We're off! Ten gold dubloons for the hearty mate who updates me blog whilst we're away. Arrr-revoir!

Congratulations! You have what it takes to be a pirate monkey!

Pirate Monkey Aptitude Test


For those of you who know Hedi, now three years old, here is a snippit of our latest "conversation":
"You are a butthead, ha ha!"
"Oh really? I think you are a butthead."
"No, Tata Baji, you are the butthead."
"I'm pretty sure you are the butthead."
"NO, you are a butthead."
"Well, I looked at your passport and it said that your name was 'butthead'."
'"NO!!!" (pause to consider and formulate scathing response) "I . . . saw . . . my passport . . . and it said YOUR name was 'butthead'!"

For my fellow Scrabbie-lovers and Literati-haters, check this out.
Hai . . . Hai . . . HAIKU! (Bless you)

allergy season
eyes, nose, throat - now hostages.
the price of blossoms
sniffle, scratch, rub, wipe
spring has sprung in my lungs, still
better than winter
delicate petals
of the flowering dogwood
match lotion tissues


Rumors of our deaths and/or departure have been greatly exaggerated. We are still in town but are planning on leaving at the end of the week.

*hangs up "Welcome Burglars" sign*

Thanks to the advice of several acquaintences, we have gotten several tips and warnings for our trip:

Do see the cloudforests, the volcanos, and the beaches.
Don't see, hang out in, or spend a second longer than necessary in San Jose.
Do explore some of the national parks.
Don't get bitten by the Fer-de-lance.
Do keep your eyes out for an ocelot or jaguar.
Don't step on any scorpions. Or army ants or bullet ants. Oh, and watch out for vampire bats. (this from Oz's friend, Angelus - how cool is that name?! Interro-greco-roman!)
Do indulge in the export reserve Cafe Britt coffee.
Don't indulge in the 1/2 cup of pork lard gallo pinto.

Any other suggestions? Comments? Jokes? Discussions about the WTO-WIPO TRIPS Agreement?


In an attempt to upgrade my wardrobe to something suitable for a more professional venue (rumor has it that pjs and a proper office don't mix . . . yet), LB and I went to the outlet stores at Potomac Mills. Yes, there were bargains to be had. But was it worth it to swim against the tide of obese parents, squalling children, wanna-be Goth Kids, wanna-be Mean Girls, and pushy vendors trying to squirt perfume on you? To suffer the lack of natural light, the dearth of fresh air, the overabundance of piped-in "rock" tunes for hours on end? To witness a Vietnamese manager bark orders to a testy Arab cashier to tell the confused Pakistani clerk to clean up the dressing rooms with the instructions "tell her in her own language." The jury is still out on that one.

Whoops, not it isn't; here they come.

The jury votes "no."


Here we go, here we go, here we go again! We got two tickets to fly (by the seat of our pants) to Costa Rica! Anyone have any suggestions on what to see and where to stay?


To Do:
Dig out the Claritin (ooh! free!) and restock the tissues.
Watch House of Flying Daggers tonight and return to Netflix.
Eat the bhindi and rice and make room for the mac-n-chee.
Go see Kontroll at Filmfest DC tomorrow evening.
Get the A/C and tires fixed on Cressie before I melt and spin out into the Potomac.
Explain to my pals what the difference is among trademarks, patents, and copyrights.
Finish The Winds of Change by Martha Grimes then start If On a Winter's Night by Italo Calvino.
Consider: Argentina, Chile, or Guatemala.
Upload Modest Mouse's Good News for People Who Love Bad News onto the Rio.
Why, oh, why do I have Schooly-D's Aqua Teen Hunger Force theme song stuck in my head? Maybe because while I was doing laundry, I caught up on about four episodes of the show. This was after watching Robot Chicken.

My. name. is. Shake-zula, the mic rulah, the old schoolah,
You wanna trip, I'll bring it to ya.
Frylock and I'm on top, rock you like a cop,
Meatwad you're up next with your knock-knock.
Meatwad make the money see, Meatwad get the honeys, G,
Drivin' in my car, livin' like a star,
Ice on my fingers and my toes and I'm a Taurus.
ha ha, check it, uh, check-check it, yeah

'cuz we are tha Aqua Teens make the homeys say ho and the girlies wanna scream
'cuz we are tha Aqua Teens make the homeys say ho and the girlies wanna scream
Aqua Teen Hunger Force, numba one in tha hood, G.

