May 04, 2007

Cerebration

My mind has been in too many places over the last few weeks and months. As each day goes by, I keep promising to myself that I'll sort things out soon, that I'll reach my goals and clear my mind. But the to-do list keeps getting longer, and the destination keeps getting further no matter how hard I work to reach there. Allah is with the patient, I keep reminding myself. Still, patience can only take one so far; hard work and dedication are key.

With that being said, I'm just going to spill out some thoughts here, with no attempt at cohesion.

Soon, incoherence will be the lingua franca of our times. It seems that texting has become a national sport. Am I the only one who finds this somewhat disturbing? The studies are inconclusive, but I have to believe that future historians will look upon this trend as a low point in communication and the written word. Then again, this same generation has made it commonplace to publish one's deepest thoughts to a worldwide audience, so perhaps there is hope.

Nothing markets better than the truth. My manager and I have both been suffering a nagging cough for over a week. During this time, I finally discovered Buckley's Mixture, a famous Canadian cough syrup; "It tastes awful. And it works", the tagline says. And it certainly does. As soon as I poured it in my teaspoon, I felt disgusted by the bland, colourless liquid that splurted out from the bottle. Taking a deep breath, I downed the teaspoonful of mixture into my mouth in one gulp, whereupon my face and mouth started contorting inadvertently. Such an incredibly vile taste, it was. But within seconds, I could feel the effect through my throat and sinuses, and the relief was instant. Now it has become common practice at work for my manager and I to step out of meetings to "take a shot of Buckley's".

It seemed like the natural thing to do was to visit the company website, and learn more about the sludge-coloured syrup I had just swallowed. For a website devoted to cough syrup, it turned out to be incredibly hilarious. The current contest has participants filming themselves downing the liquid, with the winner being the one whose "bad taste face" is the most twisted and unpleasant. Of course, all this is part of the Bad Taste Tour.

(Buckley's did not endorse or sponsor this message in any way; I just like the product.)

Sometimes, the simplest of reminders are the most effective. I was standing outside the masjid with a couple of friends, one of whom is a colleague based out of another city; he had helped me get my job in the first place, offering me useful interview tips and suggestions. He had been around a lot longer than me, so I'd often solicit his advice with respect to my career, especially with regards to the balance of religion and career obligations. I expressed my concerns about the corporate culture, the same concerns I wrote about here. As I had often been advised to network and establish connections with the senior folk in the company as much as possible in order to advance my career, I lamented that my own reserved nature would hinder my progress. After all, as a matter of principle, I would never even go near any gathering in which alcohol was served, even though these sorts of events were considered to be the best ways to establish oneself and meet with the right people. I expressed a bit of frustration perhaps when I said that I was losing opportunities, even though I would not waver on my principles.

My other friend turned to me immediately and said "No, you aren't losing opportunities. Opportunities are from Allah; there is no progress in disobedience. Allah will open the opportunities for you so long as you keep to your path. Your rizq is already written." It was a message I had heard hundreds of times before, but it meant more to me at that moment than every other time I had heard it. Alhamdolillah for friends who remind me when I forget.

I'm not a very obedient citizen of "blogistan". My posts come few and far between, and my reading list keeps getting shorter. Furthermore, I tend not to participate in the tags that go around. But considering my infrequent updates, I thought I would share in the "Thinking Blogger Award" that has gone through the rounds before finally arriving at me. There is a surprising amount of quality content out there on the blogosphere amid all the nonsense, and I hope I can call attention to some of those pages that I have learnt the most from. At the very least, the content here will make up for my own infrequency.

Seeker's Digest: This is the blog that inspired me to start my own, back in 2003/2004. Not because I share a name with the author, but because he touches on all the things that interest me, be they theological, technological, or academic. On top of that, he offers scholarly insight where most bloggers tend to fall into the layman variety.

