Sunday, April 23, 2006

Phoenix Bound

I'm off to Phoenix, Arizona this week - to train my successor for my job. I will be without internet (what will I do with myself, ahhh!!!).

In a week or two, I will be sans job, in a company I've been with for over five years! At times I'm ok with that, at other times, I'm not. But life changes and I must roll with the punches or lay down and die.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Misc.

Just some random this and that.

1. If you are in the DC area and a high school junior or senior or you are in college, Howard University is conducting a pilot pogram to learn Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean or Swahili. There will be a $1000 stipend available upon successful completion. Classes are from 9:00am - 3:00pm Monday through Friday on the Howard University campus and you must have NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE in the language of your choice. If I was young again, I'd sign up to do this straight-away. For more information or to pass the word along, click here:

2. Saw on the telly last night that the movie The Devil Wears Prada will soon be coming out. This was a book before being made into a movie. I loved the book! It was such an easy read, you could probably do it in a week. My grandfather, a former English professor, passed it onto me with high recommendations and he was not wrong. You really get into the story. If you have ever worked in a cubicle/office environment, this book hits home, a satire or exaggeration on the boss from hell scenario. If you haven't read the book, run out to your library and get it immediately, than you can go see the movie and see how accurate they were to the text.

3. I have a solution to the illegal immigrant situation in America - all illegal aliens go home for two weeks, JUST two weeks. Trust me in simply two weeks, this country will be crying for you to come back (including all the racists who want you out cause "you ain't Amercans,") and we will roll out the red carpet as all construction projects halt, fruit doesn't get picked, kids don't get watched, houses don't get cleaned, McDonald's shuts down - essentially the country comes to a screeching halt. I'll write more on this subject later but as a child of immigrants, who came through legally, I'd say that these poor people risk life and limb to come to America because our current immigration policy is crap and our past economic decisions have ensured that many of the countries where these people come from is crap.

I end with something to hopefully tickle your funny bone and to start out the weekend right - this is my horoscope from the Onion (a satirical newspaper).
Aquarius January 20 - February 18
Your 10-hour shift would go by a lot faster if you didn't keep looking up at the clock every five minutes, but as head surgeon, it's your responsibility to record the time of death of patients. Also, you can't remember how you first got in trouble with the Japanese mafia, but constantly mistaking them for the Chinese mafia hasn't helped matters.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Two Worlds

Recently I had a friend of mine ask me to call their cousin who had just arrived to America from Pakistan. They felt she would be all alone, except for her new in-laws and thought it would be good to have some girlfriends unrelated to the carefully controlled people she would met through her in-laws. From the moment I got the request I know this was a bad idea...I know how people in my Muslim Indian community regard me; many think of me not only as a bad seed but a harlot (too Westernized is the word I hear most often). After speaking with the sister-in-law of this girl I thought of how my life and status in the culture has changed.

Back when I was married to a doctor this is how the phone conversation (with the sister-in-law) would have gone after the basic niceties:
SIL: oh so are you married?
Me: Yes. He is a doctor.
SIL: oh that is great, wait one second I will get the girl. I'm sure she would love to speak with you!

Now, as a divorced single gal:
SIL: oh so are you married?
Me: No, soon In'shAllah.
SIL: Well, I will give her the message you called. Bye-bye.

I was at one time the top of the heap, holding the most coveted and important position for a Muslim Indian girl, the Wife of a doctor. Nothing could touch me than. Now I'm below the mud, lower than the dirt. It upsets me that my worth, my self-being is all tied up to these outside factors. Why doesn't it matter that I might be a nice person, that I might have a kind-heart? All of that is inconsequential in light of the fact that I'm divorced. That and that alone defines me in my community. Perhaps why I had such a good time in India at my baby aunt's wedding was because my entire family was there and knows my situation and still loves me and thinks I'm fabulous and not once made me feel like a pariah.

I'm feeling this song right now - Virginia Gal

Everybody Hurts
by REM.

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
when you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on.
Don't let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.
Sometimes everything is wrong.
Now it's time to sing along.
When your day is night alone,(hold on, hold on) if you feel like letting go,(hold on)when you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on.Everybody hurts.

To check out more on the pressures of being an Indian girl in our community check out my friend's latest post on her blog about the troubles her family is going through just because her sister decided to not pursue medicine as a career.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

View from the 23rd Row


I'm taking a page from a book I recently read, it was authored by a pilot. He had a FAQ section and someone asked about turbulence. I don't mind mild turbulence, that sort of up and down shaking, but what does frighten me is when you experience significant drops (it happened to me on a flight to NYC). According to the pilot turbulence is just like waves. To a pilot they are just something you naviagate, but they are not objects of fear, just part of the job.

