Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
i have this thing for well-written, unhappy endings. death. separation. unrequited love. whatever it might be. yes, i love a happy ending as much as the next person, but tragedy appeals to me just as much... sometimes more. when i watch a movie, even when i'm counting on the predictable happy ending when the hero and heroine live happily ever after, a small part of me is hoping for the complete opposite. it's hoping that the hero really does die in the war. that the heroine does leave him with a shattered heart. i dont know why. it might be because it's more realistic in a way, or maybe i'm just a complete cynic with a heart of stone. whatever the reason, if jack and rose both lived and grew old together, if rhett didnt leave scarlett (not taking the sequel into consideration), if sirius black didnt die... the stories just wouldnt be as good as they are when they pull at your heart strings and leave you with a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes (yes, few endings bring me to tears, but you get the idea).
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
if you don't want people to know about something, then putting it as your facebook status is obviously the best idea to come around since sliced bread. because, when you have to click 'share' to post it, that obviously means that no one will ever read it. right? i doubt anyone is that stupid, which leaves them with being a more pathetic kind of stupid. they put something like "the you-know-what with you-know-who is happening you-know-where at you-know-when" to get people to ask for the who, what, where, and when. and then, when people do ask, because when you're bored on facebook that's just what you do, they start in with the omg you guys are so nosy it's none of your business comments, which usually end up with them saying how they're going to just delete the status to ward off the questions. of course, by then, all of the attention has them feeling like all that and a bag of chips, so it's work is done.
so here's my suggestion: when they resort to such thinly veiled attention seeking attempts, ignore them. don't ask for a clarification. don't act curious or interested. just let them sit there staring at the status waiting for comments as they wonder why and when they became so unloved. deflating their ego is perhaps the best thing you can do for them.
be a good person. ignore someone.
*High School Never Ends - Bowling for Soup
Sunday, June 21, 2009
things that i love about umrah:
*the historicalness of the place. i mean, that building has been around for thousands of years. the Prophet (pbuh) walked around the very same one. you can even see the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim. the two hills, Al-Safa and Al-Marwa, that Ibrahim's wife Hagar went between looking for help/water for her and her son. after seven trips between the hills she found a spring had sprung up near her son, the zamzam well.
*the black stone on the corner of the kaaba that was sent down from heaven.
*no matter what time you go, there will always be people there. morning, noon, and night you will find crowds. sure, you can get smaller crowds at "off hours" but it's never empty. it amazes me how many muslims there are.
*the, for lack of a better word, peace i feel after finishing it.
*i have really fond memories of going to umrah as a child with my uncle every summer.
*the way the marble around the kaaba is always cool.
*the pigeons... dont ask me why.
things - mostly people - i hate about it:
*the huge mobs of people who come together with a company or whatever that walk slowly, scream loudly, and basically inconvenience everyone else.
*the people who act like they're the only ones in the place. they mow people down who get in their way without even sparing them an apologetic glance. some of these have their noses stuck in prayer books, some just look straight ahead, but none of them seem to notice that there are in fact other people on the planet with them.
*the people who take the opportunity to have photo shoots. the tourists who take a couple of pictures of the crowds, the kaaba, the mosque, etc irk me a bit but ill live with them. i'm talking about the people that stop every few steps to pose for pictures of themselves. not touristy ones, just close ups of their faces.
*the lack of courtesy a lot of people show for each other. i mean, if you wanna be a complete jerk every day of your life, that's your perogative, but i feel like you should at least try to be decent over there.
*people using the plastic cups for zamzam and putting them on the new pile instead of the place for used ones which is literally a hand away. it's gross..
*yeah, i thought putting a song would be a tad inappropriate
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
there is a project by dina goldstein titled fallen princesses that i have recently fallen in love with. it was a little depressing, but also genius. what she did was "imagine Disney's perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around [her], such as illness, addiction and self-image issues."
