Since I'm too busy entertaining one cousin (it's hard work sitting on the couch under a blankie, eating a tub of MnMs, and watching "Anchorman"), another cousin has come to my rescue and will guestblog today. Enjoy!

I gave "The Known World" to the book courier (aka your mom) today. Cheap-ass me won't pay for shipping when I know bloody well that you guys are meeting up for a vacation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles away. But it's just one book... (please notice the sarcasm between those lines).

Pakistanis do it all the time. We brought back dupattas, shalwars, and all kinds of easily mailable stuff from Pakistan. Now jewelry I can understand, as it's pricey and the whole mail insurance thing doesn't really work in Pakistan. But a voluminous bag of plastic kulfi containers? Honestly. There really was a gentleman in Pakistan who showed up at my Khala's house to give my mom a bag of plastic kulfi containers. I had already explained to this guy on the phone that we had too much stuff - we already had an extra bag, AND my mom was traveling by herself back to the States - only to have him drive over with a bag of flipping kulfi containers! And for all the offers of "it's okay; I'll pay you for it" who really wants to say,"sure, I'll lug your kulfi containers across the globe; just give me1800 rupees."

I was out when this meeting went down, but my mom was resolute and politely turned this guy and his kulfi containers away! I'm so proud of her. Chalk one up for tact and good old fashioned common sense. So by me sending a book with your parents, I'm doing the exact same thing! Oh man, I'm so Pakistani. Please excuse me while I go retire to the couch, tuck up my feet, wrap a blanket around myself, and make the "ssssssss"inhale-through-the-teeth-sound while saying it's cold. I'll have a Pakistani accent in two years... you can be sure of that. Of course, I'm really not anti-Pakistani. Indeed this guy's actions had more to do with his age and tact than his ethnicity. It's just that he happens to be Pakistani. While I was there, I really did meet so many extraordinarily polite, accomodating people. It really is a hospitable place. But every now and then, you'll get a guy like that, and he just warrants a funny story...


Ahoy, me bloggers and blurkers! Me blog is turning one this weekend (aw, she's learning how to share her toys and walk by holding on to a table!). As a gift, me beauty Abez, First Mate Extraordinaire, designed a new template worthy of many chests of robot monkey pirate booty. So put yer hooks together and give her a hand or I'll keel haul ye and shove ye into Davy Jones's Locker. Arrr.


Batten down the hatches, swab the deck, hide the snax! H-Biddy sighted off the starboard bow!


Yay, despite the dioxin poisoning, Viktor Yushchenko is leading the Ukrainian presidential election! Poor guy. Look at him! And speaking of elections, y'all get out your mice and elect Yaz's blog for the Asia Blog Awards 2004's "Best Pakistan Blog" (even though *shhhh* she is a Cali girl). I've submitted my vote for the day (one vote per day until 12/31) and now, after driving eight hours through the back roads of North Carolina and Virginia and passing untold amount of roadkill, shuddering at each bright red yet smiling piggy faces advertising the ubiquitous BBQ pits, and deliberately slowing down when roadrage Billy Jacks ride my tail, I'm going to sleep.

[update now that I'm awakish: vote for Abez for Best Blogs in Asia! Now, someone give me the link for voting for Owl and we'll be all set for the election season.]


Hulk been charged with notifying you that Baji gone to Nawth Carolyyynah. Hulk thought he try hand (big and green as it is ha ha) at being blogguest for her until she come back. Hulk mighty hunger distracting Hulk but first Hulk must comment on something. Hulk think. Oh.

Hulk note that it that time of year when people make amends for past, make resolutions for future, and . . . make lists! Some lists are stupid and make Hulk want to SMASH! What wrong with kids today? Honestly! Some not so shabby *Hulk adjust bifocal glasses on Hulk pert nose*. Some very handy with links to other lists. What on your Top Seven List of 2004?

Homemade oatmeal cookies calling Hulk now so Hulk gotta go. Happy (early) Birthday, Baji's Dad! Hulk love you.


Just finished Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi. While the book is not as powerful or compelling as the first, it was interesting to follow her trials and tribulations as a (now) teenager studying in Vienna and struggling to maintain her identity (as an Iranian revolutionist) and still fit in (as a drug-dealer girlfriend trying to be cool). I liked the original story much better and found this to be fraught with cliches. Yes, she is being brutally honest in giving us the raw truth of her youth-on-the-verge-of-adulthood, but so much of it comes off as whining and selfish that I am left unmoved and annoyed. Still, as memoirs go, this one is insightful and intimate enough to sate the eavesdropper in me. Grade: B.

Next up (upon the lavish praise and suggestion of Anju and Sarah): The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Right after I watch Napoleon Dynamite, now out on dee-wee-dee.


