Sunday, November 30, 2008

Missing Monday

It has been a while since I've done a Missing Monday (sorry Pax). For this month's Missing Monday, I want everyone to read the post below about Earl. He can't find his family and as far as we know, his family is missing him. I pray that these two parties reunite before the new year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Acts

For this year's Thanksgiving post, I am attaching a picture and link to this story about Earl. My good blog friend Brenda is searching for his family after Earl, a homeless man, had a stroke. In this holiday where family is so important, it breaks my heart to think of someone wanting to be with their family and not being able to, simply because you can not remember where they are.

For all the Earl's out there, I pray to God that though you are alone physically, may your spirit and thoughts be inhibited with all your favorite memories of loved ones and may the joy of those thoughts bring you comfort this Thanksgiving.

To all my lovely friends may you also have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by those that make you smile and bring you happiness be they family or friends,
- Virginia Gal.

Looking For Earl
Tonight I went downtown to visit and feed my homeless friends and much has transpired this week. Some of them are using the shelter and some of them have been hired to be bell ringers for the Salvation Army...but there were not as many as usual...but what is weighing on my heart is you remember Earl? I posted his picture once and told you all how delightful he was and he is so full of lively stories, but always the gentleman and always appreciative. Well, Earl had a stroke at the beginning of the week and he spent a few days in the hospital, but he is out now and I knew instantly that something had happened to him when I saw him. To make a long story short, I am going to make every effort I can to find his family...he needs to be with them...that's where all of you can help if you so kindly would. I asked him if there was someone I could call for him and he said yes...but he doesn't remember their number and he is having major difficulty with his speech so I cannot make out what he is saying. I tried to get him to write for me, but that didn't work out either. I believe he wants me to help him by finding one of his relatives so I am making up an email to send out with his picture and I am asking all of you to do the same. His name is Earl Hill and I know he is from Tennessee, but I think he also has family in and around Phoenix, Arizona and somewhere in Washington state. He's such a sweetheart and it breaks my heart that he is "stuck" here when he really needs his family. So please copy and paste his picture and send it out in an email to anyone you can think of and just maybe someone will recognize him and provide a link. You can add my
email address as a contact person and you can even put his picture on your blog (or just mention it) if you think it would help. There are times when the world really doesn't seem that big and I'm hoping this is one of those times and maybe this won't work, but at least we can give it a try?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight and Kelly Clarkson

This weekend was fun, though I spent most of it sick with a very sore throat and cold (which is still going on, thanks to no health insurance, I have to self-medicate).

I went to see the movie Twilight at midnight on Friday. Predictably the theatre was packed, full of other die-hard Twilight fans like myself. What to say of the movie? I liked it, but definitely my adult sensibilities found some of the scenes consumed with cheese (for lack of a better word). And you know what was most funny about those moments, I can recollect when I was a teen how much I adored those movie scenes. Goodness, it seems I have become an adult! My favorite moments were the sparring between Bella and Edward and I thought for the most part, the director and screenwriters stayed true to the book - though changing the ending was unnecessary and annoyed me. I actually found the best actors to watch were the normal high school students who played alongside Bella and Edward, because these high school kids were so normal. In a movie so full of dramatics, it was nice to have glimpses of commonality. Naturally, I am going to see the movie again....duh.

Saturday night my sister and I went to go see Kelly Clarkson in concert. I am a huge fan!! She is all about girl power and empowerment for women. Her songs infect me, they are so much an anthem to my life. It was an interesting show, as it was not only Kelly playing but Reba McIntyre - I am not a particularly huge country music fan, so being around so many country music fans was unusual. But I was able to jump and dance around to "Since You've Been Gone" - making the whole experience worth it! Plus my sister got us tickets in the sixth row, which was freaking awesome!

Now I'm off to bed to hopefully nurse this cold and cough.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Let me get this straight, you need to beg for some money and you come to the door in opuluent splendor?! Does anybody else see something wrong with this picture???

The CEO's of the big three American car companies rolled into Washington DC today (Wednesday, November 19th), via their private jets, to ask for loans from the federal government to save their companies. Those car companies that these same CEO's mismanaged so badly. How dumb can you be? I am of mixed minds about giving the loan, though I heard on the news that this loan would only amount to 3% of the entire $75 billion federal bailout package.

Speaking of which, what is happening with that money? Where is the accountability? Why do I feel like this $75 billion is just a kickback from President Bush and Henry Paulson to their pals at AIG and in the banking industry to go on spa vacations and buy their fourth houses in Aspen?? Does anyone else sense this money will never be seen by the everyday man?

Also, why is that when Wall Street or Corporate America needs hundreds of billions of dollars to fix a self-inflicted problem, the federal government can get the money to these companies, but when there is talk of providing health care coverage to all Americans, suddenly the federal governement is broke? When we have to go to war, no problem, plenty of money, but speak of reducing student loans...oop sorry, fresh out of cash.

Is it because they have never been poor that the rich men who seem to rule this country can't empathize or understand the plight of everyday Americans? Or is just the basic human need to protect your friends and for everyone else, who cares it is each man on his own??

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tips for Customers

As I am currently working in retail (ugh) the more I am interacting with customers (naturally). Some days are better than others when dealing with the public, but for the good of all, I would like to offer some tips to consumers for everyday shopping (which would make both your and mine, the sales associate, life so much nicer).

