Thursday, March 31, 2005

Weather and Writing

At 3 a.m. i woke up from a very loud noise and these were my thoughts: 1) We are getting bombed. 2) It is Judgment Day. Uh oh. 3) Is my husband okay? I sat up and looked around. Hubby was okay. I looked out the windows, finally waking up and boom, there it was again with a flash of light. Man the thunderstorms here are intense. They have woken me up before but this one was different. Or perhaps i just wasn't coherent enough today to realize what it was. Usually i can roll over and go back to sleep. It continued throughout the morning into the afternoon which was a good thing. I finally got caught up on work since i couldn't distract myself with the house or anything else.

I've been feeling like a bad writer and sometimes i really am. Recently i wrote an article for a magazine that was assigned and the topic less than interesting since it really is just an informative piece and doesn't leave much room for creativity. What doesn't help is when you set up an appointment to interview a group of people, you drive an hour to get there getting lost twice from their directions, get there finally for the people to not be ready and ask you to leave the questions with them and they will fax the answers to you. Okay fine. They finally fax the info for it to be not really what you asked for or needed and leaving you one day to write the dang thing. The magazine sent it back asking me to rework it...mostly the information i was given (how can i help that??? grrr). So that means i have to reinterview the people who were so difficult to begin with and wait for their answers again (they still haven't returned my phone call today). Of course the article sucked. It's half their fault and half mine. As my personal assistant/editor, i.e. my husband, says the book reviews i write show that i'm a great writer, but the miscellaneous ones just aren't good because my heart isn't into it. It's hard sometimes. Book reviews are easy for me...well they are actually hard for me to do, but mostly because i put more into them because i know more people are going to read it, and the author of the book will read it, and because it's a piece of art i'm critiquing. It's important to me even if it doesn't pay as much as the others. And it's fun to be creative with them cause there's room to play with language in them. So why can't i do that with these boring topics (i really do mean boring too)? I guess i'm just going to have to make these people answer my questions, and i'm going to rewrite this thing putting my heart into it. Yeah right. I'm going to get the dang thing done and then wash my hands of it. I really should work on my own book but i'm just so unmotivated or too busy. I want to know it's going to get published and have a deadline to get it done by. I don't function without deadlines cause i can't get started if i can't procrastinate. That may not have made sense so i'll show my working process:

Day 1: get assignment with deadline.
Day 15: Deadline is 5 days away. I pull out material needed to review. I review it and start mulling over what i'll say in my head.
Day 18: Deadline is tomorrow. Uh oh. Stress. Why did i put it off? Ugh, the blank page is stressing me out. Okay i just have to get something down. A draft at least. Okay draft done. Wow, the draft really sucks. That's okay the page has something on it. Okay, deadline is tomorrow. Stress out. Drink coffee so i can get more stressed out or at least be hyper while being stressed out. Rework the article once.
Day 19: Spent day and night working on frantically. Hate it for the first half of the day. Aw, there...great i like it now. Send it off on time. :-)

If i start the actual writing process i guarantee all my writing would suck. I need pressure. I have proof too. When i was in college and would start writing a paper or start studying for a test a week or so before it was due it would suck and i'd get a bad grade. When i wrote the paper two days before, and spent the next day editing (much like i do things now) or cramming the two nights before i'd get A's. I just need pressure to get anything done.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

2 thoughts

1. Wallpaper really really sucks. It's ugly anyhow so why do people even put it up. Some of the houses we looked at before buying this one had so much up. In every room and very tacky stuff. This house at least only has two rooms done. I guess the realtor told them to have it removed before listing it. Thank God for that cause just one room has kept me busy. It sucks to remove this stuff and they put it right on drywall so you can't use a steamer on it and it takes hours to get down. Yuck.

2. The weather rocks. 80 degrees twice in a week. It's so beautiful and everything is turning green and blooming. It's just awesome this time of year here. I dread the hot humid summer though.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Lots of work!

A house is a lot more work than it looks! We haven't done much else but house stuff for the longest time. We did do a few geocaches this weekend near our new home which was fun. I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green chilis, and coriander and they already sprouted (3 days or so after sowing the seeds) and they are already getting tall. Everything is turning green here now and flowering too. So much fun. I just can't wait to move in now. The only problem is the huge flying bumblebee looking things. These "bees" are huge...more like a hummingbird size than a bee size and i've been running from them everytime we are outside over there. Found out this weekend though that apparantly this breed doesn't sting - that is if they have white faces which usually i'm not willing to get close enough to see. Even so they are huge and annoying and all over so we have to figure out how to get rid of them.

Finally got a few articles done. Have another one due this week. Things are just crazy busy right now. Exciting though!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Anwers to Zack's Questions...

How did you and M meet?

Oh boy...he's not gonna like me admitting this one and you may get a good laugh but on I was tired of people trying to marry me off after i converted and since there were only two single shia guys in denver the odds weren't so great...decided to do it myself online. We talked for a few months on the phone and agreed to marry before we even met or even saw what each other looked like. We met in person a few months later then got our parents involved and the rest is history.

