TAG I’m it!
commonplacer.wordpress.com tagged me, so I was obliged to write out 8 random facts about me. I decided to tag this interesting bunch from my list on my blogroll. Some have already performed this blog ritual. It won’t hurt my feelings if they don’t comply:
Umm Adam , No Snow Here, muslimahwarrior , peacefulmuslimah , kalital , Abdur Rahman’s Corner, akramsrazor , mommamu
Now to the random facts about me.
You are What you Eat
I love candy, deserts, sweet, and even sweet and savory foods. I have coffee or tea with my sugar. My ideal tea is Moroccan tea because it reflects my affinity for syrupy sweet drinks. Secretly, I only enjoy weddings for the cake. I love wedding cakes and light airy icing. My favorite slice of cake is the corner, which maximizes the icing. When I was a kid, I used to bring icing with me for lunch. So, really I enjoy cake with my icing. I love white cake with buttercream or whipped cream icing. My favorite bakery is Wilson’s Bakery near Santa Clara University. That was the bakery where my mother bought my birthday party cakes. I love Lava cakes from wholefoods with Vanilla icecream and fresh rasberries. Cheesecake ranks up there on my list too. My big brother used to bribe me not to tell on him. Some summers, I had 5 dollars a day to spend on candy and icecream. I’d eat whatchamacallits, twix, It’s It icecream, strawberry shortcakes, Red Vines, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and when Caramellos came out I lost my mind. But the only time I got cavities was the year I stopped eating candy.
I have vivid dreams and sometimes they seem so real. for me, the dreamworld is fantastic and frightening. When I am in the dream there are times it feels like reality. But when my dreams are especially frightening, I sometimes have the realization that I can wake myself up and change that reality. I have night terrors only when I’m alone, but not when I have sleepovers. Since I was a little girl, I have had recurring nightmares with zombies. I think I’ve had every scenario with zombies chasing me in theatres, in my house, creeping in my backyard, me fighting zombies, loved ones abandoning me to zombies, even one time I was finally bitten by the zombie. I’ve had to stop watching zombie movies. Call it irrational, but I can only do laundry in the day time because our washing machine and dryer are on the side of the house. It is a blind alley when you open the door, making it a perfect scene for a really bad horror movie. I have good dreams too. Years ago, my dream world took me to some other place. My experience was that I saw the truth of this world through a grass blade, millions upon millions of grass blades. I woke up feeling that time had been suspended and that I had expanded but was returning to finite state.
I love naps. Naps are sunnah. Since California has so many Spanish influences, we should legally reinstate the siesta. Naps are delicious, I enjoy the world suspended between reality and dreams. I love the feeling of relaxing until I slip away. In order to sleep I have to have my head under the covers. I have to cover my head in the train or plane. When I meditate–which is rare–I often fall asleep. That is because I like to meditate under the covers. I love 1 hour naps, but two hours is even better.
I have always enjoyed reading, well until grad school. But I was not so much into reading other people’s poetry, as much as reading novels, autobiographies, and grand historical narratives. I miss reading for the enjoyment of it. I miss the interactive nature of reading, how it pushes your imagination. Every movie adaptation has been a dissapointment. Well, except Lord of the Rings. I could never get into hairy foot Hobbits and pale elves until I saw the first film. Then after reading it, I felt let down by the movie. I can read a book in an 8 hour sitting. It is one reason why I don’t read much anymore. It is hard to let it go. After I finish an amazing story, I often go into mourning. Those characters that I fell in love with have passed on, that world the book created has fallen into oblivion, the story is no more. I can only resurrect them in my imagination.
I obsessively check my email in hopes that I find some good news like I won a million dollars or the man of my dreams loves me and wants to marry me. Of course, when I get notices from my Nigerian friends that I won a million dollars, I do not believe them. And I would be dissapointed if I got a proposal via email. I’d probably think he’s a stalker and be freaked out. I check my snail mail much in the same way. I love packages, good news, and checks. All too often, it is bills and predatory lenders. But each day I wake up and religiously check my email. Each day after I get off of work or at 4, I check my mail box. I can always hope, can’t I?
I’m looking outside the window of this office looking at purple, pink and white blooms of all varieties. I love bouquets and flowering plants. It reminds me of the simple things that we should stop and take notice of. The most beautiful things are natural and even then we have to recognize that it is all ephemeral. I think that is the bittersweet thing about getting a gift of roses. We enjoy them until they whither away and the water stinks. The last time I received flowers was on my graduation. I miss being suprised at work with a bouquet of flowers. I will buy myself and my friends flowers, or blooming plants. Every woman should have thoughtful reminders of their inherent beauty every now and then.
Sing Like Nobody’s Listening and Dance like Nobody’s Watching
I love long drives where I can sing at the top of my voice. It doesn’t matter if my voice cracks or if my voice falls flat. I sing like I really mean it, with my heart and soul. In contrast to my weak voice, I have always danced and been involved in choreography. I have written earlier about my breakdancing youth. When I was a little girl, my mother took me to the iceskating rink. I quickly picked up the craft. Unlike the other children, I had a natural awareness of my body in motion, natural balance and grace. I brought the groove into that came from my family’s roller rink days. I was always the only Black girl in the rink, weaving in and out, forwards and backwards, finding spaces in between the crowds. I’d find spaces for that walz jump, or that lutz, flip, loop, or salchow (or not). I danced through the crowd, cross overs, spirals, lounges, forward and back. Then I’d fall back into the center and lose myself in the dizziness of the spin. We did not have a lot of money and my brother, who worked as a waiter, used to help out pay for some of my lessons. My coach thought I was talented and fed me dreams of statewide competition, national, and even olympics. A twelve year old doesn’t really know much about class. Ice skating is a rich girl’s sport. But from iceskating, I learned the best performances were those that were done as if nobody was watching. The crowd disappears and your body dialogues with the music. You elaborate on those raw feelings that are expressed. You have to feel it, and yourself. The important thing is to not think about it. I learned Middle Eastern dance and only selectively perform in women centered events like women’s parties, segregated weddings, anniversary celebrations, and on one occassion a celebration for a women’s center. So much of what we see in American belly dancing sub-cultures is all about the gaze and Western women appropriation of the representations of non-Western women’s sensuality and feminity. When I dance, it is about my appreciation for their rhythm and melodies. It is a celebration of my friend’s culture and those moments that they shared with me a part of themselves. And that exchange changed me and influenced me. In a room full of Arab and North African ladies, dancing as if nobody’s watching in celebration of classic songs and fusions of Raggae and traditional music, I remain conscious of that fine line we walk, whether cultural admirers or cultural vultures.
For me, love is wonderful, dreadful, joyful and painful. I give mine away recklessly and lose myself in it. I heart until it hurts. Since I am sensitive, my tender feelings are often subject to hurt. I heart my friends with such openness. Those doors remain open until my heart is betrayed. I heart them until they hurt me intentionally. Even then, I love the humanity in them and only cut myself from them to mitigate the damage.