Sunday, November 28, 2010

you think you know me well, but you don't know

so i was talking to a friend the other day, and i mentioned the Baby in Black (my nickname for my younger nephew) and she thought that it was a reference to the will smith movies, men in black. now, this was not what i had in mind and didnt even occur to me when i first decided to call him that this summer. in fact, i only watched a few random parts of a men in black movie a couple years back when someone put it on our tv. i never played the disney world game of it. i think there was a cartoon? if there was, i never watched it. i had a men in black toy but it came with my mcdonald's happy meal so i don't think that really counts. what i'm trying to get at is, i was never a men in black fan, and so why would i nickname my nephew after it?

i am, however, a LOST fan, which you may have picked up on by reading this blog, especially as the series was ending in the spring. and in lost, there is a character referred to as the Man in Black. the rest of this post is rife with spoilers, by the way. anyway, he eventually becomes the smoke monster, or the smoke monster becomes him, or some other LOSTian twist, and in the final season we get to know more about him and jacob, the leader or what have you of the island. we find out that jacob and the man in black are brothers, both born on the island. in one episode we see their mother get shipwrecked on the island. as she is stumbling along very pregnantly, she gets help by this island lady. the island lady takes her back to her cave where she helps her deliver the baby. the baby comes out, the lady says it's a boy, and the mom says his name is jacob. she had the name all well thought out ahead of time. then, surprise of all surprises, turns out she's having twins. when the next baby is delivered, also a boy, the mom says, "i only had one name." and then the island lady smashes her skull in with a rock.

for someone who appeared to be so upset by the fact that a mom would only have one name chosen out, the island lady (who pretends to be jacob and MiB's mom for years and years and years) didn't seem to come up with any name either. we watch as they grow up and hear "jacob, jacob, jacob" but only "your brother" or "you" when the MiB is addressed or referred to. even the LOST people (creators, writers, directors, etc) just called him the Man in Black and Boy in Black. (he always wore black. jacob wore white.) i mean, would it really have been that hard to name the kid, crazy island lady? no wonder he grew up angry and killed you. how would you like it if your older brother got a name and you were stuck with a very unwitty nickname referencing what color you were always put in.

so what does this have to do with omar (my nephew's real name)? well, my sister had hamza (her first son) picked out as a name from like the very beginning. it was known that he would be hamza. for omar, up until like the week before her due date (and probably even later) she was undecided. name for the first son, no name for the second. sound familiar? and from that was born my nickname, Baby in Black.

so no, when i call my nephew i am not thinking of some dude in a suit with sunglasses. i am thinking instead of a poor island boy turned evil smoke monster that just wanted to get off the stupid island.

*You Don't Know Me - Michael Buble

Saturday, November 27, 2010

i've got so much left to say

after sitting at joe for nearly four hours, i have just finished my fifty thousand words required to win nanowrimo. i still haven't finished the story, though. i'm only about three quarters of the way through and am actually contemplating leaving it at that. i mean, if you heard some of the stuff that is going into that wannabe novel, i think you'd kill yourself laughing. seriously. my sister almost did when i was telling her of some of the more pathetic ideas that crept into my brain and onto the screen in my desperate attempt to just make the word count. you, though, won't get the chance to laugh at me because i have too much dignity for that.

this nano was nothing like last year's, and though there were points when i seriously thought i should probably stop wasting my time spewing crap into open office with all of the other stuff going on in my life that actually required time and attention, i'm glad i didn't. the month was filled with random spurts of writing that may have kept me sane throughout everything else. plus, i got a bunch of really cool postcards from the nano postcard exchange.

ash, if you are reading this, then this is me cheering you on from the other side (of the finish line. i'm not a ghost or anything. nano didnt kill me i promise). you can do it!

now excuse me while i run off to bed. i'm not really tired, but i think i should be.

*Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's

Thursday, November 25, 2010

(insert relevant song lyric here)

the harry potter stars speaking 'american.' watch it. please. this is what i am thankful for on this thanksgiving. well, this and supersoft kleenex tissues. oh, and mashed potatoes... and apple pie.

i should not be this annoyed on a day dedicated to being grateful. grr.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

i lost my place, but i can't stop this story

so for the past week almost we have had no internet in the house. with all of the commotions going on, i have not ventured much out of the house. that means that i was completely cut off from the online world for an entire week. it was crazy, though i didnt miss it as much as i thought i would. probably because i was too busy. anyway, after getting stood up by our dsl guy three days in a row, we switched to cable internet. yesterday, everyone in the house got internet... except me. it was really sad. i think joe is having trouble adapting to change or something, stupid temperamental computer. but now i have internet, for all intents and purposes, though it decides to  disappear randomly (like while i am writing this post for example. what the hell internet). that's fun. like my sister said, it's like being in saudi arabia just in case i was starting to miss it. i wasn't really.

among the recent commotions around my house, my sister had her baby. did i mention that already? i feel like i might have, but i'm pretty sure i didnt have internet at the time? i dont know, anything earlier than two minutes ago confuses me. it's all one big whirl of past commotions. anyway, she brought home the Baby in Black and he's all cute and small and new. so that's exciting.

oh, and yesterday we threw a pokemon birthday for my brother. i made a team rocket shirt that's beautiful.

also, if you look over at my nano progress bar, you'll see that i have used my internetless nights wisely. though i had been seriously sidetracked, i am now right on track with my nano. there may be a gap in the plot because i didnt reread what i had before jumping back in, but that's okay. it's mostly random rambling, but it's words and they count. i think i said i would tell you all what it's about, right? well, my novel is a middle grade fiction about a group of kids that have random magical powers (some can fly, super strength, mind control, whatever). they wake up one morning to find that all the teachers of their school are kidnapped, and they follow a trail of clues left by the kidnappers to get them back. they learn that creatures of their bedtime stories really do exist and meet giants, leprechauns, etc on their way to the teachers. it's not what i usually write, but the words come fast and easy when i actually get the chance to write them so that's good. some of the characters i have taken from my character reserve so they're happy that they finally get a story and some magic, even if it is one highly in need of editing. i think after rereading harry potter and then reading the girl who could fly for my brothers, i couldnt really expect my stressed out brain to come up with anything else but children fantasy. the other three stories i tried died out a few thousand words in.

speaking of harry potter, i still havent watched the movie. doesnt that make you sad? i had plans to watch it the day it came out, but plans don't work too well with my family. you know who did watch it, though? that girl in my class who didnt even know what it was. apparently she wanted to see what the hype was about. she thought, though, that it was part one of the series not part one of the final book and hearing her talk about it made me want to scream. gah. i'm planning on watching it next week.

*Spinning - Jack's Mannequin

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

abdullah: ali woke me up this morning at four.
ali: yeah when i woke up i was so excited that i had to wake him up too.
abdullah: it was barely even four and he was screaming 'abdullah wake up! it's eid! wake up!' and i was having a wonderful dream about dancing with a pony.
me: ...?
abdullah: *sigh* his screaming didn't let me finish my dream.
me: umm... dancing with a pony?
abdullah: yeah, i dunno, but it was wonderful.

celebrate good times, come on

today was a commotion day and a very slow, boring day at the same time. first, it was eid. since the past few eids have been pretty pathetic, my hopes for this one weren't too high, and i wasn't disappointed. my sister, two brothers, nephew, and i basically sat at home all day watching disney movies and playing elefun. we couldn't come to a consensus on what to order for lunch, and the chinese and pizza delivery men met on our front step and basically called us fatties. that was fun. second commotion was that my sister had her baby today, so that's exciting. it's also my parents' anniversary.

on to jury duty story. after taking someone else's word instead of checking for myself and showing up at the wrong building, i spent a while running around in heels (i didn't want to go get my car). i met two old ladies in city hall who basically laughed in my face, told me i was never going to make it on time, and gave me retarded directions, before meeting this very awesome business man who walked me to the courthouse. i made it there fifteen minutes early. stupid old ladies.

