Friday, October 29, 2010

cheer me up.

I kind of had a terrible day today. It was just one on "those" days. It all started with it being suggested that I might have ADHD and from there it just escalated. I hate when I just don't feel good about things. I can feel myself pushing people away and not being able to react rationally to how I feel. Luckily, God created Adrien Brody and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Nothing makes me happier than watching Mr. Brody being his ruggedly adorable self on my home television screen and tis the season to stuff one's self with seasonal treats like cookies with pumpkin in them. I feel better already but enough deflecting. I need to make some changes. I need to feel better for reals.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


too hectic.
too sick.
too cold.
too busy.
too many choices.
too many people.
too many things to do.
too exhausted to walk down stairs to turn off the beeping alarm clock.
too hungry, not enough energy to make anything.
too much, too fast.
not enough time, energy, or caffeine in the world.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Connecting with old friends

This is Dar al-Wefaq. The women's shelter I taught in during the summer and the home to some incredible women.
This week, I got a friend request on Facebook from someone I thought was a stranger. Since Jordan, I have become accustomed to receiving odd friend requests from random Arabs. Fact: Arabs are the most interesting FB friends. They love to chat randomly and they love posting odd quizzes and gifts from games on their friend's wall. After awhile I stopped adding the random people who had found me on Facebook But this new request was different from the others.

The request was from an Iraqi refugee whom I had worked with while volunteering at the women's shelter she was staying at. I had a group of 4 Iraqi women at the shelter who treated me like I was one of their own. These four women were different from the other beneficiaries at the shelter because they were the longterm residents. All of them were waiting to be moved by the UNHCR to America or any country where they could start their lives over again. Daily life at Dar al Wefaq is not easy. The women who live their have no means of educational resources or ways of passing their time productively. Last summer, I was there only source of entertainment and outside communication. The grief, pain, and hopelessness the women feel while biding their time plunges every one of them into deeper states of unhappiness. Dalia was different. She was always so apt to learn and to try the activities I planned. She was one of my most diligent English students because she very much wanted to live in the U.S. I could not believe it when she chatted with me on Facebook last night. After over 9 months of living in this shelter she finally made it to the U.S. She isn't too far from me either. She is living in her own apartment in Arizona. She is incredible but I can't imagine how hard the transition has been on her. She has no job as of recently but I am sure their are organizations helping her with job placement.

A few weeks ago, I went to Salt Lake to go to a refugee mentor orientation. The exposure and experience I had with Iraqi refugees made me want to help them while in my own country. Unfortunately, I couldn't volunteer this semester because of schedule conflicts but hopefully my school schedule will not bear me down too much next semester. When I went to the IRC offices, I was overwhelmed with memories and feelings of awe towards the organizations our country has for refugees from all over the world. I just hope that maybe there will be a student or a volunteer who will help Dalia in her times of need. I can't imagine what it would be like to be so far away from your family and everything you know and just start over. She is an amzing woman and I am so happy she was able to find me. We have each other's number so I hope to stay close to this person who cared for me while I was in a foreign and sometimes scary place.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

And the winner is..........

My sister was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago and her life has been drastically different ever since. She submitted this picture to a photo contest for a diabetes group and she won. She is quite the wit. The blood is a little gross but it is a a daily reality for my kk. I love you, sissy.

being a grown up is hard

Recently, I have been receiving strange calls at odd hours in the day from some Oregonian number. I finally call the suspicious number to see what the people on the other line have to say and I discovered it was the bank calling. Wells Fargo to be more specific. Every grown ups worse nightmare is having the money peoples after them. The money peoples told me that I had over 100 dollars that I owed on my Wells Fargo credit card. I had a hard time accepting this reality since I never received a death sentence in the form of a card that can both build your credit or obliterate it in one foul swoop so headed to the place where all the money is kept to find someone to talk to about this issue. So, I spoke with Kim, a friendly accounts manager, and she helped me work things out but unfortunately working things out meant I had to dish out 98 bucks to pay some dumb overdraft charges. I learned the lesson of money management today like a real grown up.

Another added pleasure was getting a call my dad saying that my mother is worried about me getting married. She doesn't want me to a be a spinster like my older brother. She is worried I might pick a professional life over a family life.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

You are so hip Justin Gish

I took the time to listen and look at the handsome faces that make the music I love today while cramming for a certain midterm. In my perusal of pictures of Zach Condon from Beirut, I stumbled upon a familiar looking eastern European hat. Mr. Condon was sporting the same Soviet cap that my pal Justin Gish also wore for a photo opportunity. Funny coincidence.
The most uncanny resemblance my professionally bearded friend makes is to the indie sensation Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The flannel, beard, and ginger red hair never lies. Justin Gish, I think you might have a future as a quirky indie musician/performer.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feeling Cute

