Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm back...

Hi, all. Sorry I've been pretty out of commission the last day or two. I was so bad yesterday... I made a buffalo chicken pizza for lunch yesterday and it was soooo yummy that I ate the whole thing, and ended up making myself sick. That's what I get for eating too much, though. : P

Oh, darn...I thought today was Thursday. I just realized it's Friday and I missed jummah prayers. *sigh* I was planning on going, too. Darn this not having a job... I can't seem to keep track of the days any more.

The weather here has been AWESOME. A cold front came in on Tuesday afternoon, and it hasn't been over 68 degrees since. I turned off the a/c and opened the windows. My cats are loving it, too. They run around the house and jump on my bed, then on the window sill, then onto the bistro table on my balcony. I sure am glad it has cooled off... I like the heat okay, but it's a bit much when it seems to be around 8 months out of the year, you know?

I'm still cleaning out my apartment. I'm trying to eliminate the clutter in my house, and that includes paring down my book collection. *weep* So I managed to read 6 books in the last 2 days. I read "Succubus Takes Manhattan" by Nina Harper and "Kitty and the Midnight Hour", "Kitty Goes to Washington", "Kitty Takes a Holiday", "Kitty and the Silver Bullet", and "Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand" (all by Carrie Vaughn). "Kitty" is a pretty good paranormal (werewolf) series, and there's not a lot of sex - and what there is, I just skip over - but lots of action and cool stuff. I give all the books I'm not going to keep to my friend for her book store, and paranormal romance is a very popular category.

That said, I'm trying to figure out what to read after I finish the sixth (most recent) "Kitty" book. I was thinking of maybe re-reading the Left Behind series. I read the whole thing several years ago, when the books were very popular, and we've had so many people buying the books at the store that I want to read it again.

*start rant*

I read one of Amber's posts earlier, and it kind of raised my ire, as it talked about censorship and the invasion of privacy, etc. That kind of stuff really ticks me off.

Then I got to thinking, well, it's like that in real life, too. I mean, I can't even wear hijab to a job interview if I want to have a chance at getting a job. I could be the best one for the job that they talk to, but a hijab would almost definitely rule me right out, and there would be nothing I could do to fight it. If you don't believe me, did you hear about the hijabi muslimah who tried to get a job at Abercrombie & Fitch? As much as I would love to be able to have the luxury of giving a big "F-you" to the conformist establishment that is American society (different is NOT good) and go right ahead, financially it's not a good move.

Standing out is only allowed if it's in a "normal" way, like the kids who look like they spent their whole allowance at Hot Topic. They're what I call "conforming non-conformists". They may think they're rebelling and being all original, but...seriously. Those outfits and accessories come from a MALL CHAIN STORE. There are 5,000 other kids in the city wearing the Exact Same Thing.

How did I go off on the "non-conformists" tangent? Anyway, in the U.S., by wearing hijab (and especially niqab), you really do buck the system and stick it to "The Man". (LOL!!!)

*end rant*

Still talking about Hot Topic...who was the moron who decided that GUYS should wear SKINNY JEANS? They're CHICK PANTS. Granted, very immodest and unflattering on any girl with even a teensy weensy hint of curves (that would be pretty much anyone size 6 or over), but still...chick pants. *sigh* I can't decide if the "saggy, hanging-below-the-rear-and-I-don't-know-how-to-wear-a-freaking-belt gangsta pants" that never seem to go away or the "skinny jeans on guys" fad is worse. I totally DON'T want to see anyone's undergarments, but guys in...chick pants. *shudder of revulsion*

And a guy wearing them just walked in. *face plant on keyboard*

So, how are all of you doing? : )


  1. Oh, please, please, don't reread Left Behind. Those're some of the worst books I've ever forced myself to read, and I *love* apocalypse books!

    If you must reexpereince the horror, try it's the only way to make it tolerable.

    hmm..books...have you read Kim Harrison? She does a paranormal series that I love.

  2. lol - I can't stand the guys-in-chick-pants thing. I don't mind a *little* bit of a sag, but no farther than the hips.

