Thursday, November 29, 2007

Writer’s Strike- “I don’t like”

Your favorite sitcom, drama or comedy show may be on for one more week before the reruns will start pouring down the tube. Comedy shows like Jay Leno have ancient reruns playing of more than ten to fifteen years old I am estimating. Although, it is hard to tell with Jay Leno’s set of gray hair even back then, but his awfully wide, out of proportion suit, easily gives it away and of course the lighting and background set aren’t of this Era, one can immediately detect.

My favorites? I must say my guilty pleasure on Sunday night is none other than Desperate Housewives followed by Brothers & Sisters, which I only happen to like because of the focus on family and the quarrels between siblings I find so universal, don’t you think?

You may have thought that I have been on some kind of strike myself, due to my absence. But rest assured, I am always willing to write….no strikes for me, unless there is gain for pain; count me in! ;) Although, most of the time I am craving to write, I do find myself having mood swings as anyone else, ruining my appetite to share even the slightest bit of detail with the world. But then once I repress my feelings, I try to find outlets by talking people’s heads off….I go on and on and feel as if a void has to be filled by pure communication alone. I surrender. Writing is truly dear to me than I thought and I find it quite therapeutic. I wonder how the writers are doing? Pacing the curbside for hours and hours, holding elaborate signs in front of big broadcasting companies, trying to convey their message; more money for intellectual input! Oh, I wish I was one of them…I’d be happy to see Ray Romano or Robin Williams giving me support, bringing donuts to stand in solidarity. Striking for more dough couldn’t get any better, I tell ya that!

Let’s see how long the American public is willing to sacrifice their entertainment. Knowing that after upcoming Sunday, my desperate need for watching Desperate Housewives will come to an end, makes me feel like a true desperado…

Unless Heroes come along to save the day...uhmm never mind.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Ever had the feeling
of something standing in your way and you’d be afraid to try out, underestimating your abilities to the very core of your being? Your heart may be willing to take the chance but your thoughts would contemplate and play tricks with your mind?

I have. It is a familiar feeling to me. Taking that one step towards 'knowing' is as exhilarating and nerve breaking as driving a nascar. (which I haven’t, but must be in relation to the above mentioned emotions)…Maybe I thrive to remain in the “Unknown”. The mystery of not knowing makes me live life excitedly…? Or perhaps not?

We make things difficult for ourselves which in reality they aren’t. They’re just mere obstacles in our way to overcome what lays affront; an action or reward of some sort.
We may not remember the very first step we took as a toddler when making the transition from crawling to actually walking on both feet, but our parents do. They have encountered our fears and encouraged us along the way, letting the challenges appear much easier for us with their countless support and loving words. The smiles on our faces with the growing of a teeth or two must have melted their hearts like candle wax. Those very sweet and unconscious moments saved in a stored corner of our mind, we can not travel back to, but relive the same moments in our lives as we become parents ourselves; repeating the very same humane actions of nurturing to our very Young and Adorable, hoping one day for them to turn into the self-caring Bold and Beautiful.

Life is certainly a journey of chapters we live by. Some of us, quickly skim through the chapters and don’t pay attention to the very details of the story and some make an effort to comprehend and imply the author’s teachings in our lives, so that the forthcoming chapters would fall into place as one complete puzzle. Your author can be God, your parents or you YOURSELF. I believe in being the author of my destiny and God is my ultimate Guidance. Sometimes it is the other way around, whereas I am trying to guide God to write my destiny just the way I want …but to no avail. God is much smarter than that, His Guidance can not be misunderstood.

As I am writing this, I am sitting in my balcony outside, enjoying the November cool breeze with the sun that is shy to fully reveal itself. I look behind and this enormous tree is covering my sunshine. A few strands of the sun fall onto my laptop and I enjoy watching the sun struggling to shine through the thick moist leaves and branches of the tree, just to reach me. The sun’s exposure as little as it is, is truly gratifying to my entire soul. I feel loved. And gone is my sun, leaving me abruptly in the shade of life’s mystery….

I recently made Biryani at home. Biryani is a moghul Pakistani/Indian dish that is originated from the Moghul era of Kings and Emperors filled with authentic spices and saturated with irresistible aroma. This is a rich meal made of meat and rice to quench your senses and is wildly popular among anyone who loves Pakistani/Indian food. The preparation for Biryani is a step by step process and requires full attentive love. Biryani was very intimidating at first, since this dish was a favorite of mine during childhood and all the aunties or my mom who’d prepare Biryani for me, I’d instantly consider (them) magicians.

