Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Censored

I guess it's time for my Rite of Passage into the blogging world. It's the age-old blogging question since ancient times.

Do you censor yourself?

In this struggle, I've seen many of you leave blogging for a time because it can be so frustrating. And now, I am thinking about this question myself. Do I censor myself? Do I censor for other people?

I am not a perfect person. I am human, and I have made many mistakes in my life. I don't use this blog to share my deepest, darkest secrets with the world, but I do try to share myself. I try not to be offensive, but at some point, it's bound to happen.

For example, I am so sick and tired of people dancing around the word Christmas. People are offended that the White House puts up a Christmas Tree, and calls it that. They are acting like the White House is putting a giant cross in the lawn and putting up a neon sign proclaiming "Jesus Is Lord." They're not doing that! That would be offensive, but a freaking decorated tree is not! And furthermore, I have known Jews, Muslims and Hindus who enjoy Christmas. And now people are even offended if winter events are called Holiday Parties. Well, I just want to say that I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa. And I expect many of you to wish me an Eid Mubarak in January. These days are celebrations, and should be enjoyed by whoever chooses to enjoy them. I am not offended. I LOVE THE HOLIDAY SEASON! See, someone probably just got offended.

All I am trying to say is that this is my space. It's my chance to give you a glimpse into the humanity that is me.

I have fallen. But I have risen again. I wish I could go back and rewrite certain parts of my life, but I can't.

This blog is my story. And if I censor myself too much, you won't know me. So while I am conscious of what I write, I try to be open.

If you take one thing from my blog, I hope it's that you truly understand that I am your fellow human. And that one connection, regardless of my religion, political beliefs or whatever should supersede all of it. Maybe if everyone understood that, this world would be a better place.
posted by Anisa @ 10:51 AM | 35 comments


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Me Me Me

Thanks for tagging me, Puggy Spice!

10 Favorites:

Favorite Season: Summer (because my birthday is in the summer!)
Favorite Sport: I like to watch college football. As far as actually doing something, I like to bowl and work out. Okay, I hate working out.
Favorite Time: When I get home from work!
Favorite Month: June
Favorite Actor: Maybe Al Pacino.
Favorite Actress: I like Susan Sarandon.
Favorite Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia and Breyer's Neapolitan
Favorite Food: Pizza and chocolate
Favorite Drink: Hot chocolate this time of year
Favorite Place: Home (both in Georgia and Mississippi), Savannah, NYC, New Orleans (the way I remember it)

9 Currents:

Current Feeling: Happy, as I am eating lunch!
Current O/S: Windows 2003
Current Windows Open: RealOne Player, Blogger, Microsoft Access, AOL Instant Messenger
Current Drink: Water
Current Time: 12:24 PM EST
Current Mobile(s) Used: LG L1400I
Current Show on TV: No TV on at work!
Current Thought: I love apple with peanut butter.
Current Clothing: Chocolate brown gauchos, sheer-ish light brown sweater with tan tank underneath, gold heels

8 Firsts:

First Nick: Not sure what this means...but there used to be an intern in DC whose name was Nick, but we would make fun of him and call him Nikki
First Kiss: Y'all, I was a late bloomer...my first real kiss was when I was 18...DO NOT make fun of me, as I am very sensitive about this. :)
First Crush: I have liked boys for as long as I can remember...my first crush was a boy named Aaron in kindergarten. He was the first of a long line of crushes who I became good friends with!
First Computer: I don't even know what it was...but it operated on DOS
First Vehicle I drove: 1995 Honda Accord LX...charcoal
First Job: Babysitting which I HATED!!!, first "real" job was an office assitant for an apartment owner/real estate appraiser when I was 18
First Movie I watched on Pulse Global’s print: I don't even understand this question...
First Pet: A doggie named Dilly
First Shave(men)/hairstyle(women): I have gotten haircuts as long as I can remember...my first was done by my grandmother when I was a baby. It is a Muslim tradition to shave off the baby's first hair, as the next hair that grows back is stronger and thicker.