Disconnected Verses: This one is new, still finding it's feet perhaps, but the artistic talent being showcased here is unquestionable. Individually, all the contributors were impressive; now, they are all in one place for our reading convenience.

Indigo Jo Blogs: I don't comment here much, but the content is generally poignant and educational. This blog covers mainly current events from a British Muslim perspective, but there is something for everyone.

Writing, Clear and Simple: I've picked up a lot of tips from this blog which I believe has improved my writing. While I haven't fully solved my apostrophe problems, I have fixed some other common errors of mine thanks to this blog.

Lifehacker: I dislike most technology sites, but Lifehacker is different. I'm often asked by colleagues as to how I can complete tasks so efficiently with my computer, and my answer usually references some information from Lifehacker. While the tips are mostly computer-related, Lifehacker offers a plethora of information on general productivity and life skills.

None of these blogs are really personal ones, so this tag won't go any further on those sites. I believe the rules of the tag originally called for us to reference specific posts that "made me think", but there are too many to count.

Enjoy!

23 comments:

  1. Am I the only one who finds this somewhat disturbing? The studies are inconclusive, but I have to believe that future historians will look upon this trend as a low point in communication and the written word.

    Do not be disturbed;
    With progress comes new challenges.
    In future lies hope.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Buckley's Mixture, a famous Canadian cough syrup; "It tastes awful. And it works"

    Bitter medicines,
    are often the best.
    Still taste yucky though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Alhamdolillah for friends who remind me when I forget.

    The best of people,
    remind you of Ar-Razzak,
    in their words and deeds.

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: “Who is the person that can be the best friend?”.
    He replied: “He who helps you when you remember God, and he who reminds you when you forget Him”.
    Then he was asked, “And which friend is the worst?”
    He replied: “He who does not help you when you remember God and does not remind you of God when you forget”.
    Then he was again asked: “Who is the best among people?”.
    He replied: “He who when you look at him, you remember God”.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I tend not to participate in the tags that go around.

    Tagging has its uses:
    It brings people together.
    Can make one feel loved.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tagging has its uses:

    Hooptygoo used six.
    Should only be five.
    Ev-ver-ry-one makes mistakes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. With progress comes new challenges.

    Hooptygoo used eight.
    Seven is the right number.
    Will never haiku again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jazak Allah for sharing that list.

    I used to subscribe to Lifehacker on my Google Reader, but it's way too information. I could never keep up :S

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're fortunate to have friends who remind you of those things. They're totally right, why would you want to be "advanced" in your career if you were degraded in the eyes of Allah (swt)?

    Hey your first paragraph almost sounded like Nauman's writing. But you were missing key words, such as: kinetic, vengeance, equilibrium, disheartening, maligned, disenchanted, etc.

    Thanks for the link :) The more people visit, the more nervous I get about posting stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  9. As-salaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,

    Yayyyyyyy, you're back!! :)
    ...
    Please pardon me a minute while I hunt down one particular hooptygoo.
    *Pulls on hooptygoo-hunting armour and sets out on a hooptygoo-hunt*
    ...

    Right, I'm back. If that hooptygoo comes back, I'm calling the pest removal people.

    Ahem, back to the subject at hand.

    Buckley's is my grandpa's favourite threat against us, for everything!
    I can't stand it, though... even if it DOES work. There's another cough syrup that I prefer; echanasia (sp?) and honey. Also vile, but I like the slimy feel of it going down my throat. Plus, it cleans out your ears (at least, it feels like it!).

    BTW, if you're still gonna be coming over to V. before you leave, my dad and I no longer go to the college for Jumu'ah... we pick up my brothers from school and take them to the masjid...
    Now, my blogging identity is still, ahem, unknown to my dad... but my older brother does...

    Anyway, yeah. Hope things go well, insha'Allah!

    -Mouse

    ReplyDelete
  10. Assalaamu'alaykum

    It seems like a long time since I've last had to type in a pesky word verification :).

