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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Calm

At times like these
I can't see
All the reasons
Why I want us to be.
Frightened, insecure
Can I endure any more?

I can see the rubble
Before everything crumbles
The clouds before the thunder
Can't help but see the peices
Of what isn't yet broken
So many things unspoken
The tears of the untorn
The calm before the storm

You think I'm mad
Maybe I am, but I go on
These sweet nothings
Only work for so long

Can we move along,
When we're not even this strong?
Can we make the climb,
When we're still lagging behind?

I can see the rubble
Before everything crumbles
The clouds before the thunder
Can't help but see the peices
Of what isn't yet broken
So many things unspoken
The tears of the untorn
The calm before the storm

Imagination haunts me
And taunts me
Ever the paranoid one
I'm coming undone

Remember that storms
Are never warm
How long can we hold
It's starting to get cold

I can see the rubble
Before everything crumbles
The clouds before the thunder
Can't help but see the peices
Of what isn't yet broken
So many things unspoken
The tears of the untorn
The calm before the storm

Another peck at the wall
A hole in the boat
A tear in the seams
Tasking and unrelenting
Bit by bit,  peice by peice
And soon we will
Lose everything.

Madiha MK

Monday, October 29, 2012

To Veil or Not to Veil?

This post is just of me thinking out loud to figure things out, and in a more retorical sense than not.
I have been going through many changes this past year. I got married (contract, wedding not yet :), moved in with my husband and have recently become more spiritually/God concious (no other way to describe it, increase in iman so to speak).

Its been a very different year for me, being a newlywed and adapting to a more feminine version of myself, all the while trying to carry out religious duties.

I have come to realize one problem that I hadn't anticipated before marriage lol. Which is the ghusl/ritual bathing involved after having sex and how that can completely crumble any beautification efforts done on my part to be 'attractive'. I prefer the word more feminine.

Now some of you might be cringing, Thinking "why wouldn't you want to shower after sex??".
Well be warned. It is quite a vain reason.

I hate wetting my hair!!! (water/washing ruins hair style).
And not just that. I hate ruining my makeup and having to reapply it and especially dealing with hair and styling it ALL over again....

No I dont heat style everytime I get the freak on, reason being I don't want to fry my hair...

That being said, sometimes I welcome it. Because sometimes the you-know-what can be a shower in itself and ruin everything I just mentioned.

But i find it frustrating. Here I am married. I am told I can finally really flaunt and beautify myself in ways that a muslim woman is not allowed to do in public (with good reason), yet one thing arises to your attention that you didn't think of before. Which is the competition you realize you have between your now halal beautified self and billboards.

Whether you are aware or not, it is a fact that a lot of shiekhs preach that a wife should beautify herself for her husband, and it is subtly yet apparently attributed to 'SO THEY DON'T LOOK AT OTHER WOMEN OR COMPARE'.

This usually is adressed when muslim women come up to shiekhs And complain about their husbands having taken another wife, is looking at other women, or God forbid cheated on them.

So how is that supposed to make me feel? 'Now that you're married, you get to dress up the way you always wanted but couldnt due to wearing hijab, and look beautiful in the comfort of your home. But make sure you do it right or enough, lest the prettier women out there steal your husband!'

Do you have any idea how shunned and admonished a woman out here in Egypt is, if they don't step up their beauty routine and look their best in their husbands homes? Do you know how often women are blamed for their husbands' cheating or taking a second wife! Ahaha do you how often women are blamed if they get sexually harrassed or raped? I am not kidding. Its always the women. Women in this culture are given the burden of constantly meeting up to their partner's standards, wishes and subserviant women are looked at like as 'women as they ought to be'.

I'm all for 'obeying' (not in the christian sense, I don't believe in that and discussion is encouraged in the Quran) the husband.

As a young woman, im still going through the phase of trying to find my place in this world and forming my identity. Beauty is a big aspect of a woman's life. Its everything they are valued for and judged by in society. Sad truth. It islam that remains but in the frame of married life.

Its so hypocritical when some muslims wear their hijab proudly as a way to stop others from judging them for their bodies than their minds, but then emphasize physical appearance in marriage and subsequently be judged, picked on, ridiculed, advised to do this or that, and under constant pressure to attain this attraction that thry protested against by covering up in the first place.

