Friday, December 30, 2011


Over the course of the last few months, my fear of needles and getting my blood drawn has lessened significantly (because let's face it... after the amount of times I've had it drawn, I really should be over it by now). Sometimes, I don't even feel it pinch when they draw the blood -- woohoo! I still look the other way though while it's being drawn -- baby steps!

Another positive thing (glass is half full, remember?) about all this blood being drawn is that I feel like I can finally donate blood! I've always wanted to, but my fear of it also kept me back. I told my brother a few months back that I wanted to do so and to hold me accountable to it... but of course just when I was ready to do so, I came down with a cold (and you can't donate blood while you are sick).

What I don't appreciate is being left with a bruise/bump/I don't know what it is after having blood drawn, but it's sure annoying and a gross reminder on my arm. It happened once back in September too. That time, however, it was just grossly bruised and greenish. Of course, it happened yesterday too. This time, however, it's red and even more gross and bumpy (but not as huge). I contemplated putting up a picture of both of them, but I don't know if I want to see it on my blog! It took weeks for the first bruise to clear up, so hopefully that doesn't happen this time!

I wonder if it's just a case of the nurse not drawing the blood right or if it just happens sometimes or what... because they do this day in and day out. I know some people are prone to bruising easily, but I feel like if that was the case, it would happen to some extent most (if not all) the time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's for Dinner: Home-made Pizzas and Breadsticks

P.S. This post is a part of my "What's for Dinner" series, where I share what I've been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A New Look

I've been busy updating the look of my blog all morning. I gave it a much more simplistic look this time around.

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Precious Cousin

Today marks ten years since my beautiful and absolutely perfect baby cousin passed away after only fifteen short months of life.

She died in the hospital room of a local hospital surrounded by MANY members of her extended family.

Hers was the first death I experienced in my life. Losing her was so bittersweet because it was also comforting to see her finally be so peaceful after she passed away. Watching her lose her battle and seeing her lifeless body is still probably the hardest thing I have faced and it's a moment I'll never forget.

At such a young age, she taught me so much about life. Like how fragile it is. Or how to cherish every moment and make the best of each day because you just never know.

If we lived every day as if it was our last day on earth, just think of how much more we would get done on a daily basis!

In some ways, it seems like it was just yesterday... yet at the same time it feels like it happened such a long time ago. I think of her often and wonder what she would have been like. I may be biased, but I can still remember how contagious her smile was.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

3 3 3 3 3 = (equals) 5

Here's another brain teaser (or more of a math question) for you that I got from Faraz!

Put in the operations to make this correct: 3 3 3 3 3 = 5. Give at least two solutions.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why Gender Matters

Some people prefer doctors' of their own gender for a variety of reasons, but one common reason is that 'they can relate to the problem'.

To which, I've heard the argument (and read online) that if you want to use the argument that you want a doctor that has been through what you have, then be sure to get the orthopedic surgeon with a broken hip, the neurologist with a stroke, and the cardiologist with a heart attack.

Is that a fair argument/assessment?

In most cases, I would say, that I don't care what gender the doctor is... I just want the one that's most qualified! But of course, there are instances that you would rather just have the doctor be the same gender as you (especially for females) for your own comfort level in certain situations.

Others, however, argue that that is reverse sexism. I've read so many articles lately about how male resident doctors have had such a hard time because they have a double negative against them. A) They are resident doctors and some people don't want 'students' treating them (even though they must run all cases by whoever they are working under) and B) a lot of females want to be treated by females for certain things. I don't know if that is a fair assessment though and wonder if males prefer male doctors for certain things.

On the other hand, I see (and have heard/read) the other side of the argument -- that a doctor is a doctor, so their gender shouldn't matter and should be taken out of the element... and that doctors of both genders have gone through extensive education and whatnot. I don't think it's that simple though -- of course there is a human element to it that can't be taken out the equation so easily.

I certainly don't think all doctors are equal -- but I also don't think a doctor of a certain gender is better than another.

After reading such articles, I'm so torn! I see the argument from both sides of the argument so well. I guess it's one of those things that is 'to each, his own'. What do you think?

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another Brain Teaser

I've got another brain teaser for you!