*You Can - David Archuleta
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
*It's Beginning to Get to Me - Snow Patrol
i'm scrutinized in both places - everything i say, everything i do. the nuances of the rules of arab society sometimes fly straight over my head, but that's okay because "i'm the american." i'm expected to not know how to do anything, to make a complete idiot of myself. people wait for it to happen. and though the people in america may not be as watchful for every sign that i dont belong as some of the people over here, they are still watchful, or some of them are at least. i'm muslim, i'm saudi... which, to some, means i'm trouble. even those that don't think that, still see a difference between me and themselves, despite the fact that we are both americans.
i'm a person that likes to blend into the background. i prefer not to be the center of attention. but no matter which place i go, though they are both home, people stare. it's not alllll the time, and you get used to it and barely notice it after a while, but it's still there. the two cultures are polar opposites, so it's natural that they won't overlap smoothly, but sometimes i kinda wish they would.
it might seem impossible that i can feel completely at home and completely alienated in both places at the exact same time, but therin lies the paradox.
*War Sweater - Wakey!Wakey!
Monday, June 15, 2009
we've been here for two weeks i think, and it feels like we just got here and we've been here forever at the same time. i've been sleeping four hours a night and then spending the entire day doing stuff so i know my body doesnt really like me right now. i used to live off of four hours a night and be fine, but i got it used to sleeping a complete 8-9 hours every single night which completely spoiled it. now, the second i sit on my bed it gets that exhausted feeling. you know the one where it's like begging to just lay down?? yeah... at least i'm fine during the day. hanging out with the family is great, even if it can get overwhelming at times when you have 8 different kids clamoring for your attention at once.
you realize that you miss A LOT when you're living in a different country, though. like a lot a lot. and it's gotten me thinking about all the what if's again. what if i had lived my whole life here instead of america? would i be a typical saudi girl or would i still be some mixed up hybrid that lives in some twilight zone?? what if my brothers were never born?? i love them to death, but always think about how our lives would be different without them. what if i wasnt born muslim?? would i still have the same values i have today? ive been told i'd be less quiet, but i'm not so sure about that... what if my mom wasnt an artsy person?? how would growing up without constant art projects have changed me?? what if i never got into reading and writing?? what if we never moved from california?? what if my parents never met each other?? what if i had even thought seriously about getting married?? would i have been married by now to one of those guys already?? how would my life be different?? what if i grew up speaking arabic instead of english in my house?? my sarcasm kinda hits the fan when i'm in arabic mode. what if??
*What If - Coldplay
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
if an apple orchard had a tree that produced a few bad apples, you would not write the entire orchard off as bad. the idea is ridiculous. and yet with people, who are so much more diverse than apple trees, the idea seems to be entirely acceptable to most. because of course there's no such thing as a bad seed. people are all cut from the same cloth, so they're either all good or all bad. no exceptions to the rule.
condoning something awful that is happening to a group of people because you didnt like one person from that group is often a result of generalizing. i know so many people that can look upon the most heinous things without batting an eye because "im sure they deserved it. i mean, look what they did." honestly, i dont care who did what or why or when. two wrongs definitely do not make a right. so applauding something that is, by any definition, horrendous because you're ignorant enough to judge the whole based on your experience with the few makes you a moron and me sick.
*Most Lonely Face in the World - The Holloways
Monday, June 8, 2009
*Indiana - Jon McLaughlin
anyways, the creepy crawly things here are on steroids. being gone for eight months have made them spawn into super bugs. they're like some weird government science project gone awry.
this morning i went to take a shower. i'm about to get in when i see a ginormous spider on the shower curtain. have you ever watched harry potter and the chamber of secrets?? i swear this was the spider that played aragog, the acromantula (really, really, really big talking spider). in case you have no idea what i'm talking about, here's a picture:
ok so maybe not that big, but it was definitely as big as the palm of my hand. maybe even a little bigger... that thing had long legs. so i freaked out, ran out of the bathroom squealing, and took my shower in my parents' bathroom.
