Friday, September 29, 2006

HELP I work in an office where non Muslims offer me food out of KINDNESS!


It's Ramadan! Yay! I await this month every year with sooooo much hope. That squirming anticipation. No, really. I love Ramadan.

I think it's the challenge of it. The feeling of growing closer to the One, plus the accomplishment of serving him with my fast.

It's not really the social stuff because I seem to be socially isolated every year since I left GW around Ramadan. Boo.

But this is the first year I'm fasting while working somewhere I LOVE, masha'Allah! And it's great!... Except that the people are nice here.

My boss (who'll be leaving soon, he's already packed up his things, I'm sad but I digress) has had to make me eat in the past. This is because I'll be all focused on my work or whatever and just forget to eat. Then I turn into a very polite crankypot. And he found out early on that the way to turn me back into non-spinning-head-fire-breathing-Twenny was to ORDER me out of the office to get food, order it for me, or otherwise force me to focus on nothing but food.

So, Boss has had to quit doing that. He's such a nice guy that he keeps coming into the office at 'lunchtime' and being like, "I'm going for food, d'you,... oh, wait. Never mind."

At which point I say sweetly, "Buen provecho" (enjoy your meal) and let it pass.

But Today.


Today they have Dunkin Donuts. Sitting on the desk across from me. I cannot leave. The donuts may have to go in the trash. This is the challenge for me.

For the past hour and a half (at least) I've been telling myself allllll the reasons I fast. That I'm leaving my urges for the Sake of Allah. That the smell of my breath is sweeter than musk to Allah right now. That hellfire is not worth a donut that will undermine all my efforts to slim down on top of breaking my fast. Oh, help.

Insha'llah just 2 hours and change to go.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thank you, Michelle Singletary



I love reading 'The Color of Money'.

This week's Sunday article is about student loan debt.

It's nice to have an outside source back up my internal feelings.
I'd love to get the degree I want. Love it love it love it.
And in fact, a bachelor's degree in this country is pretty much necessary to live any sort of comfortable lifestyle.

HOWEVER: debt. is. BAD.

I've chosen at times to believe that it's okay to have student loans. But I can say 'no' to having any more. This means that I have to be one of the top in my field in order to pull a scholarship to become a nurse-midwife (and I'm STILL telling my fans that is my goal insha'Allah), but at this point... so glad I didn't go to Columbia. I might be 50 years old when I reach that goal, but I'll do it without debt. Insha'Allah. and Amin ya Latif.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Broked It :(


So. I'm all ecstatic that Ramadan begins.

And I get up for suhoor really early, then I GO TO THE GYM after Fajr and before the 'lack of food' kicks in. Just as I would if it were a normal saturday, except earlier.

That accomplished, I completed my day, break fast (with soy milk and a fig instead of the dates I never did get), made daal and greens, etc, feeling great. Remembered to drink water.

SO. Then I decide that I want to listen to the 1st section of Qur'an. I happily pop my limited edition-King Faad-Arabic-English-Malay-Indonesian-got-it-from-a-friend-Qur'an CD into my roomie's computer.

Now, I've had this CD for months, and though I've been meaning to replace it, I haven't since every CD of the Qur'an that I've ever seen runs like $100. I can't see spending that when I have Qur'an I can read on paper for free; it's just that on nights (ok, every night so far but I digress) that I can't go to the night prayers or otherwise HEAR recitation, I can pop this CD into the computer, hear the arabic, read along in arabic and english on the screen, and be happy listening to Qur'an.

But tonight, the correct screen with the 'cover' of the qur'an came on screen. I heard, "Bismillah irRahman irRaheeeeeeeem" as usual.

Then *POP*.

I nearly jumped out of my skin; the night's been mad windy so at first I thought a fuse or an electrical line blew.

But NOW. The screen gave an error. I pushed the button to release the CD, my heart sinking because... the port opened to reveal a Qur'an CD in pieces.

"I broked it!" I wailed.

Now, I did remove all the pieces I could, but just piecing them together on a paper, I didn't get the whole CD. The machine is apparently digesting the rest. So now I'm upset on two fronts: I've potentially wrecked my roomie's very nice computer, and I have no Qur'an recitation.

I'll have to tell her in the morning, since she's gone out for the night. I guess I'll go read from the Qur'an Translation (as so many have so nicely pointed to me.

*sigh*. Subhan'Allah.


Ramadan Mubarak! Shana Tova! Blessings on us all!

assalamu alaikum

shalom aleichem

peace be unto you

May your fasts be accepted, may your year be blessed, may we all live with the blessings of The Most High, amin.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dates, and recipes. DC locals, comment please!

