A blog post about nothing and yet everything!

It’s been a busy week. I went to Atlanta for the first time last Thursday for The American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (didn’t have time to pretend to be Scarlett O’Hara as Savannah is a 4 hour drive, but I did pass the Margaret Mitchell house two times! Notwithstanding Mitchell, the film adaptation was a running theme of my childhood due to my older sister’s obsession in the late 90s. SHE WAS OBSESSED, I tell you), I dressed up as a cow on Halloween (just for work; I’ve never been trick-or-treating or have been involved in that process. Since I wasn’t allowed to go as a child, I never wanted to pass out candy later to those spoiled little kids that did. Also, strangers ringing the doorbell is scary), I launched the first issue of the Journal on Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society that I’ve been working on since August, and the two-day Board meeting where I was scheduled to present (I ended up not saying much) concluded yesterday afternoon.

(BTW, I’m sorry for all the parenthetical notes in the above paragraph and I guess for this one too. I have these little tangents always running in my head and since I have no intention of making my blog post as long as a thesis, I must defer to parenthetical notes. I don’t think WordPress allows the use of footnotes, unfortunately. Thanks for reading my tangents. It means a lot. I find my tangents to be the best part of my blog)

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I have to admit: the udders hanging out like that kinda felt haraaaaam, but hey, I’m fully covered! And if that turns you on, that’s on you, buddy!

And yet, here I am blogging on a Saturday morning, wearing my cow costume/night-suit because a) I can’t sleep after the rooster cockle-doodle-doos (i.e. the alarm for fajr) and b) I need a break from work-type things.

Oh but hey, the countdown to my 31st birthday has officially begun today. Each year, I start counting down 3 months before. Some might say that I’m too old for this, but I say, “Birthdays are fun!” I love when I actually have a valid reason to eat cake (I get it, the food police need to die, but I eat way too much cake for my own good). Also, everyone’s usually much nicer to me, wishing me that I have an amazing day and telling me to eat lots of cake. So, it’s just great!

Honestly, people who think they’re “too old” for birthdays are just being pretentious and illogical. You’re not too old. You’re perfectly the right age as long as you are ALIVE. Birthdays don’t stop after 21! If you’re gonna use that argument, find a better word or phrase! {end angry rant against imaginary people}

Also, I don’t fear getting old. I look forward to it. Of course, I’m at the age where the body is not quite at the point where it really begins the inevitable process of deterioration (I can, however, start to blame my metabolism – and I will). I may feel differently when I’m 40 or 50. But I honestly hope that I can accept whatever changes come with age. I just look at old people and I’m in awe. Not only are y’all way cuter than the rest of us, you’re also so wise and funny and you finally have earned the right to say whatever the heck you want (well, maybe not everything) and we love it. I love it, anyway.

Where was I?

I don’t know. I’ve been up for a while and have yet to eat. BREAKFAST TIME. Catch y’all later.

Everyday should be Cow Appreciation Day!

Today is Cow Appreciation Day, folks!

I’m aware that many reading this may not be familiar with #CowAppreciationDay‬, but as I replied to my friend earlier today, I didn’t make it up. It’s actually a thing! Finally, a day where I can put my bovine love on full display and receive comments such as, “You win at life!”

Okay, so the dude did not say “at life”… but he didn’t need to. I knew what he was talkin’ aboot.

To be honest, I don’t frequent Chik-Fil-A and I’m not saying that to be politically correct, either; they don’t have any seafood or vegetarian options, so all I’ve ever eaten before today are their waffle fries (mmmm, waffles). But because of their frankly brilliant marketing – and I don’t say this lightly – I’m a fan. If you haven’t seen their commercials, you need to get out from that rock just for a few minutes and watch those videos. This one is my personal fave – cows listening to Tchaikovsky! Perfecto!

So, when I learned that today was…IS Cow Appreciation Day and that I could get a free entree (waffle fries and chocolate shakes included, yes!) if I wore some kind of cow paraphernalia, I decided I was gonna go all out.

I made a big mistake NOT purchasing that cow onesie from Wal-Mart when I had the chance two years ago, but luckily the cow t-shirt Mr. Rafia got for my birthday this year would be my ticket to waffle gold! Also, I’d bring Mufia along with me. My little calf has not had a day out since we moved into the new place.

Still, this was the one day (outside of Halloween) where I could dress up like a cow in this country in public! How could I not do more? I had to do something big! I have a blog called Cake & Cows! I mean, come on!

