Road trip 2015 pics, part 1

We’re back!

We arrived in Chicago on Monday night, after a long, long drive from Florida.

For those unfamiliar with it, this is what the route there looked like.

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Our neighbors told us we took our vacation at the perfect time.  Apparently Chicago was a cold hell while we were gone.

What else is new?

Florida was a lot of fun.  And super super hot.  The temperature during the day never got below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

We split the time between Tampa and Orlando, spending about three days in each city.

The time spent driving felt long, but it wasn’t too bad.  It wasn’t beyond what I expected it to be.  And it felt great to explore different parts of this beautiful country.

I have seen more small towns of America during this trip than I have in my entire life.  That’s what happens when you have two boys with alternating bladder schedules.

I also have people waiting on me for pictures.  Some of them are angry that I didn’t post a few already.

So now I will be showcasing vacation pics ad nauseaum.

For the next couple of blog posts, you will be seeing almost all the photos we took, sorted out by day and location.

I am glad I have a blog to display them on because I hate giving Facebook access to my pictures.  They do this creepy thing where they download my photos without my permission.

Enjoy!

And for the people that hate vacation snaps, look away, because there are lots of them coming at you!

Day 1 Friday – Chicago

We drove to my in laws place in Terre Haute, IN on Friday and spent the night there.  That cut around 5-6 hours out of the drive itself.

On Saturday, we hit the road, with Atlanta, GA in mind as our next stop.

Day 2 Saturday – Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia

With some late night driving by my husband, we managed to get an hour past Atlanta, to a little town called Byron, where we spent the night.

Day 3 Sunday – Byron, GA

The hotel where we stayed had a cute little produce place next to it.  My sister and I wanted to try the famous Georgia peaches, while my kids really wanted to pick some strawberries from the long rows of bushes in the back.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, we arrived at our hotel in Tampa on Sunday night.

Day 4 Monday, Memorial Day – Tampa. 

Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa River Walk

I thought I could cram more pictures in this post without making it five pages long.

Oh, well.

Road trip 2015, Part 2.  Coming soon to a blog post near you.

I wouldn’t go there

It takes me a long time to get ready and out of the house.  I take long showers, do my hair three different ways before I’m finally happy with the way it looks, and try to put together an outfit that doesn’t hug back fat or show cleavage.

That last one can take an hour in itself.

So sometimes I’m just not up to the challenge.  Sometimes I just want to put on a comfy pair of pajamas, sprawl out onto the sofa, and enter into a coma of laziness.

Most people think that as a stay at home mom, I get plenty of rest during the weekdays and weekends should be reserved for chores and activities.

Eff that shit.

This describes it for me.

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Here’s a snippet of a conversation my husband and I had recently :

Hey, want to go out to Menard’s or Home Depot?

– No.

I noticed the boys’ room needs new blinds.  We could take a look and see what they have.

– I don’t want to. 

Apparently he thinks “no” means I’m playing hard to get.

But we could get new blinds for the whole house.

– I don’t care.  I like our house ugly.

What if the neighbors happen to look in and see you naked?

Send them your condolences.

That last question was just plain silly.  We have nice neighbors who pay way too much attention to their lawn and don’t really seem interested in a game of peek a boob.

Anyway, this past weekend I had to be productive, whether I wanted to or not, because my in laws were visiting.

And we had a wedding to attend.

And it was my mother in law’s birthday.

And my brother’s birthday.

And I had homework.

So on Friday I slept for a grand total of four and a half hours and got my ass up at the crack of Sheema, get up, your alarm has been going off for an hour already!

I washed, scrubbed, mopped, cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, swept, and cooked.  Every time I thought I could rest, I remembered something else that had to be done.

By the afternoon, I was all

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Then it was time to take my tired ass to the wedding.  By that point, I just didn’t care anymore.  I could’ve been sporting facial hair the size of a cat’s whiskers and I still wouldn’t do anything about it.

I put on the same thing I wore to the last wedding I attended, stuck a bobby pin in my hair, popped in some earrings and off we went.

And because I am tired of typing, here are some pictures.

That was our Friday.

Saturday we went to Lincoln Park Zoo, which meant five hours of constant walking.  Yay.

The day ended with a fabulous meal at a Mediterranean restaurant called Fatoush.  If you’re ever in the Chicago area, I highly recommend it.

Another thing I’d recommend if you visit Chicago : Don’t visit Lincoln Park Zoo.

Sure, they have great views, but apparently they decided it meant that they can short change on the animals.

The exhibits are small, the walking areas are cramped, and traffic/parking is a nightmare.

