Archive for September, 2009

This comment by Abbie needs its own post. You’re welcome, everyone.

things i want to see more of on guys:

1. gray trousers.

business casual superstar abbie1

Me here: Um, hot. Even though they’re skinny (I abhor skinny pants on guys; YOU ARE KILLING YOUR SPERM. STOP IT), they’re not the skin-tight skinny jeans I see on hipster kids, the kind of men’s skinny pants that give me hives. I agree with this assessment.

2. grandpa cardigans.

business casual superstar abbie2

Me: I’m not fangurl-crazy over grampa cardigans on guys (I’m weird – I like to be the one wearing grampa cardigans) but whatever, no one cares. Certainly not a bad look by any means!

3. gingham shirts:

business casual superstar abbie3

Me: Gingham is a soft, snuggly, girl-approved fabric. Just like cotton and silk are soft, snuggly guy-approved fabrics.

4. bow ties:

business casual superstar abbie4

Me: Ha ha ha! I love Abbie. Seriously, this is adorable. I’m not a big fan of bow-ties, personally, but I LOVE that bow-ties are on her list. ❀

Thanks for the links, Abbie! I saw this comment and thought that it just needed to be put out here on its own.

Also, fellas, if we’re talking about trends to bring back, might I suggest a celery stalk on the lapel? Hmm? It’s classy.


Oh, Fifth Doctor. Why so awesome?


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I was told by many people that I don’t include outfits that I wear often enough in this series. And they’re right. I don’t like talking about myself. I’m confusing. Besides, you nerds already know what I like. You know I love cardigans and sweater-dresses and boot-cut jeans and lingerie-inspired blouses or camisoles and that I buy a crapload of stuff from Victoria’s Secret (which I highly recommend because they have lovely things). And you know I’m small, so I wear tailored and structured things and blouses with ruffles and rouching on the top, and so on.

But, fine, here’s something that’s very close to what I was wearing on Tuesday. It was cold. I was not happy. But I did get to see my best gal pal from high school for lunch, so that was nice.

Here’s what I looked like on my little lunch excursion.

Business Casual Superstar 37Girls’ Circo Denim Jeans in dark wash ………. $7
Cotton rib turtleneck sweater in persimmon ………. $19

Sonoma Life & Style Sash Belt ………. $24
Ludlow Boot in black ………. $39.90

Okay. I’m going to be honest with you nerds, mainly because I feel we’ve reached that point in our relationship where I can tell you these things.


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Okay, this is cute.

I read a ton of law blogs, mostly thanks to Dennis (no634) who has a bunch of awesome ones linked on his site. One of them is Law:/dev/null, which is awesome first and foremost because of the name. COME ON. I and-hearts-semi-colon it. Totally do.

One of my random-aside posts, How to Teabag the Teabaggers (I KNOW IT’S A GROSS TITLE I’M SORRY JEEZ IT’S NOT LIKE I KILLED YOUR DOG), this was posted in Law:/dev/null’s law blog post roundup:



To be fair, many guys have told me that I “slightly crush[ed] [their] soul[s].” I don’t mean to, I swear. I’m working on it. No, I’m not. But you wouldn’t want me to, anyway, right? R-right?

Ah, well. Stop reading me rambles and go read Law:/dev/null.

La la la.






I’ll see myself out.

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So I was hanging out with a friend over the weekend who was trying to challenge my humble fashionista skills by picking out ugly pieces of clothing and getting me to figure out some kind of outfit using that piece.

This friend hates blazers. HATES. She’s convinced that she looks like her mother when she wears one. Her mother’s some sort of executive and wears lots of blazers, but Megan only has the standard black suit jacket for her interview suits, that’s it.

So she happened upon this yellow blazer which she thought was icky. To be honest, I don’t think it’s that bad. It’s a little dowdy on the model, sure, but that’s because the white pants give it way too much of a Reagan era look, and even the cuteness of the model can’t come back from that. The challenge, really, is finding something to really bring out the trendy, youthful edge to this otherwise tea-with-Gramma buttercream blazer. Let’s take a look.