7 Lasts:

Last Chai (Tea) : I made chai for Bert a few weeks ago when he was sick and had a sip.
Last Movie: Veer-Zaara (my very first Indian movie ever)
Last Time I Drove: This morning to work
Last Time Shaved(men)/Beauty parlour visit(women): Um...I guess about 2 months ago for a haircut and about a week ago for eyebrow waxing
Last Web Site Visited: www.hotmail.com
Last Software Installed: Not a clue...maybe Mozilla Firefox
Last Pill I Had: Generic Claritin this morning

6 Have You Evers:

Have You Ever Broken the Law: Yep. But I have gotten out of all speeding tickets! (knock on wood)
Have You Ever Been Bad: Y'all, Mama reads this!
Have You Ever Climbed a Tree: Oh yeah...my grandmother's mimosa tree in her front yard...no longer there
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: *embarassed face*
Have You Ever Been in the Middle/Close to Gunfire or Bomb Blast: Just when Daddy and I would shoot
Have You Ever Broken Anyone’s Heart: Not that I'm aware...

5 Things:

Things You Can Hear Right Now: Guster's "Long Way Down"...AMAZING song
Things on Your Computer Table: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, phone, picture of me and Bert, pens, post-it notes, calendar, etc.
Things on Your Bed: Sheets, down comforter, six pillows, throw blankie, bed skirt
Things You Ate Today: Pria bar, Weight Watcher's Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo meal, apple with peanut butter
Things in Mind: I'm thirsty.

4 Places You Have Been Today:

Bed
Bathroom
Car
Work

3 people I can tell almost anything to:

Bert, Mama, Appi

2 Choices:

Black or White: Black (preferably hot pink!)
Hot or Cold: Hot...I HATE being cold!

1 Thing You Want To Do Before You Die:

Too many for just one...so I'll pick have children, have a great career, be a loving and supportive wife, and leave my mark...and I hope it's a big one for something good. :)

But most of all, I want to die with a clear conscience, and for those left behind to know they were loved.
posted by Anisa @ 12:11 PM | 19 comments


Monday, November 28, 2005

Thankful

It's amazing how a bag of Dum Dum lollipops makes my little cousins so happy! Above is my adorable cousin Sommer. She is posing for y'all, as she was very excited about the prospect of being on Anisa's web site! I love you, Huckles!

Anyway, Thanksgiving was wonderful. Bert and I spent part of the time in Mississippi and the rest in Huntsville, Alabama. It was great to spend so much time with my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Mama's Thanksgiving spread was so delicious that I can't even put it into words.

And I made deviled eggs, pecan pie and candy bar pie! I was quite proud that I don't sleep until noon anymore. I am actually a productive human being now!

We also got some shopping done, especially in Huntsville. I got some really cute, really cheap jewelry at Charlotte Russe. I guess if you pay $4 for something it's bound to break. I have already had to repair a necklace and bracelet! Oh well...

But I will say the strangest occurrence of the whole weekend was the fact that many stores don't stock sunglasses in the winter. I dropped mine and scratched them at a football game a few weeks ago, so I needed some new ones. I went into McRae's in Mississippi (a division of Belk's) and asked where they had moved their sunglasses.

"Ma'am, we only carry sunglasses in the spring and summer," said the sales associate.
"But the sun is out year-round," I replied, dumbfounded.

The lady agreed with me, but it still took me a very long time to find decent sunglasses this weekend! Many stores didn't carry them, or they had a very limited fall/winter supply. I finally settled on a tortoise shell pair at American Eagle. Very cute.

And somewhere in between the overeating, playing with kids and watching my very first Indian movie, I realized how blessed I truly am. Before, I would've been angry to wake up to the sounds of noisy kids. But this time, I found myself eager to get downstairs and play with them.

How I miss everyone already.
posted by Anisa @ 11:30 AM | 28 comments


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a time for all of us to reflect on the many blessings we have. So even though I worry enough to have woken this morning with two white hairs, I am happy I am alive and kicking. I am thankful I am so passionate about life.

