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livejournal fail.

So I haven't posted anything in like sixty million years...this is stolen from peachy_ewan_muf . :)

You know how sometimes people on your friends list post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute? Since when were they working THERE? Since when were they dating HIM/HER? Since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you should already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy the topics below, erase my answers and put yours in their place, and then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration. One-Word-Answers seldom help anyone out. :)

first name

sam[antha], sambo, sammeh, wham bam sam (the latter is my boxing name, according to zach).






i am a student. and i also sell chicken fingers and clean up after people who drop chicken fingers on the floor.


sorta. :( i miss the boy.
i also have a facebook husband.
who is my best friend ever. but i'm not sure that's the kind of "partner" they're referencing.


you know, i did get that job at the chicken finger restaurant to support my teenage pregnancyNOT.


two bros.


kitty (who is my BABY), and two dogs.

list the 3 biggest things going on in your life

1. speech. and getting ready for national competition.
2. trying to salvage my GPA from being eaten by swine flu. and planning to get into cool-ege.
3. waiting for christmas break to see aforementioned gentleman counterpart. and also, sleep a lot.


i haz them.

closest friends

oh goodness.

grant, my bestie. eric. zach. will. sean. aaron.
maesen. maggie.

i know lots of cool people. :)

show me the sidestreets in your life

My BIRTHDAY!!!!! is on Tuesday. At least four people have told me they are getting me hijabs. I love my friends. XD

I'm having my party with my BFF Eric, whose own birthday is in a week. We've invited basically everyone on the Nebraska speech circuit, so I'm...really interested to see how things turn out.


My dad's Tae Kwon Do school asked me to go to the Cornhusker State Games (this amateur sports festival that's like über popular) to take photos for them, and eventually I made the mistake of watching the 3-4 year old division's sparring. Think: street fights between toddlers in helmets. The whole event was basically a convention of douchebaggery; it made me love my padre even more for being capable of having emotions other than aggression and narcissism.

Anyway. There was a teeny girl sparring this teeny boy. Her name was Trinity. She lost to a Jacob. Her dad was so angry--screaming and stomping around and the like--that he had to be escorted out of the gym.

God bless America.


I really miss not having an in-state female best friend. I needed Man Advice the other day and made it halfway to Maesen's house on my bike before realizing that she's in Boston.

Where the Man I need advice regarding will be in about a month.

By the end of the summer I will probably develop an irrational hatred of MIT for eating my friends.


My schedule is so fucked up, I'm not even sure the registrar was awake when I signed up for classes. Here's what it should look like: 

(first semester)

AP German / AP Japanese ind. study
AP Lang / Comp
Competitive Forensics (an entire school period devoted to SPEEEEEECH) 
AP US History
AP Psychology
AP Macroeconomics

(second semester)

exactly the same, except AP Microeconomics, Philosophy, and History of Religion.

This is made extra-exciting by extra curricular newspaper, a job, and life.
I might be going to Princeton in October.
And Northwestern for sure.

(but where I really want to be is Boston.)


Went to Crete (a small town where several friends reside) to get Runzas and hang out with Neema. More people thought we were married. Even more thought we should be.

Being conspicuous is hard. Being conspicuous for the sake of religion is fine by me--but it tugs on you after awhile. I found out that I haven't met Will's stepdad because he's seen me and he doesn't want anything to do with me--once Will mentioned that I was the "Muslim chick" he'd seen in finals at a particular tournament. I'm not even sure it's really okay with him that we hang out. 


I bought a new dress for my party though so things are okay in my book. :) 

So I haven't updated this thing in a very, very long time--that's probably because I haven't been writing, even though my entries rarely have anything to do with writing anyway. I've recently discovered my love for el jay,  though, so it seems fitting. :)


I can't tell if I love my city or if I feel trapped by it. Last night, I needed to get out of the house for a bit, so I road my bike down East O--the main street, the artery--and saw no one for about two miles. Granted, I can do dumb things like ride my bike down a multi-lane main street and not get hurt. I can also wander alleyways and walk home alone and not get hurt. It's a great place to be a dumb teenager, because you probably won't die.

But I've turned into an insomniac in the city that always sleeps.


My camera is dying. It's really old, but pretty nice--it's just not focusing well anymore. Pictures come out blurry. I brought it with me to Japan and to London and to Wyoming; slung around my shoulder during some of the most confusing times in my life. I grew up with it.

I'm also too poor to buy a new one at the moment. My father also fails to see why I can't just get a $75 point and shoot at Wal-Mart.