For some new school raps, check out 2 Scoops throwin' down some mad beats here.


So, you know, what with Ratzinger getting a new job, I thought I should get one too. And so I did. Hee!


How To Induce Nightmares and Have a Sleepless Night

1. Pop in "Taste of Cherry" and contemplate what is going through this Iranian man's mind that he wants to commit suicide so desperately. Enjoy the scenery, the cinematic style, and the striking images, but end on one of the creepiest shots ever (or maybe that's just me b/c being buried alive is possibly the worst way to die in my book).

2. Follow that movie with "Hotel Rwanda" and watch the drama of a hotel manager attempting to aid over 1200 Tutsis refugees during the Hutu extremists' genocide in Rwanda unfold. Learn to avert your eyes when you see the flash of a blade or the carpet of dead bodies.

3. Try to have sweet dreams. Fail miserably.


Had a great "abundant sunshine" weekend with my parents. Leb Tav, home repairs, and walks through Rock Creek Park. Aw, I miss my flan-makin' meemaw and my paint-scrapin' peepaw.


Six Degrees of Blogeration Updated
Rule -- degrees are established by one live person actually meeting, laying eyes upon, hugging, or clobbering another live person. * indicates blurker or blogguest status

First Degree

Baji -- Lil Baji*, Cybermom*, TP*, Chai, H-Biddy, City Nomad, Ismo, Literaunty, Ushi, and Osman*. (me relatives)
Baji -- Abez, DeGrouchyOwl [collectively, "the Zistahs"], Chan, Gunnar, Najm, Lil Najm, Upyernoz, Amaal* (a.k.a. Gojira), Lamisse* (a.k.a. LaMushy), and Taha* (a.k.a 2 Scoops). (me crew)

Second Degree
Baji -- (LB* or Lamisse*) -- Yasmine, Somayya, and Chocoholic
Baji -- (Taha*) -- HijabMan

Third Degree
Baji -- the Zistahs -- Poppie -- Usual Suspect and Anju
Baji -- Upyernoz -- [Upyernoz's Brother or Nameless Friend] -- mshairi and nathan newman
Baji -- the Zistahs -- Hemlock -- Meeks

Fourth Degree
Baji -- the Zistahs -- Bness -- NJ
Baji -- the Zistahs -- Knicq -- AWK
Baji -- Najm -- [Safia or Ayan, but nobody's met Ayan, or come on there's gotta be someone!] -- Shaheen

Fifth Degree
Baji -- the Zistahs -- Bness -- NJ -- Hafsa

Can we make it to the SIXTH DEGREE? I submit that we CAN!
p.s. - new word: "Blogus" (adj) failure to update blog; etymology - blog + bogus. example: "Literaunty hasn't updated in almost a year. That's so blogus."


How To Mortally Wound Yourself During Spring Cleaning
(or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Split Infinitive)

First, obtain a cast iron grate vent register, preferably an antique from the early 1900s which is designed with numerous scrolls and loops and which, over the course of nearly a century, has accumulated a decalayer of paint. Next, find a clean workspace or, failing that, a filthy one. Firmly grasp one sharp end of the grate and begin scraping the rust and paint (oil- and latex-based) with a screwdriver. When the project is half-way complete, take a break by giving yourself a botched manicure. While performing the last scrape before the break, skewer the screwdriver into your thumb in such a manner so that the nail separates from the skin. Bonus points if you manage to wedge some of the newly scraped paint into the wound. Use the blood as a lubricant as you wrest the screwdriver out of your thumb. Admire your handiwork, slap on a bandage, and complete your project with success.