anyway, i signed in and went to sit in the jury waiting room with about a hundred other people. some lady named crystal came and gave us a jury orientation which basically consisted of "sit here until your name is called. if it's not called or you get taken off a jury panel when we limit them down, you can go home at one." so i sat there and read my book. three deputies came in and called out three different groups of thirty people. i was one of the twelve people never called, and i left at one, with only fifteen pages of my book left. this story was a lot more interesting when i started blogging it yesterday (and included a giant and a leprechaun).

there was this one lady that sat at the table across from me in the waiting room who sounded exactly like luke's sister from gilmore girls - her voice, the way she talked, and what she said. she even looked like her a bit, but shorter and a little fatter. every time i heard her i felt like gilmore girls was playing in the background.

anyway, the weather is blah today and my head is pounding. all of this really was going to be twisted into an entertaining story, but i just don't have the energy right now - which is probably why i'm blogging instead of writing my pathetic excuse of a novel. i did get a couple hundred words down, though. next post i write will be all about my novel in an attempt to motivate me to write (or make me want to saturate it with lighter fluid and set it on fire).

*Celebration - Kool and the Gang

Monday, November 15, 2010

so i started this post to write about jury duty and the rest of my day, but ended up going on forever about how my day felt so long that it couldn't possibly fit into one post. then i felt like i should respond to the comments on my last post, but i got tired just looking at them. so i will respond to those tomorrow. then i restarted this one and my brother-in-law called to say my sister was going to the hospital and my parents who were both sleeping were having a very confusing conversation about what to do. and now i lost the ability to sit and blog instead of watching icarly. i dont know why i'm writing this and will delete it as soon as write the other post that i meant to write. i think it should be documented though that i was going to tell you all about today but failed miserably.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

i guess this is growing up

i have always had a bit of a peter pan complex. while everyone else was growing up, i was content to stay searching for neverland in all my spare time. and while i intend to hold onto a certain amount of my childness for as long as i live, it seems like this weekend is forcing me off the proverbial cliff into adulthood.

first of all, in a crazy turn of events, that let me tell you even i wasn't expecting, i've been officially engaged for twenty four hours. as in, i'm gonna get married. that's right. me. (don't look so surprised, it's not that shocking.) i, who can't commit to anything, have committed my life to one person. i, who needs long breaks from the public because i cannot stand people, have decided to live with one person (not related to me) day in and day out for the rest of forever. i, who keeps the world at arm's length, have decided to let someone in... a bit lol. it's really crazy, but also awesome. i'd post a picture of the ring because it's pretty but i don't feel like getting my camera cords and downloading them so oh well.

apart from that huge development in my life, i have also been summoned for jury duty tomorrow. i kinda sorta really don't feel like waking up early to go sit around all day doing nothing. i'm dreading this a lot more than is probably healthy, but i don't. want. to. go. my sister, though, is dying to go to jury duty and if she wasn't having a baby like literally at this moment then i would so let her pretend to be me. i mean, besides the fact that that's probably super illegal and i would never do anything to break the law. but yeah, i'm dreading tomorrow.

on a completely unrelated note because my brain is not functioning well and my train of thought got derailed, my nano novel is coming along pathetically. it's really sad how behind i am, but i just can't seem to find the time or motivation to write it. that little progress bar hasn't changed for days. i will catch up, though. if only because i refuse to lose this thing. my tenacity will lead me to victory. by the end of the month, i may have pages and pages of crap, but there will be fifty thousand words there. also, i refuse for ash, my friend, to lose either. we need to meet up to write pronto.

anyway, go congratulate me in me my comments, congratulate my sister too, and motivate me to write. please and thank you.

*Dammit (Growing Up) - Blink 182

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i pray your brakes go out running down a hill. i pray a flowerpot falls from the windowsill and knocks you in your head like i'd like to. i pray your birthday comes and nobody calls. i pray you're flying high when your engine stalls. i pray all your dreams never come true.

