Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lost and Found

I've decided to summarise February like the 'Lost and Found' section of a newspaper. One of those ideas that comes to me on bus journeys...

image found on google images

Sorely missed life tool, needed for accomplishing tasks and improving general feeling of well-being. Last seen around the beginning of January. If found, please return.

Ok, I just looked up 'mojo' on wiktionary and apparantly it means either 'a magic charm or spell, supernatural power or luck, personal magnetism/charm, sex appeal/sex drive or illegal drugs'. None of that's how I meant it. What I mean is my groove, my rhythm, my motivation, my routine, my interest, etc.

Reconciliation and second-chance seeking fiance, with a caring personality recently contacted my father. Needs culturally compatible girl with similar communication style for wedded bliss. Will offer money to anyone who will take him off my hands.

An entire stack of DVDs, last seen (for sure) the summer before last. Titles include: Pirates of the Carribean (all three films, although, finder may keep third film due to crappiness), Brother Bear, Night at the Musuem I and Kindom of Heaven. Other titles may also be at large.
Although unnecessary to quality of life, the loss is infuriating, especially as house has been torn apart and vital work hours lost, in attempting recovery.

Gleefully discovered a not-insignificant sum in post office account. Wisely and most maturely, not withdrawing it until final sum for driving lessons,etc is obtained.
Will not be returning any of it.

After extensive online searching, google's first link provided the perfect, easy-peasy, two-needle knitting pattern for a pair of adult mittens. Knitting has commenced and finder is most grateful for discovery.
Will post pic when project upon completion.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What's your color?

Lisa mentioned earlier this week that she took this test that tells you what your colour is and how that translates to your personality. My result was as follows:

Nothing can stand between you and your demand for a calm environment. To be free of conflict and disagreement is the only way to live. In fact, it’s this philosophy that probably allows you to be comfortable in conditions that would normally bother others. Your ability to focus is undisputed, and while you enjoy attention, you still have problems understanding how to handle it. No other color out lives by the golden rule as much as you do.

All I can say is: WOW! This is amazingly accurate. 'Nothing can stand between you and your demand for a calm environment' is 100% accurate. That is me. Wow.

Friday, February 26, 2010


What do you do when you feel frustrated / increasingly angry because of someone or something? When something truly starts to drive you insane and you can feel the anger coursing through your blood, what do you do? How do you handle that positively?

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have anger management problems or anything. I am largely my own mistress in that sense, but I’m just wondering how people deal with these feelings. I usually feel like I want to hit, throw or smash something – most especially the thing that’s annoying me in the first place. I don’t do any of that, I hasten to add. Well, not in an uncontrolled, all-out rage kind of way. I will occasionally whack a remote control or a mouse or whatever when it won’t work, but I rarely throw things and I never smash them. I know it’ll only make things worse, if only in terms of having to clean up afterwards.

What brings this up, you may ask. Well, yesterday I was in the shower and I got really annoyed and frustrated (by the dodgy plumbing, if you must know) and I basically whacked the tiled wall near one of the shower pipes to vent a bit. Shortly thereafter, I realised that I must have hurt my finger on a pipe. I couldn’t figure out how though, I mean, it’s a pipe; it’s a smooth cylinder! Anyways, turns out, there was a thingumy bob for attaching the pipe to the wall and that’s what I hurt my finger on. Then I was rather peeved that I’d lost my temper only to hurt myself. Yay for me.

I spent the rest of my (long, calming) shower thinking about venting anger and frustration and a recent conversation I had with a friend who said that she throws things when she gets angry or frustrated. She will literally throw the first thing that comes to hand: a pot of bean soup, a plug-in modem, mugs of tea or coffee, books, etc, etc. Once she took out all her plates, picked up a rolling pin and stood over the bin, breaking each plate into it until there were no more left. She said it felt wonderful and completely de-stressed her. And then, of course, she had to go buy new plates.