    Anyway, patience can go pretty far, it's amazing how thin and wide is stretches when it has to... kinda like uhm.. phyllo pastry.:) But I find that it stretches better with gratitude because ultimately it all comes down to being grateful. Though, I surely agree that hard work and dedication are absolute essentials. Without planting seeds, watering, fertilizing, etc. a garden cannot flourish; but of course, these actions are never the cause of greatness, they're just the effort... a humble effort at that. Tie your camel, and trust God, not so?

    Just keep on trying...eventually you'll find your peace and reach your goals, insha'Allah. Things don't work out at our time... All the best, insha'Allah.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hooptygoo:
    Your verses are wise
    Though considerably weird
    Thank you for the laughs

    Hafsa: Wa eeya kum. Lifehacker is a lot of material, but it's easier to filter out the stuff I don't care about. That's why I really don't like Digg; there's occasionally good stuff, but there's just way too much pointless material that you have to sift through to find the useful stuff. I unsubscribed from that one a long time ago.

    Asmaa: Over the last few years, I have experienced a sort of kinetic energy that channelled into vengeance, thus I sought equilibrium by writing disheartening tales of a maligned soul disenchanted through the trials of life.

    "Short and stout, here is my handle, here is my spout..."
    - Little T-Pot (I'm a Little Tea Pot)

    AnonyMouse: Wa'alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
    Don't worry about the Hooptygoo, it's harmless. I actually wish it would come around more!

    You're referring to Echinacea; that's good stuff, and honey is always a good solution. I find your grandpa's threat hilarious. I can just picture it, "You better listen to me, little lady, else you're going to be swallowing down some of that Buckley's!"

    I'm in BC for a lot longer now, so insha-Allah I'll come around soon. Actually, I'm free this weekend, maybe I'll rent a car and ferry on over.

    Farzeen: Wa'alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah,
    Yes, true imaan is between patience and gratitude, and gratitude can definitely go a lot further than patience sometimes. Alhamdolillah, I do have so much to be thankful for, it makes all the little challenges seem so trivial in the end. JazakAllah-khair.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hooptygoo (in hiding)May 08, 2007 9:25 pm

    Hooptygoo is in danger;
    hunted by Mouse in armour.
    Will no-one help it?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hooptygoo Preservation SocietyMay 08, 2007 9:27 pm

    Cannot kill the Hooptygoo;
    Endangered species.
    Large fine and prison sentence.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Laughing HooptygooMay 08, 2007 9:36 pm

    Your Nauman p-take,
    was just too funny.
    Ha ha ha ha ha

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm going to agree with hooptygoo, that Nauman impersonation, classic! I'm a Little Tea Pot is a great song...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Bad verses above
    apologize profusely
    for breaking the rules

    5-7-5 is key
    this is the true haiku way
    forgive my error

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hooptygoo, you're being warned
    Mouse is on Hooptygoo rampage
    BEWARE, HOOPTYGOO!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Haikus are crazy
    I'm throwing down my gauntlet
    In despair, Hooptygoo

    You're safe. I give up!
    *Joins the chorus of "I'm a little teapot"

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hooptygoo: Yep, I noticed your first few haikus weren't following the rules, but they were still amusing. Besides, what's really that special about the 5-7-5?

    Though I'm sure you could have done better than "ha ha ha ha ha"!

    Asmaa: When I wrote that, I actually laughed myself with the "Little T-Pot" bit.. it sounds like the name of some wannabe rapper. Or maybe it should be "Lil' T-Pot".

    AnonyMouse: I'm glad you've given up your hooptygoo hunt, I'm really liking this hooptygoo. I hope it sticks around. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. You're safe. I give up!

    Hooptygoo dances
    A merry little jiggle
    Its life has been spared!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm really liking this hooptygoo. I hope it sticks around.

    the heart is fickle
    of this little Hooptygoo
    you will soon be tired

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  22. Someone has stolen
    my blogspot address from me!
    I don't believe it!

    ReplyDelete