So with my 23rd birthday passed I though it'd be a good time to reflect on my past. Maybe dig up some old memories, laugh over the silly ones and shudder and the ones that still sting.

I still have trouble with admitting deep confessions on an online journal because I do have to face many of you and I don't think I could after sharing embarrassing secrets. But then I got-a-thinkin'...what if we all shared a confession while being anonymous?

Ever been to PostSecret? It's sort of an online confessional that I discovered a few months ago. It's actually an art project started by some individual who began asking people to send in a secret on a postcard and he would post it on his blog. He's been so successful that he's made a book and has held exhibits showing these postcards. The band "All-American Rejects" also used images from his site for their music video. Some of the images are disturbing, some funny, and some just odd. But it's simply amazing.

You realize how on the inside, we're all confused and we all have some dark shades to our past. This site allows people to share a secret they've been harbouring and possibly allow them to come to peace with themselves. Some of the images are a little disturbing too and a some rate R so be warned. But a lot of the secrets are just so raw and can floor you when you read and understand what human nature is like.

So here's the deal.

I challenge you all to use the comment section of this post to write one secret or confession as "Anonymous".

As on the site, each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, desire, feeling, confession, or childhood experience.

No one will know who you are an no one will judge you, I will make sure of that. If it's something you've been wanting to get off your mind, here's your chance. I'll be sure to post something too to keep it fair, but won't be the first because that'd just be too obvious.

Even if you hate my blog (but continue reading for some odd reason) or love it, here's your chance to criticize and ridicule without ever having to ever hear back from me.

---> When and if you choose to comment, remember to select "Anonymous" as your identity and not your blogger ID <---
Friday, October 28, 2005
So lemme 'splain you this whole situation with my name...well, names.

I get a lot of question, so figured I'd start a FAQ on "Why do you have two names?"

1. Why do you have two names?

Whenever I get this question, I have to launch into The Story:

It all goes back 23 years (exactly to this Sunday Oct 30th) to a time when my parents were young and naive and I was born. Being their first child, they were very clueless as to what to do with me, as most unexperienced parents are. Their first task as new parents was to give me a name. My dad at that time was adamant on keeping my name traditional and religious, while my mom wanted the name to keep those elements but make it unique and easy on the Western tongue to pronounce. It was a long and testy battle. Many names were brought to the field then shot down. My mom said "how about Sakina", and dad said something about why his family wouldn't like it. Dad said "Ruqqaiyah" my mom said that the Canadians would just be baffled with the number of letters and may start calling me "Rocky".

Then mom said "I like Afreen. It's unique, cultural and has a great meaning".
Dad replied with "Yeah, but Khadeeja is a strong and religious name and that's what I want".
"No one will be able to pronounce it...the name is great, but it'll get butchered. I want 'Afreen'".
Frustrated they both turned to look at me, possibly trying to determine which name I looked like I should have.

I must have been asleep, because they both came to the decision that I would have both names. "Afreen" to be used with close family and friends, and officially Khadeeja to the rest of the world.

2. I don't get it...why are you called both, most middle names are never used?

Looking back I wish I had been awake and possibly this whole confusing matter would have been avoided altogether.

But as it happens, in the Indian (and maybe Pakistani) culture it's a practice for many families to adopt a nickname or just a simpler name for children to be called at home, while their official name may run about 30 characters long. So you'll see many families with a "Pinky", "Guddu", "Tina", "Babli", "Bunty" running around. Or just another name altogether (as in my case). You could go a lifetime of living next door to your neighbour and not knowing him by any other name than "Chotu chacha ka beta Bablu" translated as "Little uncle's son Bablu".

So since my parents decided to give me one name officially, they simultaneously decided to give me another name to use at home and with family.

3. Does it get confusing?

Hell yeah.

I think I was ok until about university. All my school friends and coworkers knew me as "Khadeeja" since that's what I was registered as. Meanwhile my family and family friends all knew me as "Afreen". Then when university came along, the two worlds began to clash and family friends met with school friends in the same setting.

