stickin' it to me

upyernoz hit me! Ouch! I'd retaliate, but he's already been struck himself. And since I am a law-abiding blog citizen, I shall comply:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
If this question is geared to solicit which is my official most hated book that I would like to see burned to ash and gone, I think my previous post answers that and let us never speak of it again. If this question is aimed at determining what book I would memorize in order to save it for future generations, I reckon I'd have to go with the The Quran - the edition edited by Abdullah Yusuf Ali because those footnotes really help.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Yes. I'd have to admit to: Holden Caufield, Encyclopedia Brown, Richard Jury, Fiddler, Lord Goring, Westley, Han Solo, Scylla . . . I could go on but I think I've embarrassed myself enough now.

The last book you bought is:
Road to Makkah by Muhammad Asad - ok, kk? are you happy? ;)

The last book you read:
The last book I finished and didn't abandon (see previous post) was The Known World by Edward P. Jones - fascinating account of a former-slave-turned-master's life and the effects his death had on his family, friends, and slaves in the pre- and post- Civil War era. I promise to get it back to you soon, Oz.

What are you currently reading?
The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

Five books you would take to a desert island.
Well, since I've already memorized the Quran (see above):
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel - entertaining fiction plus would give me good survival tips
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - even though I've read or heard portions of it so often
  • One of them there Norton Anthologies or Shakesperian Anthologies or Woody Allen Anthologies; let's just say something in the anthology category
  • The First 280 Years of Monty Python by Kim "Howard" Johnson - where, I suppose, in my sheer and utter loneliness I would play all of the characters and do all of the voices and walk all of the walks
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - because, much to my chagrin, I never got past the first chapter even though I really want to and on a desert island, I think it would come in handy; in fact, perhaps I shouldn't read it now just in case I do get stranded so at least I'll have something new to read.
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Yasmine, KK, and Owl- because they are the most vocal, thoughtful, and thorough of my bibliophilic blogging buddies (woulda hit up BAQ too, but I can only list three and he only updates about once a quarter century).
(psst - Abez, Bness, Chai, and the rest of you alphabetic bloggers are welcome to accept the stick as well, but those three have mandatory orders to accept.)


After a valiant effort to get through "Reading Lolita in Tehran," I have thrown up my hands and given up. I hate leaving books unfinished, especially ones that I have purchased rather than borrowed. Once I start it, I feel the need to finish it even if it starts trundling down Lame Street or I reach the "okay, I get it, but there are still xyz chapters left" point. However, there are some books that irritate me to the point that I have to let them go. If I don't put them away, I feel obliged to plod on, getting more and more annoyed, until eventually, I don't read anything at all. That happened with "Brick Lane" and it happened here too. I kept wanting to give it a chance, but the author's voice was grating on my nerves, her smug attitude was unattractive, and her writing style just rubbed me the wrong way. It's gotten to the point that I feel if ever I were to meet the author, I might not like her as a person. Nor her rabid fans. Especially this one. I don't know if I can fully articulate how little regard I hold for this book (although I still find the concept behind it a good one).

Yesterday, I put that book away (can you tell how frustrated with it I am that I don't even want to link it here when normally I am a linkaholic?) and started another: The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel - the author of Life of Pi. Ahhhhhh. So much better. Yes, it is fiction rather than fact; a collection of short stories rather than a lengthy memoir. Perhaps not "politically important" as that book has been marketed, but it is so much more enjoyable. A balance of humor and pathos. Clever but not bombastic. Gripping and nuanced. Now, that's what I'm talking about. I feel so relieved after escaping the shackles of that other book that I may be giving this one too much credit, but I can't help it. I feel free. I feel unfettered. The thrill of reading has returned. Look at me! I'm on top of the world!


So, the American version of "The Office" was a total rip-off of the British version (down to the same types of characters, office seating arrangements, and even word-for-word jokes). The only plus was the lack of a laugh track. If the writers don't come up with any good new material (which they are allegedly going to do here on out), I'm just going to stick to the Ricky Gervais material.

David: This is Sanj, this guy does the best Ali G impersonation, Aiiieee. I can't do it, go on, do it.
Sanj: I don't, must be someone else.
David: Oh sorry, it's the other one... [awkward pause and tense silence]
Sanj: The other what... Paki?
David: Ah, that's racist.

Have a good weekend, y'all. And for my little Easter Bunnies, here is a reprisal of David Sedaris' commentary on the holiday that I posted last year.

