Archive | August 2009

Senator Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.” — Senator Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009

Around 1:30 A.M. this morning, i was suprised and deeply saddened to receive “breaking news” text messages from several different news organizations alerting me that Edward Kennedy had passed away due to brain cancer at the age of 77… fifteen short months after the diagnosis.

Edward Kennedy was not only one of the most influential politicians, but a true humanitarian which was quite evident through his vast efforts for healthcare amongst many other things.

He is irreplaceable – but whoever takes on his roles… has a very tough job ahead of him/her.

It is hard to fathom that exactly one year ago, Edward Kennedy gave yet another inspirational speech at the DNC. While he seemed fragile and ill, his will seemed as strong as ever.

Edward Kennedy – you will be missed by many, friends and strangers alike.

The Daily Show

This past monday, my brother Ayaz and i FINALLY went to a taping of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart“. By FINALLY, i mean that i originally got tickets last year for several months later, but by the time the day came around – the writers were on strike and so it was cancelled. This time, my brother Faraz, got tickets back in February.

The suggested arrival time was around 3:30 PM – we got there around 2 o’clock and there was already a line forming. We stood in line in the heat (thank god for the shaded area we were standing under) for over three hours (doors open for airport like security checkpoints at 5:15 PM). So, if you have tickets and are planning on going – plan on getting there as early as possible.

On a quick sidenote, the sign above the entrance is this:
(in case you can’t read it – it says “Abandon News All Ye Who Enter Here”

Anyways, getting there at a reasonably early time (2 PM), my brother and I were still #s 16 and 17 in line. Right before they let groups of people enter the security checkpoints, several of the staff members come out to make sure everyone in line has a ticket (and those that don’t are sent to the standby area. And as they do that, they give the people in the lines the official tickets (they say that until you get these tickets, there is no guarantee because they run on a first come first serve basis). There are, i believe, 239 seats in the studio.

I was quite dissappointed in the fact that the tickets we got were like, as Ayaz described it, middle school bathroom passes… and not official tickets that we could keep as souvenirs or anything. Here’s the picture of mine:

oh and by the way, they are insanely serious about not letting any photography being done inside the studios at any point (before, during, or after the taping)… or chewing gum (or eating/drinking of course). Some of it seemed a little extreme (like the no gum chewing), but whatever. the security team kept saying that if they saw anyone take pictures, they would come around and confiscate the camera until the end of the show AND personally delete all the photos. Oh yeah, phones must be turned off (and not just on vibrate or silent)… and in their words – “no tweetering was allowed”. 🙂

So we finally get in to the studio, and they have the music blasting FOREVER. after the longest time, the warm-up comedian guy comes out.. and he was pretty funny… but it was dragged on and on (even he kept saying “sorry guys, but i can’t leave until they give me the signal”). and then FINALLY (after what seemed forever), Jon Stewart comes out to a huge ovation and answers some questions from the crowd (one of the awkward ones was about whether Colbert and Stewart are having a secret affair because they tend to take their vacations together… to which Stewart slyly responds “well, it’s not a secret anymore” :). After several of the questions were about Colbert, one guy finally asks Stewart if he personally likes “when people come onto HIS show and ask about Colbert” :).

Personally, i found Stewart to be funnier as he was doing improv before the actual scripted show. Oh and also, when Stewart first came out.. he asked the crowd if everyone had been waiting outside for hours and then added “I’m sorry but it definitely isn’t worth it.”

Another interesting point to note was the diverse demographic background of the crowd. there were people there not only from across the nation, but across the world – some mentioned were Zimbabwe, Oman, New Zealand, (Berlin) Germany, Kuwait.

This is all i can remember for now, but i’ll probably add stuff later if i think of more. But one this is fore sure – I definitely want to go back again… and also to the “The Colbert Report” with Stephan Colbert.

Lightning

I have internet again! and air conditioning!

I never, in a million years, would have ever expected this to happen to us – but lightning struck our house this past wednesday! it’s one of those things you always hear about… but never think it’s going to happen to you or anyone you know.

My mom had been telling me for a few days prior to wednesday that we were supposed to be getting bad thunderstorms on wednesday… and i didn’t really take it too seriously cause it never really is.

This time, of course, was different. first, our lights went for a bit with the crazy thunder and lightning. then, just as i was sitting down on the sofa… i hear a loud noise (which was obviously lightening striking something/somewhere really close outside)… so i got right back up. just as i was telling my mom that i am not sitting there, and started to move towards the other sofa – i stopped and said to my mom that i am not sitting over there either because the boiler/utility room is right behind that sofa. LITERALLY right then (i’m not kidding/exaggerating, etc.) lightning struck our boiler room!!!

it was absolutely INSANE! the noise was like no other. then, we could smell smoke and what not.. so we had to call 911 and have the police and firefighters come and check to make sure there was no internal damage.

alhumduillah, everyone was fine – our air conditioning was damaged (because the lightning struck that)… and it’s shock was so large that it destroyed my brother’s computer altogether along with the router and modem (I HAD NO INTERNET FOR TWO WHOLE DAYS!!) and damaged my parent’s computer somewhat.

having no internet was rough at times (but doable, surprisingly) – the no A.C. though was crazy.

MB Muslima Magazine

I haven’t really had time to post recently (LSATs are less than two months away and i need all the studying time i can get), but i definitely wanted to post about this.

As i mentioned in an earlier post, my friend Yasmin recently started working on creating an online magazine for Muslim women (others are, of course, more than welcome to read and give their two cents). today the first issue of Modest Beautiful Muslima Magazine is set to be released… and mashallah, it has turned out extremely well.

Click here to go to the home of Modest Beautiful Muslima (or MBM for short) Magazine to browse.

I’m so proud of you Yasmin – I knew you would do an incredible job.