I however, would never, ever do that. It takes me forever to replace / fix the things that break of their own accord, never mind something I broke on purpose. Also, if it breaks, it would only make me feel worse, like I’m out of control and I’m a bad person. So instead, I’ll punch a pillow, whack an unlikely-to-break inanimate object, bitch, whine and complain ad nauseaum. If I can’t do this then I take deep breaths, try to focus on the positive of whatever’s annoyed me and try to get away as soon as possible.

What do you do?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint Choc Chip. Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmm.

2. What is your earliest memory?
My earliest memory is when I was 2 and a half. My parents took me to London Zoo for Eid and I remember getting a camel ride with some random boy because I was too small to go on it myself and I was really annoyed about it. I also remember the lions and the giraffes. When I saw giraffes again years later as an eleven year old, I was so surprised that they were so short.

3. What is your earliest memory of a dessert?
Knickerbokerglories. There was a stint when I was little where my parents and me used to go to Pizza Hut every week and when I finished my dinner I'd get a knickerbockerglory. It's a humongous (I was little - everything was humongous) glass of layerd ice cream with sauces, fruit, cream, nuts and I can't even remember what else. I just remember the fact that I couldn't always finish it.

4. Do you have any recurring dreams?
Generally, no. But if something's on my mind, then it may pop up in my dreams in different forms several nights in a row, or until it's resolved. The past two nights my dreams have involved porridge oats in some form or other. My 3kg box has bugs in them, and I can't get oats here for some reason, so I want to de-bug the box. But I don't know how.

5. Have you ever dreamed about dessert?
Yeah... I just can't remember any examples. But I've definitely dreamed about dessert.

6. What is one thing (aside from a cell phone or computer) that you cannot go the entire day without?
Pen and paper. Tea. TV. Money. I honestly don't know. I can go the entire day without everything except my phone. Otherwise, it depends on whatever my latest obsession is.

7. What is one dessert you could go your entire life without ever having again?
Tiramisu - I hate coffee.

8. If you could go on vacation tomorrow, where would you go? (Assume someone else is footing the bill, but within reason…so “the moon” won’t work)
World tour - is that within reason? Just to Tanzania, Dubai, Milan, Rome, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Rio de Janiro and Saudi. If that's not within reason, then just let me go back to London for a shopping trip. Fully funded shopping trip.

9. If you could have any dessert tomorrow, what would you have (assume someone else is buying it for you. Within reason though, no “gold sprinkled ice cream cones.”)
Either a knickerbokerglory or lemon meringue pie or apple crumble with custard.

10. What was your first impression of your significant other? If you’re single, what was your first impression of your best friend?
We were 8 years old. I loved her - she was warm, didn't talk and she let me gab on and on and on. She kept going into her mum every now and then. I later found out it was to complain because she didn't like me. :D

11. What is your first impression of dessert pizza? (Personally, I think it’s weird. I love dessert but I don’t want any on my pizza.)
Yuck. And I don't actually understand why there were 11 questions this time and not just 10...

Monday, February 22, 2010


I'm not really in the mood for blogging today, nor have I been for the past ... however long it's been since my last post. BUT I'm being self-disciplined (hurrah) and doing it anyway. I think, however, that I'm gonna have to start preparing some random blogposts on various topics so that I can post them when I don't feel like writing. I'm gonna have to work to slack off. There's something wrong there. Isn't slacking supposed to involve no work? Hmmmm....

Anyways, I've been meaning to make a confession on here for a while, but I didn't want to say anything until after I got my backside in gear and sorted myself out. It's taken me all of January and February to get my backside in gear, but I am glad to announce that I finally have. So, my confession:

I have only exercised 3 times since the beginning of the year.

So much for getting healthier and forming good habits and all that blah blah that I thought I'd done at the end of the last year.

BUT I have started again. I've exercised 3 times this week so far (starting on Saturday) and I'm fitting it in early in the morning. And boy do I ache! But I am so proud of myself for finally just sucking it up and getting on with it. I intend to write a post some time soon - maybe this week? - about how Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred has kinda ruined me, but I can't be bothered to turn this post into anything remotely informative or expressive of my opinions. I just wanted to congratulate myself for getting back to working out and cross of 'post to blog' from my to-do list. :D

Hope everyone has a great week!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What's in a weeked?

