Sunday, November 11, 2012


"I started to write about how when I was in college, I had one group of friends who were ARTISTS and another group who were ACTIVISTS, and the two didn’t mix at all. If you loved art, then you were frivolous and wild and funny and irreverent and provocative but in a way that was solely about the making and creating and consuming of art; and if you were an activist, you were serious and angry and you liked reading boring, constipated, jargon-y academic books about ISSUES like RACISM and SEXISM and QUEERNESS and OPPRESSION, and there was no time for the frivolous, superficial world of art; even though in my heart, I knew that the two had to go together, that  it’s impossible to make meaningful art without being interested in the world beyond the one you know, and part of wanting more humanity in the world is deciding that art is meaningful and that all people should have the right to access and create it."

- from {}

I love this quotation. It's not too hard to see that that art and activism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I was introduced to the latter through the former; specifically, anti-war/occupation activism through spoken word. As such, this resonates with me tremendously. 

It makes my anti-oppression heart go vroom-vroom.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

20 Acts of Groovy

                                                                         Guillaume Apollinaire, from “Zone”; trans. Samuel Beckett

It was after my parents threw me a relatively grandiose high school graduation party when I decided I would never like to receive gifts on my birthday again. Upon first glance of this sentiment you may presume that I hoard unchecked privilege and was thus supremely dissatisfied with the presents I had received. 

Not quite so.

Sure, I was now the primary care-taker of a few too many satchels that I would later pass on to my mother and grandmother; and sure, guests felt it an ethical decision to buy me jewelry sported by most of everyone else (heh); but for the most part I held little animosity towards what I had actually received. Rather, I felt like an instigator of gluttony. In short, the presents were superfluous. I think that at the age of seventeen I had my first genuine brush with altruism - I did not need all those material goods. They'd be cycled into the crevices of my daily life, and submerged in routine, their novelty would wear off very quickly.

Like Marshall Sahlins says in his 1972 essay "The Original Affluent Society", there are two possible courses to affluence: a) producing much or b) desiring little.
He also said:
It is not that hunters and gatherers have curbed their materialistic 'impulses': they simply never made an institution of them....We are inclined to think of [them] as poor because they don't have anything: better to think of them for that reason as free. 
I am radically far from desiring little; be it known I desire everything from meaty burritos at 4 am for no good reason, to q-tips when I feel ear wax tormenting my auditory cavities in the middle of something important. Still, this resistance of sorts carried through to this year and hovered in my mind as it came time to plan a celebration of sorts for my twentieth birthday. It wasn't till I watched this video, though, that "Urooba's 20 Acts of Groovy" became a conception.

I definitely don't cry easily but, man, my tear ducts were in overdrive when I first watched this about a month ago on a regular September evening. "20 Act's of Groovy", then, became a list of 20 things I vowed to do on my 20th birthday. With the vital input of friends, The List was: 

1. Write a thank-you note to my floor's janitor. 
2. Write a letter to someone I haven't talked to in over a year. 
3. Buy food for the person behind me in line. 
4. Go to the UBC Hospital & give someone flowers/chocolate. 
5. Bake cupcakes & give them to random workers, etc. 
6. Leave interesting facts/warm fuzzies around campus/transit/lecture halls/hoods of parked cars. 
7. Donate blood. 
8. Plant a tree.
9. Buy a meal/clothing for a homeless person and sit with them and talk to them. 
10. Donate to Landesa Or maybe 
11. Write a letter to my future self. Perhaps 40th self?
12. Buy flowers/write a card for a parent waiting at the Children's Hospital.
13. Write a thrifty-fashion-love-yo'-self manifesto to share with peepz. 
14. Go to a restaurant, find a person who is eating alone, sit in front of them and go "Sorry I'm late, but you look amazing tonight." 
15. {on the weekend} make a meal/bake treats for the famjam.
16. Get flowers delivered for Mummy.
17. Go to the public library and slip notes in all my favourite books. 
18. Write a letter to my future significant other. (hahahaha) 
19. Tell a professor I really enjoyed their lecture. 
20. Write poetry at Wreck Beach.

