I have neglected this blog. But with good reason. I was engaged, married, pregnant, and now a mother to a bustling toddler that I can't see my life without. My last post reflected on the past and embracing our experiences that make us who we are. And now I realize that my path led me exactly to where I'm supposed to be, where I want to be. If anything had been different, I wouldn't have exactly what I have now or be exactly where I am. I couldn't imagine it any other way, even on the worst days, which yes, I still have. So here's to the present. To the good days, the bad days, and the normal days in between.

Tags: personal, observations, updates, children

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Some days I feel lucky to have had the experiences I have and other times I find myself thinking "what if I had done this" or "if only I had been here, things would be different" or "if I hadn't done that, life would be easier," etc. etc. Difficult moments come and go and life is definitely a rollercoaster of emotions and crises, but what if we changed our attitude and looked at our journey as our own unique history, a personally-directed life movie. Why not embrace this beautiful uniqueness that makes us exactly who we are and in the process richer, stronger, and ever more resilient? Why not embrace our distinct timeline of wrong decisions, tough stages, and altering experiences. These are just plot twists on our journey, regardless of how much better it could have been or should have been. We are exactly where we are supposed to be. And I'm ok with that. Actually I'm happy with that. And it took me a long time to get to this point. Let's see how I feel tomorrow though.

Tags: personal, observations, revelations

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Every night I pray for the knowledge and strength to be able to tell the right decisions from the wrong.  We are bombarded with so many opportunities, and we don't even know it half the time.  We have to figure what path to take, which door to walk through, and what people to network with.  But how do you know.  Do we use instinct, logic, or is it just plain old luck?  Maybe all three.  It's scary to think that you might make the wrong decision, but maybe that's just life.   You gotta take as many opportunities as you can because you never know when one of them might change your life.  Just don't waste all your money on the lottery.


Tags: observations, personal, thoughts

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I wonder how traffic congestion is affecting our lives.  And I don't just mean our time and environment.  I mean our actual lives and societies.  All of that congestion of negative energy, pollution and emotions has to be doing something to the surroundings.  If you believe that focusing on something enough will affect it, then the amount of traffic congestion in the world has to be effecting something negatively.  The amount of frustation, irritability, and anger I produce from an hour in traffic is just unhealthy and unproductive.  Imagine how much I could do in that hour if I was relaxed, energetic, and unrestricted.  I not only prevent stress on my health, but also to those around me.  So we have to do something about this traffic.  You never know, it might even bring an end to the Middle East conflict.

Tags: health, lifestyle, Middle, East, observations, society

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Technology has become such a pervasive entity in our lives that we look upon it has we do buildings or cars.  It's here to stay so we might as well live with it in any way possible.  I stumbled upon a site (by way of my mom) that captures these feelings of technology's creep into our lives so well.  Here are a few of my favorites photos below, but you go to the site and scroll through the interesting creations.




Check out the rest of the photos here.

Tags: technology, lifestyle, observations, psychology, silliness, society

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As I made my way down the streets of downtown DC, something particularly odd struck me. 

And yet when I looked closer, it wasn't odd at all, but actually very normal and very common. 

It would actually be odd if I didn't see what I saw.  But twenty years ago I wouldn't have seen what I saw. 

And what I saw were massive amounts of people strolling down beautiful boulevards, in perfect weather, hypnotized by a numbing infatuation with technology.

Yes, I am talking about the cell phone.  The magical, addictive world of constant communication; who can resisit?  In this decade it has now become completely normal to talk to yourself as you drive your car,  walk down the street, or walk your dog, to the delight or fright of some unexpecting onlookers.  It's become part of life, and it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.

But it becomes quite humorous when on the same intersection I see pedestrians in all four corners of the crosswalk buzzing away on their cell phones, completely oblivious to their surrroundings, onlookers, and even moving vehicles.  I am not one to criticize of course because i have been victim to the emergency phone call about which red dress to buy for the Friday night outing, as I'm walking my dog through a busy intersection.  And yes, this usually turns into the cell phone becoming glued to my ear for the rest of walk, degrading my dog's exercise break to a hurried jog so as to get back home and check my facebook page. So, I am the last one to talk.