To my family and friends, including all those in Blogland, I recognize what gifts I have in the form of relationships. And for that, I am grateful.

There's a million things that I need to give thanks for. But what I am most grateful for is the change within me--the slow change from pessimism to optimism. I am happy to carry around a much lighter heart. I'm not perfect, but I'm getting close. JUST KIDDING, Y'ALL!! I'm still not even close...

Seriously, though, I hope each of you has a great time with your families. May you enjoy all the yummy food that makes this such a fun weekend. Next week we can all diet together.

I'm going to see my Mama and Daddy...I'll be back Monday!
posted by Anisa @ 10:46 AM | 26 comments


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy 25th, Alligator

Today is my cousin Omer's 25th birthday. We are exactly five months apart in age, and have quite a history together.

When we were little, we would play together for hours. He made up a game called Alligator that we used to play at my grandmother's house. He would be on the floor, his scrawny little body writhing around, trying to catch my sister and I if we dared hit the floor. We climbed on beds and couches and dressers trying to escape the Alligator.

I also remember very clearly the day I decided to bite Omer. He was sitting there, minding his own business. I came up behind him and saw his bare neck. And I bit it. He leapt off the couch in pain, and my mom was so perplexed that she had a hard time even knowing what to say to me.

Omer, I am sorry I bit you.

We eventually grew apart as we got older. We lived hours away from each other and were living our own lives. When he would come visit, we would catch up. But we were somewhere in between Alligator and adulthood, each trying to find our own way.

I got married about four months before Omer in 2004. I told Mama I had beat Omer again. I always got to do everything first.

Bert and I now live about an hour from Omer and his wife, Naima. And as the distance has shortened, our friendship has grown once again. He was there for me during a difficult time in the spring, and we have celebrated many occasions this year.

I guess somewhere in between all of that, we have become more than cousins. He is like a brother to me. He is also a friend. So no matter how much we pick on each other, I know he will always be there for me. And as he turns 25 today, I wish only the best for him. I hope this year brings much happiness and success for him.

Because quite simply, he deserves it.
posted by Anisa @ 10:58 AM | 13 comments


Monday, November 21, 2005

Air Piano

I've been meaning to tell everyone what a great time Bert and I had at Ben Folds last Tuesday to celebrate two years of knowing each other. To hear the actual musician play your song...the song that defines your relationship and that was sung at your wedding is amazing. When Ben Folds began playing the first few notes of "The Luckiest," there was a huge smile on my face. Not even Crazy Sketchy Man (CSM as we referred to him) seated next to me, the group of 14-year old girls annoying us or the Whitest Man Attempting To Dance In America could take away from the specialness of the night.

Seriously, when is standing up and playing "air piano" considered dancing?

Anyway, you know someone loves you when they'll go with you to a concert even if they have a fever. I guess Bert really meant that "in sickness and in health" stuff.

Anyway, it was a magical night. We didn't win the lottery. We were tired. But we were happy and we were together.

Next Concert Stop: Bon Jovi.
posted by Anisa @ 3:10 PM | 20 comments


Friday, November 18, 2005

Accomplishments

I love feeling like I have checked a million things off a to-do list. And I don't think anything makes me feel better than to have a really, really clean house. Once the house is clean, I feel like a giant checklist has been completed.

I went home for lunch innocently enough. I was FREEZING, so I made myself some Chicken and Rotini soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I was just relaxing, when all of a sudden I decided to clean out the horribly messy closet in our study/guest room/Ariana's room/spare room/office/room Bert goes in when we fight.

And then I couldn't stop.

The bathroom's shining, the floors are sparkling, laundry is about done. You name it - I did it. And I feel fabulous.

This is going to be a nice weekend because I won't have to think about cleaning the house. This is good because this is The Big Bad Closet Swap Weekend. That's right, everyone. It's time to fully bring in my winter clothes to my closet and put my summer clothes in the aforementioned spare room.