***Dictator Princess*** gets on finishing those fasts...


*My grandmother is coming out of intensive care by Monday, insha'Allah. One of her daughters managed to be there for every day of her hospitalization masha'Allah, although not all of them at any time. She had to have a more intense surgery to correct some problems but she's done and recovering, all praise to the Most High.*

Okay, so now I'm flippin' out about not having dates.
yes, Ramadhan will start by the end of this week, insha'Allah. This area happens to be FULL OF MUSLIMS so I'm not crazy- I just don't do California Dates. (Appropriately, I said this in front of mad people on a Saturday at a PX. Must be losing my mind. However, in spite of the glares I did not relent. I like the sticky medjool dates, pref. with pits so I can make my mouth work around them. Yes. Yes. Date-y goodness.)

So if you know where to get good dates the week before Ramadhan in the DC Metro (as in, I can ask my roomies to drive about 30 miles before rebellion- no, my loan papers haven't come in yet), SPILL THE BEANS!

This year I'm all about recipes that I can cook ahead. Like DP as well, for a lot of this month I'll still have some time to go when I get off work, but I know myself. While I like my roomies, unfortunately they will not be out of my way when I need to get home and get in the kitchen and cook some food. Thus the need for crockpot and other food goodness that can be made ahead and frozen, or even just partially prepared.

Bring on the recipes!

I'm also excited the fact that I may actually be able to make it out to ADAMS for the night prayers, AND Insha'Allah I'll be able to keep going after the fast ends. So none of your sniping about being a Ramadhan Muslim, Baba 'Ali. Just worked out that way. Masha'Allah. There's supposedly an Islamic Center close to me, in Alexandria. I just keep hearing about ADAMS so I'm mad curious. Lots of folk my age go there. And you know the motive for being around folk my age.

The other thing I'm excited for is that I got a membership to a gym. Rather excited about this. But since suhoor is so early, I don't know if it's prudent to go early in the morning, or instead to break fast, eat light, go to gym, and then come back home and eat 'real food'. Experienced readers are invited to post. And none of this 'skip the gym', I'll be paying for it either way and this is a good month to be starting excellent habits. I wouldn't be going long, just half an hour, but insha'Allah I'd like to go nearly every day.

One last thing: who's taking the 3-day 'Eid? I've never done this before BUT I'm working at a great place now, and since I'll be working during the week of Christmas and 'Eidul Adha may insha'Allah fall on New year's Eve, I can swing the longer holiday. Anyone know the Islamic (ahem, religious not cultural) precedent for that? Please advise.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Duas please.


Wow, just as I wrote the below post, the next day my grandmother went back into the hospital. I got a call from my mother saying she was flying down, and that grandma is in intensive care. Scary scary. I find myself reaching for God not for myself but for my mother and her sisters and my grandfather.

please make Du'a that Allah's will be done in this. I want her to recover but I also don't want her to suffer. Does that make sense?


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gettin' in the groove


Sorry it's been a while.

I'm still alive.

Still loving my job, and loving that I live close to it.

I saw my great-grandmother the other day. She's fine. In fact, when she left this area she was going to take care of my grandmother, her daughter in law. No worries there. Masha'Allah, my grandmother is getting much better. She was "low sick", in G'mama's opinion.

Few other things:

UmmZ: The USA'll miss you, but I'm sure you'll make the most of life and living wherever you are. Looking forward to hearing about 'Amman adventures.

Shabana: You're hitting it on the spot lately with your posts. And you could look at your 'not having an identity' this way: you came to being a mother as your own person, fuly formed after 30+ years. Many mothers don't get that. If you're worried about it, I don't see you wallowing around in the worry. You'll be back to your identity-affirming self rather soon. That's how I met you, remember?

Enjoy your baby, she's precious and even my own mother says my baby days went too fast. And we talk at least once a week no matter how many oceans separate us. One day at a time, mama.

Sherry: Congrats on your new nephew! And enough with the snarky comments by phone and commentbox, or I'll think you don't love me anymore. I still love you, I'm just busy enjoying (FINALLY) the upswing in my fortunes.

I can't promise that I'll be over here more often, but Ramadhan is coming, and I'm getting settled in for some long days of fasting, praying, reading, listening, and writing. So maybe I'll be here more. I've found that each year my anticipation of Ramadhan grows. It's like a sort of month-long retreat-in-place for me. Thanks to the Dictator Princess for her tips on anticipating the month, I've already started.

In the meantime, do check out IzzyMo, who generally has good stuff up; the DictatorPrincess, because often I find myself saying, "Yeah, what she said", and Baraka, just to name a few highlights from my sidebar.

and i'm out like shout.