When I lived in the UK, the weekend was Saturday and Sunday - like everywhere else in the Western world, and much of the non-Western world, too. Then I moved here and the weekend was on Thursday and Friday, like the rest of the Islamic world.

Then countries across the Islamic world realised that this meant that they had 4 days of no-trading with most of the rest of the world and that wasn't good for their economies. So several countries changed the weekend to Friday and Saturday. You can't get Muslims to work on a Friday, because
a) Friday is supposed to be a weekly religious holiday, and
b)Friday prayer is slap bang in the middle of the day (around 1pm ish) and lasts about an hour. Add in lunch and you've lost the entire afternoon. And whether people actually attend the prayer or not is utterly irrelevant - they'll just take the time off anyway. Saturdays most world banks are closed and there's no business anyway so it's kind of a no-brainer.

Last August, Algeria joined the list of Muslim countries that changed their weekend. I'm not gonna lie: it was really weird at first, and I'm still not sure what days the Post Office is open now. ;)

Anyways, all this means that my week is from Sunday-Thursday and my weekend is Friday and Saturday. Except that it isn't. Thanks to my light schedule at uni (it's all research based, so we need more time off to do the research. Apparantly) I have Thursday-Satuday off. Yup, I have a 3-day weekend. And believe you me, I appreciate it, I make the most of it and I am HUGELY grateful for it. :D

Which means that I was actually off for my birthday on Thursday. But I didn't celebrate. Because I don't actually celebrate birthdays. The reason for this is religious: as a Muslim, I don't believe that celebrating birthdays is a part of my religion. That said, I know plenty of Muslims who do celebrate birthdays, and that's their opinion/choice/way/whatever-the-appropriate-word-is. Each to their own.

This doesn't mean that I don't appreciate everyone's wishing me a great day - I do. I lived in the UK for forever, so I know that this is something that's a normal part of Western culture and I understand the kindness and warm-heartedness behind the sentiments. And whether I celebrate it or not, it's still a milestone in the year.

The weekend difference also means that I was at uni for Valentine's Day. And guess what? I don't, and therefore didn't, celebrate that either. :)

So now you know that I'm not simply avoiding writing about what I did for my bday or Vday, but I honestly don't have anything to write about!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In other peoples’ cars

I like to watch other people in their cars whenever I’m going anywhere. I don’t drive (obviously, as it’s on my list of resolutions this year) and whenever I get a lift anywhere or take the bus I like to stare out the window at the drivers and passengers of other cars. (I would read, but I get travel sick.) And I like watching people in cars more than buses – people in buses aren’t as relaxed, whereas those in cars feel right at home, even though they’re in the middle of the motorway.

I love it when you see a woman laying into her husband – and you can tell it’s her husband from the look on his face: either sulky or brow-beaten. If he’s not her husband he’s usually arguing back, which is entertaining because Algerians – like all Mediterraneans – use their hands to gesticulate wildly, so you can often work out what they’re arguing over. And the more the guy waves his hands about, the more the woman does too. Thankfully, it seems as though you don’t actually have to use the steering wheel that much, so people drive ‘hands-free’.

Then towards the weekend you get those who drive home to one of the near and not-so-near provinces. You know that they’re going for the weekend, because it’s not holiday time. Holidays in Algeria are taken to coincide with Winter Break (end Dec – beginning Jan), Spring Break, the Eid festivals, Ramadhan and either July or August (deemed the hottest months of the year – too hot to work). Note: not all these times are taken as holidays by everyone, but because kids, etc are off, it’s the time you see more people going away for longer periods of time. Otherwise, they’re weekenders. But they pack loads of stuff in their cars: everything from bedding, to stuff ordered by relatives and neighbours back in the provinces. Some people have very nice blankets, others have clothes and some have food. Whatever, it fuels the imagination.