Also, Abbie over at Abbie’s Adventure Diaries reassured me that this entire enterprise would make a great blog post. Thank you for your encouragement, Abbie! <3

But being the cheeeep Desi I am, I didn’t want to spend any (more) money though. So I decided to use my little grey cells, which I learned from being my sister’s shadow, and be creative. UNLEASH TAPE GIRL!

I daresay it myself – I think I might be a genius! All of this was done today. No prior planning.

I got to eat waffle fries, drink a chocolate milkshake, and dress like a cow in public! What a moovelous day, indeed.

Friday Date Night at the Dairy Farm!

Mr. Rafia and I had a little date night yesterday… at the local dairy farm! It was actually the second time we’ve gone to Traders Point Creamery in the past three weeks, but yesterday was so nice and sunny and I even got to see the cows right before milking time, something I had not witnessed during my previous two visits.

Let me tell ya: IT WAS AMAZING!

Normally, I would never think to update my social media presence with random photos of cows (although if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll notice recently the only thing I do on the site is “like” pictures of cows), but you know what? This blog is named Cake & Cows and I haven’t blogged about cows in a while, so… You’re welcome.

I love cows (obviously), but lately, my love for cows has taken over my life almost completely. Most of my leisurely internet time is spent looking and fawning over pictures of cows. Cows make me happy, like babies make a normal person happy. I’m beyond the point of thinking there’s something wrong with me.

So, when Mr. Rafia asked me whether we should go to Traders Point Creamery, I was like, “Ummm, yeah.” It’s the only time I am totally okay with last-minute decisions on what to do/where to go. I can always use more cows in my life!

But when we got to the farm, there were none in sight where they normally lounge around. It’s hard being a cow, OK? They eat grass and poop all day. In their stead were a nasty runt of little oinkers (As a practicing Muslim, I do not like oinkers and I will not apologize for this, no). So you can imagine the smile I had all the way through our drive to the farm instantly turning into silent rage.

But then I noticed some movement way out in the fields. There were the cows! They were walking the trail back to the milking station. Aww, cows do exercise! I ran as close to the metal fence as I could get. I was eating ice cream at the time, so I wasn’t able to get a photo of it, but one cow even mooed at me and Mr. Rafia. We both got a bit of a fright – it was glorious.

Of course, I can’t leave y’all hanging. We did get some photos. I actually have more, but I realize going through 20 photos of cows is probably only interesting to me and people like me. So here are just a few highlights:

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The cows “cooling down” from their workout
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Waiting to be milked. A couple of them peed, just like that. It was pretty funny. I am 6 years old.
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A new mommy and one of her calves.
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This one was quite the bully, pushing the others to get grass. I was literally 5 feet away from her. I wanted to pet her, but I was slightly afraid she’d attempt to eat the grass I was standing on.
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Other than the sun in my eyes and Mr. Rafia’s shadow completely ruining the picture, this is me and my new friend, whom I shall name “Glutton.” We bonded over our mutual insatiable appetites.

Fellas, looking to take your own woman on a nice date? Look no further than a dairy farm… and you’ll probably get dumped. But not me, no. Other than a bakery and library/book store, no place makes me happier!

I am, like, the luckiest woman on the planet.

Is anybody still reading?

I’m well aware it’s been over two weeks since I’ve last blogged. I won’t blame the usual “writer’s block,” because I haven’t been blocked per se. I actually had two drafts written, but couldn’t manage to edit either of the posts in the time I had.

I realized something about myself recently. If I don’t complete a non-school or federally-mandated task or assignment right away, I lose all momentum and energy to complete it after. What does that say about me? Hmmm. I shall be pondering this for the rest of the day.

The truth of the matter is: these past two weeks have been ROUGH.

I was ill for a good chunk of this time and desperately needed some mental time to recuperate. I’m still recuperating, actually. Although I think the mental recuperation might be a life-long thing ;)

But being the perfectionist OCPD person I am, I couldn’t just let this blog go and die a slow death. I’ve put too much time and money into this thing! I must admit: I was having doubts as to whether Cake & Cows was a name I even wanted anymore – I haven’t been having a Cake & Cows-like past few weeks (although I did go to the dairy farm again last week to help lift my spirits – it helped).

I realize now it’s okay to have days where you’re just not feeling it. I’m not someone who likes to put on a face. I’m not going to pretend everything is all cool and dandy when it’s not.

Today however I am feeling much better (and writing this blog entry has a lot to do with it). I think I got about 9 hours of sleep last night, which is unusual for me. It still probably is not enough to make up for the sleep debt I’ve incurred this past week (I don’t like the term “sleep debt;” but Mr. Rafia used it earlier and until I can come up with a better phrase, I’ll use it for the time being).