the lizards are on crack too. i'm sitting out by the pool while my sister's swimming, and they're running around in the patterns the light is making on the walls as it reflects off the surface of the water. but not normal lizard running, they're running with a purpose. they're following some master plan and are forming some giant lizard army. have you ever heard the sound a lizard makes?? they make this clicking sound that i refused to believe was them when i was younger. i was convinced that my cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles were all trying to trick me, that they were making the sounds and trying to blame them on the poor, silent lizards. yeah, i wasn't too smart.
besides the clicking lizards, mosquitos are eating me alive. gah. once again, not normal mosquitos. these are bigger and thirstier and smarter than any of the other ones i've seen. so before i turn into one giant mosquito bite, i'm going inside.
*I Miss You - Blink 182
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Finally went swimming. Pool was great!
One of my favorite things about our house here is our pool. I wait all year just to go swimming. Problem is, you can't really swim during the day because the sun is too hot. You have to go early morning or evening. We've been sleeping in and going to people's houses during the evenings so we havent gotten a chance to swim. But today, we woke up early and finally jumped in the pool. It was great.
check out this site for more six word saturday.
*Short and Sweet - Matchbox Romance
Friday, June 5, 2009
since this is a post about driving, let me take this chance to wish a particular car full of desperate guys an accident. a really big one. after sharing a room with my sister for the past eight years, i have developed a habit of leaving the windows of my room uncovered - like i dont close the curtains or whatever. now, i get claustrophobic if i cant see outside. i have really big windows - i like the sunlight - so people often have a problem with this because, yes, you can see into my room. in america, my bed is out of the way so it's not a problem. and here, we now live in the middle of nowhere with like one neighbor so it isnt a problem either. or it wasnt until i noticed that the same car full of guys had circled around our house at least five times. i noticed when they stopped in front of my window and held their number up. so now i'm sitting in the dark getting a headache from the computer glare. i mean, really, do you have nothing better to do on a friday night that look into my window and stare at me sitting on my bed with my baggy tshirt and sweats?? if that's the case, then i sincerely pity you.
*Fast Car - Kristian Leontiou
a few years ago, a friend of mine told me that i had to read into the wild. she had had to read it back in highschool and thought that it was amazing. so, although i'm generally not much of a nonfiction reader, i went out and bought a copy. i just got around to watching the movie adaptation of the book which was made back in 2007. if any of you have not read the book/watched the movie, go do it. the book is pretty short, but people have found it hard to get through. the movie was kind of long, but beautifully shot, well-directed, and has some good actors. do either, do both.
both tell the story of christopher mccandless aka alex supertramp, who you should definitely read more about. shortly after graduating from emory university, he gave away his life savings to charity, abandoned all his possessions, cut off contact with his family, and began a two year hike which ended up in the alaskan wilderness. he lived off the land in alaska for nearly four months, armed with less than the essentials as he refused to have a compass or map, although he did find a bus to be used as a shelter. at one point, he decided to go back home, but a river that was crossed during the winter seeemed impassable after the snow melt. because he knew nothing of the area, he didnt know that there was a tram to get him across not far from where he was. he was forced to stay in alaska. his body was found weeks after he had died by moose hunters.
some have a very romanticized view of his story, while others view it as a testament to the stupidity that some people suffer from. i have to say that i fall into the first group. i love the idea of running away, not necessarily out of anger or rebellion, but out of sheer desire for absolute freedom. freedom from the constraints and materialism of society. depending solely on your own survival instincts. working when you have to work, not to save up a bunch of money. having a new experience every single day. pushing yourself. testing your strength. discovering yourself. meeting people with values that go beyond the power of a paycheck.
although i don't think i would be able to go at it completely blindsighted, i can see why he would. the whole experience would be amazing regardless. it brings to mind that quote from stardust i wrote in an earlier post... alex was from behind himself, and going ahead of him. like i said before, that whole concept holds unimaginable allure for me. i would love to run away like that. not running away from anything. not running towards anything. running for the sake of running, for the pure desire to try something new, for freedom.
interesting fact: christopher mccandless lived with his family in annandale, virginia, not far from where i live.