Then there are the (very few, thank God) men who read the newspaper as they drive. That makes me laugh. It’s so dangerous, obviously, even if you’re in slow moving traffic, because people here drive like lunatics. Clearly, seeing as some are reading the paper. But it makes me laugh because it looks so ... so incongruent. And they do it like it’s totally normal.

Perhaps the most interesting drivers (to me, at least) are women in cars by themselves. They always look really put-together and then you glance into the seat beside them and there is chucked their briefcase/folders (if they have them) and on top, their handbag. And the handbag’s always open. Now, we all know, it’s bad form to poke though another girls bag without her permission – it’s like reading her diary. So this is like a sneak peak into another person’s inner sanctum. Only a lot less interesting. Disappointingly, they almost always have stuff similar to me, varying only if they work closer or further to home. But I keep looking anyway. I see hairbrushes (if they don’t wear hijab), pins (if they wear hijab), body spray, pens, notebooks, mirrors, make-up, books and plenty more.

I think that watching other people in their cars is like looking into a tiny snapshot of their lives. That’s why it’s so interesting.

Friday, February 12, 2010

25 Years A-Growing

Ok, so now I’m 25 (as of Thursday the 11th). What have I learnt over the past 25 years? This is just a random list, organised by the order they popped into my mind.

1)How to walk
2)How to talk
3)How to ride a bike
4)That I can’t rollerblade
5)How to knit
6)How to write
7)How to read
8)Never run in a classroom – slipped when I was 6 and hit my head off the corner of a table. I now have a dent in my skull that very convienently looks like a dimple, only it’s in the wrong place.
9)The teachers you hate in the beginning of the year you’ll love at the end of the year.
10) You never forget your best friends from pre-school or primary school, even if you never see or hear from them again.
11)Be careful not to get spattered when frying food. Burns caused by hot oil are very painful, no matter how small they are.
12)How to swim and nearly drown.
13)That I really can’t dance.
14)Or sing.
15)And I probably never will, but that’s ok.
16)Because people often find it highly entertaining to listen to someone sing badly and they can’t stop laughing when I try to dance.
17)Plans often go wrong.
18)So always have plans B and C prepared.
19)And be flexible.
20)Life is short.
21)A friend is timeless. No matter how much time passes between calls or visits, you can pick up right where you left off. And when you’re together, time is forgotten.
22)It’s the little things in life that make you smile that make life so enjoyable.
23)That washing up liquid is a pretty damn good stain remover.
24)That every day and every journey can be an adventure, if you have the right attitude.
25)That growing-up is a myth.
26)Kids films are some of the funniest around. Night at the Museum 1&2 and Bedtime Stories, anyone?
27)Never judge a book by another book. Just because you don’t like a particular book, it doesn’t mean you won’t like another book by the same author. And never, ever, EVER dismiss an entire genre. I don’t like fantasy, but I love the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I hated David Copperfield and thought I didn’t like classics, only discover that I absolutely love them. You get the idea.
28)Turning into my mother, and in turn, my grandmother, is inevitable. Get over it.
29)Just because the food may not look good, doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste great.
30)Conversely, just because the food does look good, it doesn’t mean that it won’t taste gross.
31)Moderation brings balance which brings peace.
32)Always pray, and remember God in my life.
33)You will laugh at yourself and you will be amazed at all the crazy things you did when you look back.
34)So will everyone else.
35)Hindsight is the universe’s way of saying ‘I told you so’. And it’s very annoying.
36)Uniqueness is not limited to our fingerprints, but also extends to our smiles, our laughs and our voices.
37)Loneliness and being alone are mutually exclusive, despite their occasional overlapping.
38)Education and academic success are not the same thing.Nothing beats a good teacher.
39)Nothing beats a good teacher.
40)A good teacher teaches their subject and important life lessons.
41)It takes years to get over a bad teacher. If ever.
42)My parents did their best and there is nothing more that I could ask for.
43)Practice is key.
44)As is persistence.