Everything got done over the weekend except for my homework, which I have been putting off in favor of the funner stuff in life.

Not that blogging is still fun.  I’m actually getting pretty bored of not for profit writing.

But it beats having to deal with political science  and anthropology.

At this rate, I will fail and remain education/degree less for the rest of my life.

I will be old and fat and working at Walmart until I die.

Oh well.  At least I have a plan.

Awkward toy moments

The title says it all.

These are just some of the ways my kids have left their toys lying around our house.  And yard.

Some of these situations I couldn’t believe and some were just plain funny.

There is some plastic, Made in China kind of slightly risque humor here.  If you are easily offended and rush to label everything inappropriate or haram, then please proceed no further.

If you can see humor in simple, everyday situations, then please have a look.

Ready?  On we go.

What used to be some poor stuffed animal’s tail apparently turned into this guy’s….

I believe the picture is self explanatory.

That poor Elsa doll.  Someone is obviously out to get her.

And she has armpit hair.

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These two just happened to be…

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right across from each other.

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Never pick on someone that’s twice your width and can easily beat you up in the toy box.

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I believe he’s stuck.

These guys were my patients over the weekend.

A nearly decapitated Bowser and a penguin in desperate need of a nose job.

Apparently Mario and Luigi have turned homicidal since my Nintendo days.

Bowser and Penguin paid a visit to the stuffed animal hospital and I took them into the operating room,

where my pathetic patching skills met my even more pathetic sewing skills.

But they aren’t complaining.

I’m the only doctor covered by their insurance plan.

And they told their friends about me, too.  My fame has spread amongst injured toys and their owners.

I now have a waiting room.

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Traffic 

Traffic and construction on the first warm weekend of the year.

My husband wonders if the city of Chicago is really just a massive experiment on how much misery the average human being can handle.

If the winter doesn’t kill you, the taxes will.

Hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful weather!

Ronald McDonald is my best friend

I am a die hard foodie.  I get excited just hearing about what was served at parties.  I like to cook and I like to eat.  

I swear, when I die, it’ll be probably be with a french fry in my mouth. 

And of course it just happens that when a foodie goes on a diet, she gets invited to a beautiful wedding that is hosted by other foodies. 

And the dessert table makes you think you died and went to pastry heaven. 

   

         

My sister and I snuck some of these goodies out with us. 😁

I only had one piece of baklava because I believe in eating in moderation when there are 600 people eating with you.

Then you take the rest home and stuff your face.  

Before I die

So my sisters had this idea.

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Because sharing the same gene pool just isn’t enough.  You need a tattoo to solidify the bonds of sisterhood.

My sisters are the more adventurous of the bunch and I’m slightly more cautious.

Okay, so I’m a worry wart.

They do stuff with abandon and I crawl after them, metaphorically of course, worrying about any and every repercussion.

I also was not very excited about the idea of any of my limbs being the canvas for permanent art work.

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But I must admit, my interest was piqued.  We started to discuss what kind of inking we would get.  It had to be something all three of us would like, so we thought why not just get the word ‘sister’ tattooed in some fancy looking arabesque calligraphy?

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Kuthi means bitch in Urdu and Hindi.  We passed on that one.

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Meaning there is no way in hell you are getting that on me.

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By this time, we had shot down quite a few ideas and Sister 2 was getting frustrated.

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To which Sister 1 was not very sympathetic.

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We managed to get past that little snafu and decided on some sort of sisterly symbol instead of the word itself.

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That made me sound like someone’s deranged stalker.

Then we hit another road block.

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That idea was then also scrapped.

I’ve decided that if I am to get a tattoo, it will be for and around my next birthday.  I’ve narrowed my choices down to two that I like.

Now to get my sisters to agree.  You’ve already seen how easy that is.

I’m not crazy about permanent inkage and I absolutely hate needles.  As a child, I once ran out of the room during a doctor appointment during which I was to get vaccinated.  I would’ve made it out of the building, too, if the nurse hadn’t dragged me back.

But the idea of just one, really cool looking, bad ass tattoo is tantalizing.  I’ve never been bad ass before.

According to my younger brother, with whom I have regular back and forth sessions of what I like to call insultathons, I have been a fat ass, a lazy ass, and a dumb ass at various points in my life.

It’s like a mini Comedy Central roast every time we meet up.

But I have never been bad ass.  And who doesn’t want to be bad ass?

I do.  I really do.  Especially since I have always been told I have a sweet little baby face and I remind them of Winnie the Pooh. 😐

I’d love to whip out my tattoo, and with a crazy look in my eyes, ask the commenter Would Winnie the Pooh DO THIS?  Would he?! 😈

I’m just kidding.  I’m not that nuts and I really don’t mind the comparison.