There are six glasses. The first three of the glasses are filled with orange juice; the other three are empty. By moving only one glass, can you arrange them so the full and empty glasses alternate?

I've included an image for those of you who need a visual image!

Remember, don't cheat!

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

U.S. Citizenship

Yesterday (11.08.11), on Election Day, I became a U.S. citizen! For a political buff like me, that is pretty neat.

I may be the only person excited about jury duty, and of course I can't wait to vote! We've always sent an absentee ballot back to Canada to vote.

Apparently, the NJ office is one of only three in the country where you can have your interview and oath on the same day... which meant it was a LONG day! I left home at 8 AM and didn't get back until 5 PM. The interview portion of the day lasted probably less than five minutes (and this includes all the form signing), so it's just the logistics of it that makes the wait so long.

Before they quiz you on the U.S. history/government, they have you read and write a sentence in English. I had to read the sentence "Where does the President live?" and write "The President lives in the White House".

The questions I was asked pertaining to U.S. history/government were:
  1. What is the "rule of law"?
  2. Who is the Governor of your state?
  3. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
  4. Where is the Statue of Liberty?
  5. Who was the first President?
  6. Name two national U.S. holidays.
Piece of cake!

Last year on Election Day, I got the iPhone 4. This year, I became a citizen. I wonder what will happen next year!

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Application Humor

Someone I know had this as their Facebook status yesterday, and it made me literally laugh out loud. Because it's so true!

She wrote:

Whenever I am filling out an application, and I get to the part where it asks "who should we contact in case of an emergency", I always write in "doctor". What's my mother/father going to do?

It's made me laugh a few times today, that's for sure!

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Brain Teaser

75% of people cannot find the the mistake in this 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15.

Can you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Funniest Kid Ever

So I am waiting in the lobby of the hospital earlier this morning, and this adorable little girl (had to be 2 1/2 or three years old at max) caught my eye. She was giving her mom a hard time and running around in a crowded area (every young mother's nightmare, I'm sure).

To try and calm the kid down, the mom offered her daughter a snack -- little cookies.

The child happily obliged, and was enjoying said cookie... until she dropped it on the ground. She looks down at the cookie, looks up at her mom, then quickly picks up the aforementioned cookie from the dirty floor and stuffs it in her MOUTH thinking the mom hadn't noticed!

The mom, of course, did notice. She tries to convince her daughter to spit the cookie out.. and after a few seconds or so -- the daughter says: I'll throw it in the garbage myself. The mom agrees.

The little girl spits the cookie into her hand, runs towards the garbage can, turns around and quickly puts it back in her mouth and swallows it!

Everybody in the room who had noticed the incident play out (except for the mom of course) burst out laughing.

I feel for her parents already. That kid is going to be rebellious in her teen years for sure.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


As I was patiently waiting (not really) in line to return something at customer service in Target earlier today, I overheard the following conversation between the cashier and consumer.

Consumer: I want to return this (this being a child's outfit).
Cashier: Ok, do you have a receipt?
Consumer: No.
Cashier: How did you pay?
Consumer: Cash or credit card.... but credit card I think.
Cashier: Do you have the credit card?
Consumer: No.
Cashier: Can I see your driver's license or ID?
Consumer: I don't have that either.
Cashier: I need that or something in order to process the return.
Consumer: Sighs. I'll come back.

Me: Trying my hardest not to burst out laughing, but can't keep the smile off my face.

Really?! I swear, I worked in retail part time while I was a student and it just never surprises you the things people say/do.

I don't know about you, but I'd never even try to return something if I didn't have a receipt or proof of purchase. Or if I did have the receipt, but I'd used/worn the item.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Positive Thoughts

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.

How true is that?!

Recovering from a viral I caught last month has taken much longer than anticipated for some reason and is still making me very tired very easily. The simplest things are wearing me out a lot of the times (yet I am still not sleeping at night properly ironically).

This has, of course, made me really annoyed lately. I'm so used to just randomly making or baking stuff (I LOVE cooking) or randomly going on simple errands, etc.

I've had plenty of time to think lately (because let's face it, most of the time I haven't had the energy to do much else), and on a day I was feeling particularly down I came across the quote I started this blog post off with and it just stuck with me!