And, umm, that's all I can think of. :D

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

I've seen these on Lisa's and Amber's blogs and I really liked today's, so I've answered them here. Originally it comes from Chelsea. It's basically a list of 10 questions to be answered by the blogger.

1. Fill in the blank. Sometimes I wish my life was more ______.
Balanced. Definitely balanced.

2. How do you cure the hiccups?
I drink 3 big, huge gulps of water without taking a breath in between. It's basically an easier version of holding your breath, I think.

3. What are three of your favorite indulgences?
2)Reading all day long. In bed. With a cuppa tea.
3)Sitting in bed watching a film with a mountain of munchies beside me and a cuppa tea.
Just thinking about this makes me feel good.

4. Where is the most exotic place you would like to travel to? The most mundane?
- Most exotic: Namibia or Tanzania.
- Most mundane: Ireland. I want to go there because I have family there that I want to see. It's mundane because I've been there a bajillion times and my family live in the country, so I feel like a right city-slicker even though I'm actually from a town.

5. Does having your time planned out stress you or relax you?
It stresses me. I like to know that I have a things to do within a specific time frame, but I like to be able to do them as I feel like it.

6. What are your favourite fabrics to wear?
Tough: I love linen, wool and whatever they make track bottoms from.

7. Do you sleep through the night?
I do, when I don't have any dairy products for a few hours before I go to sleep. For some reason if I have a glass of milk before bed I will sleep like a baby, waking up every 2 hours. Weird, huh? I think it gives me too much energy.

8. When you were younger, what did you think you would be doing at this age? How close is that to what you are doing?
LOL at my former naive self. I thought I'd be working, as a nurse or surgeon (depends on how 'younger' you mean) and thinking about getting married. I also thought I'd be an ultra-cool, chic erm something. You know, like in the films.
Reality: I'm at uni, not going into medicine AT ALL, but I am thinking about getting married. And I'm not an ultra-cool, chic anything.

9. What has surprised you most about growing up?
Three things:
1) I still feel like a kid.
2) I've discovered that ultra-cool, chic somethings don't exist. Except in films, of course. And even the actors aren't really ultra-cool or chic. It's kinda disappointing, really, so I'm trying not to burst other kids' bubbles.
3) 'It doesn't matter' applies to most of the things that I thought did matter.

10. Are you good at keeping secrets?
Yes. Oh yes. I love secrets. I love knowing things about people, so I love keeping secrets, so that more people will tell me stuff. :D

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On having kids.

I'm trying to stick to some sort of a blogging schedule this month, so I wasn't going to post today, but then I read this post by Angela on Oh She Glows about wanting to have kids. When I realised that my answer in the comments section was basically a blog post I copied it here and shortened my answer there!

Angela's question was this: Do you feel pressured to have kids or did you…and by whom? Do you feel pressure to have them by a certain age, or a certain number of kids? Are you judged because you don’t want kids?

My answer:
When I was in my teens I didn't want children. And in absolute honesty - a part of me still doesn't want them. This is the first time I've ever told anyone this since I turned 20. I feel huge pressure to get married and have kids - from EVERYONE! I had a friend turn around to me when I was 20 and ask me, in front of a room full of other people, when I was going to settle down already, get married and have kids. I've had people telling me for years (and I'm not quite 25 yet) that a woman's fertility decreases with age, blah blah blah.

It's horrible.

The part of me that doesn't want kids is the bit that doesn't want the responsibility of raising them, the part that rarely sees anything cute in a baby/small child, the part that kinda wishes they were neither seen nor heard. This doesn't mean that I don't like kids - I do. I just like other people's kids. I've worked in a playgroup and babysitting and people always say how good I am with kids. I just don't want to have to have them 24/7.

I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago and I can honestly say that if I don't have kids as a result, I'm fine. I know, right now, that I don't ever want to go through IVF, even if it was my only option. I've made that decision already. I haven't told anyone, because I reserve the right to change my mind, and it's my business anyway. But mostly, because I don't want to hear other people's condesending 'you'll change your mind later'. Yeah, I might change my mind, but what if I don't?

