Tuesday, December 31, 2013

it's the last day of the year, and i was planning on doing some sort of compilation post or a year in review or something, but i think we all know how blogging plans have been going for me this year. basically, they haven't. also, my brothers are sleeping over and, being tech junkies, i haven't gotten much time to my own computers. i don't mind, though. there's something really awesome about having them sleep over. i'm more "me," when i'm with my siblings, if that makes any sense. like, there is no need to compromise anything or worry about conventions or filters or offending anyone. siblings know the truest form of you, and there is something really great about that. they know every embarrassing moment and all the highs and lows that have filled your entire life. they have all the same little crazy bits that come from growing up in your family and they get things that no one else could ever understand. i'm not one for resolutions, as you may know, but i am one for taking moments to be thankful, and as i look back on this year, i am immensely grateful for my family. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

give it a try

this is a christmas related post that really actually has little to do with christmas and is coming to you the day after christmas. although, i typed it up on christmas. (four christmases in two sentences.) but i already posted that lovely and pointless post that was sort of about hope but mostly just my way of saying that i have that feeling that something big is going to happen. usually when i have that feeling, nothing happens, but it doesn't make it any less exciting. and i kind of like the fact that i can't quite quell the excitement when i feel it even though i know it's probably just nothing. it's kind of disney-esque, only mostly just inside my head. it's hard to explain.

but anyway. back to christmas. well, sort of.

being muslim, i don't celebrate christmas. (except for those years when my sisters and i were growing up and we did the whole christmas thing every year. the whole nine yards with tree and lights and stockings and christmas music and paper chain countdowns and waking up at dawn to open presents.) i, however, love the christmas season. christmas lights are without a doubt one of my favorite things in the world. there is something about the small colored lights that fill me with magic. i also love christmas music (although it is really annoying when you are trying to sing along to the radio and every singer changes the song just enough to make it sound like you are way out of tune every single time). i also love stocking stuffers. i have this really bad problem with buying stuff that i don't need or want because it is either on sale or a good price. dollar stores and drug stores and the sale aisle of craft stores are my weakness. stocking stuffers fall under that umbrella. but that's neither here nor there.

despite not celebrating christmas, i do have my christmas season (which lasts a little longer than most people's) traditions. like, gingerbread cookies. every year, between the end of thanksgiving and martin luther king (jr.?) day, i have to bake gingerbread men. at least once. and every year i have to watch the santa claus. you know, the tim allen one. (the radio the other night told me that the movie has been out for nineteen years and that made me feel so old. ninteen years guys. i could have raised a child to voting age in that time. i could have raised two children to voting age (given they were born in consecutive years) in that time. there is something about the word consecutive that makes me think of math problems.) i used to watch all of those christmas tv shows (santa, rudolph, frosty, etc) that have been on for generations and are actually pretty terrible and incredibly sexist/racist/generally politically incorrect, but i stopped those a couple of years ago. mostly because i kept forgetting to watch them and time became a lot harder to come by. i also love to go on  drives through neighborhoods to look at christmas lights. my older sister and i used to that a lot during our college years before she up and moved to the other side of the world. my husband just does not see the appeal in it. it's not as fun going alone, and so i opted to skip it this year. sad, i know. this is not the point, either.

(i guess this really has turned into a christmas post.)

but what i really came here to say, though, was that, during my read-through of the blog posts from the last two months, someone mentioned that they had already watched elf twice, and i have never seen elf. not even once. ever. i never even really wanted to. but it is often listed as one of the christmas movies that you have to watch every year, and i'm thinking that maybe i should take the plunge. a different blogger wrote about how she makes chocolates for all of her friends and family for christmas, and i kind of want to try that, too. what other christmastime traditions should i try out while i'm at it?

*Give it a Try - Badfinger

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

magic in the air tonight, yes, i might just try

i have been in school for twenty-two years. that is eighty-eight percent of my life, which is kind of crazy if you think about it. and while i know that, someday in my future when this percentage has shrunk down to almost nothing, i will look back on it with nostalgic fondness and long for the days of structured learning where i could sit in a classroom for three hours and just absorb information - both boring and fascinating - and i also know that i am only done with classes and still have a few years left of school, the thought of next semester fills me with a sense of freedom. and possibility. and hope.

it's the same feeling i get that makes me want to create things and fill notebooks with pretty words. that make me think that one day i will be a published author and be caught up on every show i want to watch and have a phd that doesn't just sit in the corner gathering dust. this semester may have started out crazy and ended even crazier, but this year will end with blossoming hope. and i am okay with that.