    I used to go into Hot Topic all the time, but it was waaay too expensive for me to actually *buy* something. It was also a lot more goth then - renaissance dresses and trench coats and all that. So I just got ideas and went to my oh-so-beloved thrift store. :)

    Sometimes I wonder if one of the reasons I like hijab/niqab is because of what you said above. Probably is, lol.

    Meh, gotta get back to work....

  3. Amber: LOL! You really didn't like LB?

    No, I haven't read Kim Harrison. I do love Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series (really only up to "Narcissus in Chains", then picking back up again with "Skin Trade"), though.

  4. Cracked me up, this one did! I remember when the tight pants fad first started in the hardcore scene. A lot of the guys I knew were buying girls jeans. Thank God I married a guy who hates those fashion trends.

  5. No, no I did not. I loathe them. Actively. Aside from the wacky theology (which I thought was wacky even back then), and the rampant misogyny, they're just *badly written*.

    If you like Hamilton, you'll like Harrison. She's like Hamilton, only without the descent into near-porn. (I still read Hamilton, I can't seem to quit.) Also, Charlaine Harris. Her Southern Vampire series is cute and more fun than Hamilton or Harrison. Also, Karen Armstrong.

  6. Kelley Armstrong. Kelley. Sorry. Karen Armstrong doesn't write about werewolves at all.... :)

  7. I read the Left Behind series, but it's been a long while ago. I remember it being really drawn out so I'd often forget what I read previously while waiting for the new book to come out.

    I grew up hearing about that kind of theology so it wasn't too "wacky" for me although I can totally see why it would be to people who didn't grow up how I did. Poor, warped, pitiful me! :-P

    Enjoyed your rant and other stuff. Good luck with the weeding out of your books.

  8. Amber: No, I haven't read any of Kelley Armstrong's books. Keri Arthur is a pretty good writer; her books are mostly werewolves, but the best book that I've read from her was called "Destiny Kills". It wasn't a werewolf thing.

    Susanne: Oh, I'm like you. The church I grew up in was like LaHaye and Jenkins, we interpreted Revelations quite literally. I guess that's why it wasn't weird to me. : )

  9. Oh, so you are warped like me, eh? ;-) I'll admit that some things in their books seemed like "whoa there" because I'd never put Revelation into popular-American-fiction-book form, but still I understood the rapture and most other theological things from my growing up years. But, eh, not sure what I believe now concerning all that. My views have been challenged the last year or so.

  10. Hah! That explains *so much* about the both of you! (You and Susanne!) ;-)

    Well, I can ignore the theology (Amber doesn't believe in the Rapture, see), I really could, even though I've seen other evangelical's rip 'em apart (that's their perogative, after all), it's really the woman-hating and the bad writting I can't forgive. And I made myself slog through *all* the books. I mean, it's the Apocalypse. It should pretty much not be possible for that to suck. Plus, their antiChrist? Kind of an idiot. *I'd* make a better evil overlord.

  11. Amber, glad I could explain myself. Hehehe. ;-)

    I don't remember the woman hating, but it's been YEARS since I read those books. Hmmm. Do you recall an example or two? I don't tend to go for bashing women too much. ;) Maybe I should let you hear me talk about polygamy and some of those short-term "marriages" that some in Saudi (and elsewhere) partake of because - you know - men canNOT live without sex. Grrrrr.

  12. Huh? Well, okay. If you say so. : )

    It's been so long since I read the books that I honestly don't remember a whole lot about them. : )

  13. I am so glad about the cold front. it feels good to finally be able to turn off the a/c and crack a window. And to not hear the "aren't you hot?" comments all the time.

  14.'s been years since I read them, so no, I can't think of an example, sorry. I just recall that that was the impression I came away with. That the author's hated women. I think it wasn't so much bashing, as it was just...generally treating them like lesser beings, just there for the boys.