As of today, I've been only able to do a fraction of these, however fear not, this means good cheer will spread over the course of more than one day! To keep the momentum going, I had also created "pledge" forms - slips of paper given to those I had done acts of kindness to, involving the promise of a good deed to be passed on to someone else. The sustainability of this initiative can also be exemplified by friends telling me they want to do this for their birthday, yeeeehaw!

Many delightful things occurred on the anniversary of the day I came out of my mother's womb, including:
1) A midnight visit by approximately 1483498 people, who crammed into my teeny chambers:

2) A friend who pulled me out of class to surprise me with cake and a rose, with as much vigour and pomp (re: swag) that my now-20-year-old body frame could take.

3) The pleasantly-surprised reaction of this bus driver who I presented a tulip to & which was captured SO PERFECTLY & unbeknownst to me by a friend:

For all other happenings of the day, there is no photographic evidence; they shall be etched in my 20-year-old brain, howevs. 

The most profound moment of the day however, had to be when I attempted to complete #4 on The List: Go to the UBC Hospital & give someone flowers/chocolate. 

At promptly 4 pm, I staggered over to the florist on campus & bought about half a dozen tulips. I attached notes & quotes to them, like so:

With a friend in tow, I ventured over to the campus hospital. Upon discovery that there aren't many patients there during the day, we decided to head to closest hospital in the city. Choosing a specific unit was a process, but we decided to hand out our flowers at the cancer agency. We learned, though, that that building had been closed off due to the spread of a contagious gastro-intestinal illness. 

We then headed towards the main building, vouching for the input of the lady at Information. [word-for-word accuracy is not guaranteed]

"Hi, we were wondering if we could deliver flowers to patients?" I inquired.

"Sure. What patient are you looking for?" she asked.

"Oh, no one in particular. We have several flowers and notes we'd like to hand out."

"Oh wow, that is so nice! Um...hold on, um...let me check where you should go."

After a phone call, she turned to us, "The sixteenth floor would be the best place!" She gave us directions of how to reach there. 

"Good luck and thank you!" she called after us.

We arrived on the sixteenth floor. We had forgotten to ask what kind of patients this floor held, but after having attempted to do this deed several times, we were eager to begin. We walked up to the receptionist, told her our purpose, and asked her what room we should begin with.

"Uhhh, this floor? Um. Well, let me think. Uh. Well, you can give them to Eileen just over to your left there. But, uh, I think that would be it on this floor."

We were a little confused at this point; the act of handing out flowers to strangers is generally perceived as something positive. Why had the receptionist's tone been so...unenthusiastic?

We walked towards Eileen's room. Naturally, I was frightened by the tiny dog that lay at her feet, who we learned was named Cookie. After chatting with Eileen for a bit, we handed her a tulip. She told us she was able to go home next week; we shared in her elation.  

After having said goodbye, we proceeded to walk down the hallway again and stumbled upon a nurse. We wanted to continue delivering flowers on this floor after such a great first experience with Eileen, and thus prompted her to tell us where we could go next.

She had the same cautious tone as the receptionist. 

"Uh, on this floor? Um. Let me see. Uh, perhaps this room to your right? You could see if she'd like that. But she may not be able to respond."

"Oh, okay, we could certainly try", said my friend Aysha.

As we were beginning to head into the direction of her room, the nurse asked us, "You ladies do know what floor this is?"

"Yes, the palliative one; we saw the sign when we got here," I answered.

"Okay. Do you know what that means?"

Me and Aysha shook our heads. A moment of silence passed.

"What does it mean?" Aysha inquired.

"Palliative...It essentially refers to those who are...waiting to die."

My and Aysha looked at one another, wells of tears forming in both our eyes. My thoughts immediately traced themselves back to Eileen. Eileen, who was excited to go home in a week. 