Similar to a rough wave, turbulence does have the potential to kill but the last time a flight crashed because of turbulence, Bill Gates was still poor. I liked the pilot's explanation for turbulence, it has made me less scared (as far as I'm concerned the only time to be worried on a flight is when the flight attendants look panic'ed).

Summer Travel
Prices have already gone up, but you could still get some deals out there on airfare. The Washington Post Travel section this weekend reiterated again what I've been saying, the best bet for finding a deal is searching the internet, be prepared to spend some time visiting multiple sites. I found this column on USA Today about searching for travel fares on the internet, think it is a good read.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Weekend Thoughts

With Passover and Easter in the air, lately there has been a lot of religious talk in the air. I recently heard a newstory on NPR about African-American preachers who are joining the republican party because they are against homosexuality. It reminded me of a funeral I went to for a gay co-worker, who also happened to be African-American. All of his friends were in the audience and his aunt got up to the pulpit and said to these poor guys who were grieving, hurting, "y'all need to get right with Jesus." To say I was offended would be an understatment. I hardly imagine a funeral is the appropriate location to lecture against homosexuality.

I'm tired of certain religious people preaching against homosexuality but saying nothing about sex before marriage or having children out of wedlock. According to most religious texts, these three things are equally, "sinful" no one thing is above another (actually fornication and adultery are mentioned A LOT more than homosexuality in the Bible). So why pick on one, "sin of the flesh?" I think it's because these homophobes are hypocrites, I'd love to know how many of them actually saved themselves before marriage. I could probably count the total on one hand. Why don't these ministers get as angry about how much people disregard sex before marriage? Why is there no outrage for other, "sins?" Just as they go to gay men's funerals to cause problems, why don't these, "religious people" go to a hospital everytime an unwed mother is giving birth so they can scream obscenities and spew hatred? Is she not also committing a, "sin?" Once again people want to rant and rave and scream for change, as long as it doesn't affect them. Every time I think about this, my blood boils - I'm so sick of the hypocrisy of red state America!

"He who is without sin should caste the first stone" - Jesus Crist, peace be upon him.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Standarized Tests

I recently took my GMAT's. This is a standarized test one needs to take for business school. It is composed of a math section, a verbal section and two essays. It's done on a computer so one finds out their scores straightaway.

I didn't do well. But this score didn't come as a large surprise to me. I have never done well on standarized tests. To be quite honest, I hate standarized tests, to me, all they judge is your intelligence level, your I.Q. They don't really convey how well one will do in a program, your worth ethic.

Back in high school, according to my SAT results, I would have been a "C" student or worse in college. Instead I graduated Magna Cum Laude, third in the class. I know it's because I put in a lot of time and effort. I'm sure many of the ladies who ranked lower than me, had received much higher SAT scores.

Proponents of the SAT say that it gives schools an equally footing by which to judge candidates for admission. But is a standarized test really equal? If English is not your first language, right off the bat your at a disadvantage. How you were taught math at an early age will either hinder or help you. Is that equal than? To me grades, a GPA is a better judge of a student's character, showing a result over a course of time, instead of a one-time shot.

You can't "study" for standarized tests, you can learn the practices and techinques to try to master the test, but there is no set material to analyze - I firmly believe these tests are little more than I.Q. quizes and I guess that begs the question; do schools simply want people of a certain I.Q. over people who maybe work harder but are not as genetically smart? (we will see as I get my business school application results in the coming weeks. I'm not holding my breath btw).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

View from the 23rd Row

Sorry this is late in coming (especially to Merci, who I know is a faithful reader to this column), I had some business to attend to this morning.

This topic isn't wholly concentrated on one subject, instead I thought I'd just list all the pet peeves that I, as a frequent flyer, have with the flying experience. Perhaps it can help you to be a better traveler and have a great air experience!

Virginia Gal Pet Peeve's for Air Travel
1. Standing in line for an agent when you don't have to - don't be afraid of the electronic kiosks, they are your friend! They can do just about everything an agent can but without the surly attitude and in half the time! You can get seat assigments, check in bags, etc. It is a breeze, use them once and you'll be hooked!