*Runaway - Graham Colton Band
Thursday, June 4, 2009
sure, with one you may say something you really shouldn't have, but with the other, you may never say something that you really should have.
i think that i fall into both extremes... not in an i'm-perfect-just-in-the-middle way either. it's more like, i suffer greatly from word constipation, a side-effect from my fear of exposing myself to people. so, in an effort to keep people from noticing, i turn to word vomit. i spew out random information, random thoughts, random stories in hopes that you won't notice that i've actually said very little about myself. i've been doing this less lately. it's something i'm trying to change about myself... an effort coming along a little slowly, but coming along all the same. i am completely convinced that the minute i teach myself to overcome this, my writing will become good. and once i am able to write something that can actually hold a person's attention, leave them wanting more, something memorable... well, who knows what could happen?? it's great to have something to blame. scapegoats are the reason hope can exist at all. if you weren't able to shove some reality off onto someone or something else as blame, each and every bubble of hope would be smothered to death before it even got a chance to live.but i digress, my point was, word vomit or constipation, which would you rather have??
*Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
anyways, here's a poem i found online. i liked it the first time i read it. didnt like it the second time. so the verdict is still out on this one,
Like a TV show that doesn't make sense
Unless you watch it from the beginning
But I'm always gonna try
And I have no need to lie
Being who I am Is something that I can't deny
I look up to the sky
And sometimes I wonder why
But I know I have to make
A better past before I die
Sometimes I say too much
Sometimes I don't make sense
If I get too drunk and rowdy
Then I might get too intense
I see the path
But through a blur
And sometimes I don't feel sure I can shake it off for now
But how much more can I endure
I do the best I can
I try to do the right thing
I'm a poet,
I'm a writer
And I wish that I could sing
Sometimes I'm found
Sometimes turn it around
But beat myself into the ground
If I can't make the right sound
You look to be specific
And measure bullshit by the pound
If you don't try to be prolific
Then you might end up profound…
i was scrolling down my blog this morning, not really reading anything but eyes sort of skimming, and i realized that i overuse the word anyways. seriously, it jumped off the page more than any other word i wrote. i have filled my anyways quota, and yet i cant seem to stop using it. i didnt even realize i used it this much. thing is, i dont use it in spoken conversation... at least i dont think i do. :/
*Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
which, in a sense, is really great. and i love the fact that i'm completely comfortable in both places (though i have to admit i'm socially awkward and that's a bigger problem here than in america). but at the same time, i wanna have a summer vacation for once. you know, actually go somewhere new... somewhere i don't know everyone, somewhere i live out of a suitcase, somewhere i dont have to clean the house or do the laundry or stock up a fridge. a vacation.
today, i watched my first ever episode of star academy. i can finally consider myself arab lol. i have to admit, i see the addictiveness factor. we sat staring at them walk around in complete boredom and play on paint for hours. nothing exciting, yet we couldnt seem to change the channel. it's the same appeal teletubbies has for little kids.
on a completely unrelated note, i just saw the new moon trailer on a blog i follow. it reminded me of something i realized on the airplane. i was watching this movie with robert deniro and it had kristen stewart in it. at one point of the movie, she's supposed to be confused or hiding something or whatever... i kinda forgot. but she does this spastic facial features thing. and that was what i hated most about her acting in twilight. that face - or series of faces - that just annoyed me beyond belief. i generally like her and used to think that she only did that in twilight (like in the bio class scene) because it was a movie that should've just stayed a book. but apparently not. i'm not sure how i feel about this. how did i not notice it before??