We left the floor immediately thereafter and continued to hand out our tulips to hospital staff: volunteers, nurses, doctors. 


On the twentieth anniversary of the day of my birth, I had witnessed what lies diametrical to birth: death. Rather than ruminate over the implications of this, I was instilled with the cognizance of why 20 Acts of Groovy was so important to me.  It couldn't have come at a more appropriate time in my life, where with the advent of so many perspectives, one entertains different philosophies each day and night.

I can already tell my twenties will be an epoch of epic [self-/]discovery.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Amidst It

Oh, where to begin?
Such is the curse of maximalism - I am a purveyor of accumulating...experiences. Damn, that was rather pompous of me. Duh - most of us are.
Anyways, a new academic year has begun.
New friends, old friends - a beautiful kerfuffle of the two I have experienced so far. I'm nearing two decades of life & have never felt more confident. Let's hope this is an exponentially increasing phenomenon. Throughout this procession, here is what I have adorned myself with - my costume for the production titled 'life':

[*note: not specific outfit photos, as will become clear. But they do a pretty decent job of showcasing my outfit.]

*beauty-related tidbit: finally donned dark lipstick! Red lipstick is high maintenance but hella feelin'-sexy-inducing.
who what wear?
  • gold, shimmery shirt: $6, thrifted
  • copper metallic pleated skirt: $10, Urban Outfitters
  • tan, tie-die print wedges: $10, Ross
  • <3-worthy work-of-art vest: $10, Temple of the Modern Girl (vintage store)
  • colourful feather earrings: $3, Aldo
Look at all these hipsters I have the privilege of working with.

I'd like to share one of my favourite quotes now. Pertinent, I believe. And so damn beautiful.

♪♫ "And those who were seen dancing 
were thought insane by those who could
not hear the music." ~ Nietzsche ♪♫

*p.s. as for the whole existential crisis thing, things like this keep me sane: "Striving for Muslim Women’s Human Rights", by Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons.

"We feminist Muslims – as our Jewish and Christian sisters have done – are bringing this insight and information to the forefront. We are arguing that Islam is NOT a monolithic structure etched in stone for eternity. We are seeking to separate Islam the religion from culture, tradition, and the social mores of the societies in which Islam arose and took root. We are reinterpreting the sacred texts anew from a feminist perspective. We are reviewing the history of the religion and are finding and bringing to the foreground earlier interpretations of earlier sects or groups in Islam whose views were more egalitarian, but were labeled heterodox and dismissed. We Muslim feminists seek to reinterpret, reconceptualize, contextualize, and historicize Islam and our societies’ rituals and practices."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Terse Personal Reflections Prior to Ramadan 2012

(Can the title be more straight-to-the-point?)

So Ramadan has descended upon us once again....

...& this Ramadan I vow to finish reading the entire English translation of the Qu'ran, in hopes of easing the cognitive dissonance that befalls my brain most nights & some days (especially in these last few months).
(I've got in my possession "Towards Understanding Qu'ran: an abridged version of Tafhim al-Qu'ran by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, in case you are wondering. A gift from the father, naturally).

Though, one's faith & spirituality is a continuum, right?
I suspect it's not as black & white as we make it out to be. The binaries of "religious" & "non-religious" are far too simplistic.

Just like all social constructs.

Wish me so much luck.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One Vest, Two Sunshine Rays

Snaked my way through town
The sun hissed its rays on my skin

Clouded me with colour
with nary a cloud in sight

Eventually found the steps to the *Temple
in light of
capitalistic hallelujah.

^An ode to my recent beloved splurge on the most exquisite vest that has ever graced my upper body region. (*Bought at a vintage store fave, Temple of the Modern Girl).