Business casual superstar 35Semantiks ‘Garden Party’ Jacket (SALE) ………. $58.90
Fab Solid Knit Cami in brown ………. $2.50
TYTE Stretch Cross Hatch Denim ………. $15
Michelle D ‘Sizzle’ Pumps (SALE) ………. $20.70

Ha, whenever I have a piece that is a larger cut of my $100 budget than I’d like, I always cheat and hit up the $15 Store. πŸ˜› I’m awful.


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Shabana describes herself as a lurker here, and left a very nice comment for me the other day. She said that as a hijab-wearing Muslim woman, she appreciates the fact that I use this blog in part to dispel baseless stereotypes about Islam.

To which I don’t really have anything to say, but I do have a picture.

Huma on Eid

This is me.

As you all know, I don’t wear hijab on a daily basis. I do, however, wear hijab when I go to the masjid, and I loop a scarf over my hair if I’m going to a gathering where I know I’ll see older Desi men, mostly as a sign of respect.

There’s not much substance to this post, just this: This is ONE of the faces of a modern American-Muslim woman. Some of us wear hijabs all the time. Some of us don’t wear hijabs ever. Some of us cover our hair sometimes.

Most of us do it because it’s our choice. Yes, there are women who are forced into it, unfortunately, which isn’t how it’s supposed to be. But again, most of us do this because we want to. We don’t feel oppressed. We don’t feel demeaned. We don’t feel particularly medieval or backwards.

We just cover our hair because we believe it is what we should do, and we want to.

For example, I would never, ever, ever go to the masjid or to my old Islamic school without wearing hijab, although no one could really stop me. All the so-called liberation in the world couldn’t get me to show up there with my hair showing.

There’s nothing threatening about this, is there? I’m certainly not forcing you to cover your hair. I certainly don’t care whether you do or not. This is just what I do.

I’m in a better position to say this because I do both. I observe the practice of hijab (in certain situations) and I also wear my hair down.

Those of you who know me personally know who I am. You know I’m loud. You know I love clothes and shoes. You know I love cupcakes and often can’t shut up about them. You know I love to tease and rag and rip on people. You know I can be sarcastic, and occasionally I work blue. You know I’m passionate about writing and that I’ve been playing around with graphic design for years. You know I love to wear big, dangly earrings and stilettos. You know I heart dogs and I have a really weird sense of humor. You know I’m in love with Hugh Laurie and Benjamin McKenzie and BJ Novak. You know I ramble and laugh and threaten to destroy people on a daily basis. You know all those different sides of me, and you know (I hope) that they remain intact even if I have a scarf looped around my neck and shoulders, protecting my hair from your gaze.

The next time you see a woman on the street with a tightly wrapped hijab, please remember: that’s only one of her faces. She has hair underneath, and she likes to let it down when you’re not around.

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My first bona-fide Huma-look for the boys. I needed the guys (Ben, Mike, Zach) to give me a little push.

Okay. Now, as Ben already figured out (stalker), I like boys in argyle. I also like boys in dark jeans, tees, and blazers. That unrequired bit of fanciness (the blazer) is just amazing.

I also like boys in bright colors. Now, I’m usually not a fan of pink or orange (corals, really), and I go either way on red, but generally speaking, I like boys in bright, vibrant colors, especially blues and greens that aren’t your typical (boring) navy or English racing green. Really, English racing green is the best possible color for a Jaguar. Kind of an aside, but I’m just saying.

So here’s a look that’s kind of bright (not really) that I like a lot.

business casual superstar 34Cotton Striped V-Neck Sweater ………. $44.99
Classic V-Neck T-shirt Short-Sleeve in gray ………. $23
Express ROCCO Boot Cut Jeans in Dark Tint ………. $49.50

Ah, dark wash jeans. LOVE dark wash jeans. I can’t even articulate what it is about them; I just love them. Boot cut, straight leg, relaxed fit, distressed, whatever, as long as it’s a dark tint it’s A-OK in my book.

Along with the dark jeans, we’ve got a plain gray crew neck that matches the red and heather gray striped sweater. The red is nice and bright, but the gray and white keep the look masculine.