But the reason I am talking and bringing up this issue is to address the reason why we have to keep our phones glued to our ears, particularly when we are alone.  Is it easier to avoid eye contact, interaction, and awkwardeness if we look too busy to engage with other people due to a phone call.  It seems more and more the case to me.  We  sometimes use our technology as an excuse to avoid human interaction, and this very well could be completely subconcious so we don't know we're doing it.  Maybe my absentmindedness comes in handy here as many times as I've forgotten my phone at home, only to be forced to make it through the day without my umblical cord.  

picture courtesy of http://www.jonco48.com/blog/ear_20phone_small.jpg

Tags: observations, thoughts, society, technology, funny

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I love this city.  The sights, the smells, the sounds, the soul of the people that keep it beating day in and day out.  I could totally live there, walking up and down Park Avenue, grapping a cup of coffee from a corner cafe, walking my chihuahua along the waterfront, taking a stroll in Greenwich village, window shopping for vintage treasures. It's endless and beautiful and yet simple and edgy.  That's New York for you. Some people can't handle it and I totally understand. It depends on your perspective. It can be smelly and dirty, mean and sharp, annoying and tiring. But that's part of it's charm. The fact that it's a melange of so many angles, people, cultures, ideas, makes it the crossroads of the country and the world. You really feel like it's happening here, and if you batt your eyelashes just so, they can feel the breeze on the other side of the world.  That's what New York does to you. Hate it or love it, it seeps into your veins and refuses to budge from your essence.  It calls you back, like an obsessed lover refusing to go away regardless of your feelings.  Take me as I am, it tells you.  You have to if you want me.  And you do.



Tags: travel, observations, thoughts, society

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The last thing I usually think about when I'm sitting in my daily hour of traffic is how I would answer the girl who is being a complete witch to me for absolutely no reason. 


And yet that's exactly what I was doing today after my recent confrontation with a snarling, innocent-looking, know-it-all, out to rid the world of manners and smiles.  There she sat across from me, carefully glaring at my naive smile as I greeted the new faces at an annual gathering she had been to before. 


Ok, so you know everyone and everything, get over it.   What is it about me kindly greeting everyone and asking about their occupation that makes you frown?  Is it in your habit to naturally make those around you feel awkward and uncomfortable. Or are you just trying to break the world record for longest held death-stare? 


Maybe it's just me.  I tend to be overly sensitive and react to people's possibly innocent outward emotions, assuming there is a problem, or that I had just said something entirely inappropriate.  I tend to be a little hard on myself.   But even assuming the worst, why is it so hard to find a soul who only naturally reaches out their hand to grab yours and lead you to your best self?  I can't help the tendency to constantly do this myself to others, which consistently puts me in the unagreeable position of being taken advantage of.   The emotional consequences of too much kindness can be pretty damaging to one's optimisic view of the human race.


But back to the point.  One thing that never ceases to tighten its grip around my heart is the unfeeling desire for another person to call out your lack of knowledge on a particular subject halfway through a flowing conversation.  And I mean dead stop in the middle of a sentence after minutes of me kindly nodding in agreement, to abruptly ask me if I know the specific meaning of whatever subject or word in question.  Way to make a newcomer feel nice and squishy inside.  The day that I learn to do this without so much as a thought of compassion is the day you find me beating up all the homeless for taking up the good seats in a park on a nice day.



                                                             picture courtesy of this site

Tags: observations, thoughts, psychology, sociology

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For as long as I can remember, my Arab and Persian peers have almost gotten physical over the true name of this body of water that is known to the world as the Persian Gulf but to many of the Arab countries as the Arabian Gulf. 


I can see why this subject can be a sensitive one, as evident with the Israel/Palestine and Syria/Lebanon land issues.  But the intensity of debate over this in recent weeks is becoming quite ridiculous in my opinion. 


I'm sure everyone remembers the Arabian Gulf googlebomb from a few years back.  But every so often the media and blogging world decides to pick this issue up again and ruffle some feathers.  The sad thing is, too many (self-inflicted) gaps exist between the Arabs and the Persians for a trivial issue such as this to fade away.  We need to move on to more important issues and concerns of our respective regions and the world.


Who cares what this body of water is called as long as it serves it's purpose anyway.  But since a simple scolding will not appease the opposing factions, maybe a simple renaming will.  I suggest that we just combine the two entities, renaming it the Perarabian Gulf (this is not the same as the alternative names listed in Wikipedia).  With both parties  satisfied, the healing of the wounds inflicted by years of hurled insults and name-calling can finally begin.  


And then we can move on to what really matters; if baklava is Greek, Arab, or Turkish.


Tags: ideas, Middle, East, observations, politics

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The problem with binge drinking in college isn't the fact that it's a forbidden fruit and so teens engage in the behavior out of rebellion.  It's the fact that it has become so part and parcel of youth culture that to refuse it is to in a sense deny your youth.  Resisting the urge to engage in heavy drinking and partying is impossible if we don't change our conception of alcohol.  It is cool to drink, just as it was cool to smoke pre-1970's.  Although both are bad for our health, alcohol seems to fly under our health radar.  We must change as a society the way we view alcohol.  We must change our perception of it as a cool, fun, and attractive substance that is connected to confidence, popularity, and self-esteem.  This is one of the most significant elements of the problem with binge drinking on college campuses.  It is the fundamental definition of what it means to drink that needs to be changed so that teens perception of the substance when entering college will guide them towards logic and moderation, rather than excess and recklessness.  

Tags: observations, thoughts, psychology, culture, lifestyle, media

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