*Vacation - The Go-Go's
anyways, remember when rumors that ciara used to a man were circulating the internet and high schools?? well, just in case you still didnt know, they are completely false. that's a link back to the snopes article debunking the rumor in case you dont believe me.
talking about that whole thing, though, made me realize that people were using the words transvestite, transsexual, and transgender interchangably. so here's a quick english lesson. first of all, everyone should know the difference between a person's gender and their sex. no, they are not the same thing. a person's sex is their physical appearance: male or female. their gender is what they psychologically identify themselves with or what society defines them as. for example, in a society where only males go hunting, a female hunter would be considered part of the male gender although she would still be considered part of the female sex. so, on to the other words. a transvestite is "a person who dresses or acts in a style or manner generally associated with the opposite sex." a transsexual is someone who undergoes surgery and hormone treatment to become a member of the opposite sex. a transgender is when a person's gender does not maatch their sex, like the female hunter in that proverbial tribe. so transvestites are transgenders who act on their difference in gender. and transsexuals are transvestites who make the change physically.
*Somebody Told Me - The Killers
so on the plane, in the rows next to me and my parents a family comes: a mom, a dad, and like 7 kids all under the age of 7. two were twins. i'm pretty sure the wife was pregnant. mashallah by the way. don't get me wrong, i had total sympathy for the parents. having two little boys could be a commotion so i could only imagine the nightmare life with that many children could get into on an off day. but at the same time, if you can't handle it then space em out a bit. birth control people. anyways, since the kids were all really small, they didnt get seats for them. i thought only a couple didnt have seats, but my mom told me that none of them did. luckily for them, they pretty much cleared out the two rows, except for this one dude who had ear plugs and drugs and didnt mind. these kids were awful. the second that other dude sat down one of the boys went through his stuff, found a lollipop, opened it, and said thank you. the guy was staring open mouthed but recovered, pasted on a smile, and said your welcome. of course, this made the other two kids in that row cry for candy. the guy looked and didnt have anything else. this did not make the kids happy, especially since their bratty brother was rubbing it in their face. of course, the dad was ignoring all of them. the mom was struggling in the row behind them with the younger kids. i felt bad for her, but at the same time, all she had to do was sit them down and buckle them up. kids that age can not for the life of them figure out how to unbuckle plane belts. but she didnt. so the little girl kept disappearing up and down the aisles and you hear the mom call out "youmna! youmna!" from her seat till the girl showed up again. they were crying, screaming, and fighting the entire time they were awake. having two kids in the house, i realize this is pretty common. but when you are on an airplane at least pretend to try and deal with your kids. anyways, they slept like angels mashallah, for which i'm sure the parents are very thankful. imagine having those as restless sleepers. *shudder*.
so anyways, i hate the parents that have no control over their kids. the ones that dont even pretend to be parents. the ones that pop out a kid a year and still act like it's only the two of them. compare the americans at the airport with the arabs... the parents of course. the americans have their kids in death grips. hands are held, leashes are buckled, children are labeled with name, phone number, and address. a little extreme, but at least attentive. then you see the arabs. the kids are running around on one side of the airport while the parents are getting coffee on the other side. of course, there are the good arab parents, too. but for my point i'm just going to generalize. and it's not only at airports. i have neighbor children stories that are hilariously ridiculous, but the shower is free and this post is long enough already.
*Nothing for the Kids - The Holloways
Monday, June 1, 2009
if you guessed me, then you are wrong... for the most part. we werent able to get the connection we were talking about, but my neighbors, thank god, have not yet learned the art of securing their connection. so we can kinda bum connection off of them from specific locations around the house. like the foot of my bed. the middle of my bed has nothing, but the very end can pick up signal. only problem is that now i'll be living in constant fear that they'll travel and shut it off and deprive me of my sanity aka the wonderful world wide web for weeks on end. *sigh* my dad will be experimenting with getting connection though in the next few days... hope that goes well.
anyways, i'm exhausted. i woke up 7 sunday morning and havent closed my eyes since. but i really wanted to check on the internet situation. plane ride could've been better... expect a rant about stupid arab parents in the next couple of days when i'm more awake. and then we were expecting to not see anyone today since schools and everything are still in session, but we thrown into one typical family get together after another, first at our house then at our grandma's. and this was all suffered through in my sleep deprived stupor.
*Empty Room - Marjorie Fair