Here I wear it two ways, on two different days, celebrating the anniversaries of the first cognizance of two dear comrades' existence (their birthdays). 

who what wear?
  • blue print dress: $1, YWCA thrift store (I volunteer there every other Friday; drop by Vancouver peepz! Proceeds go to a great cause. 4399 Main st.)
  • 3-toned heels: thrifted, ~$3
  • blue scarf: F as in Frank vintage sale, < $2
  • vest of the outfit (ha ha): Temple of the Modern Girl, $12


who what wear?
  • shimmer-y gold shirt: $6, Salvation Army
  • tie-dye print wedges: $10, Ross
  • blue scarf: F as in Frank vintage sale, < $2
  • vest of the outfit: Temple of the Modern Girl, $12

^I love these comfortable darlings. I have vowed not to compromise my feet's comfort in exchange for aesthetic appeal.

& this is how I am adorning myself in these *YOLO-y days of summer...

*(an adjective!? Drake, you are an abomination!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipe for The Perfect Day, The Urooba Way:

1. Start with a small amount of 'Vintage Clothing Sale.' Not too hard to find; check out your local hipster neighbourhood.

2. Add a heaping amount of an awareness-raising rally in the flavour of ending victim blaming de facto rape culture. 

3. Sprinkle in per chance stumble-upons of Carnival de Sol & the Decentralized Dance Party that remind you why Vancouver is flippin' awesome despite the rain.

4. Mix in a BBQ - food & friends will add that zesty je ne sais quoi.

5. Finish off with a warm drizzle of a magazine launch party that serves to showcase the creative juices & activism of those traditionally marginalized by various communities, the media & society at large. 

Chill & enjoy!

& enjoy you will.
My day reminded me so much of this Tanya Davis poetry video I watched a coupla years ago (particularly when I skipped home under the moonlight). I wasn't alone all day; just when I went from place to place. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sole-Satisfying Capitalism.

I am able to justify my incessant cash-doling practices for the acquisition of accessories for three precise reasons.

One, because I don't dole out all that much cash.

Exhibit A: 4 shoe purchases in the last month, for a total of $26 (okay, okay, not including HST...).

The second reason being, most of these purchases (not in this particular post, heh) are from second-hand shops (obviously!!! You are only excused from not knowing this piece of knowledge if this is your first time on UUU, or you don't know me in real life. Or both.) Sustainable consumerism - a lesser evil.

Third, just look at them:

who what wear?
  • yellow sandals, $5, H&M
  • black & white polka-dotted oxford, $5, Claire's (seriously)
  • suede tan lace-up heeled booties, $6, Value Village
  • tan wedges with a supremely radical tie-dye print on the heels, $10 (splurge!), Ross

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I have noticed

that when I began developing sound opinions of my own, I was met with a heightened sense of animosity from those who weren't used to that from me.

Reminded me of the following:

"Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."  ~ Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905

Monday, June 4, 2012


"Disorientation is the loss of the East. Ask any navigator: the east is what you sail by. Lose the east & you lose your bearings, your certainties, your knowledge of what is & what may be, perhaps even your life...
...But let's just suppose. What if the whole deal - orientation, knowing where you are, & so on - what if it's all a scam? What if all of it - home, kinship, the whole enchilada - is just the biggest, most truly global, & centuries -oldest piece of brainwashing?  Suppose that it's only when you dare to let go that your real life begins? When you're whirling free of the mother ship, when you cut your ropes, slip your chain, step off the map, go absent without leave, scram, vamoose, whatever: suppose that it's then, & only then, that you're actually free to act! To lead the life nobody tells you how to live, or when or why. In which nobody orders you to go forth & die for them, or for god, or comes to get you because you broke one of the rules, or because you're one of those people who are, for reasons which unfortunately can't be given, simply not allowed. Suppose you've got to go through the feeling of being lost, into the chaos & beyond: you've got to accept the loneliness, the wild panic of losing your moorings, the vertiginous terror of the horizon spinning round & round like the edge of a coin tossed in the air." 

- Salman Rushdie, "The Ground Beneath Her Feet"

This book has been amazing thus far.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Honest, banal update.