Let's face it. Things can be a lot worse. There's usually someone in your own circle (friends, family, community members, etc.) who is much worse off. We just need to be reminded every so often to think positive.

Right off the bat, one of the positives I can think of for this last month is that I've probably taken more naps in the day this past month than I ever have -- I can usually never sleep in the day!

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Hate Being Sick

4 blood tests, 4 urine tests, 3 ER trips, 3 IVs, 2 doctor visits, 2 flu tests, 1 X-ray, and 1 cat scan. In the span of 7 days. What a week!

Have I set the record for the times I've had to visit the ER in the span of seven days?

I could throw in more number facts in there, but these are just the basics.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably already knew that I haven't been feeling well for the last two weeks.

It started off in the evening of Sept 11, with a sore throat. Annoyed I was getting sick, I took a few precautionary measures right away -- drank warm tea, took cough drops, and took over the counter cough medicine.

Little did I know what it would lead to!

By 9 PM that night, my whole body was completely sore and everything just hurt.

By early that night, I was completely sore and had a full body ache. That night I was awake the whole night feeling miserable (and now had a fever and an intense cough).

Then it got even worse! :/

Starting Monday morning, I started throwing up A LOT. Sometimes just randomly, but definitely if I ate or drank something. Either I would throw up right away or get a horrible coughing fit which would result in me throwing up soon after. Plus diarrhea.

Fun, huh?

Went to my doctor Tuesday afternoon and she gave me some anti nausea medicine and told me I had some crazy viral that was going around and that I needed to go to the ER if it didn't improve because I was losing too much fluid.

So that night would be ER Trip #1.

Six or seven hours, an IV fluid, first of many blood and urine samples, more anti-nausea medicine through the IV later, I would come home being told I had a crazy viral. Really? I didn't figure that out already. More specifically, a throat infection (viral pharyngitis) plus MAYBE a bladder infection. Fun stuff.

What annoyed me was they didn't do anything about the main things, just the minor ones. I mean, I would rather be coughing and what not then throwing up so much. Anyways, Tuesday was another miserable night and no sleep.

Wednesday morning, because I hadn't had anything to eat/drink since Sunday, I tried to eat a cracker before taking the medicines. I figured the IV fluid and the anti-nausea medicine through the IV would have done me some good. But of course not -- I was still throwing up.

Wednesday afternoon (the 14th), my doctor called to check how I was doing and when I told her I was still not able to keep things down, she told me to go back to the ER again. More IV fluids, tests, and hours later... I made my way back home from the ER for the second night in a row!

Thank god for my iPhone because without it, I would have lost the little sanity I have left after the past few weeks. It kept me from losing my mind the countless hours I was in the ER (three times over), it distracted me when I needed it most, and because I was pretty much laying down or sleeping most of the time it gave my access to read the news, etc!

A few days ago, I joked that you know I don't feel well when I haven't touched my laptop in such a long time! Unfortunately, it's true.

I'll follow up soon with another post on the nurses in the ER (at least the ones in my local hospital). It's been on my mind since the first night I was in the ER.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You?

Ten years ago today, I was just days into the school year -- I was in the eighth grade.

I knew something was wrong right away because over and over again the classroom intercom would go off from the main office calling yet another student down. Slowly, but surely many of my fellow classmates were being picked up by their parents early from school. Not only was it early in the school day, but it was literally a few days into the school year.

School faculty/administration would not explain why, no matter how many students asked. To protect us? I don't know.

I don't remember from who, but I remember over hearing someone talking about an "emergency" in "downtown" "Manhattan" involving the "World Trade Center".

I remember lividly -- lumps formed in my throat and tears started forming in my eyes as I quickly went up to my teacher and told my teacher I needed to go down to the main office and call home. I needed to make sure my dad was okay.

He too, like MANY others used the train to get to work in Manhattan every day. His stop was the station in the lower level of the World Trade Center.

I, too, was picked up early from school. On the drive home, I could see the smoke even in Central New Jersey looming in the sky.