It makes me want to scream just thinking about it.

But I sure am glad the house is clean. What makes you feel so accomplished? For me, it's when I feel like everything is in order. I don't have a pile of paperwork at home or work, my purse doesn't resemble a portable garbage can and everything's clean.

Oh, and the fact I just got accepted into graduate school feels pretty good too.
posted by Anisa @ 3:19 PM | 37 comments


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Please Don't Judge Me

I can't hold it in anymore.

I tried to spare you all from knowing of my intense emotion about MTV's Laguna Beach, but I can't contain it any longer.

When Monday's episode was over, I felt no closure. I had watched these high schoolers for an entire season and they didn't even really tell us what happened to them! Thank goodness I have The Hills to look forward to starring one of the main characters, L.C.

Anyway, I was finally getting over my Laguna devastation. And then, I came to the conclusion that they will not disappear. They will do outlandish things and land in the press just like all the other self-respecting starlets. That's because they're media whores.

Here's the big news: one of the LB stars, 19-year old Talan Torriero, just got engaged to Rod Stewart's daughter, Kimberly, 26.

They have been dating less than a week.

In our celeb-obsessed society, I'll always know what is going on with the stars of Laguna Beach. The stalkerazzi will chase them down and ensure that I know exactly when they last dined at Nobu.

Is it sad that I care about the recent grads of Laguna Beach High School (or whatever it's called)? Probably.

But I'm not the only one. My best friend and I have chatted at length about the show. Another dear friend and her husband are planning a trip to Laguna Beach because they love the show so much. And you, dear blog reader, you know you've probably seen some of it before too.

My name is Anisa and I am an unapologetic fan of Laguna Beach.
posted by Anisa @ 10:15 AM | 30 comments


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Access Anisa By Any Other Name...

I was reading Kiki's blog today where she talked about why she named her blog "Revolving Girl." It then hit me that I have never really shared where the title "Access Anisa" came from.

When I started blogging in May it was because I was looking for an outlet of creative expression. I knew that I loved to write, but I was worried my skills were becoming very rusty. I started out by sending out a few mass blog emails on Multiply.com, and soon after found out about Blogger. I never even really understood what a blog was before May, which is hard to believe now. It has become so much a part of my routine.

Anyway, I had to pick a name for my blog, and I had no idea what I would use. I only knew of a few other blogs, and I saw that some people used their names in their title, so I decided to do the same. It was always a dream of mine to see my name up in lights, so I figured this was my chance to spell out ANISA loud and proud.

Being obsessed with celebrities, I thought back to the television show Access Hollywood. I decided to use some alliteration and therefore came up with "Access Anisa." The idea behind the name was that through reading this blog, you would get to know me. Like Access Hollywood gives you a glimpse into the lives of people you don't know, I too, would give others a glimpse into my life. It would be an interesting way for family and friends to know what was going on with me. And soon, strangers started becoming friends. People were accessing me, that is - understanding me and knowing me. And you all know me better than some of my friends.

The "Strike A Pose" slogan of sorts comes from my love for Madonna (see previous post) and because I think we should all carry ourselves with our heads held high.

I never imagined I'd ever get more than a few comments a day, but as Access Anisa has grown, so have I. I guess something that started out as letting people understand and access me has turned into something entirely different.

I accessed myself.

For the first time in my life, I actually know me. And I don't think that would've been possible without this outlet of expression. I am not afraid of who I am; I am me. And in a little over half a year, that's been an amazing transformation.
posted by Anisa @ 12:44 PM | 18 comments


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

And I Am A Material Girl

When I was little, I would come home from school and put a little black dot above my lip. This was my Madonna Mole, and I wanted to be just like her. Actually, I wanted to be her.

She epitomized the '80's, and I was a little girl, so I couldn't really dress like her in "Like A Virgin" or anything. But I thought she was just the coolest woman in the entire universe. And "Material Girl" changed my world...that video meant glamour, beauty, sophistication.

