a minor thing

Yesterday I felt sort of miserable.  And then last night it morphed into a full-blown virus of some kind.   These are a few anecdotes for you to enjoy:

1. I watched Season 6 of Scrubs.  And half of Season 7.

2. I have not left my bed all day…

3. Except for making a pot of soup and mashed potatoes.  I then took the pot of mashed taters into bed with me because I didn’t want to have to wash another bowl.

4. A friend called today and didn’t recognize me because she said, “You sounded like an old lady!”

5. Not much food left in our fridge, so today I ate: a gluten-free tuna sandwich, a pot of chicken soup, a bowl of ice cream (shh, I know you shouldn’t eat ice cream when you’re sick, but my throat hurt so much!), 4 cups of lemon/ginger/honey tea, two cups of coffee, half a bottle of orange juice, water, and mashed potatoes.   I had a craving for chips but we didn’t have any.  It seems like whenever I’m sick, my body demands the weirdest things.

6.  I have used up one tissue box. I am working on my second box.

7.  I may have talked in my sleep this afternoon, but since I was by myself, I really don’t know for sure.  I did wake myself up a few times, though.

8.  I didn’t even have to go to the pharmacy because I had everything in my medicine drawer.  🙂

I haven’t had a cold in a really long time…actually, I was shocked that I didn’t get one earlier.  I think that Someone was looking out for me, because during the very busy planning and working of the last few months, I did not even get the sniffles (except for allergies to dust storms), and that is rare for me.  So I’m taking this illness with a measure of grace and acceptance that I’m just paying my dues.  But it would be really great to heal quickly…I have so much to do!

Continue Reading

The perfect recipe

Much like the accidental discoveries of Post-It notes or Superglue, I found that I have the recipe for a perfect evening. Forgive me if the measurements are not exact.

4 lovely women

1 baby

gluten-free pasta salad/Persian rice/vegetable soup

homemade hot chocolate


I do not, however, recommend putting any of the above ingredients in the oven. 🙂 hmm…I wonder what is the taste of laughter baked on 375 F…I have a feeling it is slightly chewy.

Continue Reading

Just my luck

I am not a superstitious person, but recently things have been a little crazy around here…and now I am looking over my shoulder…

On Saturday my flatmates and I were washing our balcony (spring cleaning!).  We have a faucet on the balcony that does not have a handle, and so we use a little piece of metal to pry it open.  Yes, this is so smart.  Needless to say, my soapy hands slipped and I sliced open my left index finger on the faucet. 

Great timing, since I was going to the beach later and ended up getting salt water in the wound.  yeah, ouch.  It is taking longer to heal since I am left-handed and it keeps getting bumped against things.

Ok, so it is acknowledged that I can be a little klutzy sometimes, and I have at least a dozen scars to prove this.  This is a natural part of my life, and I actually carry band-aids in my purse.   🙂

But the next part of the story was just too much.  I was walking down the street with my cousin Monib a few nights ago when I felt something hit my hand.

Something warm.

I looked at my hand in the dim light.  Covering the top of my left hand was bird poo.

I looked up, and sitting on a telephone wire above was a unconcerned looking crow.

Luckily there was a pizzeria across the street, and so Monib and I walked over to clean up.  The guy behind the counter pointed out the restroom and I washed off my hand (and jacket).  By this point I was laughing out loud, because really, how often does this happen?!  I didn’t freak out, although I admit that I was a little disgusted.

Monib said it is supposed to be good luck to get pooped on by a bird, but I’m of the opinion that someone created that particular saying to console whoever got bird poo on them.  Don’t “they” (oh, the ever popular “they”!) say that things happen in threes?  Well…now I’m waiting.  I’m sure I’ll find something to be the third occurence, and then I can go back to breathing easily.  😉

(now that I think about it, I don’t have the greatest luck with birds…)

Continue Reading

An observation

Music in department stores is the same, no matter where in the world you are.