I hope im getting my thought across. Im having trouble expressing it because it woven so deeply in me.

Now others may take this differently, but I get disgusted whenever women approach me snd advise me to wear this or put on this makeup..etc for my husband and then give me that look. What look, you ask? The look that says "do this SO YOUR HUSBAND WILL ACCEPT YOU, PAY ATTENTION, AND NOT NEGLECT YOU. OH AND TO SATISFY HIS NEEDS'.

What about my needs? Al hamd lilah I have no complaints about my hubby, he is the sweetest thing in the world. But I keep being tugged in this war between women, society and what they think I should be or act, and the unspoken assumption on my part that my husband aspires/expects the same that society tells me.

My needs are now in a constant struggle between seeking validation through conformity and increased vanity and beautification, and giving society/media the middle finger and be myself and literally force myself to let go of vanity. I know the latter is really hard because I have been programmed to think like the former.

I think im going through a vanity/self image crisis. And what that has to do with hijab is that I have been pondering for months about taking it off. I will list some points pro hijab and against.

Hijab cons:

1- I absolutely HATE going to the hair salon, paying a lot of money to get my hair done, put hijab back on (no matter how loosely) then go home to find it all RUiNeD. Yes go ahead and judge me and call me a vain bitch. But I really do detest that. It makes me envy how easy breezy it is for other women to just walk out n greet their husbands looking that way without messing it up. Maybe my perception of beauty is a bit uptight. I dont know. Its not like I was raised to face these questions and situations. My mom never took me through the whole beauty routines and salon visits. I rarely did it of my accord and only played with dying my own hair at home during my teens. I was my own with a lot of these things. Mothers are the best role models but mine wasn't around to be that (distracted) and I don't blame her.

2- I hate how it weighs me down sometimes. I literally feel frustrated, angry and heavy when wearing it especially when im more active. I crave an active lifestyle so much but it is not very encouraging no matter how light you dress, or what kind of hijabi sport wear you put on. There is something so instintual about needing to feel the wind in your hair and on your neck for persperation reasons. I also feel very very closterphobic in it. Im not kidding. Like I want to break something. That bad. Sometimes. Also the added pressure around my head can give me a headache when my heart rate gets up. I have no idea how I played sports in school with hijab on. I really dont. For some reason I don't have the same tolerance anymore. I do remember getting hot thugh.

3- it makes me resent other non hijabis and how they take their appearances for granted. I admit i get jealous when I see girls that get to wear things I can't and look good, but I can appreciate it if they look decent, but I scorn at the slutty ones. It makes me angry when I see non hijabis not taking advantage of their unveiledness and end up looking like hobos. A bunch of superficial crap that reside in my innermost thoughts.

4- Hijab discourages me from investing in cute, otherwise revealing clothes to wear around the hubby. It is very frustrating to have dual personalities and different styles between outside and inside the home. If I were to try achieving both, I would barely have time for so many other important things. I honestly would rather just have one routine to deal with than two.

5- Speaking of duality, the same goes when it comes to my hair. And makeup would apply too if Ip didnt wear it outside. It is very difficult living up to our modern day's perception of beauty, but living up to Islamic dress code outside the home at the same time is near impossible for me. I am such a terrible person for even thinking of choosing the former over the latter, but I really dont want to even go there. I need some kind of balance.

6- Hair thinning. Yes sometimes you might shed a bit more hair when wearing scarves, especially if too tightly, just like what happens when people wear hats too often. This doesnt happen to everyone and is quite rare, but it is not impossible. One dermatologist asked me to loosen up my headscarf when my hair was thinning at one point. But later we found out the root cause (discussed below).

7- Vitamin D. Let me first say that getting enough Vitamin D Is by exposing your arms and face to the sun for 20 mins up to three times a week is sufficient. So im not claiming hijab leads to vitamin d deficiency (unless you wear niqab, I suppose), however in my personal experience, due to lack of sun exposure (in egypt, imagine that) and being home for too long sometimes, I developed a SEVERe deficiency. It was basically 7 points away from zero on the test results... Very low. And my doctor and I concluded that this was the cause of my hair thinning. My hair was thinning so bad and at its peak I was starting to get small bald patches here n there. Not completely hair less but you can see a lot of scalp. I took supplements for a while, which helped, but its not something I can do forever. Some of it has grown back but my hair is still not as fruitful as it used to be in my teens. I know this is silly but my hair was its thickest before I put hijab on at the age of 12. Could be a coincidence though.