I would try and find out anything I could about Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone Richie. I knew her full name long before the days of the internet; that's what World Almanacs are for. I just thought she was the greatest thing ever.

I remember convincing my parents to rent "Shanghai Surprise" for me with Madonna and Sean Penn. Gawd that movie was terrible. Nonetheless, I still loved her. And it was just recently I caught most of "Desperately Seeking Susan" on VH1.

But my dear Madonna turned, how shall I put it, trashy in the '90's with "Justify My Love" and "Truth Or Dare." I still remember being awake before my parents on a Saturday morning and catching "Express Yourself" on MTV. I wasn't allowed to watch it, but I couldn't help myself! I was shocked. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

My love affair with Madonna faded in the '90's and especially recent years. My Madonna would never kiss Britney Spears. My Madonna would never make craptastic music like "Music" (which it wasn't) and "Ray Of Light."

I just didn't like her any more.

She only got weirder with Kabbalah and such. She wanted people to call her Esther. Well, I missed Madonna! Who was this imposter?

And then, lo and behold, "Hung Up" hit the airwaves.

And again I am fascinated by her.

I stuck by Madonna during "Like A Prayer" when she was a brunette. I've been here for the births of Lourdes (Lola) and Rocco. I even hung in there when she was with Dennis Rodman.

All right, I think that's when she lost me.

But anyway, I am once again a huge Madonna fan. I can't wait to get many of her new songs for my iPod.

But I don't think she'll ever be quite the same Madonna to me without that mole. She better not get her gap tooth fixed.
posted by Anisa @ 12:29 PM | 25 comments


Monday, November 14, 2005

730 Days

Two years ago today was the second best day of my life. That was the day that I met you.

I walked into your house, not knowing what to expect. I still remember that I had on jeans, tan suede heels, a cream-colored sweater and sparkly hoop earrings. You had on some earrings yourself, but for some reason, that didn't scare me. But I sure am glad those were removed within a month of us meeting!

I am so grateful to Julie for introducing us. She had no idea we'd end up dating or married, but here we are, two years later. I am so grateful to her for introducing me to my soulmate, my best friend.

We've had our ups and downs, but I wouldn't have wanted to go through any of it without you. It seems like we must've known each other for more than two years...I can't believe someone could know me the way you do in less than 1,000 days.

Two years later, and you still do sweet things for me. Just this Thursday, we had Romantic Thursday and you surprised me with a candlelight dinner. You so thoughtful, caring and helpful.

I do not feel alone in this world. I know that no matter what happens, I will have someone holding my hand along the way. I truly believe things happen for a reason, because we would never have met each other if it hadn't been for all our stumbles and falls.

My dear Bert, I love you more than I could ever find the words to say. Words are nothing without action, and I hope that I show you each day that I love you more than the one before.

And tomorrow night when we see Ben Folds, I hope he sings "The Luckiest." Because that's just what I am.
posted by Anisa @ 2:54 PM | 27 comments


Friday, November 11, 2005

Stained

Last night, I finally watched The Human Stain. I've been meaning to see it forever, but last night we finally had time to sit down and watch a movie.

I remember it created a big splash when it came out and people were giving interviews about how they, too, hid what they felt was their own human stain. For Anthony Hopkins' character, he was born to two light-skinned black parents and looked white. He eventually decided to detach himself from his family and live his life as a white person. There's lots more to this great movie, but that was what really struck a chord with me.

I found it profoundly sad that Hopkins' character felt he couldn't be himself. I was sad for his family that he turned his back on them. I was sad that society had created an environment such that a black man felt he had to lie about his race.

Do we all have our stains? I know I used to feel my religion was one. I went to great lengths to change the conversation away from religion. It was exhausting.

People often go to great lengths to conceal their pasts. We are so afraid of what others will think about us.

Have you ever thought, "Oh, if they only knew that, then they certainly would think differently of me!"

I have. And sometimes I was even right. But then I learned that I didn't need to care so much what people though of me. If they were ugly, it truly was their problem.