it's been a while since i have sat down and written for writing's sake. (i hate to admit it, but most of november was writing for nano's sake and nano's sake only. i think there were only two - maybe three - days in there that i was writing because i was excited about the idea and the characters and the plot was running off almost on its own with my fingers struggling to keep up as they raced over the keyboard. despite that, i think the two characters i wrote in november may be some of my favorites. they took a while to get there, but i don't think i'll be able to drop them just yet.) and i miss writing. i really do. pretty words make me happy.

i also miss baking. and gingerbread. and think that, being christmas and all, it is the perfect time for making some gingerbread men. (although i'm not sure i have the necessary ingredients and are grocery stores even open on christmas?) maybe i'll spend my day doing that. (and catching up on the blog posts i've missed. i'm already caught up on facebook and emails so this is my next stop.)

whether you celebrate christmas or not, i hope you have a wonderful day filled with magic and hope and twinkling lights. and hershey's candy cane chocolate bar because those are delicious.

*Magic in the Air - Badly Drawn Boy

Friday, December 20, 2013

so the crazy semester ended crazily... as was expected. the last couple of weeks found me so busy with classes and meetings and grading and knitting baby blankets and making t-shirts (more on those later) that i had to take a break from the internet, meaning facebook, tumblr, and blogger. it was only supposed to be for a day or two, but that bled into a week and then two and now three. and now i have so many facebook notifications and so many unread blog posts that i have been afraid to jump back in. there is so much to catch up on that i feel like it's too much work for a vacation. so... winter break has found me still avoiding the internet.

speaking of work in a vacation, that's exactly what i got to do the first few days because professors can do stuff that really freaks students out and sends them running to me for help. things like changing when a final is due and deciding last minute not to accept an assignment that a student worked on for half of a semester. so i got to handle all of that. and now i get to focus on the party my sister and i are throwing. tomorrow. that i'm still not entirely ready for. yay.

but come sunday, i will get the relaxing break that i have been counting down to for the past month. i hope.

anyway, this was more of a post to get over my fear of returning to the internet and let all of you know that i am still alive than anything important. this coming week i will read all about your lives that i have missed and go through all five hundred buzzfeed articles my sister posted on my facebook wall, and then hopefully be all caught up and back to my normal spot in cyberspace. and next semester i will have no classes (!!! i don't even know how i will handle that) and hopefully be back to blogging regularly. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

we beats the odds together

so if you look over to the sidebar over there <-- a="" actual="" actually="" against="" all="" an="" and="" around="" as="" at="" bar="" because="" before="" brother="" but="" by="" characters...="" characters="" completely="" days="" don="" doubters="" end="" enjoyed="" enough="" excitement="" exciting="" fact="" few="" fifty="" finished="" first="" follow="" for="" forty="" found="" full.="" get="" give="" going="" good="" got="" had="" hah="" haven="" hit="" how="" i="" in="" is="" it.="" just="" kind="" like="" ll="" lose="" lot="" love="" m="" mark="" me="" meaning="" might="" month="" more="" my="" nano="" nbsp="" never="" next="" no="" odds="" of="" only="" over="" p="" part.="" part="" path="" really="" red="" say:="" see="" so="" some="" started="" stopped.="" story.="" story="" stuff.="" suspense="" t="" that="" the="" then="" there="" thirty="" this="" thousand="" time="" to="" told="" touch="" try="" two="" up="" wandering="" was="" way="" weeks="" well="" where="" who="" win="" with="" won="" word="" words="" writing="" year.="" yet="" you="">
and here you have the graph of my writing progress over the month. it actually makes me look like i was writing more than i was, i think. but, as you can see, i was only on track the very first and the very last day of the month. every other day i was in varying stages of behindness. (i was pretty close to on track on that second day, though.) somewhere in that middle section i was twenty thousand words behind. that was definitely a low point.

today my plan is to knit the last patch i need for a baby blanket i am making and finish the t-shirts for my nephews that i am also making. (because i really like to procrastinate with crafts. duh.) then i can focus on the three exams, two presentations, and one paper i have left to close this semester (which is ending in two weeks). and grading forty homework assignments. oh, and registering for next semester. which means i need to find a committee that i still can't seem to get together. and there's that research project that i said i would do that a professor probably thinks i'm working on even though i'm not. and ugh school gives me anxiety at the moment so let's just stop talking about it, shall we?

*You're Still the One - Shania Twain