That was totally my mom talking there. And my dad. They’re from the Indian subcontinent, meaning they have significant British influences, and apparently the thinking in Britain and France (God, my parents love France) when they were my age was that men stuck to black, brown, gray, white, and navy, and that was pretty much it. Other colors, brighter colors, were for women, and men wouldn’t be caught dead wearing them. My dad owns a two purple dress shirts and one green one, and that’s pushing it forΒ  him, considering his closet is full of white (for shirts) and navy and gray (for polos). Those are his ‘adventure’ purchases. Because he lives on the wild side.

Just like the Hoomster.

Anyway, yes, ignore that ‘masculine’ crack. I don’t know what I’m saying.

So, yes. Dark blue, red, and gray/white. Lovely. I’d like this best with nicer black shoes, but who am I kidding? A pair of Chucks would look great, too.

I’m so freaking easy to please. You guys should be grateful. You really should.

You won’t be, though. I can feel it. 😐 Because that’s just how you roll.

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Well, this is kind of awesome. Today, everything is not terrible. Except that it kind of is.

On Friday, a large group of Muslims gathered at the US Capitol to pray Ju’muah salat. Ju’muah is Friday in Arabic, and it’s a particularly holy day for us. Every day at midday, we pray Zuhr prayer, which is composed of four parts, called rakaat. On Fridays, everyone treks out to the masjid and listens to the Imam give a sermon on just about anything – Islamic concepts, the life of the Prophet, the state of the Muslim Ummah (collective body) today, etc.

Some of my favorite sermons in past years have been about things like giving more alms to the poor, using social media and the Internet at large in an Islamic way (ie, no trashy MySpace shots, no flirting with members of the opposite sex on Facebook, etc), the similarities between us and the People of the Book (Jews and Christians, the Abrahamic faiths), how the Prophet (S) fasted during Ramadan (ie, special things he did, like eat an odd number of dates in the morning meal, work outside and in the fields like it was a normal day, break the fast with water and dates, spend the night in prayer), and the treatment of mothers in Islam (“heaven lies under the feet of the mother”).

When the sermon is over, the congregation prays only two rakaat instead of the four. Zuhr prayer is the only prayer on Friday that is shortened this way; the rest continue as normal.

So a bunch of Muslims gathered in DC on Friday to pray in the open, responding in part to the President’s attempt to reach out to the Muslim community in his speech a while ago and to show Muslim unity.

“We can show the world that not all Muslims hate America,” said Habib Beyah, who came from New Jersey with his son to participate. “Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Muslims are extremists.” [Quoted from the Baltimore Sun.]

I remember praying out in the open once. It was a bunch of us on a field trip in downtown Chicago on a Friday many years ago, back when we were in junior high. For scheduling reasons, we couldn’t get back to school in time to pray Zuhr, so we thought, forget it, let’s just do it here. We were in front of the Chicago Board of Trade, by the McDonalds there. I pass that place every single day on the way to school and the way to the train station, and I always remember that day.

The boys pray in front and the girls pray behind them, and everyone has to line up in rows facing Makkah, which is about 43 degrees past north, so pretty much exactly northeast. It’s really easy to tell the direction from the path of the sun, so that was no sweat. There was no real way to have a Khutbah (sermon), even though many of the high school boys who were also on the trip had given the khutbah many times before. Even though this happened in the glorious days before 9/11, we still figured we’d probably get arrested or something. So one of the boys stepped forward and gave the adh’aan, the Muslim call to prayer, 7 verses, each repeated twice, a very simple declarative call to get your butt to the Masjid. It’s issued before every prayer by the mu’addhin, historically the person that would climb up into the minaret and say it as loudly as he could, so that people in the neighboring houses would wake up to his call.

Another boy gave the iqamah, which is basically a mini-adhaan said immediately before prayer. The purpose of the adhaan is to let people know that the time in which to pray Fajr/Zuhr/Asr/Maghrib/Isha has commenced, and the iqamah is to let people know that the prayer will begin shortly, and they should stand. So we all stood and lined up in rows, about 50 of us, easy, and one of the boys led the prayer.