So, how do we rid ourselves of these stains? How do we accept who we are, flaws and all?

I think the answer is realizing that some things we might initially think are curses can turn out to be our greatest blessings. I used to worry what people would think of me when they found out I had a stepdaughter. That "stain" turned out to be one of my life's greatest joys.

It's not always comfortable; in fact, sometimes it really hurts. But the feeling of freedom is well worth it.

In the movie, Hopkins never even told his wife that he was black. Would she still have loved him if she found out? I guess not knowing is a price he was willing to pay.

But that price would have been too high for me.
posted by Anisa @ 11:47 AM | 16 comments


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Back Away From My Modem

The Computer Guy took away my internet for two hours this morning. I was prepared, but when the moment came for it to be gone at 9:00AM EST, I felt so disconnected in every sense. I was alone at work, I couldn't be online and I didn't really have anything to do.

Or so I thought.

From 9-11 this morning, I got an unbelievable amount of work done. I finished a project that was due over a month from now. I paid bills, made phone calls, watered the plant and took out the garbage. I found things to do that got me off my butt. It was amazing!

When it came time to get back online (yes, I know I'm in the Dark Ages with dial-up), I was actually busy. I was WORKING, people! I was caught up with work, so I got ahead. It felt wonderful.

It made me wonder how much more productive we would be without relying so much on the internet, television and telephones. Would I get more done if I wasn't trying to rearrange my life around the season premiere of Trading Spouses?

And on a side note, that was some of the best television I've seen in years. Marguerite is a disgusting woman and I hate her. Talk amongst yourselves.

But seriously, what else would get done? Would everyone's yards be perfect if their husbands weren't busy watching College GameDay? Would we visit our friends and family more if we didn't rely so heavily on phone calls and emails?

Yeah, probably, but don't take away my internet! Or TV! Or telephone (especially not my new camera cell phone)! Or my iPod!

I mean, I fold laundry while watching TV. Why shouldn't I at least be entertained by the villains on The Young and the Restless while I pair socks together? And while we might get extra work done without all these amenities, what would we do to relax? And it's great to be able to email and call people so we can stay in touch more frequently.

Like everything else in life, it's finding that balance.

While I don't want to be one of those people at Target who listen to their iPods instead of dealing with humankind, I am very happy to rock out to Gwen Stefani at the gym. And believe me, I am happy I got all that work done, but even happier that my annoyingly slow dial-up is back.
posted by Anisa @ 2:10 PM | 20 comments


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Price of Beauty

I have on beautiful new earrings that my grandmother sent me, and I even disinfected them and my ears with hydrogen peroxide. It didn't work. My ears already hurt, but I refuse to take out these large gold creations.

And I can't help but remember all the other things I've done that really were pretty uncomfortable for the sake of beauty. Pantyhose and girdles top the list. Ladies, isn't it the worst when the control top gets too low and you have that bulge that makes you look worse than before? Yikes! I need to get some Spanx...supposedly they are much, much better.

And thongs! It just feels like a perma-wedgie to me. But I still wear them if necessary and just grin and bear it until my poor butt gets used to it. And after a while, I guess it's really not so bad.

Depriving myself of my favorite foods and sweating it out at the gym when all I want to do is eat Papa John's and lay on the couch is something else I know so many of us do. Now, come on, people. I know very few of you are losing weight for the sake of health...we go to the gym so we can look good! And we're willing to pay a hefty price. We're willing to actually do the opposite of what we feel like doing! But it sure feels good once you leave the gym...

I actually pay a woman to put hot wax all over my face and rip it off twice a month. I am so against facial hair that I am willing to be tortured for 40 minutes a month. I must say this is definitely worth the pain.

I wonder how much time I spend in agony a month for the sake of trying to look good...40 minutes for waxing + thrice weekly gym sessions + millions of minutes fighting with myself over whether or not to eat chocolate is a LOT of time!