Sometimes I think people from each side talked about me to each other as if I were two different people. Until they add up all the clues to realize that I am indeed one whole person and not twins, or somone with a multiple personality disorder...speaking of which

4. " you have an excuse to have multiple personalities right?" - Anonymous Questioner

Well, sure I guess...

5. So, which name do you like better?

Hard to say. I'm not especially partial to one over the other because they're both good names. Plus then, I'd have to pick between my mom and dad's choices, and I'm too diplomatic to do that.

6. How do you introduce yourself?

The following is an actual scene that has taken place countless of times and pretty much explains it all.

>"Hi my name is <insert name here> , what's your's?

>>Uhhh (quick, where am I and is there any chance this person would know any of my family or family friends? No...ok...I'm going with Khadeeja...I'm going to have to repeat it because no one seems to get it the first time around. Oh wait...I'm at a family friend's house, they call me by Afreen, this could get confusing and I don't want to tell them The Story...better go with Afreen) my name is Afreen"

>"Nice to meet you Afreen (why the hell did it take her so long to give me her name? Maybe she's a little slow...)

>>>[Enter a third person who knows me by Khadeeja..] "Hey Khadeeja, how's it going!"

>"I thought you said your name is Afreen..??"

>>"It is..."

>"But she just called you Khadeeja...!?"

>> "Oh that's my name..too...(here it comes)"

>"Huh? (I was right...slow)"

>>"You see...about 23 years ago...."

7. Do you have any nicknames?

I can barely keep track of who's calling me by which actual name, so I've lost track - but yes I've got loads of nicknames. No, I'm not writing out the list.

8. So...what do I call you?

It'sall gravy me whichever you like, and should you think of an approved (by me) nickname, kudos to you - go for it.

9. >Which one are you right now? LOL" - Anonymous Questioner

>>Which one? " person, two names - I'm both."

>"Yeah, but if you had to choose which one to be?"

>>"Look, there goes my cell phone, I should take this call..."

>" LOL...coo"

10. Do your brother and sister also have a second name?

Nope. As it happens with all families, pretty much all the mistakes and regrets are made with the eldest child (i.e. me), while the children who come along later have the benefit of not facing the same problems.

11. Is Afdeeja an option for a nickname?


12. Is Khafreen an option? (by request)

Yes. (But only if you'd rather I coldly ignore you when you call me that...I don't want to know how many people who would still opt to do it)
Monday, October 24, 2005
I just thought of something...

My chronic indecisiveness isn't my fault (no really...hear me out). My parents couldn't even figure out what to name me so they stuck me with two names, so this whole "not being able to make a decision in my life" ordeal is hereditary...and well, pretty much their fault.

I feel so much better!

Next post: The problem with blame-pushing
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Now if I can't blatantly admit something on my own online journal, where else can I do it?

I think I have a bit of a shopping problem (I'll pause while some of you get over the "shock"). Yeah this admission was a long time coming, but now I'm putting it out there in attempts to possibly control this habit by publicly (verbally) flogging myself. I know many people, mainly guys, would say "that’s a typical girl for you", but in my frequent attempts to rid myself of the "typical girl" label, I’ve got to defend myself in saying that I did not pick up this habit in trying to copy other girls. Though I don’t know exactly where, when or how I got the shopping bug, I can say that it wasn’t to follow anyone else.

While admitting this however, I have to say, I’m really not that bad (*cough* denial *cough*). But really, compared to some of my coworkers and other to-remain-nameless-friends I don’t think I’m so over the edge that I need to cut up my credit cards and get the mall to have a restraining order slapped on me (though lowering my credit limits might help averting both dangers). I don’t go shopping every week or even every month and I’m a bargain hunter, though I will splurge time to time when it seems right (you get a little feeling in your heart when you see the right sweater).