I’m feeling more Cake & Cows-y this morning… afternoon. And I just wanted to say I am alive and hope to blog more regularly again. Yay!

P.S. I reverted back to my old layout because the CSS was just killing me. I hate that I can’t edit the code of the free WordPress themes – and unfortunately, I have to purchase a theme first before I can see if I can edit it to my liking. I hope you can understand my conundrum. I am not a cheap person, but I also don’t like wasting money, especially if it’s for myself. Until I can figure out a way to incorporate the beautiful image my sister drew into a layout I am satisfied with, you will have to make do with Petunia, the Purple-Polka Dotted Cow. My drawing skills are clearly lacking in comparison, but she’s got a cute name, eh? I’ve always been proud of my nomenclature skills :)

P.P.S. Happy Easter! Yo, Mr. Rafia, while you’re out, get me a chocolate bunny, okay?

The Day that I Turned into a Crazy Cow Lady

Today started off as any other day. Well, actually no. I was more tired than usual. I stayed in bed a little longer than I usually do. But, never mind that.

Each morning, I like to watch some TV while I eat my breakfast. It’s the only time I really watch TV – usually, the morning news or the most recent Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel or Seth Meyers late night clips. But since today is Monday, I had no other choice than the news.

I prefer CBS in the morning out of all the other morning variety shows. Getting Charlie Rose was the smartest thing CBS could have done. Seriously, each second that I watch of Good Morning America or The Today Show, I feel like my brain is literally melting. I don’t care that some stupid pop celebrity – and I guess now the U.S. President – tweeted last night! Charlie Rose just makes me feel more PBSish.

So, I’m sitting on the couch, mindlessly noshing away at my cereal, thinking about what sorts of wonderful work emails I will have the joy of responding to. And then I see it. At first, the image is not clear. Black and white. As a bovine lover, I can only think of one thing. COWS! Slowly, the picture gets clearer. They’re spots! And they are indeed cows! Cows grazing on an open field. I was crying earlier in the morning, because I had a quarter-life+5 years crisis, so this was just what I needed. Seeing cows brings such joy to my life. It’s not at all affected, folks. They’re such beautiful, peaceful creatures. Part of the reason why I married Mr. Rafia is because his eyelashes remind me of cows’ eyelashes. And then my ears perk up. Is this Tchaikovsky I am hearing? Yes, these cows are listening to “Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker, while wearing virtual reality headsets! (for those of you who don’t know, I was super-obsessed with Russia/The Soviet Union back in the day and even to this day, any Russian news still makes me smile).

Forget work! I need to find this video and share it with the world!

Except I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE. I searched so many different combinations. I even searched through the Super Bowl Commercials’ website thinking it may have premiered last night. But nothing. Even Mr. Rafia, the king of Google and YouTube, couldn’t find it.

I started becoming delirious. THIS WAS NOT A DREAM, I kept on repeating to myself. I was so disoriented that I even made a FB update, hoping someone out there might validate this commercial’s existence.

What the heck? I just saw the most amazing commercial with cows listening to Tchaikovsky. I’m pretty sure it was a Chik-fil-A commercial. But I can’t seem to find it anywhere online. Someone please tell me I did not just dream this up. It is the kind of thing I would dream of, but I swear I did not make this up. Am I going senile already?

But to no avail. Instead, I was mocked. I was called delusional.

But I did not make this up! I stand by what I saw. Sure, cows listening to Tchaikovsky is about as close to a dream come true as I’ll ever get (as I’m pretty convinced I’ll die as “the senile old cow lady who never went to Disneyland”), but this is real.

I’m going crazy here. All I can hear in my mind is that tune we all know so well, but I can’t see what I saw earlier this morning. Why can’t I find it? I HAVE to get to the bottom of this; I cannot rest otherwise. In desperation, I FB-messaged Chick-Fil-A, writing:

Hi! I just saw the latest chick-fil-A commercial featuring cows wearing VR headsets while listening to Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. I would like to share this video, as it might be one of the best of your commercials I have ever seen, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere online? Has it not been released yet? No one else seems to be believe this is a real commercial. I am losing my mind. Please let me know!

This was almost 30 minutes ago! And they haven’t even read my message!!!!!!! PEOPLE, I AM ON THE VERGE OF ANOTHER BREAKDOWN!

If I don’t hear back from them by tomorrow, I’m going to email corporate. I will. I will be vindicated and you will all see the video that brought joy into my life today for 30 seconds.

Stay tuned for updates, folks!

P.S. I lie – I’ve been a crazy cow lady for a while now.

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Me in 2014