Broke the record for not blogging regularly. Um, apologies?
I am back. No more false promises of this "regular" business any more, though. See, this way you prevent heartache, 'cause you don't expect much.

& no longer solely (/will seldom be) blogging about fashion. Whatever that is.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

{Give-Away!} Modest Sea

Dearest readers, serendipitous blog-hoppers, friends, family, & creeps who receive gratification by searching for absurdity on Google...and find my blog,

I have not been a very good blogger. I understand these once-a-month tirades have been especially problematic for those individuals who, for some reason, actually read & enjoy UUU. Fear not, I am making it up to you all, by hosting a give-away!

As most of the northern hemisphere is warming up (although, if we're being technical, the entire earth is purportedly warming up), this give-away couldn't come at a better time!
The prize is a modest swimsuit, of your choice from Modest Sea!
The company, besides winning my approval for their great punniness, offer swimsuits for both moderate & full coverage. You can even mix and match pieces. They've also got a pretty great info-graphic explaining their non-wetting fabric:

Contest Rules:
1. Leave a comment below stating which swimsuit is your favourite & why.
2. Also tell me your favourite summer memory.
3. Leave me your contact info. Re: email. Also, if you want, post a link to your own blog/site!
I'd also encourage you guys to leave some comments about what you think of the company itself - they're always open to feedback! & if you'd like, link this post and their website into your own blog post about the contest.

The contest will end 2 weeks from now, on Mar. 28, 2012, 11:59 pm PST.

The most creative response, as judged by yours truly, will win! Still, fear not - there's still a treat for the rest of you who may not win! Come visit my blog again in 2 weeks to find out what it is!

My modest sea pick?
The "Alex & Sabrina Set" (
small main_image
Of course, I enjoy the kaleidoscopic print. It's also a 1-piece, which suits my needs for convenience as even the headwear is attached.

Well, good luck, friends!
& here's to more days like the one below, in which aimlessly staring at bodies of water under the rays of sun in mild weather are the norm:

(mini) who what wear?
dress: thrifted, $3
floral jacket: thrifted, $6

Friday, February 24, 2012

{--dilettante poetry break--}

"I'm going to put together a playlist of all the words you ever said to me/
& when I play them, it'll be like a semantic-phony." - some leakage from my brain

I like [photographing] sunsets.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Déjà vu.

A near-two month hiatus from blogging has my cerebral cortex begging me to allow itself to purge the cognitive diarrhea that I have, for nearly two years now, enjoyed sharing with you all.

It is with utmost pleasure that I announce that my room smells like chipotle mayonnaise. That my rectum is soon about to burst. That the end of my to-do-list is very assymptote-ic; I will never reach it. That in the last 4 months I have argued with precisely 4 males about the legitimacy of feminism as a social justice movement and its relevance in our society today. That I recently had the opportunity to perform spoken word poetry to a roomful of incredibly inspiring human beings about how Islam complements my post-colonialist, anti-imperialist, and feminist worldviews (!!!). That if I don't go to the washroom to relieve myself very soon, my chair will be very wet. That "CLIMATE CHANGE IS A REAL THING, GUYS!" and we should seriously be worried. Or reduce our carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. And fast, y'all.

Bee-arr-bee. I'm going to go pee.

In the meantime, here, a sartorial creation:

photo credit: my lovely resident, Elysse. World-renowned photographer she will be, some day, I bet.
who what wear?









Alright, back from lavatory-related duties.
Only appropriate to share my current playlist, I feel:

 And this addictive number: I see the video as a satirical antithesis to the exotification of the Middle East. & taking a bad-arse stance against a certain country in the world that prohibits persons of a certain gender from partaking in a certain activity associated with automobiles. AND ALSO, I WANT, LIKE, ALL M.I.A.'s CLOTHES!!!!

 And how are you all doing, mes cheries? :)

"I fancied you’d return the way you said, but I grow old and I forget your name. (I think I made you up inside my head)." ~