As I wandered the one department store at one of the malls in Haifa last night with a friend, I realized that the piped-in music floating through the store was the same brand of Americana middle-aged-woman-friendly chintz that haunts shoppers in stores across the country back home.

And it has followed me to Israel!

Also, department store dressing rooms are exactly the same, too. It is strange…sometimes I feel like I haven’t left home at all.

Continue Reading

Some kind of luck…

The last week has been full of technological misadventures. I don’t know what is going on in the universe…but really, I could use some help! *sigh*

– I bought a memory card for my camera on Wednesday. After taking several pictures…it decided to say “card error” and refused to work.

-My external hard drive wasn’t being recognized by my computer. Thanks to a savvy friend, I was able to make them be friends again. This is the second time that “Ducks” (the name of the hard drive) has failed on me, although less serious than last time.

-Computer problems at work caused me to lose a 1/2 day’s work, which made me sad.

-I just dropped one of the ear buds for my iPod into my cup of coffee. I fished it out and it seems to be working fine…but will likely stop working at some point.

We’ll see what happens next…

Continue Reading

Functional earrings

I wore these earrings today, which I bought a year ago:

They’re metal and quite heavy. I walked over to a table at lunch where several of my friends were sitting. The guys immediately noticed the earrings and starting discussing what they looked like (gongs, apparently, or palm fronds). The conversation then turned into a list of all of the things that should be made into earrings.

Triangle (ding ding! Dinner’s ready, folks!)
Grandfather clock
measuring tape
pepper spray
dental floss
ear warmers
pez dispensers
mp3 players
digital billboards
tv screens
satellite dishes

Continue Reading

Breaking things

This morning was a little ridiculous. Lucia came over to eat breakfast with me before the Celebration of the Birth of the Bab (we’re on a lunar calendar for some Holy Days here). In the span of 20 minutes, I broke 2 eggs (at different times), a full jar of minced garlic, and two cups.

Broken glass and food everywhere. And I dropped some vegetables and silverware while cooking. I’m a mess. The thing is…this isn’t normal for me. I am not a messy person, and I rarely break things. Ah well…it made for a good laugh. Maybe this is a sign that I should stay out of the kitchen for a while. 🙂

Tonight is cold and windy. Our flat is exceptionally drafty, so even though I have my heater on, my hands are slowly turning to icicles. I’m going to snuggle into bed now and enjoy my sleep.

Continue Reading


It completely slipped my mind to write a blog post about this when it happened…

A few weeks ago my flatmates and I were having a quiet evening at home,  I was chatting with my dad on the phone.  Suddenly the power goes out, and as I go into the hallway I smell smoke.  The microwave was my first destination.  I called one of the flatmates over, and opened the door.

Smoke came pouring out, and the object that had been in the microwave was on fire!  Flames, the kind you roast marshmallows on.  My flatmate blows it out, then grabs a cup of water and dumps it on.  Meanwhile, I grab a flashlight and go to find the fusebox (I just moved in to my current flat a month ago).

Turns out the fusebox is ABOVE the front door.  We live on the top floor, so the ceilings are very high.  (So that is what the ladder in the corner of the kitchen is for!)  We get the power back on for an hour, then it goes out permanently for the rest of the evening.  Also, while this was going on all three of us were laughing, shouting, and generally causing mayhem.  Our neighbor downstairs said he heard us, but that since I was laughing he figured everything was ok. 

When the guy came the next day to check on everything, he said the microwave was really old and needed to be thrown out, something about wiring…suffice to say, it went straight into the dumpster. 

When I got back on the phone with my dad that night, I thanked him for teaching me how to do these things around the house, how the fusebox works, painting, mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, using tools, and fixing random objects.  I think he was pretty amused by the entire incident.  🙂

Continue Reading

Birthday video, and other things

Maysoon suggested that Andrew and Jinous make a video for my birthday.


This is the result.


I love you all so much. 