But my problem comes with being an impulse shopper. Those damn knick-knacks by the checkout counter get me every time, as do the "buy on get one ½ off" deals (if that isn’t value, I don’t know what is). Plus the constant looming shadow of salespeople over me just adds pressure to the point that I’m afraid of them. Once they come at me with some product and start explaining how great it is, I get suckered into it and feel bad that they spent all that time explaining the whatchamacallit to me, so I buy it (meanwhile reminding myself to hang on to the receipt so I can return it). Not much hope for a future lawyer who gets talked down within 3 minutes hm?

Believe it or not I’ve gotten much better (like I said, believe it or not – it’s true). I’ve trained myself to turn and walk the other way when I see a salesperson coming, or, if they somehow do corner me, I’ve mastered the "thanks for your help, I’ll look around and come back" line – polite and to the point.

Funny part about all of this is that I am that salesperson. I have been for the past 6 years in every job I’ve had. Whether it be selling work wear, dishes, or accounts, I use those same scheming tactics to reel in a potential buyer. Told you it was funny. You’d think, being in that whole mindset, that I’d know better and understand the tricks of the trade. You’d think that wouldn’t you.

Damn eBay. Damn it and all the great deals. Now, not only do I have the pressure of being careful of what I buy in a store, but the same conflict stares at me from my PC. To bid, or not to bid. Nothing poetic about it. I’ve gotten some great things online at great prices, which I use so it’s not impractical spending. But the threat is there. Every time I search for something, or a seller I previously purchased something from emails me with new deals, I bite my nails to keep from clicking in just to browse around.

A lot of this was the old me – the more carefree credit-happy spender (hey, a lot of it was for family, I may be flighty with my money but at least it’s not all for me). In recent months I’ve smartened up and backed away from the sales signs and auction pages. It could be because I know how much I need to save up for law school, or that my 23rd birthday is coming up in exactly 10 days so the age is making me all the wiser. Or it could even be that "Shopaholic" book series that made me realize how bad it could get for some people.

Then again it may be simply that I just don’t have any more drawers to put things in...
Monday, October 17, 2005
Ever wonder how stuff works?

go to and find out!

It's a really good site just to find out how everything from your credit score to your TV to a loaf of bread works.

Great if you're really really bored...

Also try,

A FREE online encyclopedia with loads of articles (great for your assignments)

Both added to my links

***Also added... and
(READ people, READ!)
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Hi all,

Hopefully enough people will read this within the next few days...

I'm collecting items to send to Pakistan through NAMF. If you have any of the items I've listed in my last post, please drop them off at my house, or at the NAMF centre in Scarborough.

I'm not sure if York University is set-up yet, but they're on their way.

Priority items are medical supplies, blankets and tents.

Monetary donations can be made through a registered Canadian organization - this way the government will match your donation.

I'll do my best to pick up items from those people who can't come to my place. Just email/call me a little ahead of time.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005
On October 8th, as many as 22,000 died and 40,000 injured when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan, India and Afghanistan on Saturday.

The quake was centred in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, approximately 95 km north-east of the capital, Islamabad, shaking cities and villages across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The UN estimates two million were left homeless.

Urgent air is needed by everyone to help the victims.


Red Cross


CARE Canada

Oxfam Canada


The Canadian government has committed to match all public donations for earthquake relief to registered Canadian charities received by October 25, 2005.


Though monetary donations are the best way to donate, there are some organizations such as NAMF who are collecting supplies to send to Pakistan via PIA airlines which has offered to ship items for free. At the moment I don't know of anyone who is doing the same for India and Afghanistan. Please let me know if you do.

My brother is currently working on organizing a donation/drop-off centre at York University, so hopefully people in the GTA will be able to drop off items there soon.

The major supplies needed are:

Medical Supplies
- masks
- antibiotics : malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, and other water diseases
- pain relief : aspirin, aceteminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and other tablets
- bandages, guaze, antiseptic solution

Infant Supplies
- baby formula (powder and liquid)
- baby food
- milk bottles, feeders, pacifiers
- diapers
- other baby products

Daily Essentials
- tents
- blankets (clean and in good condition)
- non-perishable foods (canned and dry)
- bottles water
- cooking utensils
- clothing (clean and in good conditions)
Thursday, October 06, 2005
True to the name of my blog, this post is nothing but a streaming list of rambling thoughts.