In a time before cell phones were so common that even elementary school-ers carry it around (like now), not many people had the luxury of having one. It just wasn't deemed to be a necessity as it is now. That meant getting in contact with your family and friends that day was a challenge in itself.

My dad, luckily, got in contact with my mom quickly and let her know he was fine. He had just gotten off the train and left the building and he "heard the noise", but didn't see as the first tower was hit.

It took him hours to get home that day because the city was literally shut down, but all that mattered was that he was fine.

Blessed? You bet. Grateful? More than I could ever explain.

In the hours and days ahead, glued to the TV and questioning "WHY?", I would learn how massive that day was... how many innocent lives were unjustly taken away that day.

As a young Muslim girl who had just started wearing the hijab just a few days prior (on the first day of school), I had no idea how the community would react hearing about all the backlash against Muslims and hate crimes in the days ahead. Fortunately, we live in a very diverse community, and I didn't have any problems.

Even so, being a Muslim has been a double edge-sword at times. It's just so easy to lump a whole group and pin the "blame" on them. But do we blame all Germans for the Holocaust? No. You know why? Because we know it's not true. An individual's action or a group of individual's actions can't be attributed to a whole group of people.

It's taken me ten years to write down my "Where were you when it happened" story, but you know...  it's not something I'd ever forget.

It's a day of reflection and counting your blessings. It's a day to remember all of the innocent lives lost that day. It's a day that we lost the feeling of comfort and peace. It's a day that changed how we lived forever.

Oh what I'd do to go back to the mindset of September 10, 2001. Being so young at the time, I honestly don't remember the care-free life before.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NY Scenery

What do I do while stuck in the car for seven plus hours during a road trip?

Take pictures of the scenery, of course, from my iPhone!

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Driving up north today, I definitely got a reality check.

Watching the news coverage on the flood and intense rain in the last week or so just doesn't give it justice.

Here is one photo I quickly snapped from my phone earlier today:

Yes, that's flooding up to the branches pretty much.

We saw parks completely flooded. Stop signs with rain more than three quarters covering it. Soccer posts being over half under water. We saw towns completely empty and businesses shut down because they were flooded. To see all of the hairs and tables at a Wendy's outside the restaurant because it was completely damage is just one example.

And here I was thinking we had it bad. When we had to clean up the basement flooding for just one night.

Sure we had road closures all around us and we were pretty much stuck at home, but...

We still had power during the worst of the storm.

Our area suffered little to no damage in the aftermath of the storm.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blogger App

I am not sure when it happened, but Blogger finally has an app for the iPhone!

Maybe (probably not) it is just what I need to start blogging more frequently again.

From time to time, I used to continuously check to see if Blogger came out with an official app, and then gave up on it. Much to my surprise tonight, as I was searching through apps on my iPhone, I found the Blogger app!

I just installed it and am actually using the app to write out this post to test it out.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What's For Dinner: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Bars

To make the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bars, I used:
  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) of Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bottle (7.25 oz) of chocolate topping that forms hard shell
  • 1 container (1.5 quart) of chocolate chip-cookie dough ice cream (about 6 cups's worth)
Here's a step by step:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Take a 13x9-inch pan [that is oven-safe], and spray the bottom and sides with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine your cookie mix, butter and egg together until a nice and soft dough forms.
  3. Using the cookie dough that you just made, make 5 cookies. Bake [in a baking sheet - not the 13x9-inch pan you greased earlier!] the cookies for about 9 to 11 minutes) or basically until the edges of your cookies are golden brown). Once they are out of the oven, let the cookies cool for a few minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, press remaining dough in pan, using moistened fingers (dough will be sticky). Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until it is set. Let it cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  5. Spread 1/3 cup of the chocolate topping over the baked crust. Freeze 10 to 15 minutes or until chocolate is set.
  6. Meanwhile, remove ice cream from freezer to soften. Spread softened ice cream evenly over chocolate-topped crust.
  7. Crumble 5 baked cookies; sprinkle over ice cream layer. Drizzle remaining chocolate topping over cookie crumbs. Cover; freeze for about 2 hours. 

To serve, let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before cutting. For serving pieces, cut into 5 rows by 3 rows. If there are any leftovers, store your leftovers in a freezer, just make sure to cover it completely.