Also, thank you to all of the lovely people who sent me “Happy Birthday” wishes…I can’t possibly respond to each one individually, but I really appreciate it.  Wow.


Two of my dear friends are getting married this weekend, and I am helping with the wedding.  It is so much fun to see everything unfold (I know, some people think I’m crazy for enjoying wedding planning), and I’m looking forward to witnessing this beautiful event.

Continue Reading

Chicken or egg?

I was browsing articles on msnbc.com when I saw this article about chickens increasingly being raised as pets (and for their eggs). It seemed like a fairly normal story…and then I started laughing out loud when I saw the following paragraph.

“Backyard Poultry magazine was resurrected about a year and a half ago after being halted in the 1980s. Readership in the Medford, Wis.-based publication has skyrocketed compared with its publisher’s other two animal magazines — sheep! Magazine and Dairy Goat Journal.”


Continue Reading

A taxi adventure

Every morning about 10 of us take a sherut to work from our apartment building.  A sherut is like a mini-bus, and it arrives every day at 7:45 am.

Today it did not arrive.  8 of us stood outside our building, confused.  While we waited, another sherut came down the driveway.  He asked us where we needed to go, and when we informed him that we were trying to get to Golomb (where the Arc is), he drove away as if offended.

I called the sherut manager, who then informed me that he couldn’t reach his driver.

We decided to walk up to the street to catch a few cabs.  Taxis kept driving by, most of them empty, while 4 boys and 4 girls stood on the curb.  We got 4 people into a taxi, which then stopped 20 feet away and kicked everyone out: he wanted twice as much money as we should pay, and wouldn’t use the meter. 

Finally we got almost everyone into two taxis (that we called to come get us), leaving me and one of the guys left behind.  We flagged down a taxi, who then took 2 wrong turns, almost didn’t stop at our destination (I had to emphatically correct him!), and tried to charge us too much money.

 I arrived at work a 1/2 hour later than I should have. It would have been faster to go by horse-drawn carriage.

Continue Reading

A dinner of epic proportions

Last night our friend Daniel B. invited me, my flatmate Sahar, and a few other friends to a dinner at his new apartment to celebrate his move from our building. We arrived at 6 pm and started helping prepare the food. We tried turning on the stove to start frying veggies…

and it wouldn’t light. No gas was coming out.

Sahar and I trooped around to the back of the building to see if the gas balloon had run out. As we turned the corner, we encountered a large dog chained on the hill above us. After consultation we decided to walk past him calmly and ignore the barking.

As I checked each of the gas ballons, Sahar chatted with the dog. It was impossible to tell which one was for Daniel’s apartment. We threw up our hands in despair and went back inside. Daniel called a few other Baha’is on that street and Adam C. kindly offered his stove. Sahar and Jayce took some of the food over to start the process.

As Daniel and I were preparing the rest of the food, the fuse blew. Twice. We couldn’t find the fuse box at first, finally locating it in the hallway outside his door.

Sahar called when she got to Adam’s house. “Um…the stove here isn’t working, the guys are trying to figure it out.” I started laughing. They eventually got it lit (someone had turned off their gas line!) and we ate dinner at 9 pm.

It was a wonderful adventure, and we ate a ridiculous amount of food when it was all over.

Continue Reading

Home sick

I’d like to say, for the record, that while I love being lazy and staying home once in a while, a couple of weeks worth of being trapped in your flat can do weird things to your brain. I’ve started talking to my new food processor (seriously, ask my flatmates). A week ago, while on some random medication, I hallucinated a bit. The doctor figured out what is wrong with me: pneumonia! Fun times!

I’ve watched more movies than I can count, and need to get ahold of some books, just for variety. I may start baking out of sheer boredom. One problem is that I am really too sick to do anything more strenous than hit buttons on the microwave and put DVDs in the player…so dishes pile up and my room looks like a tornado hit it. And don’t get me started on the laundry issue.