It's too hot for life outside recently, so Zach and I have gotten in the habit of going for walks in Wal-Mart. I'm always surprised by the side of humanity that's out walking around at Wal-Mart at two in the morning. We went up to the North Lincoln location a few nights ago--ran into a bunch of rednecks arguing loudly about which bra colors would show if you got your t-shirt wet with the hose and a Vietnamese couple testing out cutlery and humming. I'm always sort of shocked to see Muslims around in my city, ever. Other ones, at least. I've become so much the Token Muslim that the fact that anyone else wears hijab, ever, sort of freaks me out. (This is why I should get a car and go to jummah more often.) But I saw one woman there, holding hands with her husband, talking to him softly in Arabic--no shopping cart, no basket. Just taking a walk in Wal-Mart at two in the morning. Talking.


We also went on a Great Adventure West. Beforehand, Zach and I had a conversation about my choice of dress.

ME: I mean, you're Mexican. Worst comes to worst, I'm shipped off to Gitmo and you're sent back into the cornfields.
ZACH: No, worst comes to worst, we BOTH die. You don't wear hijab to school, so just pretend it's school?
ME: Bandanna?
ZACH: ...that's genius.

(after getting the stinkeye in a McDonald's in Aurora, Nebraska)

ZACH: What just happened there?
ME: I don't know, this whole de-jab thing is freaking me out...it has made me come to terms with the fact that sometimes, when people look at me funny, they're not just redneck idiots...they genuinely don't like me.
ZACH: Welcome to the universe.

I love Nebraska. More than life itself. But I've been chased by rednecks more times in my life than I would like to count. I mean, if you live in the boonies, chasing Muslims & Mexicans in crappy cars on country roads with non-functioning Blackberries is way more fun than staring at corn.


My sixteenth birthday is two and a half weeks away. Thus far, my promised birthday presents have been recorded as 1) something from a bazaar in Istanbul 2) keys to & a midnight tour of the big library on campus 3) an adventure tracing the path of spree killer and Lincoln native Charles Starkweather.

I have befriended slightly amazing people.

I'm actually not sure why I'm unhealthily obsessed with Starkweather and his girlfriend. It's kind of a Bonnie & Clyde-wild-west-adventure sort of thing. He's buried about a mile away from my house. If you were going to murder someone, though, the prairie would be the place to do it.


So that maybe this journal will serve its purpose...I'm planning on easing back into writing with some poetry and a short story, "The Thursday Night Communist Collective".

Sort of inspired by the story of Chief Standing Bear.

God, I'm a nerd. :)

thou unconsolable daughter

I only do vain things by request, so by popular demand I'm going to attempt the "A Day in the Life" photo project tomorrow. Maybe. It depends. :)

I just had the bizarre experience of calling someone dear and realizing that they're at a party with other people you hold dear--a party that you were not invited to. Granted, I said something about not being around on Friday, but aggh. XD Angst moment, much? It's kind of okay because I was at a jazz concert anyway, but I'm a firm believer in the idea that the invitation counts.

I've just been feeling really out of it lately. I found my pictures from last summer--I was really sick and really depressed and spent a lot of time not sleeping and just wandering around and taking pictures. (I lost about twenty pounds that I still haven't gotten back.) I just remember all at once feeling lonely and disgusting, even though I know things are better. They're a lot better.


- Sushi. Actually, I hate sushi. But the Ace Gang and I went out for sushi last night and had a fantabulous time. I live in a really beautiful city--it's been dark and overcast recently, but the coloring is wonderful and the lights are pretty. My husband made me eat eel and spotted me a dollar (which I intend to pay back...someday). Woo.
- Sweaters. Enough said.
- Cotton scarves. I totally forgot I was wearing a scarf today. XD
- My bike. <3 I got the hem of my dress caught in it the other day, though, and have to fix that with some thread or...whatever it is that you fix dresses with.

- Weird late-night Bible scholarship shows. I learned a bunch of random crap about archaic Hebrew. It kind of reminds me of the assistant priest at my dad's church--she's a rad lady who speaks Greek and Hebrew and knows a lot. It just makes me really want to pull of an Islamic Studies minor in college. So much fun.
- Ditto late-night phone service ads. They're trying to target random minorities--my favorite is "Latino Chat!", where you can "find 00s of Latino's in your area!" Uhm, yeah. If you find more than five of them, let me know.
- Friends in Egypt.
- The new Decemberists album is AWESOME. Rock opera + awesome lyrics = faaaaaabulous.