You have no idea what kind of depression a girl goes through when she loses her hair. i will note though that although hijab annoys me personally in that aspect, I dont think you have to take it off in order to get enough vitamin d. Would it help though? Definetely.

8- Tan lines. Being a more natural kinda gal, i don't like sun block or spf. Argue all you want :p. Especially when I have a vitamin D deficiency.
And that leaves you a tan line around your face, and hands,, my arms are kind of pale but my hands are a deep tan sometimes. No kidding. I kind of feel like a freak. I wont give this reason much attention though because of how superficial it is. But I thought i'd mention it. Besides theres no escaping tan lines unless you got out naked.

9- Swimming in hijab is very very frustrating. I have a lot of respect and admiration for those who even surf in hijab, but I can't seem to get over myself. I get depressed when going to the beach for family holidays, a place which used to my favorite place in the world, now becomes the beacon of self loathing, heat, itchiness, sweat, hijab slipping tug wars, the OCD like reaction I get when mixing sand with wet clothes..etc. I get so depressed when going to the beach now because all that I can really do is sit on the beach, fight with my hijab and long clothes to stay in place in the wind, and watch everyone else have a good time. Now I dont even wear full hijab, I wear jeans n shorter tops n stuff..imagine that with full hijab. The beach used to be a place of fun and escape. Now its just a reminder of all the things I can't do in hijab. Same feelings come up when Im at a sports club, depending on the sport though.

10- I don't like being percieved as muslim to look up to, just because I cover my hair.. Nor do I want to handle the extra 'responsibilities' that wearing a hijab comes with. Such as exhibiting a model of faith and purity 100% all the time and then being OSTRICIZED when I don't live up to it, but mostly fellow hijabis! And I find it disgusting when hijabis and the majority of muslims judge non-hijabis as being less pious, faithful or having less iman. I used to think that way a long time ago but not anymore.. Its just ridiculous. Allah tells us in the quran not to ridicule a people because they might be better than you think. And that only He knows whats in the hearts of man. And He is judge. So we are in no position to do so, especially on a relgious basis.

11- The hypocrisy..hijab is supposed to protect women from prying eyes, the objectification of women, judgement of others of their bodies and appearance..etc.. But then muslim comunities turn it all around on women when they DO cover up. I can't count how many times I have been picked on, judged and expected to dress and act a certain way, and blasphemy to me if I don't. They go out and judge me based on my appearance..contradictory...and nit-pick what they think I should be covering, wearing, showing, or whatever. I get these judgements no matter how conservative or halfway hijab I dressed. When you wear hijab, you expected to adhere to the whole deal, much like a politician taking a position of power and representention of the people Hijab then becomes more of Socio-political Title than a divine rite. Well I am tired. Yes it has gotten slightly easier since 'fashionable hijab' came around, and loosened it up a bit, but then it taints the real purpose behind hijab, and the 'title' hijabi is still there and expected to be abided by like a contract, only now with the trendy clothes and accessories.

12- Another reason why i consider taking it off is because I wore it when I was 12, it was for culture and beautification (i had low self esteem), not Islam, and I never really wore real hijab, and still don't, therefore It is not much of a difference when the it all boils down to whether your hair is covered and a little arm. Not to me anyway.

13- taking hijab off would make me want to lose weight even more and break my comfort zone. Hijab is great for hiding fat!


Now for the Pro Hijab/not taking it off points:

1- I honestly feel less pretty without it! I know, laugh, but its like how dear hairpeices are to Adele, i feel so plain and ordinary without it. And i hate ordinary. Im talking about the scarf part.
I love all the newly found ways of styling it, and the volume and how it wraps around your face.. I honestly get sad sometimes when I think about taking it off, because I will miss wearing pink around my face nweird I know!! Now trust me this is a really big deal to me lol. I guess i like standing out and not blending in. It comes from the stupid arrogance that I get sometimes. I hate my arrogance and I want to get rid of it...

2- I will no longer be 'MaddieTheHijabi'. It has become a part of my identity in a way. Its what made me who I am and made me 'special'. Also I cannot represent hijab on youtube anymore and that saddens me...