1. Unless you want to end up like Schiavo, get a living will. It's Islamically Delicious!
2. Check out this alarm clock.
3. Baby cheetahs at the National Zoo, potential cherry blossoms in bloom, and Toulouse Lautrec exhibit at the National Gallery - it's shaping up to be a good weekend.


It's been pretty craptastic lately what with all of the death, destruction, and turmoil. One day, my heart is (figuratively) ripped out through my throat. Another day, my leg is (literally) plunged into three feet of sewage water. The next day, I am astounded and appalled by everything I read in the news (although, that is pretty much every day). Today, I'm sick and I feel like a ball of hot "vomick." But in an attempt not to wallow in self-pity and global-misery, I am now going to list some things that cheered me up:
  • a welcome visit from upyernoz who not only came bearing delicious gifts but also regaled us with great travel stories while treating us to a lovely dinner.
  • a package of intensely chocolate brownies and sweet condolences from princess julestress.
  • a call from my parents to let me know that they finally arrived back home safely.
  • a view of the trees beginning to bloom in the neighborhood.
  • a call from a friend visiting from out of town who allowed me to rant and rave and then graciously let me abruptly end the conversation after I canceled our plans to get together.
  • a smootch from TP after he covered me with a blanket as I lay on the couch like a slug and watched the show I love to hate.
  • eating a whole bag of Sea Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips.
  • Bruff McGruff's violent joy at seeing me approach him by scampering over to the fence, throwing himself down on the ground, and slobbering in undiluted happiness.
  • a successful first attempt at making french green lentils with goat cheese.
  • hearing Tenacious D's ballad about Wonderboy and Young Nastyman, archrival and nemesis of Wonderboy, with powers comparable to Wonderboy.


Pandi's 'Pinions

Motorcycle Diaries - Since this movie got the most blogpoll votes, I watched it with high expectations. If this were just a run-of-the-mill buddy-road-trip movie, it would have been alright enough. The fantastic panoramic shots of the South American countryside is reason enough to see it. However, knowing that the story was based on Che Guevera's actual letters and diaries bumps this movie up a notch or two.

Dodgeball - Bah. I think I'm just going to stick to Stiller/Wilson buddy pix.

The Yes Men - This documentary showcases two fearless activists' adventures in impersonating WTO members at international conferences with hilarious speeches and shocking behavior that for some reason never really elicited the shock and outrage of the participants until they appeared before some college students near the end of the film. More hands-on but less serious than Farenheit 9/11.

Monseiur Ibrahim - Teenaged Jewish boy befriends older Muslim man and several French hookers with their cliched hearts of gold. It had a good premise but could have been so much better. It had such a trite and predictable plot and ending that one (and by "one" I mean "TP") would be tempted to classify it as a Disney-like movie if not for all the hookers.

Big Fish - Much as I like Tim Burton and Ewan McGregor, this was just a string of not-so-tall-tales with no real substance or lesson.


So last weekend, I spent the morning clearing a path into the guest bedroom (note to self: create and patent the "Personal Bulldozer 2000"), getting out fresh sheets and towels (never mind that they would get stinky in a flash after the band returned from rocking out in a smoky club), and shopping with LB for:

  • a bagel slicer
  • a bucket
  • a "cute" spatula
  • pink oven mitts

In the evening, we got a call that the band was on its way. We fired up the stove, warmed up a huge pot of chana masala (TP's work) and the bhindi (yours truly), and started on the rice. When the band showed up, rumpled, hungry, and tired from their drive from Connecticut, they were blown away by the prospect of home-cooked Desi food and a clean, comfy bed for each of them. In typical southern fashion, they expressed their appreciation over and over again until we threatened them and reminded them that their food would get cold if they kept talking. As they enjoyed a delicious dessert of York Peppermint Patties, they regaled us with some rock-n-roll stories and memories: "When Bob (Mould) broke up with my roommate, we suddenly never heard from him again;" "It was fantastic doing a Peel Session;" "I had such a crush on (Michael) Stipe - well, you know, until we found out;" and "TP looks exactly the same as he did 10 years ago!"). TP directed them to the club where they needed to set up while I cleaned up, made and/or pulled out the beds, and scattered potential post-midnight snacks around the table.