Give us a tour (in words or images) of the house you are getting.

Better yet, just come by. :-) We're inviting you guys over as soon as we get it all done and moved in...probably 2 or 3 weeks. But anyhooo... You walk in the door and there is a great room and dining room with hardwood floors, then a great big kitchen, living room with cathedral ceilings and a stone stacked fireplace, and there's a guest bedroom on the bottom floor. Upstairs are the bedrooms.

What is the best thing you like about Atlanta?

I was very tempted to leave this blank lol. But, i have to admit that the restaurants here rock...there's tons of unique restaurants that have great menus. I also like the cool little nieghborhoods like Little Five Points, Virginia Highlands, and whatnot. I love Ru San's Sushi also. I also like how hawks soar above you as you drive far out on I-85. There always seems to be a ton of them just soaring...reminds me of the verse in the Qur'an that says all of God's creations pray in their individual way...this is what i think when i see them...and how good that must feel. It truly is a spiritual thing to see.

What sort of books do you like to read? What are the best fiction and non-fiction books you like?

I hardly ever get to read for fun these days since i've been reviewing a lot of books lately but if I could read something for fun right now i'd pick a chick lit book (something mindless) - and right now i'm into Muslim and Indian fiction - call it cliff notes for the culture i married into. For non fiction I mostly read the Quran, religious books, history, or political science (noam chomsky/howard zinn sort of stuff). Philosophy is very cool too. The next few i want to read are: The Namesake, What the Body Remembers and one of the books you recommended to me about partition.

How did you survive Colorado winters?

I loved the winters there because it's actually pretty warm. On every sunny day i'd often go hiking or - on the snow days, i loved watching movies. It only actually snows about 10-15 days and it melts pretty fast. It's really not as cold as it looks. It's colder here to me because of all the moisture. I miss how in the morning the cold brisk air hits your face and wakes you up, by mid morning, the sun is out and you only need a sweater on, and then the afternoon is nice and warm in the sun. I wouldn't call it survival...i'd call it enjoyable. I truly miss mountain crisp clean air.

Monday, March 21, 2005


So we spent the weekend attempting to take down wallpaper (didn't succeed) and doing yardwork and other miscellaneous things around the house. Lots of work but fun too. We can't wait to move in!

My posts will probably be boring for a bit until things get situated. We met our neighbors though which was cool. All seem very cool so far. It is definately a diverse neighborhood. We have a little bit of everything.

Got Zack's questions for the Blogger Interview Game and will post my answers soon. Until then i'm off to do house stuff, errands, and write two articles.

I need to interview someone tomorrow for an article i'm writing which sucks. I hate interviewing people. I'm a weird species. I'm social but also antisocial. I get so nervous meeting new people and interviewing people for articles. It's one reason i dropped the Journalism major for the generic English Writing. I cringe in social situations, but once i am there in the moment everything is okay...but the nervousness beforehand is bad. Not many people know this about me...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

many tangent post

What a weird weekend with that psycho running around. Crazy thing is I actually drove downtown right after it happened thinking that anyone who shoots a judge would have been caught right then and there. Wrong. Typical Georgia - can't get nothing done right. Then yesterday right across the street a guy jumps off the parking garage to his death. They left his body there all day as they don't remove bodies here i guess until the case is closed. Weird. Then i watched the news and learn that Atlanta ranks 90 on the safety level of cities which included quality of life. That makes sense of why i don't like it here. Today i looked online to see exactly where Atlanta ranks and it is the third most dangerous city in the US following Camden NJ and Detroit MI. That's not saying much. was one of those weekends where i was really hating Atlanta and now i know why i don't like it here. If i got out and met more people i might like it better. I really only know a few here. Those i do know are very cool though.

So...enough of the whining... The good stuff of the weekend. We went and looked at our house and are getting excited about the closing and moving in. We sat in the backyard for a little while looking at the lake and the herons and ducks etc. Our neighbor came out and introduced himself to us and seemed very cool. He told us about the rest of the neighborhood and it seems very diverse. We have two Middle Eastern families (not sure if they are Muslim or not but that be a bonus), one or two desi families, a couple Chinese families, one black family, etc. Sounds good. We drove around the area and found the library and looked around. Found a desi store very close and it was very clean and even had halal meat (it was indian not pakistani) and bollywood rentals. There's also an indian clothing store right there. But this was perhaps the best thing - while in the store, not a single person stared or the usual stop and then stare. They just walked around normal and one woman my age actually smiled at me. Oh my! So much better than the usual one we go to where it seems all talking stops as we walk in the door.