Gap was having a Bajillion Dollar Off Sale Extravaganza and I purchased this blouse for 10 bucks! They only had extra large left but the shirt functions well as a dress over leggings. I felt real dressy today even though my leggings usually only function as bed wear. I didn't have a class till 1:30 so I was able to put my contacts in and do my hair. Every time I do my hair for school, people always ask if I got a hair cut. I have not cut my hair in over 5 months. I think my hair shrinks more than it grows.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Missing Ma'louba

I talked to my host mom on Facebook today and she said they were eating Ma'louba for dinner. Ma'louba translates to mean upside down. The meal is exactly that. You layer the ingredients in a huge pan and then when it is all cooked you flip it over onto a giant platter. the main veggies in Ma'louba can be interchangeable. The dish consists of rice as the base, chicken, fried potatoes, eggplant, and carrots. Top with yogurt and you have the most delicious Arab comfort food.

It was one of my first Middle Eastern dishes and although it is a very simple dish, it is my favorite food. It should have its own food group.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Star Struck by Surfer Blood

I am still smirking from last night's concert at the Urban Lounge. This would be my first show at this venue and  I found the atmosphere light and the crowd friendly. It was 12:30 when Surfer Blood finally hit the stage. Their performance was great. I had never listened to them before and I thought they were interesting performers. I was front and center for the whole show and I didn't take my eyes off of the lead singer and guitarist, John Paul Pitts.

I seriously stared at him through all of his songs and he kept looking at me. I even made him smile a few times during the songs. I am not much of a dancer at shows. I much prefer really observing the performers and the little details of a live show( hence the staring). When they were done I reached out and asked for the guitar pick that he had been using all night. I was trying to get it so I could one up my friend who got the drum sticks from the earlier band. He then looked directly at me and with a knowing look, smiled, and then proceeded to walk off stage............

Encore time:
Mr. lead vocals and guitarist was called back on stage and he played a few of his slower ballad-type songs. I continued to stare just to see if he would keep staring.................

then......the shows ends. My friend is trying very hard to get something from John Paul. John Paul leans down and untapes the set list from the sweat stained stage. Then, he places the set list in my hand, leans over and whispers in my ear, "can I buy you a drink?"


I was so surprised and tickled by the invitation but reality hit hard when I realized that I was not going to be able to hang out with the baby-faced musician since I was there on a date. After the show, the people closest to me in the crowd asked me what he had said. I told the girl closest to me what he had said and she gave me a large pat on the back. I also tried to look to my friends and date for advice on my next mode of action. My friend Christian asked me to get his autograph for him. So, I went up and chit-chatted (everyone who knows me, knows how I do that.) and I told him that I wouldn't be able to get that drink with him. He said that we could just hang out for a bit. I then threw in the fact that I had a midterm that morning and gave him one last "you were really great and so cute" and then left with the boy I came with.

Even though I am sure that the guy just wanted some after concert action, I do wish that I would have been able to grab that drink with him.....the bar might've had a dr. pepper somewhere. A few days later he added me on facebook and told me that maybe we could hang the next time the band comes to Salt Lake. Who knows? Maybe we will get that drink sometime. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Police BEAT

It feels good to beat the police.......

Monday, October 4, 2010

Staying on task

I use to consider myself a pretty intelligent girl but I realize that I am not very smart at managing time. I wish I could be like those people who can just go sit anywhere quiet and get all their work done. I am more of a just-barely-passing type. This attitude will simply not do.

I always say that I am turning over a new leaf and that I will do better every new semester. Well, this is my public announcement to everyone: I might not be as fun as I use to be this semester. I am tired of just getting by. I really want to work hard and do the best I can. The reality of my upcoming study abroad in Egypt is haunting. The stakes have been raised since last year and actually making it into the program is not a sure thing even if I am a MESA student.

This is scary.

I want to do better. I remember that Sunday school lesson that advised all of us in class that a written goal is a lot more likely to be accomplished than a abstract mental goal.
This is my goal:
Get a B in Arabic(insha allah)..........A's in the rest of my classes.

thanks to my friend Garrett who has inspired me to use my school day hours wisely.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The forbidden fruit

I know that the Bible clearly states that it is a sin to covet thy neighbor's possessions. But since the first day I saw the fruitful branches that hang over into my backyard area behind my apartment, I have wanted to pick the heavenly smelling peaches that dangle from the tree.
On my initial evaluation of the situation, I was afraid that we might have been too late in picking the peaches. There were smooshed, decaying, and buggy peaches everywhere. The best of the best peaches were at the very top of the tree. So, I enlisted the help of my taller room mate Mira to help me in my quest for the sweet morsels.

Alas, we were both ineffective in our goal due to us being vertically disadvantaged. We then had our chivalrous friend, Rani, fetch a chair and shake some branches for us. He was able to pull a ladder from the other side of the fence and use it to retrieve the ripened treats.

After collecting a shirt full of peaches without being discovered and yelled at by our neighbors........I still have no idea what I want to do with them
But When you neighbor's peach tree gives you peaches, you make.........cobbler?