The Muslim Orange

One. More. Day.

Just one more day left in the semester. Two exams. I am paralyzed by fear. Could do nothing but snack mindlessly all afternoon and now find myself in a despondent funk. I am in that headspace where I am watching all the dominoes fall one by one in my mind…I’m gonna do poorly on the exam, I’m gonna fail the class, I’m gonna flunk out of school, I’m never going to graduate and get a real job and I’m never going to live somewhere cool like DC again unless I 1) have a good job or 2) get married or 3) a combination of both.

Maybe I’m over-glamorizing DC…lofty visions of working for The Washington Post and riding the Metro and not having time to sit around and get into stupid self-defeating headspaces.

Then there are the cruel winters and I was fat when I was in DC because it was cold for like, half the year. The last time I weighed what I do now I was in the 5th grade. And that ain’t something to sneeze at. It’s funny, now that I’m not obsessing about weight anymore, and have pretty much resigned my life to school, work, and walking all over campus in the blistering heat…the pounds have just melted off.

I can still be glamorous and live in Orlando…er, I can certainly try.

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The Muslim Orange, Uncategorized

Why ‘The Muslim Orange?’

So I’m sure a lot…or some…or maybe none of you, are wondering about the name change. Over the past few months I’ve felt like my original purpose for starting this blog has changed. I was going through my earlier entries and they mostly all fell in line with the theme of working out and fitness, which is definitely a thread I will continue. However, I felt the title was too restrictive as of where I want to take my blog now. Most days I felt like I couldn’t write on Running Muslimah unless I had worked out, and I recall in previous entries apologizing for writing about stuff that was “off-topic.” (Well, maybe ‘on paper’ I apologized once or twice. I apologize a lot in my head.)

So why The Muslim Orange?

My main inspiration was my friend Ify Okoye, over at Muslim Apple. I’ve known Ify for a long time, relatively speaking, back in the days when she was still Zainab. (My mom still calls her that, and I still have her saved as Zainab Okoye in my phone, but don’t tell her that…oh wait, it’s on the internetz.)

Truthfully, I can’t remember where I first met Ify! But this is what I know to be true: hours of conversation in our living room back in Maryland, our normally recalcitrant cat, Tiki, coming up to her and sitting on her lap without any provocation, playing basketball at the elementary school gym the masjid would rent out for the girls, going to my first AlMaghrib class with her when I didn’t have my driver’s license and Ify would drive me to class with her and drop me back home. She single-handedly burned the entire Amina Elahi tafseer series to CD for my mom.  Ify is truly an amazing person.

Even though it wasn’t that long ago, I just remember everything piecemeal. I remember we were on our way to the hearing of yet another Muslim being accused, (I want to say Alexandria, VA, but I’m unsure) and when we got there we heard from someone inside that the courtroom was already filled. While the car idled, she showed me her driver’s license so I could see how her name was spelled. (I vaguely remember being skeptical about her name, I think that is why she had to whip out the hard evidence.)

Years later when I was visiting Maryland, I stumbled upon her while I was walking around the lake near my dad’s house. I was just dumbstruck because I had just been thinking about her, and here she was sitting on a picnic table right in front of me.

A few weeks ago I called her while stuck in traffic in downtown Orlando, and we didn’t hang up the phone until I arrived home, got out of the car, entered the house, and then found myself doing the “gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!” dance while I paced my bedroom. At which point I had to hang up, finally. We had attempted to say goodbye at least three  times during the course of my drive home but we kept picking up a new thread of conversation.

She’s just one of those people who it doesn’t matter how many years pass in between seeing or speaking to them, once you do it’s like no time has passed at all. Ify is seriously just an all around cool person.

So in a nutshell, the title is a little shout-out to her. Also, I like oranges. They’re full of Vitamin C and make me happy. Of course, all fruit are Muslim, because they are on the fitrah. 🙂

Here is one of her more well-known posts: The Penalty Box: Muslim Women’s Prayer Spaces

Other writings: Muslim Matters Author Profile: Ify Okoye

And of course, Muslim Apple 🙂

The Muslim Orange

I <3 NPR.

Can I just say one thing? I heart NPR. I feel so evolved and cultured and INFORMED when I listen to it. It’s the only good thing on the radio in Florida.

I listened to this while waiting for the bank to open:
Progressives Ask: Is It Obama, Or Is It Us?

Letter From Priests’ Lovers Reignites Celibacy Debate

Maternal Health Tops Development Agenda (one of my favorites)

I listened to this on my way to school:
‘The New Marijuana’: From Back Alleys To Main Street

Judge Recusals May Hinder Gulf Oil Spill Lawsuits

I listened to this on my way home:

With Brain Injuries, Soldiers Face Battle For Care (heart-wrenching)

Hounded By Doubt, Dogged Owners Probe A Mystery

There were a lot more that came on but I got tired of formatting the links. I spend a lot of time in my car, wow. I think switching all my presents to 90.7 will aid in my epic battle against the Muzak.

The Muslim Orange

Y’alls is crazy, not me.

So people were giving me weird looks today at school–I mean, more so than usual–because in addition to wearing a scarf wrapped around my head in 95 degree heat (small potatoes, I know, for us hijabis at least) I deigned to wear one tossed over my shoulders. Before the whole neck scarf craze–which I am not complaining about, it has made finding cute hijabs all the more convenient–there was the dupatta. That’s all I’m saying.

As another blond clone eyeballed me over the rim of her sunglasses while sashaying by in her short-shorts (or, as my mom likes to put it, “Hotpants!” You have to say it really indignantly, like you’re spitting out something distasteful.) all I could think was, At least I’m not wandering around half nekkid in front of God and creation, for goodness sake.