Things I learned this weekend:

If the burly guy who fixes your porch offers to help you slide your antique desser out of the car, politely decline before he gets his meaty hands on one side and scratches the veneer right off of the front corner of it and creates a dime-sized dent on the other corner.

If you want to remove a dent from wooden furniture, you can dip a small rag or towel or wad of cotton in water (damp but not dripping), hold it on the the dent and apply heat from the tip of a hot iron for several seconds. The dent is caused by the cells of the wood being smooshed and the steam from the water and heat will puff them out again. Repeat until dent is gone. Science is fun!

Toasted everything bagels with various toppings and several cups of coffee are excellent snacks on a cold, drizzly Sisters' Sunday.

I distractedly watched about 2/3rds of Jean-Luc Goddard's Breathless before I realized I had already seen it. Meh.

An Indiana University student tossed a guinea pig tied to a makeshift parachute out of an eighth-floor dormitory this weekend.

Winter is now upon us, giving us black ice, school closings, and below freezing wind chill factors. I hate winter. I miss summer.


The weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
Well, it doesn't show signs of stopping
But we've got some corn for popping
And the lights are turned way down low
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow


Just finished David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim which gave me a couple of chuckles but not as many as when I read Me Talk Pretty One Day which split my sides and made me gasp with laughter. And since 'tis the season, I am reminded of Sedaris' diary detailing his experiences working as an elf in Macy's SantaLand in New York City. My favorite exerpt:

We were packed today, absolutely packed, and everyone was cranky. Once the line gets long we break it up into four different lines because no one in their right mind would stay if they knew it would take over two hours to see Santa. You can see a movie in two hours. Standing in a two-hour line makes people worry that they're not living in a democratic nation. They go over the edge. I was sent into the hallway to direct the second phase of the line. The hallway was packed with people and all of them seemed to stop me with a question: which way to the down escalator, which way to the elevator, the Patio Restaurant, gift wrap, the women's rest room, Trim-a-Tree. There was a line for Santa and a line for the women's bathroom, and one woman, after asking me a thousand questions already, asked, "Which is the line for the women's bathroom?" I shouted that I thought it was the line with all the women in it.

She said, "I'm going to have you fired."

I had two people say that to me today: "I'm going to have you fired." Go ahead, be my guest. I'm wearing a green velvet costume. It doesn't get any worse than this. Who do these people think they are? I want to lean over and say, "I'm going to have you killed. "

To listen to the tale, click hyah. For you "readers," click hyah.

Thx to LamissesPieces for being a lovely blogguest. Let's all give her a hand, folks!


so I ve now added hacking ( not really but it makes for more excitement) to my list of activities post-d.c.

Yes SUPPLIES! this is LAR aka lamushy, lamisil, lasheesha, labaksheesha er whatever u will signing in! its good to be back u know I cant complain...i narrowly escaped the thermals-plus-eight-layers-of-clothing-plus-winter-coat season out there, was welcomed back to CA by Bean, Yaz and PPP- who successfully completed her term Yeuuuhh bwooy- and the rest of the clan should be done by this weekend? inshaAllah! and u can say it s back to the basics, fake sushi ( CA rolls) Tigers' Yogurt, kickin it with friends and blurking ( I really got hooked in dc tho) Forget real work, people in the nation's capital don't know how to relaaax , except for baji the chillest realist person out there mashaAllah, I ve had the pleasure of meeting the fam, even the crazy cousins and adopted chilluns online! Unforgettable...

Highlights: Cornel West at Olsen's, working with A an elder Palestinian who volunteered at my organization, B, my kinda person from so-cal (this a crazy sista) and Miz Nuri, mobility across DC/MD/VA fanks to the wonderful Metro...now what do I do? okayy I'll work on it..., Philly, TBM samitches at Cosi's ( is that only in DC? I won't survive), the crazy weekend where some friends visited and we wisited all the monuments, I m glad they came cuz otherwise its very likely I would have come back to CA without having even seen the White House which was like 6 blocks away from what i stayed...what can I say i m too cool to do the touristy stuff ;P, dinner at Alero's with Baj, TP, LB, Najm, iftar with the gang at the old flat, HU homecoming concert, election night. or not, getting care packages, meeting extended fam for the first time, and all kinds of people from the motherland hehe and a tete a tete with baji b4 I left... alhamdulillah

YO ShoUt OuT to my calis and of course baj, lil baj, giggles, tp for the last minute interview, chai, tahaha, Yamin, Yaseen, 1009, erni, sylvie, lupitita ok buhbye




Just finished Persepolis : The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi. The graphic novella was funny, educational, poignant, and I just wish they taught history via these kinds of memoirs. The narrator, as her 10 year old self, tells her tale of growing up in Iran before and during the Islamic Revolution. I read the book and savored the simple black and white graphics in one sitting. Some parts were hilarious, some parts were gruesome, all parts were fascinating. Grade: A.