But I would like to cross get a tattoo off my things I want to do before I die list.

Smoke a cigar and try hookah were taken off said list last year, on my last birthday, which was an important, milestone birthday.  I wanted to try something crazy, something I had never done before.  I figured Why the hell not?  Everyone does it.  

Bad idea, boys and girls.  To all you impressionable young people out there, don’t even.   

Both the cigar and the hookah tasted like shit.  Like dirty ass crack shit.  I couldn’t even stop coughing long enough to inhale or enjoy the stuff.  The smell of tobacco smoke clung to my hair and my clothes, mingling with my perfume.

The end result of it all was that I got home at 3 AM, looking like a zombie and smelling like a cheap hooker.

On being the eldest

I have four siblings.  Two brothers and two sisters.  That makes me the eldest of five.

Most of the time I would say I’m very loving and maternal towards them.  I’m sort of like a den mother type. 

But of course siblings can piss you off. 

We don’t fight often, but when we do, things escalate pretty quickly.  We get MEAN.

When you fight with a sibling, you don’t hold back.  

My youngest sister sent me this yesterday to say the sun reminds her of me. 



Ha ha ha.  😂 I have to say, I agree.  

To tell it like it is

There is nothing to be said,

if not the truth.

How it seethes when hindered.

Gnawing inward.

Sharp of claw and tooth.

Storm and thunder,

to ignorant ocean waves.

Tranquil sleep and slumber.

Wrapped in oblivious stays.

The demon that must be embraced.

The bitter drink with poison laced.

The truth that embitters.

Hurts in more ways than one.

Brings out from caves.

Into the sun.

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Abdullah Saleem isn’t the only one

Head of Elgin Islamic School charged in sex abuse of former employee

Can’t say I’m shocked.

Sexual violence happens everywhere in the world and in every type of society.  But few will admit that it is rampant in religious institutions where extreme sexual repression is practiced and endorsed.

It happens and it happens often. In secrecy, of course.  Similar to the scandal that rocked the Catholic community.

What I am shocked about is that the perpetrator is facing charges.  People who hold high, powerful positions are not brought down easily.  Major respect to the young lady who had the courage to speak up for herself.  Major respect for the family that supported her.  Her bravery has led other women to come forward about being molested by the same sick bastard.

Laying allegations of sexual abuse against a figure such as Abdullah Saleem is no small feat.  For the Chicago Muslim community, he might as well have been the Pope.  That’s how revered he was, and still is, to some people who believe the victims are lying.

You might be thinking that I’m too quick to judge.  That everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

True.

But I speak from personal experiences and observances that very often (but not always, of course), those who speak the loudest are mostly full of shit.

If you feel the need to sermonize and make a big tada about your actions, odds are you’re speaking from the mind and the wallet.  Not the heart.

And if your actions are from the heart, you don’t need an audience or a spotlight to showcase you.  The beauty of your deeds and your work will speak for itself and be satisfaction enough.

I am also well aware that a victim’s reputation is always at stake in cases of sexual abuse.  To speak up is to be faced with questions and accusations against ones own ethics and principles, especially in a religious setting and against such a highly esteemed figure as Abdullah Saleem.

No woman or man would tackle something of this magnitude were it not for some major, MAJOR shit having gone down.  No amount of money can equal the fight and the heartache of tackling the tsunami that is the  backlash from a large religious community.

Salem Witch trials, anyone?

I can’t sum up in words exactly how awed I am by the young lady who has now given a voice to other victims.

She has more balls than the entire male staff of IIE put together.

This scandal brings to light how powerful a recruiting tool religion can be.  I’m a sexual predator won’t sell, but religious school for the learning of Quran or Bible classes for young boys will have people lining up to patron your holy cause.

Put a supposedly divine stamp on it and it’s amazing what you can get away with.

A fantastic Indian movie I watched recently, PK (yeah, that’s the title, a P and a K), gives an account of how warped religion has become in the hands of man.  It is religion seen through the eyes of an extraterrestrial.  An alien.  Awesome stuff.  Please do give it a look.  You’ll easily find a copy with subtitles if need be.

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And no, I was not paid for the advertising of the movie.

As if.

Lastly, and most importantly, please listen to your children and create an environment in which they feel safe coming to you for any and all problems.  Abdullah Saleem isn’t the only one, of course.  There are plenty of sickos out there, some in guises of holy pillars of the community and many not.  The trauma of living through sexual abuse is something that can easily break an adult.

Imagine what it has the potential to do to the fragility of a child.