Later that night, we found a spot rightinfront of the Velvet Lounge (which pleased us to no end), entered without paying since we were on the guest list (which pleased us to the same no end), and found our posse. Earplugs, check. Front and cent . . .er . . . slouched to the side, check. Disdain and distaste for concert-goers who were wearing their old Magnapop concert t-shirts to the Magnapop concert, check. They sounded great and played some of their older tunes ("Open the Door" is a fave) and even did a Guided By Voices cover ("Game of Pricks") in anticipation of their up-coming SXSW tour. Then, to my great glee, they dedicated a song from their new album to us!

Ruthie: "You guys have been a great audience. We want to dedicate this next song to TP and Baji!" (well, she used our real names. well, she used TP's real name and kinda mangled mine so the equivalent would have been "TP and Jarbi!")
Audience Member: "Who are they?!"
Ruthie: "Two great people. Very important people."
Audience Member: "We still don't know who they are!"
Ruthie: "Heh. Um. One, two, one two three four ... [insert guitar riff]"

After they rocked, they rolled. While they packed up their gear and went to visit the 9:30 Club to pay Bob a surprise visit during his Blowout DJ extravaganza, TP and I went home to shower the club stink off and catch the last bits of SNL. Around 2:30 a.m., they called to let us know that they were headed home. We helped them maneuver their gargantuan van into the back, lugged in their equipment, and tucked them in. They were very good and polite houseguests and even folded their sheets and straightened up when the left the next morning. They autographed a copy of their new album for us, thanked us profusely, and stated that when they made it big, they would buy us a washer and dryer (oral contract!). There you go, Moiz, how's that? :)

Okay, Ushi, your interview questions are (drumroll, please):
1. If you could live in any other country, which one would you choose?
2. If you had to narrow it down, what would be your top five favorite foods?
3. Are you still suffering from greasy glasses syndrome or did you discover a remedy for that?
4. What inspired you to begin a blog?
5. What is your favorite childhood memory? (bonus points if it includes something extremely embarrassing for you, your siblings, or your cousins).


Just got back from Finland and the jetlag is killing me! TP had a function at the Embassy of Finland this week and as the dutiful wife, I showed up, mingled with the Ambassador (from across the room), listened to the speeches, and sat in almost every piece of artwork I could. We were treated to an advance design exhibition of Eero Aarnio, a Finnish designer who created funky plastic furniture in the 1960s. I spun around in the Ball Chair, swung back and forth in the Bubble Chair, and tried to race TP on the Pony Chair. Good times.

Ok, interview time (apparently only KK and Moiz were willing to subject themselves to my Qs!):

1. You seem to have an endless supply of and appreciation for poetry. Do you have any favorite poets or poems?
2. As a fellow movie buff, what movies would make your top ten list?
3. What is the single biggest difference between life in the U.A.E. and life in Pakistan?
4. What work of fiction have you read over and over again?
5. If medicine was not the path you were to follow, what would be?

1. How did you end up in Sydney?
2. If you have eaten any of the following, what is your opinion on it: Moreton Bay Bugs, Barramundi, Kangaroo, Durian Fruit, Shrimp on the Barbee?
3. Why do you refuse to spell your words out?
4. Do you and your sister get along?
5. How's that blue hair working out for ya?


Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes, condolences, and du'as. It really meant a lot to me and my family. Your support and kind words are much appreciated. I think in a successful attempt to distract me, me beloved hearty Sanchez has ordered me to respond to her interview questions. Far be it from me to disobey a direct order. So. Now for something completely different:

THE INTERVIEW GAME RULES: From Sanchez's (do-not-link-me!) Blog

Here's how you can play the interview game:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me." The first five commenters will be the participants.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions.
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (Write your own questions or borrow some.)

The Questions:
1. If wishes were horses then beggars would ride, but what happens when monkeys are pirates?
2. How has your experience as a fellow Brown in world of *insert your field here* been? (You know I'm a Brown. Admit it.)
3. How do you decide which place you'll be travelling to? And when you come to visit me, do you want your sand dune with or without scorpions?
4. Of all the millions of movies you've seen, is there any that you would recommend that every man, woman and child see?
5. Where's the rest of the key lime pie?

The Answers:
1. When monkeys are pirates, the world as we know it will be thrown into complete upheaval. Modern currency will become obsolete and everything must be paid in banana units. The phrase "monkey business" will have new meaning to including pillaging, ravishing, and burying treasure chests (filled with many banana units). Passage on the seas will be treacherous, dangerous, and fraught with adventure including picking of nits, grooming of fur, and buckling of swash. If the monkey pirates ever become monkey pirate robots, there will be hell to pay (in banana units, of course). The sooner you learn how to parlez in Monkey (i.e. "ook ook" and "yarr"), the better. Savvy?