My impression of Biryani held a very high level for me and I was afraid that in the making of this special dish, I may not do justice to it…until…

...I made it! I followed each and every step and integrated some of my fresh ideas, but kept the originality intact, resulting into a blendful of tender spiceful marinated chicken pieces mixed into the glorious Basmati rice with flavorful bay leaves, cloves and cardamom seeds . Hmmmm…my work was done; the complexity of spices and the lengthy preparation seemed attainable for me as I no longer feel intimidated by Biryani. I feel accomplished, triumphant, maybe close to the oblivious joy I felt when I started walking (?), and more so; delighted for welcoming the 'Moghuls' in my very home. The beginning of a new chapter written and lived through my own eyes;
A tradition of spices and flavor I’d like to continue for as long as I am here…

…My very own tasteful

Monday, November 5, 2007

Excuse me, but I said NO...

You must have encountered situations where you feel stuck and want to take the easy way out by saying 'no', but while your mind is signaling the red alert flag, you go ahead… open your mouth and say YES. The second right after that, you scold your mouth and your whole vocal system for producing the sound, even as small as a three letter word.

Why can’t I say NO??? How hard is that? Why please the other person for something that doesn’t make sense and you know you won’t be able to put your heart and soul into it?
Saying no is not a crime, it’s merely the truth for a reality that grows and becomes bigger until it hits home.

It is known that women tend to be very hesitant in their career fields and often when increase in salary or promotions are well deserved, they don’t negotiate and miss out on the golden opportunity. Men on the other hand, take business very seriously and think of their time as a race to successfully climb up the ladder of the corporate world. Of course there are plenty of women out there, especially in the business fields, who are as much as qualified, aggressive, motivated and efficient as their male co-workers and don’t take
no for an answer. They are confident about their abilities and will challenge themselves to be the very best, a little bit of competition may just do the trick. ;)

I am definitely very competitive. My Real Estate career has always consisted of hard work, self motivation, self-education and a lot of willpower to succeed. I was working in the office with mostly men as my co-workers, but never felt different from any of them. The long hours and running around to meet deadlines, worked as an adrenaline rush and I’d easily be very disappointed if I couldn’t fulfill my own expectations. I had my own world of fabulous clients, piles of files and the energy boost “jamba juice” would give me during lunch
:). My presence in the office was always acknowledged by my co-workers and they’d respect me in return for sticking to the business, while I’d make witty comments here and there and say something out of the ordinary. “Bam Bam” (like a slapping sound) was the nickname given to me for being the go-getter I was.

I always laugh when I think back of those days. One of my female friends told me that I was intimidating to men since I wouldn’t open up too much. Although, people knew me personally, but I’d never just waste my time and was confident to decline any sort of entertainment that I thought was distracting to my career. I said NO.

With friends and family I’d be very different and would easily pull my guard down. In fact, if you’d known me any better; I always enjoy long, goofy conversations, impulsive adventures and hilarious laughter about nothing and everything. You’d barely find me saying
NO, I’ll be the one pushing everyone to get out of their comfort zone and live life to their fullest. I believe in moderation. One has to balance work, family and fun in a way nobody gets harmed and consideration should be given to everyone, such as our elders or our community.

The one thing that I find myself struggling with is declining favors/services for others.
I love to take care and help as much as I can, but sometimes I push myself to the limits. I wish there was a way for me to be in many places at one time. Saying 'no' in situations like this, when intentionally everything is good and the cause may be good as well, but my mind is not willing to cooperate, is quite hard. I love being selfless, putting others before myself, even if it requires sacrifice, I’ll do it. Not just for everyone, but for people and causes I hold dear to my heart. I can’t say

Here's a Flashback to when I was a growing teenager, trying to differentiate the good and bad. Spending a very regular day with my best friend since our days in elementary school:

“Danielle , where are we going?”

“I was thinking we could hang out in the Mall today, Naila”
“Ok, no problem, I said.”

After 20 min. of walking around, she approached a group of guys and girls I wasn’t familiar with and started talking. I stood there, lingering around, not knowing what was going on.

“Hey, I think we should go see that store, I said”

No answer. She was apparently very busy.

“Why did she change so much in High School?” I thought
. One of the punks started to lit up a cigarette, most likely filled with drugs and handed one over to Danielle. She handedly took it over and just as she was about to take one puff, I shockingly reacted: “What are you doing??? Don’t do that!”

Nobody seemed to care. They were enjoying each other’s company. What had happened to her? The girl I knew loved horses and acted in plays. What had gone into her?!
One of the crazy lunatics thought it’d be funny to offer me one. As disappointed I was in her, I looked at the guy with anger building up in me,
I yelled out NO!.. and walked away, never looking back.

The year 2001: Went back to Holland to wrap things up and eventually settle down in California. While I was finishing up on my wish list, I passed by my favorite bakery and couldn’t resist but stop to have one last look at my favorite Dutch apple pie.