In other news: MouseWatch 2004. Thanks to the internets, I learned that although mice do love peanut butter (our bait of choice), they are so light and clever that the traps do not even register their weight as they lick the trigger clean and then go and play videogames and laugh at you. The key is to make them work for the bait, to use some effort and strength, and the resulting pulling and struggling sets off the trap. So with the delicacy of a surgeon, I tied some cheese to one trap and set it. And with the brutishness of Lenny Small, TP smashed some cheese into another trap and set it.


TP: 2 Meece: 0


United Nations on Crack Mix CD for Yaz, LAR, and PPP (but Najm stole PPP's copy).

1. Jaan Pehechaan Ho - Mohammed Rafi (Punjab)
2. Aicha - Cheb Khalid (Algeria/France)
3. Girl from Ipanema - Frank Sinatra and Antonio Jobim (US and Brazil)
4. Dur Dur d'Etre Bebe - Jordy (France)
5. Daydream Believe - Shonen Knife (Japanese band in Engrish)
6. Welcome to India - MC Vikram and Luda Krishna (India via US)
7. Si Senor - Control Machete (Mexico)
8. First in the Gang to Die - Morrisey (England)
9. Jing Jing (Firefly) - Shoukichi Kina (Japanese band in Japanese)
10. Isolda - Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde)
11. Chan Chan - Buena Vista Social Club (Cuba)
12. Darts of Pleasure - Franz Ferdinand (Scootland, blast yer eyes!)
13. Dynamite - Junior Senior (Denmark)
14. United States of Whatever - Liam Lynch (US, just to tie it all up; meant to put the Sifl and Olly version though)
15. California Love - Tupac (represe'in Cali)
16. Suggestion - Fugazi (represe'in DC)


STUPID MICE! First, one disturbs me while I try to brush my teeth. Last night, I spotted it under the grate and then TP trapped it. Under his shoe. When he lifted his "mouse-stomper" (as his shoes will henceforth be known as) to grab the mouse with a garden glove to release it outside, the mouse was stunned and unmoving (TP insists it was dead), and was easy to pick up and lay outside on the grass. Today, I was cooking and I heard some suspicious rattling in the pantry. I swiftly opened up the door and there was ANOTHER MOUSE playing around with the pasta! He smirked at me and disappeared. And then, adding insult to injury, I see that he has been nibbling at my chocolate that I JUST GOT! Rassin' frassin' low-down, yeller-bellied, son-of-a-motherless-goat, AARRGHH!!!!

Poll: which is worse - mice or cockroaches? TP and LB are of the (ludicrous) opinion that roaches are worse b/c they are filthy and ugly whereas mice are kinda cute. I feel that mice are worse b/c they are harder to kill, can bite you, and leave little black rolls of presents here and there. How do you vote?


Mix of tunes for my dad (and, apparently, KK)!

Soundtrack to "Cold Mountain"
Soundtrack to "Buena Vista Social Club"
Aimee Mann - Save Me
Beatles - Her Majesty, Dear Prudence, Golden Slumbers, Blackbird
Beck - Tropicalia
Billy Bragg - The Short Answer, The Price I Pay
Call + Response - Rollerskate
Cat Power - Free
Cesaria Evora - Vos d'amor, Tchintchirote
Cheb Khalid - Aisha
Bobby Darin - Somewhere Beyond the Sea
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy
Bonnie Prince Billy - The Way
Eels - Fresh Feeling, I Like Birds, Woman Driving Man Sleeping
Elvis Presley/ Stevie Wonder/ Dolly Parton - take yr pick
Geggy Tah - Driving in My Car
James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday - take yr pick
Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah, Last Goodbye
Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe
John Coltrane/Miles Davis/ Louis Armstrong/ Django Reinhardt - take yr pick
Helium - Leon's Space Song
Katrina and the Waves - I'm Walking on Sunshine
Moby - Natural Blues
Nina Simone - I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl
Ray Charles - Georgia on my Mind
Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Don't Know Why
Frank Sinatra - Fly Me to the Moon
Kinks - Nothing in the World Can Stop Me Worrying 'Bout That Girl
Elliot Smith - Needle in the Hay
Nick Drake - The Fly, Pink Moon
Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane, Oh, Sweet Nothing
Tina Turner - Proud Mary
Sarah McLachlan - Full of Grace
Creedance Clearwater Revival - Susie Q, Bad Moon Rising
Chuck Berry/ Buddy Holly/ Johnny Cash/ Cat Stevens-Yusaf Islam -take yr pick
Ween - Loop de Loop


Last night was the first Friday night that TP and I had no city to fly to, no boxes to move (actually, the boxes still need moving but they are not in the urgent pile), and no home improvement projects that demanded our immediate attention. So, how did we go wild and tear up the city? We hit our local bookstore, Politics & Prose. Although we carressed about 30% of the books on the shelves, we left with only two books in our hands: Persepolis : The Story of a Childhood and McSweeney's Quarterly Concern Issue 13. Nevermind that I still have a chunky third of the final volume of the Dark Tower series to complete. Nor that I have my own tower of books to consume before they topple and crush some unsuspecting bystander's toes. I can't help it. I heart books. I really really heart books. Anne Fadiman's collection of essays in Ex Libris : Confessions of a Common Reader gives an accurate account of what it's like to be a bibliophile. So, tell me, my little bookworms, what are you reading these days?


