Friday, July 21, 2006

a finished product

some time ago, i posted about some writing khidmat i had the opportunity of doing, for the National Restaurant Convention. after many revisions and discussions and emails sent back and forth, a final draft was born, and some people at Al-Jamea added pictures and color and graphics.

it now looks wonderful; it has been arzi'd to aqa moula (tus) and shz sahabs and various other people in its finished form. i was just sent the final copy this morning from india, and when i look through it and read my own words, i felt proud to have been an integral part of this effort.

i have the file in pdf for those who are interested in seeing it; email me and i'll send it to you.

Monday, July 17, 2006

the good thing about sisters

last week, devon came to visit. my partner in crime throughout college. my opposite-in-every-way kindred spirit. my comfort zone in a way that only a few people can be. my gorgeous-without-knowing-it southern-hospitality best friend.

she stayed with taher and me for a week, and in the course of that week we managed to eat out way too much, shop way too much, and giggle way too much. went to the museum and got haircuts and watched movies and visited loyola and got caught in the rain and took silly pictures and reminisced and ate a lot of ice cream. the best week ever.

what made the week even better was that farida was in town at the same time. my other partner in crime. my i've-known-you-so-long-that-you-know-all-my-stories sister. my i-can-giggle-with-you-about-nothing-for-hours, we-can-communicate-complex-messages-just-by-moving-our-eyebrows, mind-reading confidante.

devon and i met farida for the day and we just hung out and had a very Girly Day, and it was so very good for my soul. to be surrounded by people who truly know you. who you can be yourself around in the most fundamental way- with devon and farida, i can just sit there and not talk and they still understand me. i can be a bit of a brat and it's taken the right way. i don't have to be polite or funny or conversational. honestly, i can just be. farida, devon, thank you for last week, for the years of memories, and the incredible load of mischief you have helped me create.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

go for the glory

this weekend taher and i traveled to california to attend a friend's wedding. the first day we were there, we joined about 25 of our friends in whitewater rafting at a river near bakersfield.

i had never gone rafting before, and after some initial anxiety, (mostly caused by the "safety talk" they gave us in the beginning which mentioned 33 ways to drown on said river), i loosened up and had a very good time. the six of us on my raft became a genuine team, working together through the rougher rapids. our guide was able, sweet and had very large arms (which gave me some peace because i imagined if we all fell in the raft, he'd use those guns to just pull us back in). the sun was shining, birds ambled overhead, and as we rafted we would gaze at the mountains in the distance, chatting and laughing frequently. it was one of those picturesque days that stay with you for a long time.

the rafting itself was exciting; i would love to go again. it's been on my list of things i wanted to try for a long time, and i'm glad the first opportunity i had was such a positive one. for the very last leg of the river, my friend M and i got to sit in the front of the raft- the view from here was awesome, in that you could see every wave coming at you. it was amazing.

anyway. the majority of this weekend was taken up with our friend's wedding. it's interesting, at weddings in chicago it's always the same crowd- people i have known all my life and feel comfortable around. there is no real trying that takes place; we all take up our usual dynamic with one another and it's very genuine but also very famililar. at this wedding, there were people from all over; people i know but haven't really gotten to know well, people i didn't know at all, and then of course some familiar faces from chicago to add a touch of home-sweet-home to all the newness.

the nice thing about meeting new people is that i am reminded that i am a very social creature; i love getting into conversations that lead from one thing to another and feeling that connection with someone instantly that leads from being strangers to being friends in a matter of minutes. i met a lot of people at this wedding, but i had that connection with three individuals and i was surprised and gratified to see how well i clicked with them. it was refreshing.

our last two days in california, monday and tuesday, we went to LA to stay with a friend of mine, someone i met ten years ago. an example of instant clicking that turned into a long-term friendship. taher and i stayed with her, her husband and her son for the day, and several of our other friends, from our little ff group, came to visit as well. i haven't seen any of these people in a while- i haven't had a chance to sit and chat with them in even longer. so this day, these 10 hours that all of our friends stayed and ate lunch and stayed and ate dinner was wonderful. amazingly refreshing in quite a new way; i felt very much appreciated for being exactly who i am.

it was a lovely social weekend. and as always coming back to chicago was like taking off my party clothes and slipping back into my favorite jeans; i'm home again.