But what's the price you're not willing to pay? I draw the line at plastic surgery, but heck, call me up in 15 years and we'll see if I've changed my views on that! I don't think I'd be against a little tuck here and there...

Who exactly are we trying to look so good for? Is it our significant other? Our self? Our friends?

All I know is if I've worked out, my brows are done and my hair is in place, there's an extra spring in my step. And so, yeah, it's all worth it.

But these earrings seriously might have to be taken out.
posted by Anisa @ 11:40 AM | 24 comments


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happy Unbirthday!

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to go cheer Bert on as he ran in his first 5K. I went into Ariana's room and began looking through her backpack for clothes to wear. It was quickly apparent to me that she had packed for herself and no one bothered to check to see what she had packed. Most of the decent items were clothes Bert and I had purchased for her. She confirmed my suspicions as she told me that she had indeed packed for herself.

Think about what you would've packed for yourself at seven years old.

Anyway, I put the warmest clothes (although mismatched) on her that she had brought, and we headed out the door. We cheered Bert on, and were so very proud as he came in 8th place out of almost 100 runners! That afternoon, we headed to the Old Navy because I told Bert she needed to have some kind of cute sweat suit to keep at our house so that she would always have something decent to wear.

I picked her out a cream-colored velour sweat suit with a t-shirt that would transition well through the seasons. She has a strict dress code at school, so we also bought her a few items that she could take home and wear to school.

"Even with a dress code that doesn't allow pink or sparkles, my daughter must be in fashion," I told her. She nodded in complete agreement.

We then stopped by the mall because I was out of concealer, and then we told Ariana we had a special surprise for her. There's a fantastic cookie store here that lets kids decorate their own cookies, so we figured we'd finish off the day there.

We went to the car and then she asked, "What's an unbirthday?"

Surprised that she had even heard of an unbirthday, I told her that it was simply what someone might call a holiday when there is none. It's just an excuse to celebrate something.

"Well, this is the best unbirthday that I've ever had," she replied.

She's not one of those children that thinks she deserves anything. She truly is grateful for each and every thing we give her. And more than anything material, we strive to give her much love and attention.

And Sunday morning, I found that she had thrown me and Bert our very own unbirthday party.

"Today is your special day!" she exclaimed, as she handed us stuffed animals and books as our gifts.

But I don't think she realized that the most special moment for me was Saturday morning when she informed me that she had two mommies, one daddy and one stepfather.

I guess somewhere along the way, Anisa became synonymous with Mommy. And it feels really good.

posted by Anisa @ 11:21 AM | 32 comments


Monday, November 07, 2005

Shakin' My Laffy Taffy

I'm embarassed, but I think it's time to admit it.

I LOVE the song "Laffy Taffy" by D4L. At first, I hated it. I mean, the music is like the same three notes on a keyboard played over and over again. But then it grew on me. I went from making fun of it to dancing in my car to it.

The lyrics are ridiculous. It's vulgar. I don't know why I like it so much.

This has made me look back and think about other embarassing songs that I love. One such example is "Open Arms" by Journey. I would make my sister play it over and over on the piano so I could sing it.

I cannot sing.

But I would belt this song out like I was performing at the Grammys.

Now, I did hate "Mambo Number Five" and "The Macarena." I did not jump on the bandwagon with those. And I HATE that song "One More Time" where all they say is One more time/we're gonna celebrate over and over and over...

Oh yeah...I also love the latest Backstreet Boys song, "Incomplete." When that song came out, I didn't want anyone to know. Luckily my friend liked it too, so both of our husbands looked at us in horror.

Now I consider myself as having decent musical taste, but there are certainly those songs I'm embarassed about. But aren't we all?

All I know is that every time I get in my car, I hope "Laffy Taffy" comes on. It's best if I'm in the car alone because I don't even have to pretend that I'm disgusted.

Because I totally love it.
posted by Anisa @ 1:05 PM | 17 comments


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Teddy Bear With A Spiked Collar

When I am mad, I'm really mad. Actually, if I'm mad at you, you may never even know it. I'll rant about it and say all kinds of things, but I actually let things go most of the time. I'm all for peace in relationships.

