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.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Isn’t that pathetic that I’m singing Happy Birthday to myself? I’ve had 29 birthdays thus far and I still haven’t reached the point in my life where I am not super excited about having a day that’s all about me. I know only a handful of people care, but I only really care for a handful of people anyway ;) That sounds like something Bilbo would say! :)

Why do people stop caring about their birthdays as they get older? Is it fear of aging? I hope I’m never ashamed of my age. In many ways, I feel like I’ve become more youthful as I’ve gotten older. My skin ain’t as fresh as it used to be and perhaps the real test will be when I start getting wrinkles, but I am okay about it (now). I think of Audrey Hepburn just before she died and she was gorgeous. Well, she was gorgeous when she was young, too.

Never mind.

I get it. After a while, others stop caring and so you take it as a sign that you should too. It’s “the grown-up” thing to do. But you know what I say about that? If others want to be sour puss “adults,” fine. But I refuse to be. You don’t need to have an extravagant gala every year – I never have, but that’s because I have like 2 friends – but I am a big supporter of having just one day in the year that’s all about you. And why not? It’s the only day in the year as an adult that you get that allowance – so take advantage of it! Also, caaaaaake!

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Since I can’t be with my sister to celebrate, I told her to give me the next best thing: an illustration by her of a chocolate cake with purple icing!

My youngest nephew is born a day after me. He’s naturally also very excited. Except he’s turning 11. I’ll be 30. We’ve yet to have a weekend birthday extravaganza together, as I’ve been planning for the past 11 years. Perhaps we’ll do it for our mutual milestone birthdays – when he turns 21 and I 40. Although as Muslims, turning 21 has no relevance, at least it shouldn’t.

Where was I going with this post? Honestly, I’m still surprised that y’all haven’t unsubscribed by now. Or maybe you just delete the emails and are too lazy to take one extra step and click the ‘unsubscribe’ button (please don’t, by the way!). If that is the case, I thank you for making me feel like I’m special, whether intended or not.

My husband bought a slice of chocolate cake from Whole Foods for me that I’ve yet to eat because I thought it was THE birthday cake, but he told me about an hour ago that I will be getting my REAL birthday cake tomorrow and the one from Whole Foods is just a teaser. Good thing too, because I think I saw tapioca flour listed in the ingredients. I’m sure I will devour it in a second, but as a proud member of the Gluten-free free club, I need my gluten, especially on my 30th birthday. ETA: I ate it just now. It was pretty good, but it did have that Whole Foods-y taste to it ;)

So yeah, this post was just an excuse to post that beautiful illustration my sister made for me. She’s been patiently waiting to post it on her Instagram account.

Okay, time to go. Mr. Rafia is taking me to see “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” tonight, my first non-musical non-Bollywood live performance :) I’m super excited