Dear Mr. No Number,

I hope that, as you wake up this morning, an hour late because your alarm didn't go off, that you stub your toe getting out of bed. I hope that you slip in your shower after getting shampoo in your eye and hit your head really, really hard against the wall. There's nothing left in your skull to really damage, but the pain is enough for me. I hope that in the middle of this the hot water runs out and you are forced to rinse your hair in the icy grips of cold water on this cold day. I also hope you catch pneumonia because of this. I hope you burn your breakfast and spill your coffee on yourself. I hope you fail every class you have today and/or get fired from work. I hope your car breaks down on your way home and you realize your phone battery is dead. I hope no one stops to help you. I hope that, when you do finally get home, you find it has been broken into. But most of all, Mr. No Number, I hope that your life turns into one endless hellish day of misery. Forever. And then i hope you die.



you may have noticed that i did not wake up on the right side of the bed today. in fact, i woke up on the wrong side several times over. it's bad enough that for some reason i couldn't get to sleep last night, and then when i was dazed enough for my body to pretend it was asleep (if i lay in bed in the dark with my eyes closed and don't consciously think, but rather let my thoughts wander on their own, i go into a dazed state that may possibly confuse my body into thinking it's getting enough rest for the night. is this only me?) my brother needs me for something (incidentally, this is the one interruption of my sleep i did not mind). but after still not being able to get to sleep for hours some moron thinks that two:thirty in the morning is a good time to call. with a blocked number. after being very rudely wakened up, i stared at my phone indignantly and ignored the caller. immediately after i missed the call, i thought of all the people who it could have been and i should have answered. i'm just getting back to sleep again when Mr. No Number calls again. maybe it's my sister going into labor, i think. she sometimes blocks her number by accident. when i went to answer, though, i somehow rejected. oh well, i thought. something about this second call must have woken up my sister (according to facebook, though i woke her up by sleep talking. huh.) and she gets out of bed for some reason. at three in the morning. she starts to drink water loudly from her water bottle and crinkle bags and chew and turn on her computer without turning off the sound so i could hear that obnoxious windows boot up sound. i'm seriously thinking about getting up and killing her to shut her up, but then she gets up, pretty loudly for three am, and moves to another room. i'm just going back to sleep when, at three:thirty, surprise of all surprises, Mr. No Number calls again. i manage to answer this time, thinking it must be important, and you know what i get on the other line? beeping. like someone pressing the number pad. like they were trying to talk to me in freaking morse code or something. i hang up and am awoken a little later by my sister getting back into bed, which actually wasnt loud so i dunno. every ten minutes after that i wake up in a panic sure that i had slept through my alarm because i was so tired. i hadn't. five thirty on the dot, my alarm finally goes off, and i feel like i haven't slept a wink without even the satisfaction of doing anything to keep me up. and i'm leaving the house in fifteen minutes. i'm not even dressed.

Mr. No Number, i blame all of this on you, and i wish you a very slow and painful death.

oh, and while i'm at it, Mr. Internet Connection, i'm super tired of your recent mood swings. if you decide to disconnect one more time i will come over and tear your modem apart with my bare hands. i am so not in the mood for you.

disclaimer: i usually do not wake up in such a homicidal mood and usually have no problem answering people's two in the morning phone calls. i actually do it quite a lot. but if you're gonna call, don't block your number and speak english. or i will make it my life's mission to find and kill you.

i realize that title's really long, but i couldn't choose just one.

*I Pray For You - Jaron and the Long Road to Love

Saturday, November 6, 2010

you don't see me

hello wonderful readers of my blog. want to know why i'm suddenly in a really good mood despite the fact that i can't breathe through my congested nose and my contacts are as dry as the sahara? (look at that NaNo progress bar up in the side bar for a hint.) that's right! for the first time this month, i am actually not behind in my novel writing. isn't it exciting? ten thousand four hundred and three words. i'm actually even a little ahead. (okay, only by a couple hundred words but whatever it beats being thousands behind.)

in honor of this unexpected awesomeness, here's a (slightly embarrassing) story that happened to me the other day.