But I sure do talk like I'm going to really do something!

And that is why Bert calls me a teddy bear with a spiked collar.

I do have a mean side, but I really am a big softie underneath. I think it's because I have a HUGE conscience.

Last night at 11:30 PM, we finally found out Eid ul-Fitr was today. The fasting is over, but most everyone thought it would be Friday. Hence, we took Friday off from work. This morning was crazy, trying to run around and make arrangements to be late to work. When I finally got to prayer, this woman put her baby right in front of me facing me, so I spent the entire time I prayed angry.

Dear God, I am NOT praying to this baby. I don't know why this woman is so inconsiderate. Blah Blah.

Allah Akbar.

I finally realized I better stay focused and give God some credit. He knows I'm not praying to a baby.

And then I got mad when all these women I didn't know were being so loud during the sermon. I couldn't even hear it! I clickety-clacked right on out of there and went to work.

This was my spiked collar...angry and frustruated.

But then, what did I find myself doing this morning?

Looking through web sites about how I can become more involved with the Muslim community here. Maybe I should try and make some sort of connection with this sea of unfamiliar faces.

I spend plenty of my time at other types of meetings, so I feel a tug to make some sort of connection with my brothers and sisters here. And even though I was angry this morning, I am a softie inside.

And perhaps that is the biggest lesson I've learned this Ramadan - making a connection with others like me. I have spent more time with my extended family, and I am making an effort to make new relationships and connections. And as I have done that, my faith has deepened. And so has my sense of self.

I guess being a teddy bear with a spiked collar is a good way to be. You can't run over me, but I will give in when it's not a big deal.

And lady with the baby, you did make me mad. But not so mad that I will stay away.

Because just like the rest of us, you're probably just doing the very best you can.


I'm taking the day off tomorrow, so I hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll post again Monday.
posted by Anisa @ 11:55 AM | 19 comments


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Attack of the Halloween Candy

It's no secret that Bert's students adore him. Between calling him "fine" to substitute teachers and hanging out with him before school, he figured they would bring him a ton of Halloween candy. I thought there was no way they would do that; candy is like gold!

Boy was I wrong.

Not only did they bring him candy, but they brought him only really good candy. Smarties, fun size Kit Kats, fun size M&Ms, fun size Heath Bars and more filled up our tray in the center of the dining table.

Oh, did I mention full size Take 5 bars? I had never had those before and they are SCRUMPTIOUS.

So, I haven't weighed myself in about three days. And three days ago, I was really happy with my weight. This morning right before I stepped into the shower, I got on the scale.

YIKES!

If that scale could've spoken, it would've scolded me.

Damn that candy.

It feels like every holiday is like this: engorge and then starve. I mean, I don't know about you, but my family holidays are centered around the big meal! And for Halloween, there isn't even a meal...it's just candy and tons of empty calories and fat!

So here I am, in "detox," as I call it. I must eat healthy and get rid of these few pounds I managed to pick up in three days.

But it sure was fun eating all that candy!
posted by Anisa @ 10:57 AM | 21 comments


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Blah

My Halloween: fever, crankiness, Ny-quil.

Blah.

We laid on the couch and tried to watch Team America: World Police, which I decided I hated after 10 minutes. It's just stupid and not even funny at all. At least I couldn't find the humor with a fever.

Blah.

I ate two Halloween cupcakes with at least two inches of frosting each. Amazingly enough, they did make me feel a little better.

Blah.

After watching Laguna Beach, I can't pretend that I had their bodies when I was 18. I so didn't. But that didn't stop me from thinking I will definitely eat more cupcakes today.

Blah.

In all seriousness, I think the fasts are wearing me down. But I know this is part of it all. The exhaustion has set in. I'm sick. But this will all be over in two days. And I am grateful for that, because for so many people, starving is a way of life.

And my heart really goes out to them.
posted by Anisa @ 11:17 AM | 19 comments