Ah well, so it goes. I stopped into the office to get groceries and check my email (I don’t have internet access at home).

Continue Reading

Timing it

Today, after walking around the Arc gardens I came back to work and the path was blocked by lawn sprinklers. I thought I could time it right…but I didn’t. Luckily I didn’t get completely drenched, but it was pretty funny.

(Seat of the Universal House of Justice)
I realized that today marks three months in the Holy Land. All of the usual things that people say about time and serving in Haifa are so true. This has been such a good week: the Fast, learning, developing friendships, and interesting thoughts.

The Fast is just so wonderful…breakfast with flat mates, dinner with a bunch of friends in the lunchroom. I must say that I am very happy here.

I uploaded a bunch of pictures…so check them out.

Continue Reading

Do I exist?

I questioned my own existence for a moment last week. It only lasted for a second, but it was quite terrifying. While in conversation on MSN with one of my friends back home, she asked “Sholeh, is that you talking to me, or someone pretending to be you?”

I sat back and thought about it for a second. Was I really carrying on a conversation, or had my body been taken over by aliens or evil spirits or a person with a talent for such things? A million questions ran through my head as I sat there, stunned.

It was extremely disconcerting. It turns out that I had been giving one-syllable answers to her conversation, and this worried her since most of my friends know that I rarely stop talking.

Hello to all of you BWC folks discovering my blog. 🙂 Don’t be shy to make comments or come up randomly to me in the lunchroom. I’m only a little scary, I promise. We can have awkward conversations and smile across our trays of food.

Continue Reading

Little did I know…

I thought I was prepared. I had the box of cereal ready, and I remembered that I had strawberries in the fridge. I casually open the fridge to get the milk…

horrors! NO MILK!

So instead I feasted on some hummus and cheese with chips. For breakfast. haha.

Interesting topic at lunch today: What motivates people in the workplace? Some would say money, but of course we know that it is so much more than that. And then you take a unique place like the Baha’i World Centre (where I am serving), where people come to serve, not to climb the corporate ladder or start a company.How do we motivate the people around us in the workplace? People usually think of motivation in a “top-down” approach: that is, the upper levels of an organization use incentives of some kind to coax employees to work at a certain level. But what happens when employees take an active role in managing the people they report to? When they explain to their managers how they work best? When working on a team, do we take the time to figure out each other’s styles of project management or personal interaction?
I am now halfway through The Tipping Point, started Reading Lolita in Tehran, and about 1/3 of the way through Muhammad and the Course of Islam. I am having so much fun reading these books. I think I will want to read the last one a second time, since I feel like I’m getting the story, but not enough to explain to people.

Continue Reading

A poem for my friends

There was this cough
that infected the BWC,
echoing down the mountain.

You may scoff,
but trust me on this,
the rockets were never this loud.

The lady afflicted by the curse
hid in corners and behind stairs
but the noise from her lungs
shook in the air.

Her friends Abi & John,
hit especially hard
cringed from the sound
of her plague-ridden bark.

In the end she became known
as the girl with the cough
if she doesn’t heal soon
they’ll have to make a Sholeh-clone.

The story behind this horrible poem is that I’ve been sick for over 2 weeks now, and unfortunately it appears to be going around because a number of people are sick. This cough I have seems to get really bad at the worst possible times: presentations, talks, prayers, etc. It laid me out pretty badly and I’ve felt pretty useless. I’m slowly getting better, but I’ve never had a cold linger this long!So we were joking around the other night, and I told some of my friends that I would write a poem for them about my cough. Have you ever tried to rhyme with “cough”? Ugh. This poem took a lot of hard sleuthing.

Continue Reading


And now the heroine embarks on an epic journey. There were going to be dangers along the way…dragons, a couple of bad-tempered wizards, and maybe even a few evil spirits. One could never know with epic journeys. That is part of the fascination of the story.

🙂 See y’all on the other side.