have you ever watched the princess diaries? you're really weird if you haven't because i practically have that movie memorized. but anyway, there's this part at the very beginning where mia (anne hathaway) is sitting outside and someone almost sits on her. she goes to her friend and says to her friend, "someone sat on me again." i'd put a clip of that scene, but i don't feel like looking for one. so youtube away if you want to.

the other day, i was waiting outside of class with a bunch of other people. the class that uses the room before us was still in there so we were just hanging out in the hallway. i'm leaning against the wall when a guy comes and goes to lean on the wall directly where i'm leaning. as in, he leans on me. he notices pretty quick that he has not touched wall and jumps away. "omg i'm sorry," he says, laughing a little. "i didn't see you there."

uh, how do you not see a person leaning on the wall where you want to lean? he wasn't reading a book or looking at his phone or searching through his bag. he wasn't talking to anyone or checking the time. he just didn't see me. i suddenly knew how mia felt.

my younger sister can't decide whether to take it to mean than i'm so skinny i'm invisible or i'm so fat he mistook me for a wall. i'm open to your interpretations.

*You Don't See Me - Keane

Thursday, November 4, 2010

i'm so much older than i can take

random snapshots of conversations i have had over the past few days:

last night, my professor walks in and writes on the board in all caps, "NEVER GET OLD!" he then goes back to his desk/chair whatever and says, "it's the worst thing i've ever done." his knees have apparently been very anti-him for the past few weeks, and his doctor is thirty three. i plan on taking his advice.

a couple of days ago, i answer the phone, and the lady asks to speak to my younger brother. "may i ask who's speaking?" i ask her. "this is so and so from whatever university," she answers. "umm... ali is eight," i say. she sounds very surprised when she says. "oh... i'm sorry. i'll make a note of that."

last week i was talking to my mom while my nine year old brother was doing his homework. i think i said something about having a literary crush on some character. "what's a character?" my brother asks, apparently thinking there were other meanings to the word he didn't know yet. "a person from a book or movie or something," i answer. "you have a crush on a made-up person?" he asks. "yes." "that's so... sad. i... feel sorry for you," he said while giving me a pitying look.

*All These Things That I've Done - The Killers

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

we fail at everything we ever even try to attempt

so this morning i wrote a post and drafted it (because apparently i'm incapable of publishing anymore?) that was basically talking about how unproductive and worthless at life i was being... because i get like that sometimes. anyway, right now i feel like i completely turned this day around, so let's compare, shall we?

this morning i said that because our internet played dead for most of yesterday i had an assignment due tonight that i wasn't even started on. i totally finished that assignment in an hour, wrote the report for it, and submitted it earlier than on time. i rock.

i also said that i was "going nowhere really, really fast" in my pathetic nanowrimo attempt. i've switched stories a few times which is technically frowned upon and would get seven hundred words or so into something before hitting a ginormous brick wall and deciding that i just couldn't continue. after a very productive writing session with the awesome Ash (or The Flea if you read other people's comments on my blog) and forcing myself to stick with one story (though i'm not even sure how good it is or if i can write fifty thousand words on it) i am four thousand plus words in. yes, still technically behind, but whatever. i'm doing better than you. (unless i'm not in which case please don't mention it to me because you'll just make me feel bad.)

i also said that there were a few emails i've been putting off writing for weeks now and some stuff i needa send to our apparently very disorganized cultural mission (because they had all of this a month and a half ago. what did they do? eat it?) to quiet their threats to stop my monthly money. okay, so this still needs to be done but that's okay.

i also went to class and forgot my notebook so i paid attention. it's amazing the things you learn when you're not doodling and writing out short stories while some guy at the front rambles on. i also got fifteen postcards written for the postcard exchange i am doing. i'm gonna write the last four tonight and then send them all out tomorrow. i have some extra ones so if you would like to get a postcard from me, send me your address (comment/email/formspring/whatever) and i will send it out because snail mail is awesome and you all deserve some awesomeness in your lives. it doesn't matter if you live across the street from me or across the world, send me your address and i'll send you a card.