  15. I have the good fortune to be self-employed, so I haven't had a problem on that front with employment. For the most part, people treat me with old-world respect when I appear publicly in hijab. The occasional askance look, or ironic 'Assalaamu alaykum' from teenage boys...

    My first appearance in public in hijab... There were two of them, because I wore it briefly years ago, but it wasn't anything like what I do now - it was 'making do with tight jeans and sweaters that don't quite cover my derriere because that's all I have in my wardrobe at the moment'. And besides, I don't remember the first 'first time'.

    So I'll tell you about the second one, if I haven't already. First of all, I stayed away from church that day. I only had some scarves and little under-hats that my Turkish friend said made me look like a village bride, and I didn't want my beloved coming back from vacation to hear tenth-hand that I'd converted to Islam.

    But later on in the afternoon, I went to visit a new friend. I recall trying to be extra-friendly to people I encountered on the street. Walked throught the park, got to her place. It was the second day of Ramadan this year, so I had warned her in advance not to offer me any food or drink until after sunset.

    She was very pleased with the new image, let me borrow her bedroom to say my prayers (and I could even get away with singing them the way I would at home, because she herself is a singer), and then she fixed a nice veggie iftar for us. As I was making ablutions before prayers, she asked how I tie the hijab...

    So it was a very pleasant experience. A few weeks on now, an old friend tells me I now look like a real hijabi... And it's true. It feels very natural now. I've bought an Amira set and I've got a favorite version with a huge lace shawl that takes less than a minute to put on - including the jewelry (yes, it can be done). Since it's a prayer garment, I normally wear it at home too. The only reason I'm not right now is because I just got up a little while ago :)

    And I've even managed to come up with a version that permits me to show up at church with a minimum of gossip - although now that M is back from vacation, I've been able to make an appointment with him to explain things to him, and warn him not to pay attention to any strange rumors he may hear about me in the meantime. So I may just show up in normal hijab this time after all...

  16. Well, the first time I went through interviews I didn't wear my hijab, but those interviews were with agencies that would place me in different temp jobs... The first temp job interview I went to, I didn't wear hijab, and felt HORRIBLE in the process. I felt like I was lying to myself and the potential employer. I was offered the job, but declined since it due to the commute. From that point on, I swore to myself that I would always wear my hijab to interviews. If they didn't want to hire me because I was religious, than their loss. I am confident in my product: you won't find a nurse more capable than I.
    I worked a one month temp job and the first day showed up in Hijab. It was a public health clinic serving a mostly immigrant population and so I fit in quite well. No one seemed to care and in fact, were quite supportive.

    I found a job with a major clinic in the area, and wore my hijab to each of the interviews. I suppose my confidence (and the fact I had US MILITARY on my resume) helped to balance the scarf, because I ended up with the job.

    Don't let the society here conform you. You are who you are, and if a potential employer doesn't like what you represent, then do you really want to work there? Don't sell yourself short. Always maintain your moral ground.

  17. Hi, Stephanie! Thanks for your words of encouragement. I'm in a toss up as to whether or not I should wear my hijab to the interview (at this point, I'm leaning towards doing so), but I will definitely find out their policy on religious attire. Hope I don't bore you! (I get to talking and just keep going some days...)

  18. Nah, you don't bore me...
    About the interview: Just have confidence in your decision. I strongly believe that when you show that you do not budge on your decision to wear hijab, no one else will challenge it (there are always exceptions).

    But also, I want to point out something. I didn't read the whole situation on the muslim girl that applied to A&F, but honestly, why did she even apply there? The whole agenda of A&F and similar fashion stores is to make teen girls look like college sorority girls with the bottom line of making them all look "sexy" and not to mention "easy" like the actresses in American Pie. So, I find it to be.. what is the word? a juxtaposition? or is it oxymoron? that a young woman who stands by her right to wear a scarf that represents modesty and a woman's choice to cover up wants to work in a store where the goal is to get her undressed... ok, I am off my soap box on that note... sorry. (maybe I just think A&F sucks because they never made tall pants, or shirts that lasted more than 10 washes.) hahahaha