P.S. This post is a part of my "What's for Dinner" series, where I share what I've been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

What's For Dinner: Bihari Kabab Rolls

I am not a fan of many Pakistani dishes, but chicken bihari kababs are one of my favorites. From time to time, I turn them into rolls for the family and/or guests.

For the Chicken Bihari Kababs, I took chicken breasts that were sliced into thin fillets (chicken ka pasanday in other words) and marinated it with: salt, pepper, paprika, ginger powder (or ginger paste), garlic powder (or garlic paste), red pepper flakes, grinded fried onions, grinded poppy seeds (or kashkaash), grinded raw papaya [to help tenderize the chicken], yogurt, bihari kabab masala, and oil. For the oil -- I love what the mustard oil does to the bihari kabab, but I've made it many times over with plain old cooking oil as well.

Marinate it at least twenty four hours beforehand so it marinates well [and the meat has time to tenderize].
Put it on the skewers, and bake for about 35 minutes on 380 degrees. half way through making, turn the skewers so both sides cook evenly (if it won't turn, it's not a big deal). Next, for about six or seven minutes, put it under the broiler.

Sometimes when I am making the chicken bihari kababs specifically for these rolls, I'll use minced chicken meat.

For the paratha portion, I just used a store-bought one that I heated up over the stove.

For the sauces, I used a combination of two: a homemade raita and store-bought tamarind (imli) chutney. For the homemade raita: Take coriander leaves, salt, garlic, paprika and lemon juice. Run it through the processor. We do these in a large batch and freeze them. Once they are frozen, I'll break them apart for single-sized uses so when I need some, I can just pull out one piece, and not wait on a large piece to defrost.

Whether you are using it fresh or after waiting for it to thaw, when you are ready to make the raita:  take yogurt, salt, garlic powder and some of the coriander mixture and mix it well. The thickness will ultimately depend on your own liking, but I don't thin it out for these types of uses.
P.S. This post is a part of my "What's for Dinner" series, where I share what I've been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

What's For Dinner: Cheesecake

P.S. This post is a part of my "What's for Dinner" series, where I share what I've been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thanks Hurricane Irene

Thanks to Hurricane Irene, our family spent Saturday night de-flooding (un-flooding?) taking all of the water out of our basement. What else could we have wanted to do on a Saturday night, right? In all honesty, my brother and dad did most of it because I couldn't do much.

But in all seriousness, we were VERY lucky!

Minimal damage, power stayed on, and no serious injuries in our area. Many weren't so lucky, and I know how fortunate we are and I hope everyone else effected by Hurricane Irene is okay.

I had no idea how badly the main street off of our road was flooded, considering our street was fine (as in the streets didn't flood, it just went into all of our basements). Seriously, Saturday night, us and at least three or four of our neighbors were up all night getting all the water out.

To give you an idea of how bad our main street is, click here to see my tweet earlier! Absolutely insane. Because our county has declared an emergency, only emergencies are warranted in being outside... which means I had no clue our street was like that until someone put the video on Twitter. Gotta love technology!

To the hurricane itself now --

It was much more mitigated than anticipated thankfully. All Saturday night we had crazy wind, heavy rain, and lightning after lightning that brighten up the night time sky. By the time Irene hit land in NJ Sunday morning, and we thought we would experience the worst of it... we didn't! :)

We had a tornado watch for pretty much all Saturday night, and thankfully nothing came of that either.

After being up for over 24 hours, I fell asleep a little after 9 AM for about 40 minutes and missed the TV coverage of it hitting NY.

After Irene passed, however, winds picked up fast and were present throughout! We definitely had higher winds in our area after the hurricane! In our backyard, branches fell off and fences were broken... but again, damage was very minimal compared to what could have been!

As I mentioned before, my biggest worry was power outage -- while the lights flickered on and off, our power stayed on!

It's funny and sad at the same time how many people were disappointed that Hurricane Irene wasn't as powerful as anticipated and that it weakened. As someone pointed out on Twitter, only would NY-ers be disappointed that a hurricane didn't hit them and cause damage instead of realizing how fortunate they are.