I walked inside and was instantly welcomed by the buttery aroma of cake and pastries. While I was waiting for someone to appear at the cash registry, my eyes were fixed on the one cake I loved.
“How can I help you”?
The voice said.
I halfway looked up and finally decided to buy the cake and was ready to indulge.
“Well, I’ll have the apple pie”. As I leaned forward to take out my purse, I caught a glance of the girl behind the counter. When handing over the money, I looked in her eyes. My instincts were telling me it was her, but this girl looked way too old for her age. She looked more of a stressful middle aged woman than her actual 19 years.
That is when I blurted out;
"Danielle! Is that YOU?!"

I couldn’t find the same excitement in her I was looking for and decided to tone it down a bit. I asked her how she was doing, but her responses were as lifeless as she looked. I remember leaving the bakery with a weird feeling. Silently praying for her, the friend I shared such good times with I now discovered withdrawn and somber as if someone sucked it all out of her.
I was sad...feeling so helpless and questioned 'destiny' for pushing me into the bakery, facing her outcome.

If only she could’ve said

Saturday, November 3, 2007

.Geek Invasion.

I wanted to touch upon a more lighthearted subject. A subject that is close to my heart and I have had a good amount of experience with; not anything like poetry or shopping, but a more personable & lovable geek I live with, whom is recognized as my husband and mr. gridviewguy himself. (of

What is a Geek and to whom, what kind of people can this term really do justice?

“ A person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity, depth, or subject of their interest. This definition is very broad, and allows for mathematics geeks, engineering geeks, sci-fi geeks, computer geeks, various science geeks, movie and film geeks (cinephile), comics geeks, theatre geeks, history geeks, gamermusic geeks, art geeks, SCA geeks, literature geeks.” geeks,

Such devotion towards subjects, computers and scientific studies usually fall under the expertise of bright people and when this bright person happens to wear glasses or maintains a nerdy/simple look, unaware of any worldly attractions, he/she is declared a geek. Geeks are often neglected or remain secluded in their world of analysis to further perfect their skills. Changing the world in many ways, they work behind the screens and contribute to society in valuable aspects we may not find mesmerizing. Here’s a great description of a typical computer geek I found, alas my husband:
“A bright young man turned inward, poorly socialized, who felt so little kinship with his own planet that he routinely traveled to the ones invented by his favorite authors, who thought of that secret, dreamy place his computer took him to as cyberspace -- somewhere exciting, a place more real than his own life, a land he could conquer, not a drab teenager's room in his parents' house.”

The inevitable Bill Gates with a personal fortune of $56 billion hasn’t made his Microsoft empire just overnight; a lot of dedication and determination must have gone into his work. It’s the early years in a man’s life that can make all the difference. The harder you work with fewer distractions, the more fruitful your future is. I have to admit, in my early teens, I was quite the geek myself. I was wearing Elton John glasses (the very round ones), wore braces, always sat in the front row in class and had my hair tied up almost every day. Also, with the grim weather in Holland, one was keen to snuggle up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate. Aahh, sometimes I miss those very cold days when my main concern was to cycle back home and embrace my mom’s cooking with the opening of the front door and I’d take in the warmth of our home.

You may be familiar with the reality TV series; Beauty and the Geek, produced by the very hilarious Ashton Kutcher. Women grow up having a vivid image or fantasy of Prince Charming. In these series, a bunch of good looking women, not necessarily smart, are teamed up with ultra alpha geeks to compete in a contest of intellectual games and social knowledge. The beauty queens aren’t attracted and somewhat distant to these men, but what I find fun to watch is how they slowly appreciate their opposite sex and become intrigued by their talents and intelligent strategies. This show puts a spotlight on geeks and makes them look capable of being more than just geeky. Some of them turn out to be pretty handsome looking. ;)

Beauty and brains is a fatal combination, a total package men look for in women and vice versa. Maybe deep down you are geeky, but the expensive cologne or pounds of make-up makes you feel like a million bucks. Let’s face it, the world accepts anything less than geeky and as a result we are rejecting people left and right, only because their simplicity isn’t infatuating for us to be willing to give them one other look. Keep in mind, clothing and style are changeable, but character and intelligence is build over the years and cannot be replaced, it’s rooted from within and generously given through inherited genes. You may think your position is powerful enough to change your ‘hunk’ or ‘babe’ into solid sincere material, but be aware of artificial side effects. ;)

Let’s get smarter and convert ‘Beauty and the Geek’ into ‘Beauty and Brains’, starting right here. You may pass by another Bill Gates at school or work and not pay attention to this humble & modest being while you’re waiting for a Greek god/goddess to arrive and immensely impress you with looks, but as it turns out, hasn’t read any books ;)

Seriously... be realistic, what are the chances?