We took our coats off and put them on the ground, since you’re not supposed to pray on the bare floor unless you absolutely have no choice. We touch our foreheads to the ground several times during prayer, and there’s a cleanliness aspect to it as well as a sanctity component. That’s why in most Muslim homes, you take your shoes off at the door because any carpet can be and often is used for prayer, and shoes are NOT allowed in the masjid. At our house, we’ve prayed jamaat (congregation-style) in the living room, th family room, the office, and in our individual bedrooms, so literally every single room in the house where you can sit around, we pray in.

When we finished and got up and put our coats on (damn, it was cold that day! Yeesh!), I remember looking around and seeing that an actual crowd had gathered. Not just ten people. I’m talking easily 50 people standing at kind of a distance, just watching us. I had no idea when they came, but they were all so quiet and curious. No one said anything, no one threw anything, they were just watching. And there used to be these short pillars in the concrete courtyard between the Board of Trade and the adjoining building, and sometime during the prayer, a Police Line Do Not Cross tape had been wrapped around all of them, roping off a portion of the courtyard. Again, I had NO IDEA when they did that, considering our prayer (even 4 rakaat) could not have lasted more than ten minutes from the beginning of the adhaan.

So we just put on our coats and walked away all casual. I bet people were like….WTF. πŸ˜›

But the crowd that day in Chicago was considerably nicer than the one that gathered in DC this past Friday. A bunch of people showed up with signs that said “TRUST JESUS” and handed out pamphlets to nearby Muslims. (If I had been there, I would have set a pamphlet on fire and handed it back. Okay, no, I wouldn’t have, but I would have used it to spit my gum or floss my teeth right in front of them.)

Texas Minister Asshole, or his Christian name, Rusty Thomas, who traveled from his home state with Operation Save America to protest, said, “When Islam is weak, they will be the religion of peace. When they get the upper hand, out comes the sword.”

Go sit on a rusty nail, asshole.

(Eustace is a member of this guy’s church. He just told me. Rat fink kaffir* ulcer.)

Next time any group does anything that is even remotely associated with Christianity, I’m showing up with a group of friends and signs that say ALLAH (SWT)Β  LOVES YOU AND YOUR MAMA.

Watch. I’ll get arrested. It’s a cinch to happen. I will get arrested, not quoted in a newspaper like the Baltimore Sun.

To make everything not terrible, here’s a clip from my favorite Islamic movie, The Message, starring He Who Can Play Any Ethnicity, Anthony Quinn. It’s chopped off at the beginning, but it’s where Bilaal (R) gives the adhaan for the first time in Makkah after the Ka’baah that Abraham and his son built was purged of pagan idols. Bilaal was originally one of the Prophet’s slaves, and the Prophet (S) freed him when he started receiving his revelations. Bilaal became the first African slave to embrace Islam, and when the Muslims emigrated to Yathrib/Madinah and built the first masjid, Masjid an-Nabawwi, the Masjid of the Prophet, he was the one they chose to give the first call to prayer because he had such a beautiful voice.


Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

God is Great x4

Ashhaduann la illaha illallah
Ashhaduann la illaha illallah

I witness that there is no God but God x2

Ashhaduanna Muhammad ar-Rasulallah
Ashhaduanna Muhammad ar-Rasulallah

I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God x2

Hayya al as-Salaah, Hayya al as-Salaah

Come to prayer x2

Hayya al al-Falaa, Hayya al al-Falaa

Come to good works x2

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

God is Great x2

La illaha illallah

There is no God but God.

This is recited before each of the five daily prayers.

Catch the first part, Bilaal scaling the wall of the Ka’bah, in the last part of clip 17, below. Continued in 18, below.

The Message was directed by Academy Award winner Moustapha Akkad, and tells the story of Islam from its inception to the liberation of Makkah, ending with a montage of masjids and Muslims around the world. It’s based on the history detailed in the Quran, as well as the Sunnah (narrations/traditions, also compiled and authenticated) of the Prophet(S), as well as authenticated accounts from Islamic scholars and those that made it their life’s work to follow the Prophet (S) around and write down everything that he did.

If you only watch or read or listen to ONE THING to learn about Islam, its history, its key figures, its victories and failures, and its message, make it The Message.


*I’m aware kaffir or something similar to it is a racial slur in South Africa. In the original Arabic, kaffir simply means non-Muslim, and does not even remotely constitute a slur. It’s like ‘gentile’ for the Jews.

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