2. You are not a Brown (you are totally a French Vanilla Milkshake with a sprinkling of cinnamon) and so the question you have posed is invalid. But hypothetically speaking (a much easier language to speak than Latin or Greek), my experience as a Brown in the field of law has been interesting. The ability to help non-lawyers decipher crazy legalese, negotiate the tricky curves of a contract, and research archaic laws and confusing regulations has proven gratifying. I have been fortunate in that my first real law job was working, inter alia, for an Arab-American media company where the Browns were the majority and I never felt out of place. Growing up in Southern Indiana, I learned how to get along with all types and not to feel awkward about my differences and, in fact, to appreciate them. As a result, my experiences as a Brown in this world, let alone this field, have been groovy. Especially since, for some bizarre reason, I seem to pass as a native of almost every country I have visited - even Iceland.

3. That's two questions, cheater cheater key lime pie eater. Nonetheless. The usual criterion for choosing each destination is that it be a place I have not been to before. The exception to this rule is when it involves visiting family (although, honestly, having family members strewn all over the world is pretty much what has enabled me to visit so many places to begin with). I wish I could say something along the lines of "I spin a globe and close my eyes and wherever my finger lands is where I go." But, in reality, it's more along the lines of "hey, there is a cheap ticket to Belize; wanna go?"*

4. No. First of all, asking me to choose a favorite movie is like asking me to choose a favorite child. Gosh! Second of all, there is no single movie that I would recommend for everyone for any occassion. Now, if you narrowed it down a bit, I might be able to answer that brutal, insensitive question. Humor? Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Classic? The Godfather. Suspense? Rear Window. Mystery? Usual Suspects. Reverse Mystery? Memento. Best Quotable Lines? Princess Bride. Best Scottish Accents? Trainspotting. Best Escape? The Shawshank Redemption. Best Mockumentary? This is Spinal Tap. Best Dance? Strictly Ballroom. Best Hi-yah? Iron Monkey. Best Political Satire? Dr. Strangelove. Best Teen Angst? Heathers. Best Indie? Ghostworld. Best Shakespeare Spinoff? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. See where I'm going with this? Good. Now, pass me the popcorns.

5. Apparently, after the cheating incident above, it appears that the key lime pie is now residing in your very own tummy. How was it?

*extra credit: with scorpions, but only if they are barbequed.


Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi rajioon. My Grandmother died today. "Dadiji". "Nano". "Nazir Begum". She had been feeling weak and went to the hospital to be kept under observation. The doctors decided a temporary pacemaker was in order. Then they decided that a permanent pacemaker was necessary. Somewhere between the two, there may have been complications with the anesthesia and she never came out of it.

She of the pink, rose, and cream-colored flowered outfits. She of the cheek-burn hugs and hand-knit accessories. She of the basketball tummy from decades of cooking and tasting and cooking and tasting and tasting and tasting and "oh, just a little taste." She of the contradictions: she was a typical granny with her sewing and crafts and curly white hair and shining eyes and grandchildren and great-grandchildren buzzing around her constantly; but she could also curse in Mandarin (she was born in Hong Kong) and knew her way around a good fart joke and could be as politically incorrect as the next person. She was obsessed with the Food Network. She was deeply religious and loved her gigantic family with all of her heart. She helped my father with his education. She went on a safari with us in South Africa. She wrote poems with pen and paper, with thread and yarn, with her heart and soul. She loved planning menus. She was the wife of a military man and ran a tight ship. She was the grandmother of over 30 children and told them jokes and knitted them hats. She was the benefactor to the needy in Pakistan and donated her time and energy and clothes and money when she could. She came to my wedding and I'm so thankful that the last time I saw her, she was beaming with joy and bursting with love. She was not just my pocket-granny; when she met anyone in her many travels around the world, she became everyone's pocket-granny. She loved and was loved in return.

Please pray for her. May Allah (swt) bless her soul, show her mercy and love, and reward her for her good deeds. Ameen.