3- I will miss hijab styling. Its like adornment to me really than a religious commitment. In all honesty. I think thinking thatway,in and of itself, makes me no longer a hijabi. I love how It can frame my face any way I want, unlike hair, and it can be any color or material...and I also love how thinning it can be and a big confidence boost.

4- I will have nothing to hide behind. Hijab is like a safety blanket. Without it you feel exposed, and your self esteem is tested.

5- No more mystery. Hijab provides mystery and makes others wonder what you look like without it, and when taken off, im honestly weary of what people might think, because i've let their imagination run wild for so long. What if I look nothing like they expected? And look at my hair and go 'thats it?'. Its like I lost my zeal.

6- I will become invisible. Even in a mostly muslim country like Egypt, Not wearing hijab makes you blend in with the background.. At least around the places and social status i live in. Usually girls without hijab, esp college students, the majority are the ones that are very care free and natural looking and dont put much effort in their appearance, but then there are those who go overboard, and few in between. I dunno how to explain this very well, but the way women in hijab are able to decorate themselves, it stands out more sometimes than a non hijabi. It also somehow has more character. Hair is so yesterday lol.

7- If I took it off, I feel like I can only feel as good about myself without it, if I wear wigs! I know this sounds crazy but my thin baby fine hair is nothing compared to my voluminous puffed up headscarves. I would need some serious hair extensions or wigs (i happen to like wigs btw). Wigs would also solve number 6 and 1 in the Hijab con list above.

8- People might not take me seriously when they see me after taking it off. They will judge me and think how superficial and self concsious I must be. It happened to a girl in my class who took hers off. I remember the rest of the girls and my friends talking behind her back in the bathroom..they weren't overly rude but you could hear the distaste and insult they had in their voices. Sadly I misjudged her too, thinking she had low esteem. But the girl did explain later on how depressed she was in it and was forced to wear it.

Thats all I can think of for now. I will continue this later insha Allah.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Scarves & Sleeves

Scarves & Sleeves

I want to wear it
But not wear it
Is my vanity so apparent?
Confusion lies
Where truth reveals
Between my head
And what your minds unveil

Sharp words better off unspoken
In the dark when hearts are open
Bites of flesh with every sentence
Narrow my way to your acceptance
But wide is the way to His embrace
Away from your judgements
Away from your disgrace

That Day I will stand alone
Sins n All, to each his own
When everyone will speak for their soul
Why do you pretend to know?
That between fire and garden
Is a piece of cloth tightly woven?
Truth be told, no one knows
Let the Judge be Judge
And Uphold not your petty grudge

My heart is weak, Just as yours
But my heart lacks your open sores
With the likeness of a bird
That can no longer soar
Your words inflict these wounds
Upon me and those who bruise
A piece of cloth stands between
Your congratulation
And your view of my salvation
Pardon me, how can that be?
I acknowledge my responsibility

I want to wear it
But not wear it
Will I lose my specialty?
That lies with those
With pious clothes
Will I be freed?
Or lose a sense of belonging?
The silent nods between
Those who don this deen
With pretty scarves,
And lace-y sleeves,
Become silent screams
For those that leave
Why do you care?
Let hair be hair
And uphold not your troubled stares

Could it be jealousy
Or my lack of stability?
Conformity, you will not find me
Tell your friends they're OCD
Tell them to find my heart
It lies not within a cloth
But between myself and the Supreme
Who are they to intervene?

Feel my heart
How it bleeds
My femininity
Vain it is,
But may the day come
When I will disdain
My then loose scarves
And my short sleeves
Am I at loss?
When I wish to be
Pretty like those on TV?
Perhaps, but then, does that mean
I cannot feel the breeze?
Or the warm sand beneath my feet?
Or feel the sun kiss my skin?
Which curbs my hair from growing thin?

Not while bare but in modesty
For I do not stand for nudity
I may aspire femininity
But conservatively
I may love frills and lace
But I love not needless displays

If I shall choose to wear my hair
Covered or outside in the air
Then let me be and drop your stares
Your admonition I don't care
As long as righteousness gets me there
Or did you not hear, That Allah has said
The best garment is righteousness instead?
If you believe not, see 7:26
Im tired of being played by peoples' tricks

If you shall say, see 24:31
That it describes the righteous one
I reply that my biggest fear
Is not my hair or arms or ears
But if I had done enough good today?
Have I given? Have I prayed?
Have I read His Words?
Have I strayed?