Crazy lightning and thunderstorm, earthquake, hurricane irene and tornado watches all in the span of a few days -- am I the only one ready for a peaceful rest of the year? Not to mention two blizzards this past winter plus and a very hot and humid summer.

The snow, I don't mind of course! :) Give me a snow storm any day!

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prepping for Hurricane Irene

Non perishable food and bottled water has been bought. Flashlights are at arm's distance. Bags have been packed in case we need to evacuate. Cookies have been baked :)

Oh and rain and wind has picked up.

Are we ready? As ready as we'll ever be.

I'll take the crazy wind, rain, and possible flooding... I'm just hoping the power stays on!

Irene is supposed to hit us around 8 PM tonight, so let's see what happens. Praying for the best, and the safety of those effected by Hurricane Irene.

If your area is under the evacuation zones, LEAVE. Is it really worth the risk? I don't think so.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Did You Feel It?

"Did you feel it?" It's probably the number one question being asked along all of the east coast on the United States.

Living in New Jersey (or any part of the east cost), you don' really expect earthquakes.

Barring crazy thunderstorms (and your house being struck by lightning) and snow storms, we are fortunate enough to live in area that is rather safe from things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes (that can cause damage/harm)... stuff like this just doesn't happen here!

The first time I felt it, I thought I was dizzy or something and the first thing I did was google "earthquake in central jersey" -- what can I say? I was born and raised in a tech-savvy era! When I felt it for a second time, I knew I wasn't imagining it.

Fortunately there was no major damage and even better -- no major injuries!

Where were you when the earthquake hit? Did you feel it?

By the way, if you felt the earthquake, you can check how intense the earthquake hit your area by clicking here!

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Domestic Violence Transcends All Racial Boundaries

Domestic violence transcends all racial boundaries.

It's proven time and again.

I haven't been able to get the unfortunate news out of my mind all week. A fellow Pakistani female murdered. At the hands of her husband. Right here in New Jersey!

Not just because I, too, was born in Pakistan. Or that I am a female. But as a human.

Nazish Noorani, a young mom of two small children, was killed after her husband meticulously planned her murder with another woman.

There are so many disgusting aspects of this story --
  • the husband has been living a life of a lie (lying about his educational history, for example, while carrying on numerous affairs)
  • to murder a woman in front of her child
  • to meticulously PLAN this murder... down to the expected police response time.
  • to make up a story and try to blame it as a hate crime.
It's absolutely heart-wrenching.

According to Futures Without Violence, on average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. Yet, according to National Coalition Againts Domestic Violence, domestic violence is one of the most chronically under-reported crimes. Most cases aren't ever reported to the police!

WHEN, as a society, are we going to stand up for the matters that matter? HOW does someone decide to take away someone else's life? WHO gives them such a right?

How many domestic violence cases is it going for us to say enough is enough?  Too many, in my opinion.

Soon enough, the media attention on this case will diminish. But these young children, like many others, will still be left motherless.

If you see something, say something! You could be saving a life!

Friends and family of Nazish have set up a memorial fund for her two children, and if you are interested you can click here.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Texas Trip

Texas. What can I say about our trip? It was disgustingly hot. That pretty much summarizes the trip for me.

While our five day stay earlier this month was a lot of month, the heat and humidity more than took over the trip.

My brother Faraz and I have been there once before a couple of years ago to visit our uncle and his family; last time we went, it was May so we didn't have to face the heat that time. Instead, we had to face their crazy, random, and unpredictable thunderstorms that year.

The night we got there, we had a BBQ. It was like 11 PM and it was around 100 degrees. If I lived in Texas (which would NEVER happen), I doubt I'd leave my air-conditioned house!

Last time my brother and I went, we went to the Sixth Floor Museum (from where JFK was shot). The musuem is really neat (for those interested in history and politics like we are), and I knew the rest of my family would like it too and so we made another trip. It was like the only tourist thing we got to do because everyday was packed with wedding festivities. I don't know what else there is to see in Dallas, Texas anyways. Anyhow, the museum was a neat experience even the second time around. They did make changes this time around and now it comes with an audio tour.

Highlight of the trip? My cousin's wedding.
Best food? Had the best bihari kababs (probably ever).
The downer? humidity.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On Our Way to Texas

After months and months of planning, our trip to Texas is finally here!