§ I figured since I have nothing meaningful to post that this would be the next best thing. Well that’s a half truth. I had started, and pretty much finished, a somewhat lengthy post on blame-pushing when my computer started to act funny and slow, leaving my blogger screen as frozen as the shocked expression on my face. I mean I was really on a roll with some actually interesting points and arguments and ranting!

Serves me right I guess, because though I well know how temperamental my computer can be, and despite making several mental notes about typing my posts out in Word before transferring to blogger, I started typing away in the blogger posting box. When the computer started to act out, I vainly and frantically tried to click on the "Save as Draft" button to rescue my precious post. But just as my luck goes, it was a little too late and I had to hit the forbidden Ctrl+Alt+Del keys to restart my computer. Plus I was downloading some episodes of "Lost" so the morality fairy probably stung me for that one.

§ It’s oddly quiet around the house with my parents away, and it’s a little disheartening to realize how much you appreciate people more when they’re gone. I’m used to having them around to bug when I get home from work in the evening and we have our little routine of watching Everybody Loves Raymond for a bit in the evening, and now the routine is just out of whack with them gone and Ramadan starting. I don’t mind the not watching TV bit, but I don’t have much else to distract myself with, especially since I can’t sleep much.

§ Well, another half truth. Besides upping the amount of prayers and readings, I’ve taken to reading Anne of Green Gables for about the millionth time. When I moved away to Malaysia back in 1996, these and a couple other were the only books I was able to salvage from the host of things we threw out before moving. I hadn’t read the books before moving, but decided to take them along. Sadly, oddly, and a little pathetically, the three "Anne" books I got in this set as gift were a huge solace to me while in Malaysia. I’ve read them through a countless number of times, to the point where I started memorizing passages. But when we were moving back, there was less room in our luggage so I was forced to toss the books. That was about 1998.

Since then I had thought about the stories in passing but never bothered to get them from the library. But a couple weeks ago I suddenly had the urge to not only read the books, but to have a set of my own. So off to eBay I went and found someone selling the exact set that I had so I snatched it up (thank goodness for the "Buy It Now" option!"). So I got the books on Tuesday and read through the first one by this evening.

§ I think Rogers is out to get us. Seriously. That monopoly of a corporation, has now managed to cause trouble with our home phone lines, cable, and internet. I think their mocking us, or have concocted some twisted way of cutting us off from the world, and I expect our cell phones to go next.

A little over a month ago, we switched from Bell to Rogers for our home phones lines, because of a special offer they were giving their "VIP" customers. It was for their new digital phone service. Since they’re such a big company and the offer seemed good, we made the switch. Who knew they never actually meant to give us a service!

We’ve had problem after problem and 5 technicians were sent to our home, 3 of which were "senior and experienced" but who didn’t seem to know one end of the phone from the other. Apparently other people who’ve switched are having problems too, so at least we’re not alone. Now my mom runs her business from home, so she’s lost tons of business because now all her client’s hear when they call is a busy tone. We haven’t had any land lines for about 2 weeks now despite frustrating calls to the technical support. And now somehow the phone system has messed with our digital cable and internet so that it works on and off, according to it’s own will.

And now with my parents away, I’ve had to use my cell to make long distance calls because the calling card I bough wouldn’t work on my cell! Spread the word people, don’t buy into Rogers home phone now matter how cheap they give it to you!

§ That’s enough ranting for now…if I have the nerve to retype my entire blame-pushing post then you’ll see it here soon enough, otherwise it’ll be lost to that whole other place where all my other posts have gone! §
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Defeat cannot dishearten me.
It can only chasten me.
I know that God will guide me.
Truth is superior to man's wisdom.

Mahatma Gandhi