That said, there are times when I really want a child - usually when I'm PMT, but it happens.

So I don't know. But it's easier to tell people about the wanting kids eventually part of me, rather than the not too keen part. All this said, I think I'll probably have them anyway - if for no other reason than to find out what the fuss is about. That is, if I can have them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


My laptop died on me last week. After weeks of acting up, it finally breathed its last. I thought it might have been a loose wire in the screen, so I bravely did what no non-qualified, non-tech-person does and looked it up online and took my screen apart. (Found a wicked website for figuring out what’s wrong with your laptop and how to fix it right here. And it's for novices. It even has photos.) Long story short: it’s not a loose wire, and I did manage to get the whole thing back together again. But it’s still broken.

The screen’s been acting up for a while, but if I twist it a bit (it lost a screw a few months back, so it’s been hanging on by just one hinge – kinda like it’s owner) I could get it to work again. This has gotten progressively worse, until one night – about ¼ of the way through ‘Breaking Dawn’ – it breathed its last and the screen gave up altogether. I managed to read a few more pages by turning the laptop on its side and kneeling on part of the screen. Yes, you read that right: kneeling on part of the screen.

I honestly felt like crying, and I still feel totally gutted. Initially I hoped that was just because girly time was approaching, but, no, it’s got more to do with mourning the loss of what has just recently become my e-book reader.

I’m trying to look on the bright side – I can still get everything off it (it’s just the screen that’s gone, so I know my info is safe), and I had backups for a lot of stuff anyway. Plus, it’s not like it was the only computer/laptop in the house. We have a family computer downstairs and my mum has a laptop, too. So I will still have at home computer access and it really doesn’t affect my internet access at all because I use my mum’s laptop for that.

So why am I upset? Well, firstly, it was mine and I like my things intact (thanks to my internal spoilt brat, working in tandem with my residual five year-old). Secondly, I don’t know if I can get it fixed. My dad, our resident tech guy, just laughed and said ‘you call that a laptop!’ Him insulting my ancient IBM ThinkPad, which only has 1 USB port and no CD-Drive, didn’t improve my mood much. Thirdly, I’ve absolutely no idea when I’m gonna get it replaced. My mum’s supposed to be getting a new one soon, which’d leave me with her old one (I hope), but God only knows when that’ll be. As for buying one myself (the grown-up, non-scrounging-off-the-parents route. Ugh) I wouldn’t even know where to start over here. Fourthly, now I can’t read any ebooks in bed anymore! *bawl*

I’m trying to keep it together, though. If I stay calm and think straight then I hope that eventually I’ll come up with a decent or even good solution to my current problem. The torch of eternal optimism shines bright, eh?

Notice, however, that work/university/research just doesn’t figure into my sadness at all. Hmmm ... I think I need to sort out my priorities.


Monday, February 1, 2010

January Feeling, February Plan

Over the past month I've focused a lot on writing. I've bought myself a notebook which I carry around with me at all times and in it I write ... whatever I feel like writing. All the posts I published in January came from that notebook, but I've written almost twice as much (if not more). I feel like it's a really good way to develop the habit of writing and of noting more interesting stuff down, so that I don't forget and then write a load of crap on here.

My problem now is that I'm not posting enough. I'm simply not typing up what I write. This needs fixing and I'm hoping that, as January was the month I focused on writing, February will be the month I focus on typing up my writing and then posting more regularly. I think that if I have some posts written up already, it'll make the whole process of posting regularly easier. We shall see.

Overall, I'd say that January's been a good month. I managed to save most of my earnings (which wasn't much, but hey *shrug*), I started some pretty good habits, hopefully finished all my paperwork run-around (it's the paperwork run-around that's the reason I didn't get to post at all last week), got back into reading in a MAJOR way and generally kept up with almost everything. So I feel kinda smug :D but also really motivated to make February even better. My milestone birthday - a quarter of a century on God's green earth! - will be here in little over a week, and I intend to do some serious long-term planning, soul-searching, and question-answering to mark it. I'm fed up with the drifting already.