Ironically, my uncle lived in Dallas for years, and always called all of our extended family to visit… and my brother, one of my cousins, and I were the only ones to go visit him now. My uncle just moved from there last month, and the WHOLE family is going to Dallas now.

It’s a family reunion of sorts… in a completely random area… because my cousin is getting married! Sitting here, at Newark airport, because yes, we arrived way too early anticipating both traffic on the way and long lines inside. Luckily, we got neither.

For the longest time, we weren’t sure who from our family would end up going because my mom just didn’t want to fly while my brothers and I didn’t want to drive (it’s TWO LONG DAYS WORTH OF DRIVING to get there). I was put to ease a few months ago when we finally booked our flights, etc.

I gotta say, I know the media over dramatizes everything… but boy did they do so for airport check-points. I don’t know if it was just a random occurrence (I’ll have to update after our trip back home), but it was like when we traveled before in the past. Take your shoes off, put your stuff through the scanners, walk through the metal detector. Simple, and easy. The only different thing was that the lady told me she would need to pat my hair down because I wore a hijab. Before I even put my stuff down though, she told me, so it wasn’t a big deal. Then she told ME to pat MYSELF down. Like come on, WHY are people complaining and making such a big deal out of nothing? If anything, people should be willing to go through extra security to ensure a safe flight, no?

Anyhow, back to our trip… besides all the wedding events and festivities of course, I am looking forward to going back to the Sixth Floor Museum and hopefully some other tourist spots. Not sure what there is exactly to see there, but if you have suggestions – I’d love to hear them!

Will update later, about to board for our flight! Most likely, I won't update until at least our flight back home.

 P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Beyond a reasonable doubt. What does that mean to you?

Unless you live under a cave somewhere (and if that was the case, you wouldn't be reading this either), you had to have been at least aware of Casey Anthony and the case against her. If you read and watch the news (multiple times) daily like me, then you know a tad bit more.

A combination of two factors, in my opinion, of how a case works in our system played a huge role in the verdict:
  1. The burden of proof lies on the prosecution side; the defendant is innocent until they are proven guilty.
  2. A twelve-member jury of our peers holds the fate of the defendant.
Considering this was a death penalty case, I'm sure the jury felt added pressure. One of the only jurors to speak out so far said "I did not say she was innocent... I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

In another article, the same juror is quoted as saying:
"The prosecution had to prove it. Why is it my fault if they didn't prove their case? If you give me the evidence, I'm happy to return a verdict accordingly."Ford said the fact that Anthony could have faced the death penalty was a consideration."If they want to charge and they want me to take someone's life, they have to prove it. They have to prove it, or else I'm a murderer too."
But at the same time, I don't think the jurors should be considering the punishment part of the deliberation at this point because at this phase they should only be considering whether they think the defendant is guilty or innocent.

I'm against the death penalty as well, but to acquit someone because of that is unfair and UNJUST. These jurors realized that the alternate could have been life in prison, right? That's one of the drawbacks of a jury of peers -- you don't know if they know how it all works.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like if it was reversed; if the defense had to prove their innocence!

The aspect that did it for me was the fact that if she was innocent, why would she not report her daughter missing for 31 days? Who does that?

What do you think of the verdict? Do you think she's innocent? Do you think it was an accident gone awry? Or do you think Casey Anthony just got away with murder?

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Advertising Tactics

I understand companies think of every way possible to advertise their stuff and try and get us the consumers to their products. That's just the way it works.

I do not appreciate the fact when they go over board and send me emails telling me there are things still left in my cart from my last purchase that I did on their website....

.... and when I go to their website, a) there is absolutely nothing in the cart and b) there are pop ups informing me of a the gigantic sale they are having along with it being plastered pretty much on their website.

This is of course on top of the fact that they already send emails every day informing us of the sales!

As much as I love Bath and Body Works and their products, I do not appreciate this tactic.

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Miracle on the Hudson" Plane

Yes, that's the "Miracle on the Hudson" plane hanging out by my house on River Road.

Not random at all, right?

P.S. Don't forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I'd love to hear from you.
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