall so the kids (Amira and my friend’s niece and nephew) can play in the play area, Starbucks, or any other place that allows children, we were uncertain as to where to go. Recalling there was a little place inside a hotel not far from my house we decided to meander over there.

Securing a relatively good spot with a bird’s eye view of the patrons, the dance floor, the beautifully lit pool outside behind us, and yet still remaining obscurely tucked away, we immediately found ourselves looking at one another with our eyes wide open. We mutually agreed the music was nice, the atmosphere was comfortable and the diversity of customers were amazing, conjuring the assumption we were probably in for a good night of entertainment.

However, quickly I found myself filled with a plethora of feelings. To name a few they ranged from interest, disgust, and sadness. The crowd that filled the room was of all ages, cultures, and spiritual backgrounds, which was what mostly peaked my interest. Fascinated to know why each and ever person was there that specific evening, for I knew why I was there. Gathering from our observation deck it appeared some were frequent flyers, others were there celebrating accomplishments (graduating class of nurses), some were hotel guests merely passing the evening away, and others seemed to be their as exhibitionist hoping to capture attention. (I’m always intrigued when seeing such diversities celebrating their interest separately yet still remaining a part of the whole.)

Earnestly there was a part of sadness that fell over me seeing the ones that appeared to be frequent flyers of the establishment (i.e., those that probably come here every weekend or maybe even every night of the week). Curious to know how one’s life could be so empty and void that they have no other interest than to land ‘here’ regularly. That felt lonely and sad. Of course, these are big assumptions on my part, as that’s how I would feel.

Capturing on the part of the evening that brought the writing of this post and ultimately the title of it, I found myself feeling incredulously astounded by the behavior of my own gender. Why is it that they seem to have absolutely no shame?

It would have been one thing if it were only a few of a small group that were there having fun, but it wasn’t. There were a number of women from all the groups I previously mentioned that were displaying themselves in a most untasteful manner.

I have no problem with people having fun and being silly, but irrefutably within reason. I suppose that bound of reason is up to the individual; however, the masses seemed to all be justified in their tawdry behavior. The thought that ran through my head was “do you still wonder why you are single?” Certainly, neither this evening nor this establishment was a place to meet my future husband—far from that; however, it did seem to clear some things up for me.

Again, only my observation, but it would seem people are lonely, starved for attention, and yet so closed off emotionally (their hearts are boarded up like Fort Knox) that they act out in strange manners. Moreover, the mannerism of the majority of the women in this establishment left me feeling ashamed. For how can someone think so little of them self or have so little integrity to not be concerned? Even though I consider myself pretty open-minded, I just can’t stand vulgar exhibitionism. Always reminds me of a saying my mom would use “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”.

Definitely not a prude or uptight as I’ve done some silly things in my day, and not wanting to seem as if I’m perched on a thrown passing judgment, but merely attempting to process what I witnessed and the effects thereof.

In spite of this, without seeming so dismal and gray, my girlfriend and I did enjoy one another’s company and spent countless hours laughing and talking.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hair Today – Gone Tomorrow

In an attempt to lighten the mood and divert attention from food topics as I’ve been now dreaming of these wonderful Libyan delights I’ve seen plastered all over the blog word, I found this funny video.

Although unable to understand most Arabic, I do not think one needs to understand the verbiage in order to understand the gist of the video. :o)

Perhaps we should introduce to the Egyptian stylist a more modern version of hair care styling, drying and cutting tool. For instance – how about the Flowbee? It not only acts as a hair care product, but as a household item as well. Very versatile wouldn’t you agree? For give me, but looking at this guy using the Flowbee just makes me laugh so hard. I'm sure if I listen closely, I'll hear him utter the word "duh".

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

A Mother’s Walk

The young mother set her foot on the path of life.
“Is this the long way?” she asked.

And the guide said: “Yes, and the way is heard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.” But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years.

So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the nigh came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with hear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.”

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, “Mother, we would not have done it without you.”

And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.”

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said….”Look up, lift your eyes to the light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness.

And that night the mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”
And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent.

But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather……and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wife.

And the mother said….”I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.” And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory….she is a living presence.”

Your mother is always with you….She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she’s the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks, she’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not well.

Your mother lives inside your laughter….And she’s crystallized in every tear drop. She’s the place you came from, your first home….And she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you....not time....not space…..not even death!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

All the Ladies in the house

Safia's Challenge -

Wow! What finds someone stepping up to the challenge of showing off their feet and shoes? Is it vanity? Is it being a team-player? Is it competitiveness? Is it silliness? Is it all the above?

In any event, I found myself this morning grabbing my digital and taking pictures of the three ladies (myself being included) that live in our residence……..laughing the whole time and saying to myself, "what in the world are you doing?" Did this stop me? Oh, nooooooooooooo!

I wonder if one’s foot and shoe gives away any insight into the individual who is wearing it, as Cofman pointed out with humor revealing the insight of one’s personality.

Fear making myself and the members of my household vulnerable to the blog world? Yesssssss!
But, as one of my favorite quotes goes "feel the fear and do it anyway", so here goes nothing.

I’ll start with Amira sporting a lovely sandal. Although, a bit jealous myself as they don’t come in my size (sorry Lebeeya this would exclude you as well). They are the cutest pair of shoes and light up every time you take a step. Believe it or not, she just got her toes painted and they have already started to chip.
Next, is Jasmine. She prefers anything in animal print and a fur texture. Her feet are a little small, thus causing difficulty finding her shoes. So, she usually wears the same thing.

Last but not least - yours truly.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Humor to lift the mood


This morning chatting with my bestest friend in the whole world, I got the sense she was feeling a little down today, so found some funny quotes to try and get her to laugh. With tears running down her cheeks and doubling over holding her stomach I gauged that as success.

I thought I'd share them here as well because maybe someone else is having the same type of day and just needed to be lightened up---if only for a brief moment in time, inshallah.

Girls are like phones. We love to be held, talked too but if you press the wrong button you'll be disconnected!

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button.

I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.

After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, "No hablo ingles."

My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher. - Socrates

I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them. - George Bush

"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." -George W. Bush

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Work-out or Pick-up

This morning Amira (daughter) and I decided to head off to the gym. She loves the gym because they have a huge play area for kids her age that includes kid-proof gym toys, video games, along with a movie playing and a multitude of other toys for them to play with.

I love going to the gym because it’s a great stress releaser and well quite honestly, I love watching people. If one ever wants to discover the insecurities of other humans go to the gym. Of course not all are insecure, but the one’s that are truly insecure or are ruled by their egos standout as quite a form of entertainment. I know you all know the ones I’m referring too.

Like the guy who’s chest is the size of a big-rig truck and legs that look like a chicken.

The ladies that come fully showered, with hair done perfectly, makeup flawless, and clothes matching impeccably, as if heading off to work or maybe even a nightclub.

Humans are definitely the most fun free entertainment I can often experience. :-)