Continue Reading

Calling all klutzes…

Dear friends and family,

There was a freak incident this morning involving my phone and Carmen’s tea. I watched in horror as my phone skidded on the carpet, hit a bump, and flipped (while on a phone call) straight into a large mug of green tea. Needless to say, I’m without a phone for the next few days. You can call Carmen if you desperately need to reach me, or just email me.

This is similar to the Great Burrito Incident except that I didn’t do anything stupid on purpose. Truly. This was just a confluence of unfortunate circumstances.

There is hope, however: I may have a friend who has a phone I can use to activate. And my obsession with organization paid off: 3 weeks ago I put all of the phone numbers in my phone onto a Gmail spreadsheet. So I didn’t lose anything.

much love,

Continue Reading

Well, yeah.

I am not a good pet owner.

The other night I took out our gerbil, Sushi, from his cage and put him in his exercise ball to run around the living room.

I promptly forgot about him. One of my roommates (not sure who) rescued him and placed him back in his cage. *sigh* I felt very bad.


If you haven’t seen the new Weird Al video, White and Nerdy, you really must. For all of us nerds, geeks, and brains, this is especially poignant. When I was in middle school my group of friends was obsessed with Weird Al. We had one tape that we would pass around the group, taking turns listening to it.

Explains a bit about me, huh? 😀

Continue Reading

The saga of the glasses

Oh, woe was me
my glasses were lost
I looked all day
I was really quite cross.

In purses and bags,
the kitchen and room,
the car, the gym,
even the vacuum!

Under the chairs,
behind the couch
I was getting a bit grumpy
I was becoming a grouch.

Finally gave up,
threw my hands in the air
and in the process
nearly fell down the stairs.

Today I grabbed my bag
on my way off to work
and there they were…
so I went berserk.

True story. Well, most of it, anyways. I am really unable to see without assistance, and they were lost for a month. This gets annoying after a while. *whew*

I never watch TV, but this season I’ve been staying home more in the evenings, and as a consequence of this have actually gotten pulled into several shows.

Grey’s Anatomy– I don’t need to say much about this. Drama, pure fluff, and I love it.

Heroes– Can anyone say SUPER POWERS?! Finally a show that I can relate to, considering my fantasy/sci-fi geekiness.

ER– Ok so my beloved show is hardly recognizable, and I don’t really understand what is going on, but oh how I love it still.

Shows I used to love, such as Gilmore Girls and Scrubs, I haven’t yet had the chance to watch. *sigh* I am looking forward to Jericho, maybe.

Well, this is your glimpse in the life of Sholeh. Exciting, no? I mean, sure, I have many things to do. Tonight is Feast, tomorrow night is another Baha’i meeting, and there are people coming through Chicago all the time that I want to spend time with! Not to mention family, friends, chores, errands, cooking, and the things I need to do before December. 😉 But you don’t want to read my list of things to do, because you have things to do, too.

Continue Reading

A Paper Castle

I have a drawer at work devoted to chocolate. Sometimes people give me chocolate, and in fact I was stuffing a Kit Kat bar into my mouth this afternoon when two Snickers bars were dropped onto my desk. Food (specifically food that will make your skin greasy and your body protest) is highly thought of at this company. I have an entirely too-large bag of chocolate covered raisins, too.


“Hello, this is ____, could I have a quick price on material, please?”

“Sure, let me find my notebook. Oh my, I can’t find it. It has disappeared under the terrifying onslaught of papers. Papers everywhere! At least 3 inches deep. The fortress is being overrun, the moat has been taken, and the peasants are running in fear.”

(customer is cracking up)

“Well sir, it appears as though I’ll have to surrender. I have no choice. Now, what material were you looking for today?”

Continue Reading

Mama bird

I like bird nests. My sister and I used to collect them as children, along with any eggshell pieces we would find discarded.

I like birds, too. But when a bird interferes with my everyday life, I get a little annoyed.

