Monday, November 7, 2011

Eid-ul-Adha Mubarak, my Muslim friends!

For those of you who are not Muslim and have no idea what I'm talking about November 6, 2011 was a festive occasion for Muslims all over the world. 

It marks the day in the Islamic calender when Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) had such love for Allah (God) that he was willing to sacrifice his own beloved son Ismaeel (Ishmael) because God ordered him to. But at the last moment, before he was about to commit the deed, God put a sheep in Ishmael's stead and had Abraham kill that instead. He was merely testing Abraham's love for Him, and seeing that he was about to do it, God was pleased and thus saved Ishmael. 

So on this day that we call Eid-ul-Adha (the second Eid of the year - the first Eid comes right after the fasting month of Ramadan) Muslims sacrifice cattle (cows, goats, or sheep) in honor of Abraham's readiness to obey his Lord and then distribute the meat among friends, family, and save a portion to give to the poor. 

I just wanted to show you guys some pictures of the incredible unity of Muslims even as we are apart by land and water, we all come together with our fellow brothers and sisters and celebrate. 

In my case, we all wake up early in the morning to shower, dress ourselves in our newest outfits that we bought for the holiday and then go to the mosque to pray the traditional Eid morning prayer. After that, we basically gorge ourselves with delicious cultural foods all day long at different people's houses with our families. 

Anyway, here are the pictures. Enjoy! 

In Pictures: Eid al-Adha
Muslims around the world celebrate the 'Festival of the Sacrifice', marking Abraham's willigness to sacrifice his son.

1) Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city on the first day of Eid al-Adha on November 6, 2011, as Muslims worldwide commemorate the Feast of the Sacrifice, marking the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command [AFP]

2) Kyrgyz men look at sheep at the outdoor livestock market in Bishkek, on the eve of Eid al-Adha, known locally as Kurban Bairam [AFP]

3) A Muslim family leave a mosque after the Eid al-Adha prayer in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the last Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic calendar [EPA]

4) Palestinian women pray at the grave of a relative at a cemetery in the West Bank city of Ramallah on the first day of Eid al-Adha [AFP]
5) Two Muslim youths blow fire during the parade to welcome Eid al-Adha in Banda Aceh, Indonesia [EPA]
6) Muslim Filipino inmates pray during a downpour as they mar Eid al-Adha inside the capital's most congested city jail in Quezon City, Philippines [EPA]
7) Acehnese Muslims pray at Baiturrahman Grand Mosque during Eid al-Adha in Banda Aceh, Indonesia [EPA]

Pictures courtesy of Aljazeera 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An update from the physicist (aka The Physics Master) - because that's what I'm calling myself from now on

Yes, bloggers. My unofficial name on this blog (besides mistcalnia, of course) is The Physics Master. Written like that. 

Why? Read why here and here (because I don't feel like going into lengthy explanations right now).

But anyway, whenever I talk about school from now on, I'm always going to refer to myself as The Physics Master (abbreviated as TPM). 

So here's another post on school (specifically, about my miserable honors physics class): 

I'm dropping physics. 
Like, completely dropping it. 
No, I'm not going down to regular stupid physics. 
I'm COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY dropping the class. 
Because it's making me miserable. 

Let me list the ways it's making me miserable: 

1) I don't understand the subject. 
2) I don't understand the subject.
3) I don't understand the subject. 
4) I hate it - because I don't understand the subject. 
5) I tried to understand the subject - really, I did, I even made myself read an entire chapter of the horrid textbook - but I still couldn't get a clue. 
6) I don't understand it and I'm stumped with a truckload of homework every freaking week so it's making me stress out, causing me to break out, binge-eat (or not eat at all because I'm so stressed) and just plain messing up my body. 
7) Seven things is a lot of miserable things to say, is it not? I think I'll stop here. 

There. That's why. 
So I'm gonna go to my guidance counselor tomorrow after school (oh, and by the way, we had a snow day on Monday and today due to the unexpected and dangerous accumulation of snow during the first snowstorm of this school year (on Saturday, October 29), that is, if I ever find out. I was supposed to meet with him after school today but obviously that guy is never around when I need him, unfortunately. On my only free period of the day, he's teaching Chemistry. Now, don't you people agree that a high school guidance counselor should be just a guidance counselor and not a teacher as well? He teaches Honors and AP Chem, which requires a lot of grading time. But seriously, it's not like he has enough to do already with being a guidance counselor for a senior ESPECIALLY this time of year. 

I'm so confused about my college list and where I'm applying and all that, and I DESPERATELY NEED HIS HELP. 

Oh well. 

But on the bright side, I'm dropping Physics, so that'll leave me another free period to meet with him and have some time together so he can help me sort things out. 

Phew. That was a lot to say for one post, so I'll stop there. 

Once I've talked with my guidance counselor and finalized where I'll be applying (although I put up a tentative list here even though I said that was 'final' but I guess nothing's ever 'final' until you are done applying and are then just waiting to hear back) I'll let y'all know the 'final' list. 

Until then, ciao! 


As most of my fellow writers/bloggers out there are all aware, NaNoWriMo is here! 

What is NaNoWriMo, you say? Why, it is NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH. It's the favorite time of year for every aspiring young author out there who has a little bit (or a lot) of time on their hands and want to sit down and finish a complete first draft of a novel in thirty days. 

In an author's term, this takes an abundance of sheer, unyielding strong-will, frustrating stubbornness, and a whole lot of grumpiness that tends to come about when you've been staring at a blank Word document or paper for too long without making progress. But when you've done something in a month - that, my friends, is the beautiful art that is called writing. 

In real people's terms, however (for you see, we authors or authors-to-be are not normal people, as you would think of the word normal and as such are often unfortunately much depreciated in value) what I mentioned in the above paragraph just translates to determination, patience and dedication. 




All right, got a little too excited there. That tends to happen frequently when I'm talking about writing - well obviously, because it's the love of my life (at least, until I find the human incarnation of my significant other, of course). 

Unfortunately, I wish I had to time to translate all of this excitement into actual, productive writing. Except for this blog, that doesn't happen very often, for some unknown reason. Maybe I don't have enough drive. Maybe I don't have what it takes. Or maybe, I just don't have the time or patience to do what I need to do to make my imprint upon the publishing world and get it done. 

I have to send in my college apps asap - AFTER I figure out where exactly I'm applying to and AFTER I finish all the supplements for the colleges I finally decide to apply to - and their deadlines are almost exactly on par with all the writing competition deadlines that I know of. 

So unfortunately, I won't be competing against the hundreds of thousands of young writers out there in the nation for the ultimate prize and glory, as well as personal satisfaction that I've done something I can be proud to call my own, on my own efforts, with my own personal talents.

Or have time to finish a novel in a month, for that matter.

Oh well. I'll have plenty of opportunities in college next year (hopefully). 

But anyway, to end this on a good note: Good luck to all you aspiring writers out there!! And hooray for NanoWriMo!