Yeah. I've been having relapses of the boy-related kind, which really really sucks. It's what I get for being such a speech lurker--but it does kind of say a lot that I will willingly say that he is a dork and wholly bizarre and yet still feel the same way. Whyyyy? Why do pretty people have to exist in my life? Especially pretty people when I'm still in high school + pretty people who are barely Muslim? Aaaaagh.

At least he's amusing.

i ain't never had nobody like you

Well. I qualled for nationals, state, and apparently got married and had a child in Hy Vee without my knowing. Tough week.

[I know I steal too many things from other people, but I'm a thief, and that's what I do. :) ]


alhamdulillah for...

- saffron, poetry, exasperation, and other things that come out of Iran
- nachos (what do you call cheese that's not yours? NACHO CHEESE). Namely, nachos with fake cheese, beans, guacamole, and extra jalapenos (what do you call a nosy pepper? JALAPENO BUSINESS).
- speech gossip
- Sarah Palin jokes in extemp intros
- lookin' snazzy
- other people falling in love with other people, without me being involved
- cheap haircuts
- people who have gum in German class (that's right after lunch, I'll have you know) 
- amusing bathroom graffiti (A: Jasmine a BITCH. B: I think you need a verb, ma'am...) 
- falling asleep on someone else's couch and waking up without food smeared all over your face
- parents who don't speak english but who want to feed you lots of yummy stuff.
- good friends. and an all-over lack of mean people, or at least mean people that I have to deal with.

So, I qualified for nationals...but I can't go due to my grandmother's 75th in Hawai'i. Darn. Though I'm being a little ungrateful, by still feeling disappointed about nationals after finding out the team (comprised of many a BFF). Aaaagh. At the very least, I might be going to Albany for CATNATS, otherwise known as Catholic Nationals. You don't have to be Catholic, you just have to live in close proximity with people who are. (Schlessinjew informed me that his brothers went in Congress last year and they are, well, Jews.) It still kind of sounds like the intro to a joke, though.

A Muslim girl walks into CATNATS and the bartender asks...

I'm also considering filing for divorce. I went to Hy Vee with Neema to get orange juice and pinapple slushies the other day and some random brown child was running amok. A terrified-looking old lady told us that we ought to keep a closer watch on our children, and the cashier mentioned something about having all the right ingredients for 'entertaining back at your place'.

Oy vey. If wearing a scarf makes me married to whomever middle-eastern-looking is standing next to me, then I want Reza Aslan. And preferably someone who doesn't poison me with beef on occasion (not only am I already weak to it, I haven't eaten a proper portion of it for about a year and a half).

Speaking of which. I've eaten so much crap this week with Eric and Maesen, it's ridiculous. Tacos today, buckets of chicken tomorrow. Aaaagh. But the speech season ends in May, right? 

Downside of being an extemper--I have to write all of the articles in the school newspaper about the Obama stimulus package, because I'm the only one who knows what it is/actually cares. Exciting days, exciting times.


I'm trying to pull off a short story contest entry in three days--The Things Blind Men See. I'm such a noob, I can't believe it. But I'm just naive enough to believe I can do it...sort of.

and the taiga shifted strange

I'm ill.

I gave up on doing homework and am instead now eating a brownie and cutting an Economist--generally preparing for Daily Show viewing. It's sad how most of my nights end up like this. But I wouldn't have it any other way. It's hard to be angry about the world when "it all comes down to the Tzipi-Bibi question!".

PLUS the Decemberists album is going to be CLASS. I guarantee it. And I have only heard one track. That is commitment.

We're back into one of the China chapters in world history. In regards to the Ming/Qing dynasties: INTENSE. In order to get into the government, you had to take a civil service exam--crammed into a cubicle for three days while you wrote essays. About Confucius. And my textbook says something to the extent of, "if an exam-taker died during testing, his body would be wrapped in his bedding and tossed over the walls of his cubicle".


I've also decided that most of the problems in the world could have been solved had the men involved still had a grip on their wits. Chen was talking about her grandmother, who had her feet bound--her father eventually had them stop when she was really really young because he couldn't stand the smell. If everyone else "couldn't stand the smell", where would we be? Not amputating our feet, that's for sure.


In barely-related Novel News, I want to be Mamajoon when I grow up.


Not to be crass, but my Persian dictionary is absolute shit. I can get a decent one for Dari, but standard Tehrani dialect? Noooo, couldn't possibly. The one I have now (read: the only one I could find that didn't cost eighty thousand dollars) gives most of the entries in Arabic, and it's like--wasn't there a massive cultural cleansing campaign to try and get rid of all of the Arabic words unless used in religious circumstances? So--why are you giving me the Arabic word for 'sink'? Plz.