Exhibit A: The American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

(Look at those beady, devilish eyes…)

We have a nest in the roof of our back porch with several baby robins. During our 4th of July BBQ, Andrew was attacked as he attempted to set up the grill. Once Jinous, Maysoon, Lauren, and I came outside she was less aggressive…too many people to fight, I guess.

A few days ago I was weeding the patio and the mother bird was swooping down so close that her wings were touching my hair. I abandoned the effort with half of my task completed. Yesterday I tried to hang lights on the back porch for the party and she dive-bombed me with such ferocity that I retreated back into the house, shaking with terror.

This is just ridiculous.

Continue Reading


We are never too old to play dress-up.

(Sarah L & I get into some cloth. Lots of laughing and picture taking ensues.)

As we looked at our collection of materials, I realized that I really wanted to make a dress. So I bought a pattern on Monday and have started it. I’ll post pictures of the finished product when I am done.

Speaking of younger people (good transition, eh?), I’m taking the training for working with junior youth . We’re doing it in an intensive style, which involves a good deal of “Guys, we really need to focus!” because we’re simply having so much fun discussing the material.

Continue Reading

Positively Medieval

I came back to the city Sunday night after visiting my family in the suburbs over the weekend. It was nearly 11 pm and I had a car to unload. Sarah L was staying with me, and so I enlisted her help.

After several trips to the car we got everything inside. As we stood in the living room, I looked over to the corner and realized that something was different…

There was a full suit of armor in my living room.

“Sarah!” I pointed and exclaimed, “I did not even SEE that until now.”

She looked over at it, and then looked at me with wide eyes. “I didn’t see it either. And I’ve been here all day.”

We discovered that he belongs to one of my roommates, and his name is Sir Tetanus. And he has a new home in our living room.

Continue Reading

A rivalry of shoes

One of my friends pointed me in the direction of this article at BBC about Adidas & Puma.

“It’s quite a crazy story because in this little town, Herzogenaurach, a cobblestoned medieval town, you have two of the world’s biggest sports companies,” says Barbara Smit.

Apparently two brothers started a shoe company in the 1920s, but a feud happened between them, and eventually everyone in the town had to choose sides.

Rudolf, or Rudi, set up his rival firm, Puma, on one side of the river; Adolf, or Adi, stayed on the hill and shortened his name to form Adidas.

I find it very amusing that such a feud created two of the largest and most famous sports companies in the world…and that it was in a little German town, the name of which I can’t even pronounce.

Even in death, Rudi and Adi were not reconciled. At the local cemetery, their graves are about as far apart as you can get.

Although the feud had some positive result (the creation of two companies), it is also very sad that the brothers never allowed themselves to get over their pride and hurt. Ah well…the story as old as time, eh?

Continue Reading

Top 10 things…

that are awesome about working for a large corporation at headquarters:

10. Free mouthwash in the bathrooms…with little disposable cups.

9. Parking is never a problem.

8. Italian ice for afternoon snacks.

7. Free camp chairs with the company logo on them.

6. Grilled steak, hamburgers, and hot dogs when you have to work overtime on the weekend.

5. Office supplies whenever you need them (and no one complains about you needing office supplies!)

4. A cafeteria in the building, with a cook who knows that you can’t eat bread and leaves the bun off of your hamburger.

3. The coffee is already made when you get to work because there are 60 other sales reps who are more addicted than you are.

2. Almost getting run over by flatbed trucks on the way to & from the parking lot…every day. Woohoo adrenaline rush!

1. Having an ID badge with your name on it…and you actually look good in the picture.

Continue Reading

Lunch break @ work

(Two cube monkeys pass each other’s desks)

Coworker #1: I hope you choke on your sandwich.
Coworker #2: Yeah, well, I hope you slip on your orange peel.

So much love at the office. The benefit of no walls on our cubicles is that you hear things like this. The two older gentlemen that sit across from me have a running banter that keeps me amused throughout the workday.

Continue Reading