Not my neck, feet or arms
By your perception, I am alarmed
To think piety and acceptance go not beyond
A tightly woven piece of cloth
Go tell that to those
Who were hung on trees
For a skin color that didn't please*
Those who say words as these
For humans are not skin or cloth deep
Whether it covers bodies or just hair
To Allah we are naked and bare

Note that I fully acknowledge
That it may be preferred
To cover my hair
But please be aware
That Allah is Just and Fair
He said "La ekraaha fil deen"
Will you then not take heed?
Your only vice is that I not wear
My piety and deeds on my sleeve
But your superficiality makes you unaware
Of how hard you make girls weep

Help me when I am naked
When I am bare
When my sexuality is too out there
When I walk and prance
In an arrogant stance
When I sway my hips
For eyes to look
And men to drool
Advise me, then and there
But do not duel with me
About my arms, feet and hair

And to my brothers, weak and brave
Please remember to lower your gaze,
For you can only judge and blame
What you've let your eyes graze
How can you when you have not
Known a woman by her heart?
No eyes will be deterred by cloth
Nor will hands
Asks the women across my land

Alas I end this with an inquiry
Of honest love and sincerity
For indeed my deepest desire
Is to rejoice with you for eternity
In endless gardens
And flowing streams
Will you then halt your pestering?
And work together towards this dream?

Madiha Mostafa K.
----------
*I apologize for the race part. It is not to belittle or offend Africans , for I am African myself, but It is used as a metaphor for those that are quick to figuratively hang those who take off hijab or don't wear it. and non figuratively since there are those who kill women for not wearing it. What they have in common in the dissatisfaction of the masses towards what appears on the outside of a person, and judging them not by their hearts and who they are.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blue

Blue

Awkward silences, unfamiliarities
And unpresident formalities
Behold a world so new
Where lonliness dons blue
And blue is donned by fears
The highlight of my tears

And that night I cried
That night I swear I cried

Self righteousness or carelessness
Carelessness that lead to wrecklessness
Pride and something more
Tore what was there before
Differences are donning blue
And distance wears blue too

And that night, Blue came
And colored me,
I swear that night I cried,
Am I losing you?

While donning the color blue..
Do you wear blue too?


Madiha M.K

Monday, November 28, 2011

Untitled

Could you pity a child
And look the other way?
Or see all the pain in someone's eyes
And not be sorry?
Do you even know what its like
To be pushed around
Like you're a petty posession?
Or be held in someone's arms for a while,
Then returned to your cell?


Madiha M.K

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How I met Su (Valleygurlfrmhell).

We met at the curious and antisocial age of 14, yet there was nothing antisocial about us.

On a dark, cold night, my brother and i, along with our mother, drove to pick Su and her family up from a previously agreed meeting point near Dream Park in Egypt. Su and my teenage brother had been involved in an online relationship for some time, and the call for family visits was due.

Su and her energetic and charismatic middle aged mother spent a few days in our appartment building on the roof in our humble guest flat. Su, the ever elated and hysterical girl with a bit of punch, and I, stayed up all night laughing, giggling and messing around. We were best friends easily and instantly, and still are. Her relationship with my brother...not so much, it would seem. Until the outside observer looked passed the rough patches, arguements and playful quarrels, could a endearing bond be found. Whether it was true love or not - nobody knows. In fact, the couple are still baffled at times about that matter. But our love for eachother surpassed any obstacles and till this day, i have a wonderful and insightful person to be thankful for, for having experienced some of the best times, despite my dysthymic life.

One could say.. She is to me as Mania is to Bipolar Disorder. The ever bright, whimsical one with dreams and aspirations. The part of me I could have sworn I was, with my eyebrows furrowing as I search inside myself, whilst being shadowed by fear and depression. She is who I am. Or was... She is who I wish I could be. In many ways, we are one.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Melancholia

Have a thought in my mind
But no words to say
Have a story to tell
But the page is blank
Heavy hearts are meant to cry...