It has come to my attention that a boy I know only vaguely is very fit. Not that I'm going to do anything about it other than stare.


State is in a month! I need a pretty scarf and a flag pin. Thoughts for very very pale people? (Thoughts for very girly people: I was thinking white linen dress, black trousers, and a loose gray blazerish thing, so I need something daaaaring for my head. Plus the obligatory Patriot Cred with a pin.) 

(Thoughts for everyone: not to jinx things, but if it's the first time two practicing Muslims make it to finals in anything in Nebraska, we'd better do it in styyyyle. <3) 

wir sind allein (totally nicked)

...from Azeezat!

Apparently "The Big Read" assumes that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them.

1) Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien  ( Ugh.) 

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible (The world's first action heroes--who could resist? But ditto. Where's the Qur'an on this list?)

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
(One of my favorites, evar.) 

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot 

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell.

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (not so grate akshully) 

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh (I love me some Waugh.) 

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (I loooove the bleeding heart prostitute and Marmeladov, a lot.)

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll ( ALICE.) 

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy  (Vronsky was really sexy, despite being a scumbag.) 

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Thanks to this book, I speak minimal amounts of Dari. It also kickstarted my NaNo and needless to say is responsible for most of my current pain.)

38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel  (I love Pi. Beyond all reason.) 

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (ZOMG. I LOVE.)

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (Thanks to Slumdog.) 

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie  (My goodness, I love Haroun, so I had better love this too...did you know this man is married to the woman from Top Chef? I really did not. Oh, strange desis with scars.) 

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro (Ishiguro is one of those authors who is kind of boring as you're reading him, but really grows on you.) 

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte's Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad 

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


31. Take that, Big Read.

My NaNo is underway again--I really really really love Leila.

hey there, sister nebraska

I love el-jay type people--I'm most certainly using this icon everywhere, because it's subtle, but effective.

I am really, really over war. I am tired of injustice, and I'm tired of blood--and I'm tired of worrying for people on both sides of the wall. I don't want my brothers and sisters in Palestine to die, and I don't want anything to happen to Gadi and his lovely family, either. I can kind of empathize with the old man in the airport who was shouting about Arabs. On the one hand, if you don't make friends with anyone outside your own country, you don't care what happens to them.

...on the other, the food is better.

But really, I'm just tired of being a bad Muslim because I'm American and a bad American because I'm Muslim. When I was in London, I was scandalous because I would eat chicken (astaghfirullah it was the only thing on the voucher XD) but also great because I was an American and as far as they could tell, Muslim. Ughhh. I could have been a normal person and waited until university, waited until everyone would think that it wasn't just a "phase" and that I'd get over it someday and go back to Christianity.

I went to mass at Westminster Abbey and am still here. If that doesn't take talent, I don't know what does.

I think I will just curl up and die if Netanyahu is elected. I really will.
And if Ahmadinejad is reelected. Even though my fangirl love for him is strong.
And should I really care about these things? 


In other news, I'm writing again, and pouring all of my angst into Leila. :)

oh, mirth


The pronunciation of the names in this story is just hilarious.

But Azadeh Moaveni = <3

this is the sound of settling

...so ridiculously behind it's not even funny, but I can do it. I think I can, I think I can...

This year is weird because the build-up to the characters truly settling down and being themselves has taken 30,000 words. That's probably realistic, but it's three weeks in and I'm still introducing people who have been running around in my head for so long. It's kind of annoying, but I'll get over it when I can just sit back, relax, and watch people interact.

I'm thinking tonight I'll work on the Thanksgiving scenes--I cannot wait for the second draft of this, where I can do all of the artsy-fartsy stuff like layering in parallels and outside documents and different POVs. But the Thanksgiving scenes I'll let myself indulge in now, because I need to feel like an actual writer and not just a typer for a few hours, at least. ><

Advaith and Chen need to leave my life for a little bit so that I don't keep adding scenes to this. Oh, my Brown Muse and Yellow Muse, respectively...

Yesterday John and Neema and I devoted an entire twenty minutes on deciding who had been forced to eat the most disgusting things during their childhoods. Swedish Ludfik (rancid fish) and Iranian cow brain stew (which is completely the Persian name for it, I'm sure) sound pretty fabulous at the moment. I think I'll indulge. Or at least just write the scene into my NaNo. 

Also, Leila is the most adorable narrator ever created. I still feel like I don't know her well, but she's so cute that it makes everything okay.