Why is it that girls with their stretch-marked boobs hanging out of their shirts think they can judge me? Or for that matter, girls with no boobs? What kind of society do we live in that I know these bodily traits about complete strangers because they can’t be bothered to wear something that isn’t made out of the scrap fabric pile?

Another thing that ticked me off was the May 18th entry at The Sartorialist. I know the author probably meant well, but he ruined the beautiful entry by writing this disclaimer:

I won’t get into the religious and political issues of this woman because the romantic in me wishes that we all could just get along. I hope we can discuss her style and self-expression for its genuine nature and celebrate the differences that keep this human family so interesting.

Just…what? The religious and political issues of this woman? All I see is a beautiful smiling Muslim girl who is wearing a rocking, MODEST outfit. I’m not sure what issues you are talking about, sir.

Of course, not a peep about the “religious and political issues” of the other people featured on his blog–like the scantily-clad burlesque dancer.

As Baba Ali likes to say, JHOOOOOOOOOOOOOKE.

In other news, I was flipping through the New York Times (and flipping, and flipping) and finally came across an article about the Free Gaza Flotilla. Buried in the middle of the paper, typ-i-cal. It was a good, in-depth article though. That’s probably why they tried their best to bury it.

The other day in my History of American Journalism class, we were talking about censorship in the news media. I brought up the case of the footage of the American soldier shooting an Iraqi in the head in a masjid, a mosque. The American channels censored it, but Al-Jazeera didn’t. As I was speaking, I could feel my voice begin to shake and my palms break out into a sweat, and I realized as I have countless times before how close to the surface the anger and frustration and sadness simmers, despite my best efforts–despite all our best efforts, I think–to quell it.

I don’t know how to wrap up this entry, so I will end by saying this: My cat is lost. No, seriously. We can’t find her anywhere.

Please come home, Mao. I fear you have run off and joined the Communists, in line with your inadvertent namesake.

interlude

I can't think of a title.

Is it just me, or is it somewhat sad that I’ve been finding the motivation to work out, yet unable to write about it?

I worked out for about an hour yesterday, and I’ve been feeling really, really good–but I don’t know if I want to make fitness the main focus of this blog anymore.

The one year anniversary of Running Muslimah is coming up in a few days! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I started this blog. Amazing how time flies.

I’m thinking to gift myself with a little bloggie birthday present. I’ll give you a hint…it rhymes with romaine, lo mein, hussein.

interlude

Rain!

‘Tis raining. Or was. Is. Whoa, thunder. Shook the whole house just now.

The Sister accidentally kicked the cat in the face in her haste to answer the door for my mom.

I arrived home about half an hour before the sun faded away and the clouds rolled in. As I sat outside and felt the breeze pick up, I began to hear the inevitable chorus of sirens that always seem to preface a big storm here on the outskirts of downtown Orlando. A lone coruscant bolt of lightening touched down to the horizon. I counted off the seconds before the rumble of thunder.

The wind was blowing so strong, sending bits of branches and dust and flotsam and jetsam flying everywhere. A broken container from our neighbor’s trash heap tumbled across their lawn.

It’s amazing…from a bright hot sun, to a gray cool thunderstorm. Within minutes.

i'm lost

Sluggish.

This all-encompassing heat has been taking a toll on me. Just walking across campus is a nightmare. Every time I inhale, I feel like I’m breathing in scorched vacuum. No amount of healthy eating, drinking water, or vitamins has been able to stop my head from pounding by the end of the day. I’ve been coming home completely exhausted. I go to sleep with a headache, and wake up with a headache. Yesterday while I was captioning I could feel my head spinning, and this muffled cotton ringing in my ears. I literally felt like I was going to pass out. I think in addition to the heat my “salaah-break” is further complicating things.

I’ve been taking iron supplements, and trying to eat non-heme sources of iron, but all I could think today as I was walking back to the student union was, “I could really eat a gyro the size of my head right now.”

I gave in 😦 I bought a halal gyro from this place in the union and ate it.  It sat in my stomach like a rock. I didn’t feel any better after. I felt gross and bloated and like I had let myself down. I haven’t eaten meat in almost a month and it was like my body didn’t know what to do with it.

It wasn’t even the good gyro meat. 😦 Just those processed slabs that come frozen in a box.

After coming home and feeling like a zombie, I finally took a nap, much later in the day than I should’ve. I woke up a few hours ago. Now it is 1 AM and I am only just now beginning to feel tired. Hate when that happens.

Working out has been out of the question these past couple of days. I worked out quite a bit last week and earlier this week, but right now all bets are off.

Just one more day between now and the weekend. ..a weekend to recuperate from the epic-fail this week has been. (Has it really been only two days?)

Just reviewed this post, and I am Very, Very Sorry that it turned into such a whine-fest. To counter the whining, I introduce:

GOOD THINGS IN MY LIFE

  • my cat ( did I mention we got a cat?) She is a Communist. Her name is Mao. The Sister and I wanted to name her Madeline Albright, but it just never caught on. My mom said you could live your life in the time it would take to say her name. So right now, she is simply the desi form of  ‘meow,’ which is ‘mao.’ Her previous owners had named her Miso, but The Sister and I agree that that name sucks.
  • rain. sweet, sweet rain.
  • my mom.
  • this weekend…can’t wait to go to Sister B‘s house and hit the driving range like I know what I’m doing. Then there is tennis. And bicycling. And walking. And swimming, provided we go at like, 6 AM. Move over Thursday, you’re blocking Friday’s view!