  1. READ THE FINE PRINT IN COUPONS. I have been guilty of this myself as a shopper, so please read the entire coupon before bringing it up to the register with your product, that includes all the legalize. Make sure your item is covered in the coupon, that you have the right size, the correct brand, color, type, etc. AND if you do not read your coupon, DO NOT yell at me if I can't accept it; not my policy, store policy.
  2. For the love of God, if you have one item, or something small, why do you need a bag?? Stop wasting and try to be green! Be honest with yourself if you do need a bag, its because you are lazy or vain and want people to see you were shopping, or forgetful and must have this huge bag to remind you that you bought something.
  3. If you pick up an item and decide you don't want it, put it back where you found it. I'm not your mother or servant, I shouldn't have to clean up after you!!
  4. Is it too hard to be polite and say thank you?? I know I am paid by the store to help you and just a measly retail store worker, but I am still a human being, it makes me more willing to assist if you are nice and not a complete jerk.
  5. If you are watching your pennies, than watch the screen when I ring you up! After the transaction is complete, it is MUCH harder to remedy price problems. Don't yell at me because you are too stupid to pay attention.
  6. Watch your kids, the store is not a daycare or babysitting service. Also it is not cute when they mess up the store, no matter what you think.
  7. Be honest when you want one of the store's fancy paper handle bags instead of the plain old plastic bags, don't try to cloak it in some necessity or righteousness about your purchase, I'll respect you more (and be more willing to give you other free swag, i.e. tissue paper with the store name on it) if you are honest.
  8. Finally, if there is a line when you go to check out and the line is not moving, blame it on the customer in front, because 99.9% of the time, it is that front line customer's fault, they are fussing or have some problem, picked up an item without a price tag, returning something etc. Again, don't take it out on us store employees, get mad at your fellow customer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monarchy and Top Chef

Finally Wednesday night television has arrived!

Since the CW network moved Gossip Girl to Monday nights at the beginning of this season, Wednesday night television has been a dessert of nothingness - until now (Mid-November).

PBS has begun airing the British series, A Year in the Life of the Monarchy. A British television crew followed Queen Elizabeth II around during 2006 and we get to see the footage. The documentary style mini-series gets closer to Her Highness than anyone has been in a long time; and as a self-avowed monarchist, I am completely in love with this series! The first two hour long "episodes" featured the Queen's visit to America, which was so exciting to see, particularly as I was part of that experience (remember me standing in the rain on the Virginia state capital grounds to catch a glimpse as she visited our state capital). What I really enjoyed is seeing all the behind the curtain work, such as how the Williamsburg hotel where the Queen stayed in had to wash the new bought towels four times or which presidential dishes the White House used for the Queen's lunch (LBJ's with state flowers). This series took a year to make it across the pond (everyone in the UK got to see it last year, lucky ducks) and I am watching every minute of it!

After this jaunt into royalty (which I always love), I than move onto the Bravo channel for (wait for it)....Top Chef! I just got into this show last season but boy, have I been sucked in! This is a reality show, but not one where they scream and yell and display the worst of humanity, rather it is a group of EXTREMELY talented people outperforming each other - in an arena that I will never truly be a proper member of (the kitchen i.e. love to cook set). I relish (no pun intended) how creative these chefs are; they are able to take the most restrictive or craziest instructions thrown at them by the judges of this television show and make amazing food dishes. Plus, through watching this show, I feel as though I am gaining some culinary education. Certainly the show has enhanced my food palate and eating out decision making.

As a tv-ohlic, I am ever so glad Wednesday is back with good programming - haliauh!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gift Ideas

Working in retail I have seen the infusion of Christmas all over both of the stores I work at. It has got me thinking of the upcoming holidays and presents. While my Muslim family doesn't traditionally celebrate Christmas, we do have another EID coming up and that means gifts. With the economy in the shape it is, I am trying to find alternative ideas for traditional gift giving and came up with these two, what I suppose, gems.

1. A gift of time. This is so precious and so valuable and yet we take for granted, giving to someone five hours of your time, to help a person you care for maybe cook, run errands, clean the house, wash the car etc.

2. Giving to charity in the name of the person. This kills two birds with one stone, giving a gift and helping those less fortunate (who need it now even more than ever, as charities say they have seen a decline in giving). You could give to my delightful friend JellyKean's bareass campaign, with all money going to America's Second Harvest Foodbank. A charity gift is a gift that is not only loving but further giving.

If you have some ideas for a less material present, feel free to suggest....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Wins!!!

I am overjoyed by the Obama win!!! And super especially proud that I was able to help deliver Virginia for Obama column - we turned it blue, first time in 40 years!!! Yeah baby!!!!

Can't wait for the inauguration and for the Obama family to be a part of our town, big big welcomes!!!

ps - do the Bushes need help packing, cause I'm available Sunday??

pps - yes I know I gotta change my blog description, as my mum pointed out, Virginia is no longer a "red state."

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Obama Rally

Obama comes to my hometown tomorrow,( Manassas, Virginia baby!!) his final rally before flying home to Chicago!

I am going, right after work at Michael's (joy).

Please, if you have not already, go out and VOTE on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4th!!!