So excited to move in! The flowers and herbs are already sprouting there too. The previous owners have some great flowers and a container garden going. Can't wait to get my tomato plants, corriander, and green chilis going. This house just may make me like Georgia a little bit more. At least the people at the library probably don't stink like the ones do at the two libraries around here do. Not that we are in a bad area...we are just in an urban area and now we are close to the burbs. I never thought i'd like the burbs but i'm looking forward to the comfort of greenery and sounds of nature. No more fire engines for me nor aggravating neighbors. Woo hoo.

Oh yeah...also saw Bride and Prejudice - not your typical Bollywood but it made us laugh out loud. Cute.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Spring is in the air!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Questions for ya'll...

Sorry about the delay...


1. How does it feel to be a dad?
2. What do you like and dislike about Atlanta?
3. Do you ever miss Pakistan? If so, what about it?
4. How did you and Amber meet?
5. Describe the perfect meal.


1. How long have you lived in Pakistan? Did you ever live in the US? Which do you like better and why? I would love to hear how your parents got together too. (Aha...snuck in free questions...tee hee hee)
2. What is your favorite book and why?
3. Where is the best place you travelled and why did you like it best?
4. Why do you think you and your sister are so close?
5. How did you meet your husband?

Umm Zee

1. What was the one thing that made you convert to Islam? We all have multiple reasons but what was the "thing" that convinced you to actually say shahadah?
2. What was the last thing you read?
3. Who is one living person that you live up to and why?
4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
5. What piece of writing (of yours) are you most proud of?

(posted already at Sunni Sister - see link on right)


1. What was the most spiritual moment during hajj for you?
2. What made you want to teach? Did you choose high school age for a certain reason?
3. Where is your favorite place in Colorado?
4. What is your favorite possession and why?
5. If you could make three wishes right now, what would they be?

(her answers are in the comments)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Masooma's interview questions...who wants to play?


Here's how you can play the interview game:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me." The first five commenters will be the participants.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions.
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (Write your own questions or borrow some.)

1. What is the biggest difference between married and unmarried life?

The calm and peaceful feeling it gives me. Being unmarried i had no idea where i'd end up or with who. I like knowing that i know who i'll be spending the rest of my life with (insh'Allah). I was much more sporadic single - now I'm more balanced. Found the yang for my yin. Now i'm complete.

2. How do you feel as a convert differently now compared to when you first converted?

Oh my....this bothers me so much. In the beginning i was so excited about Islam, i dove in head first and didn't come up for a breath. I loved everything about Islam - especially praying - i couldn't wait to pray. I also felt so sincere in prayer when i began and now sometimes it becomes something that needs to get done instead of something i want to do. I hate that i do this. My vision of Islam has also changed dramatically.

3. What's the best writing job you ever had?

Well...right now i am working on a novel and it's the best as far as enjoying that i've done. But the outcome is unknown and whether or not i get paid for it is also unknown. I loved writing screenplays and hope to do again and try and make in that world...we'll see. If we are actually talking about job like a paid job it depends. I love book reviewing but it doesn't pay a lot. I also write some real estate stuff which is easy and fast and decent money so i kind of like that and there's less time put into it. The Islamic stuff is all right too but still it's not exactly "mine". I like writing my own stuff though over all this. I didn't mind my days as a financial writer either. Well dang, it seems as though as long as i'm writing i'm okay. lol.

4. What is the best piece of fiction you ever read?

Oh my that's a hard one. I can't name just one piece so i will name three (which is hard enough as it is). Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet, The Petite/Little Prince by that French dude, and Rumi. Longer novels: Little Women, Catcher in the Rye, and The Chosen (and it's sequel) by Chaim Potok. Makes me sound really simplistic that i like the short pieces and what i consider youth literature. I guess it's because these books make me who i am. They are what formed me. A recent read that I loved was Life of Pi. Well wait, if i have to choose one piece of fiction that i ever read, it would actually be this photocopied piece of paper someone gave me and i don't know what it came from but i love it. I'll try and find it and post it. It's something I've lived by forever. I think it may still be in Colorado though.

5. If someone didn't grow up with good family, how do they learn to be a good family as adults?

I think it comes down to strength, desire, being conscious of the possible problems, and inner state of being. Even if someone didn't grow up in a good family, they can decide to have a good family and do what is necessary. Sure it won't be as easy but as long as the desire to not do the same things is there, it will be fine. My life as a kid wasn't a bowl of cherries that's for sure, but I have a strong desire to be a good mother and to not follow in my own families path and to create my own family life and tradition. I also believe that my choice of a husband had a large part to do with family. I know he will be a great father and together we'll do our best. Having trust in Allah is key. As they say, the answer to all problems is the distance between the prayer rug and the knees. I believe when you want something bad enough, you can make it be with Allah's help. It does take effort though and realizing what still lurks within (bad behavioral traits) and confronting those things before having kids.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

that haseena gori gori chori chori song...

Can someone please provide me the words in Urdu??? I've been searching all over and can't find it. You know - the song done at the mendhi... please please please send it to me....

and Masooma...i'll post answers insh'Allah soon to the questions. :-)