To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix ize will be replaced by the suffix ise. You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up vocabulary. Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up interspersed. There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney,upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents - Scottish dramas such as Taggart will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is Devon. If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become shires e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as Men Behaving Badly or Red Dwarf will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

6. You should stop playing American football. There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American football is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays American football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders,your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called rounders, which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called Indecisive Day.

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time,you will go metric with immediate effect and conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer,and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. The substances formerly known as American Beer will henceforth be referred to as Near-Frozen Knat's Urine,with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine. This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen,Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or Gasoline, as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon- get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.
John Cleese (
although it really started here)


Happy Birthday, Cybermom! Here's your present: something you've always wanted . . . a brand new (and by 'brand new,' I mean 'slightly used') son-in-law! We love you very much. Tell Dad to treat you to something nice on our behalf.
xoxo, baj 'n the crew


Pandi's 'Pinions

Weather: The blustery day with 40 mph winds is only good for appreciating hot chocolate. Winter is hard on baby pandas and bloggers/blurkers alike; so if you get chapped lips, papercuts on dry skin, or any kind of ouchie, Neosporin is the way to go.

Movies: Hamoon is an Iranian film that traces an intellectual's memories and dreams in order to discover what went wrong with his marriage. Although there were some visually interesting moments (for example, when the main character accidently knocks over his maid and causes all of her groceries to cascade down the stairs in a rather striking way), the movie, as a whole, was lame. The Felliniesque dream sequences were grating and the characters were unloveable. I like my Iranian films with pastoral scenes, lyrical metaphors, and lil kids. Also, dudes in charge of subtitles? Make a sincere effort not to put white text against a white background, mmmkay? It really makes for hard reading.

Books: Reading Lolita in Tehran chronicals an Iranian teacher's interactions with her select group of women students as they delve into, discuss, and learn from forbidden Western literature by Nabokov, Fitzgerald, James, and Austen. While the concept is fantastic and admirable and her writing is lush and thoughtful, there are portions of the book that I think could stand some editing and cleaning up. Plus, Ms. Nafisi, I know you are pleased with the cleverness and impact of the phrase"reading Lolita in Tehran," but you really don't need to repeat it over and over and over again. It's the title of the book. We get it.

Special Feature:
Can someone explain to me the difference between You Got Served and Bring it On? Because from where I'm standing, except for the gender of the playahs, there is very little.


Anyone care for a slice of Key Lime Pie?


Congrats to LB on her sterling review and her raise! I'm so proud of you, Matthew! True to tradition (when you get a raise or a new job, you have to treat), she treated us to brunch this morning at Cafe L'Enfant for coffee, cheesy crepes, and cool cantaloupes. Thanks, LB!

The rest of the day was spent banging around, re-wiring junk, and generally making a big mess. Oh, and playing Literati. Also, watching Globetrekker on PBS. Ah yes, and watching Maria Full of Grace, an Oscar-nominated movie (which I kinda thought was a glorified after-school special) about Columbian women who act as drug mules and live and learn or die and don't learn. The acting and plot were realistic enough, but there were parts that I just didn't buy: the scene at customs, the scene at the sister's house, the scene at the pay-off. *shrug* But then, what do I know about running drugs in one's belly anyway? Well, a lot more than I did before tonight, I tell you whut.


The good news is that the basement bones finally have some basement flesh to cover them. I'd heave a sigh of relief if I didn't fear inhaling some of the insulation that is hanging Sword of Damocles-like overhead.

The bad news is that it still isn't summer yet. Dang, it ain't even spring. *looks at watch, taps foot impatiently, burrows under flannel covers* Wake me up when it's 80 degrees, will ya?


A day in the life:

TP: "Hi, honey, I'm home." (not real greeting, but it will suffice for this post's purpose)
Me: "Hey, how was your day?" (not real response, but see above)
TP: "Fine, nothing new."
Me: "Really? Nothing to report?"
TP: "Nah."
Me: "Seriously? No news about work or friends or anything?"
TP: "Nope."

[time lapse of several hours puttering around the house, making dinner, eating, reading, watching Mexican gameshows]

TP: "Oh, remember Magnapop?"
(They are an Athens/Atlanta band with whom TP had a passing acquaintence in the 1990s when he was invited to garage-jam with them.)
Me: "Yeah."
TP: "Well, I got an e-mail announcing that they are on tour. They are coming to DC next week so I told them that they could stay here."
(pause. digest implications. arch eyebrow.)
Me: "Ah."

In other news, apparently my grandfather likes monkeys too. See? It runs in the family!