Then come the sighs and lullabyes
Those silent moments between the highs
The pouring melancholy that sets you free
But when awake, wont let you be

A storm is brewing
The weatherman has been absent too long
Too much care is gone
Cloaked by dark clouds that dont give a damn

Theres always heaven, I say
But so overdue are the crimson streams

....



Madiha M.K

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bento Dreams: Planning Lunchboxes for University!

I've been surfing the net like crazy during my juice fast, with my mouth watering over several gorgeous and delicious raw vegan recipes (yeah didn't know raw could look THAT good!). Also, I've been looking up bento lunches, which are japanese lunches at JustBento . I'm supposed to gently break my fast next Monday with mostly raw veggies and fruits. So here are a few Raw and Cooked foods I'm thinking about making for my lunches (Or the upcoming breaking fast-days).

Raw:

Hemp Seed Truffles


I love the idea of these. However, I can't get hemp seeds, so I think I'll use sesame seeds or almonds instead :). Maybe even dilute the raisins with some leftover juice pulp. Recipe here.

Raw Brownie


Now this is something I've been craving for a while! Brownies :D. Recipe here.

Lunch Froodles


When I saw this, I thought to myself "why don't I just peel fruit into strips like zucchini pasta??". I hadn't thought of it before, and this dish looks delicious! I think I'd skip the papaya and use banana instead. Maybe reduce the avocado and add some pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Yum! Recipe Here.

Spring Veggie Namul with Crabstick


Although this is a Japanese side dish, I'd totally make this my main lunch dish! I absolutely have a weakness for crab sticks, they are probably my most favorite food ever. I'd probably marinate these veggies instead to be less crunchy and mimic that cooked texture, and substitute the crab sticks with real crab or roasted cashews/pine nuts. Recipe Here.

Easy Lunch Lasagna


It's all about texture. Who would have thought that slicing cucumbers like pasta would look and sound so good?? I LOVE this idea! Unfortunately I don't have access to nutritional yeast for the pine nut cheese, but I'll use commercial vegan cheese instead :3. Recipe Here.

Japanese Omelet
I've always wanted to try these ever since I've watched anime and BOF. However, since these are eggs, I won't be able to for quite some time (I'll be detoxing post juice fast). So I remembered raw dehydrated cinnamon banana pancakes I made when I went raw for 30 days two years ago. If I just dehydrate it on low heat in the oven overnight, it should be gummy enough to roll :3. add some walnut bits to the mix, then drizzel liquid stevia on top and you're good to go! I think I'll use a third of the flax seeds mentioned.
  



I'll have to finish this post later. the neice wants my comp! lol.

Day 7 and 8: Juice Fasting

Day 7: I think I felt the best on this day!! I had so much energy that I stayed up till 6am! lol. I noticed a pattern here, my energy levels tend to be higher at night. Either because my sleeping schedule is off (I wake up at noon), or I tend to drink more juice at night. Weight: 66.7 kg.

Day 8: Today was a little slow and sluggish. I felt weak and tired. But its because I didn't have proper breakfast (only half a glass of melon juice). My mom takes insulin so she needs to drink a lot of juice at one sitting, so I woke up to no more juice left for me :(. I was too weak to fix myself anything other than little melon juice and just had green tea with honey (which is so filling and satisfying!). Another pattern I've noticed is I tend to stay the same weight for two days straight, or even gain, but then on the third day I drop about half a kg. Weight: 67.3 kg.

On another note, university starts this Sunday! It's the 2nd half of my third year studying Broadcasting. Subjects I'll be taking are Studio Production, Video Production, Broadcast Writing (Arabic this time), Broadcast Performance (also in Arabic this time! boy the tables have turned) and Introduction to Management. Last semester I took writing and performance in English, and was top of the class, although I got a D- and B- due to lack of course work...Now I'm gonna watch all the Egyptian students excel in these courses, while I'll be the one behind!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

May Be Moving Blog to Wordpress

I've recently been wanting to blog from my iphone, but I'm unable to work the app...so among other reasons, I've decided to move my blogger blog to wordpress. It's the same url, except wordpress is the sub domain : http://www.maddiethehijabi.wordpress.com

I'm not 100% sure if I'll finalize the move. What do you guys think? I'm starting to wonder if its worth it lol. To be honest, wordpress surpasses blogger in so many things...