finally, my sister is a loser and wasn't answering my calls so i scrapped my plans to go out for dinner (though i've been craving broccoli and cheese soup for weeks now) and ate on campus. i decided to try a new flavor vitamin water and the facebook created flavor (black cherry-lime) was suggested to me. can i just say, EWWW. facebook people, what in the world were you thinking? it tastes like i'm drinking cough syrup mixed with gasoline. every sip makes me sicker (because yes i'm finishing it and getting my money's worth. plus i'm thirsty and don't feel like walking back to the convenience store.) blech.

oh wait, this is the final thought: i'm using the title i was gonna use this morning because a) i don't feel like thinking of a new one and b) i was just listening to the song. no i don't care that it no longer fits with the post.

*The Future Freaks Me Out - Motion City Soundtrack

Monday, November 1, 2010

i don't know who you are

"He'll be famous - a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in future - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!" 
~Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 

when you read this line, you can't help but think how prophetic it turned out to be and wonder if rowling knew the literary monster she had on her hands from then. i mean, who hasn't heard of harry potter? even the people who have never read a word of the books or watched a minute of the movies can't miss the media attention and the merchandise and the references. right? i didnt think it was possible to not know harry potter.

and then i met the girl in my class.

my professor was talking about dictionary attacks (basically when you try and crack a password by guessing all the words in a dictionary) and how sometimes you need to create your own dictionary because something like webster's wouldn't have all possible words, like when literary references are used. he was telling us about a child pornography case where the encryption password was 'snape' and he found it by creating a dictionary by indexing the sites the suspect visited online.

girl in class: umm... what's a snape?
*me and professor look incredulous*
him: professor snape?
her: *stares blankly*
him: you know... from harry potter?
her: *stares blankly*
him: wow, you really need to read more. the boy wizard who fights an evil wizard...
her: ooohh is that the movie thing that's coming out?
him: yeah... but it was a book first.

after class she was telling me that she really should read more, but he couldn't expect everyone to be familiar with every book ever written. well, yeah, maybe not. but how in the world she's lived this long and managed to not know who harry potter is is beyond me.

anyway, i am off to try and write fifteen hundred plus words before bed. you can watch my nano progress throughout the month by that progress bar thingie on the left. you know, in case you missed it.

*I'm With You - Avril Lavigne

how'd we get here so fast?

do you know what day it is, blog readers? november first. as in, nanowrimo starts/started today. how and when did this happen?? last time i checked, i still had time... time to think of what to write and organize my schedule in a way to give me time to write and... and...  i dont know just time. but it seems like time has been a scarce commodity lately and suddenly there is just no more of it. over eight hours into nanowrimo and i have yet to type a single word, or even think of what that single word should be.

aside from not starting my novel, i had a slight lapse in responsibility last week which led to me realizing a day late that i had homework due. my professor, though, was nice enough to give me a few extra days to finish it. so i have to do that homework, along with the one due this week, along with a midterm due thursday, and suddenly writing a novel seems an utterly pointless and terribly attractive way to spend my time.

i know you have all been horribly missing my blog posts lately (stop rolling your eyes, it could happen), and i wish i had some really cool story about alien abductions and pirate kidnappings that resulted in no internet access or something, but i don't. what i do have is a whole bunch of unpublished drafts from the past week and a steadily growing pile of things i need to do/should have already done that brings along a creeping sense of i-might-start-to-get-overwhelmed-if-i-think-about-this. but my dad came back from saudi arabia yesterday (didn't know he was gone? don't worry, neither did anyone else i know apparently) and things could possibly go back to the way my dull, boring life used to be before the end of the summer. possibly.

but enough about that, i need to go start being responsible so i can start being irresponsible and possibly start noveling today. (i'll probably end up starting my november tomorrow :/ that's okay right? right?! don't judge me i can still finish a novel in a month minus a day.) hope your novembers are off to a better start than mine!

Update: so i decided i couldn't start responsibility until i started irresponsibility and am now thirty four words into a novel that could literally go just about anywhere at the moment. i can now relax and start checking off homework assignments.

*Closer - Low