I (webcam) met Abez's and Owl's Abu today! Here's a picture of him!


Let's see.

I was so sleepy this morning that I forgot to put water in for the coffee and burned the coffee grounds, stunk up the joint, and completely ruined my little Bialetti.

Then, with the help of my parents, I had to disassemble my old futon, move my dresser, and shift over all sorts of knick knacks to make room for my new bed, nightstand, and dresser.

While I fretted over the delivery time (call ahead with a four hour window my arse), the guy fixing my porch took the front door completely off of the hinges and started sanding it before I knew what was going on while I was running around the back door to make sure the bulky bulk pick-up guys would pick up our old (heavy, naily, dusty) stuff that we lugged out of the attic last night. (Thanks to Dad's sweet-talking, they took everything even though the rules are only seven items per pick up).

We dodged traffic up to Silver Spring to meet LB for lunch and dodged some more traffic back down to DC in the rain.

We spent two hours assembling the new bed and nightstand, dragged my parents' 60 pound suitcase down the stairs, tiptoed over the running primer that had washed away from the porch steps and into the grass and sidewalk, and got in the car.

We took about two hours in stop-and-stop traffic to the airport (normal commute time during non-rush-hour, non-rain-hour, non-broken-down-vehicle-on-the-highway-hour is 20 minutes) and arrived at the counter only to find out that United screwed up their tix, the suitcase was 10 pounds overweight, and that the flight was closed now anyway.

Drove back into DC to get something nutritious and fast and then tried to go to the hardware store next-door to replace our stolen drill only to find out the store was closed. The humidity gave me mujahideen hair, fogged up my windows so that driving was difficult, and the rain just would not stop.

I just got home and I still have to arrange stuff, perform amazing feats of acrobatics to get from one room to another without tripping, bashing my head in, or otherwise doing myself severe bodily harm, and go to sleep so I can wake up at 6:30 tomorrow to make another airport run. I just knocked down a partially-filled humidifier and soaked the carpet and my sox. And to cap off the evening, a little mouse decided to join me in brushing my teeth in the bathroom. How was your day?


I'm so tired,
I haven't slept a wink,
I'm so tired,
my mind is on the blink.
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink.
No, no, no.

I'm so tired I don't know what to do.
I'm so tired my mind is set on you.
I wonder should I call you but I know what you'd do.
You'd say I'm putting you on.
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm.

You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane.
You know I'd give you everything I've got
For a little peace of mind.
I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette

And curse Sir Walter Raleigh.
He was such a stupid git.

--The Beatles, I'm So Tired


In an attempt to broaden Dad's musical appreciation while he was a captive audience (painting, putting new panels on the kitchen ceiling, and replacing some fixtures . . . I'm certainly perfecting my handy-woman persona), I played him some Radiohead. His only comment: "What is this guy crying about?"


Spent all day yesterday and tomorrow painting, repairing, and prettifying LB's new digs whilst listening to tunes (Dad, did you know that the Beatles wrote this song to cheer up Mia Farrow's sister because she was so depressed?), eating lunch (Mom, will you make saurday aloo?), and breaking screwdrivers on painted on screws (LB, apparently you don't know your own strength). The only thing swimming around in my kiddie pool head right now are words like "eggnog" and "snowy egret" (eggshell and semi-gloss) and "popped corn" and "tuscan beige." Tomorrow's schedule? Ruby ring and filthy filters fun!


You are feeling velly srrreepy. Veehhhllyyyy srrreepy. Oh. So. Sreepy.

(nod to damomma and shaheen)
My parents came today! We had Afghani food for lunch, went grocery shopping where Mom tried to steal someone else's shopping cart, and watched Mr. Bean. Good times. :)


I never realized how different living with a leftie is from living with a rightie. LB is left-handed (gauche! sinestra!) and I've spent years trying to remember to sit on her right so that our elbows didn't crash into each other during mealtimes. For a while, there was a battle over where to place the mousepad and mouse in relation to the keyboard (this was before she got her own laptop and the battle dwindled away . . . well, THAT battle anyway). When I was cable-sitting for LB yesterday, I noticed that the toothbrush holder AND the toothpaste were to the left of the sink. I guess now that she has her own digs, she can be as lefty-loosey as she wants.