2. Taking forever to get off the plane! Look, get your stuff and move! If you have a heavy bag in the overhead, wait a till a few rows behind you have gone and than step out and get your bag,while someone else is holding up the line further down.

3. Running to the gate five minutes before the flight time - hey hey, hey, if you have a confirmed seat, do us stand-by's a favor and haul your ass to the airport on time, we are waiting to see if you show up before we can get on.

4. Walking aimlessly and slowly in the middle of the airport hall. There are some of us who are running to catch a flight, please move to the side if wandering.

5. Guy in the middle seat gets both the arm rests. It's a rule, look it up.

6. Don't dwaddle on the jetway when getting off, move with an efficiency, like you own the place.

7. Don't forget your manners and common courtesies when flying, they still apply just cause you are in the air.

8. If you have bad service, PLEASE write to the airline, the only way we know one of our staff is not doing what they should (providing customer service) is by customers informing us.

9. Retain all stubs, tickets etc that you get from the airline until you have either completed the travel or you have gotten your frequent flyer miles, refunds etc. Don't throw away this stuff mid-trip, trust me it will come back to haunt you!

*As always, if you have a topic you'd like me to discuss, feel free to suggest - I'm not sure what I have or haven't covered.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Missing Monday

DOB: Oct 17, 1989
Missing: Dec 2, 2005
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
Eyes: Brown
Race: White/Hisp
Age Now: 16
Sex: Female
Weight: 127 lbs (58 kg)
Hair: Brown
Missing From: RICHMOND, VAUnited States

Sylvia may still be in the local area or she may travel to Florida. She has a tattoo of a cross and a heart. Sylvia has scars on the top and bottom of her foot.

Another endangered runaway, I figured even if she doesn't want to come back, someone needs to know her whereabouts, if no one knows where you are, no one can help you in times of need. Everyone needs someone to look out for them.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Have a Laugh

Right, over my whining - getting into action. A friend of mine kick started me - she reminded me that I must get active, do things to get in the direction I want and that's what I'm going to do.

As a thanks for listening to me whine - I'm including some funny stuff, a good way to start the weekend, enjoy!

Top Ten Reasons Dick Cheney Won't Resign (from Dave Letterman Late Show)
10. Trying to fix up Condi Rice with his daughter
9. Turns out when you shoot somebody, if you're not vice president, you gotta do time
8. Bush leaves at two every day and then it's margaritas and Fritos
7. Set the solitare high score on his office computer
6. Wants to see if he can help Bush get his approval rating under ten
5. Too hard to give up Vice Presidential Discount at D.C. area Sam Goody stores
4. Wants to stay on the job until every country in the world hates us
3. Extra-zappy White House defibrillators
2. Undisclosed location has foosball and whores
1. Why quit when things are going so well?

From Family Guy
Peter: Fox has one of those new reality shows at eight, 'Fast animals, slow children.'

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Life Sucks Mode

I'm back from India - complete with a cold. Joy.

Trip was interesting...I shall try to write about it soon, nothing too long but at least the salient (is that the word?) points. Needless to say, many of my favorite childhood memories have now been wiped away as I learned that some family members are not as nice as I thought.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on getting over my crush. Really it should be quite easy since he has completely forgotten me. So goes my life, no?

On top of that, get back to America to find I have not gotten a call-back to a job I REALLY, REALLY wanted and the clock ticks for this job ending very soon. I have to take my GMAT's next week, in which I will do poorly, so I won't be able to get into my dream busines school. All my so-called friends from far-flung locations have forgotten me. The guy I use to adore and wanted to marry is into someone else, what is better about her than me?

Yeah, yeah, boo hoo whine whine, I know, I should count my blessings, it could be worse, I could be a child sex slave in Thailand, but I'm just really in my life sucks mode. I must ask, is there any point in living, if know your life is going to just go downhill? If at 29, your community and culture considers you an old maid - who will just have to sit around and watch all the young pretty chippy girls get the guys and lead happy ever after lives, while you sit around at home with 50 cats, why keep on going? Should one keep plugging on if one has all the capabilities to do the job but can't seem to get an interview cause one doesn't know the "right people?"

Probably it is my faith and fear of God's wrath that keeps me from offing myself, but even that is waning. What kind of God is this, that I worship, that continues to punch me - and don't give me that B.S. about God testing me - cause I'm so over it, let someone else take a go at this exam.

Right, sorry, I'm just ranting - my life is not in a very happy place right now, maybe I'll just go have some breakfast, low blood sugar level leads to higher depression.