Speaking of Farenheit 451, check out this list of "Banned Books in the Year 2191"

Lying Machines: Robot-Owned Media and How It Corrupts Democracy
A Bot Election: How the Robot Lobby Influences Politics
A Fatal Error: How We Elected a Robot President
They Won't Die: Why Robots Should Never Be Appointed to the Supreme Court
The New Constitution: Binary to English Translation
Our Robot Masters: Though They Force Us to Say Otherwise, We Are Not Proud to Serve Them
Escape From XRT-1041: How One Man Survived a Robot Slave-Labor Camp
Electromagnetic Pulse Weaponry

Also informative:
List of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations,
List of The Hierarchy of Candy,
List of Things That Paper Could Be Replaced With to Make Rock, Paper, Scissors More Believable.


Attention. Attention.
Parental units are arriving in T-minus six days.
Synchronize all watches.
Operation Clean Sweep has been initiated.
All floors must be mopped and all carpets must be vacuumed.
Stack and arrange all boxes so as to appear as inconspicuous as possible.
Contain and sedate all dust bunnies.
Mess hall and latrine must be spotless.
Replace all filters in the vents and if possible, repair all gaping holes in the ceiling.
Sawdust in your lungs? Walk it off!
Laundry must be washed and folded neatly - failure is not an option.
Secure bottle of Windex and/or Pledge and wipe down the oven, the countertops, tables, and behind the ears.
Perform any other task necessary to give the illusion that this is not a place of squalor.
Repeat, this is not a place of squalor.
Stand by for further instructions.
That is all for now.

Dictated by General T. P. Bossy Boots
Forget the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Who wants to join me in visiting the Sonny Bono Memorial Park? The tiny park is near Dupont Circle, sports a memorial plaque, and has an underground vault that contains the sheet music for "The Beat Goes On," Sonny's coffee mug, and his official congressional cufflinks.


Maybe it's the gray and drizzly day. Maybe it's the fitful night. Maybe it's the 24 sushi rolls (half eel and avocado, half spicy tuna sashimi) that Sushiko accidently gave me when I only ordered half but they were so nice about it and didn't charge me extra that I made myself eat almost the whole thing. But I am feeling velly srrreepy. Veehhhllyyyy srrreepy. Oh. So. Sreepy. Reprised.


Random Acts of Randomness:
*Cherry Blossoms are starting to peak. Ka-BLOOM!
*Why didn't superspy Sydney wake up when Vaughn shot up gasping after a nightmare?
*Some hardcore Star Wars fans are already lining up for the Revenge of the Sith which opens next month. At another theater.
*Now that DC has a new baseball team, they need a name for the field. The only entry suggestion thus far? Taxation Without Representation Field at RFK Stadium.
*Wanna see how far the ad wizards have pervaded your mind with their marketing efforts? Play this game and see.
*Welcome back, LB! I missed ye!


This weekend I saw Control Room , the behind-the-scenes documentary of Al Jazeera's work during the Iraqi war. Since upyernoz already did such a nice review for it, I'll take the lazy way out and just refer you to his entry hyah.

Instead, I present to you another installment of "Modern Muslim Cooking of Indo-Pakistan" which reminds me very much of something the Whizzo Chocolate Factory might market.

Sheep's Feet

It is another popular dish of this country. It is delicious and invigorating. It is prepared especially in winter.

10 sheep's feet
1/3 level tsp turmeric
2 flakes garlic
2 oz onion
1/2 oz ginger
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 lb curd
4 oz ghee
1/2 lb onion

Wash and clean sheep's feet. Scrap [sic] out hair and remove shoes (if not already done) and boil in water adding all the spices except ginger and garam masala till water is dry and feet are tender. Then fry them adding sliced ginger, garam masala and 4 oz. ghee. Again add water (sufficient to cook the feet and gravy required). Let simmer on low heat for two hours till ready. Sprinkle with chopped green coriander, green pepper, garam masala (curry powder) and fried onion slices. Remove from heat after 5 minutes and serve.


Overheard on the Metro: "Um. I was wondering. If a girl says to you 'you're hot,' is the polite response to say 'you're hot' back?" Eshpring is the air.

Could be!
Who knows?
There's something due any day
I will know, right away
Soon as it shows
It may come cannonballing down
Through the sky
Gleam in its eye, bright as rose
Who knows?
It's only just out of reach
Down the block, on a beach
Under a tree
I got a feeling there's a miracle due
Gonna come true, comin' to me...
Could it be, yes, it could
Something's comin', something good
If I can wait!
Something's comin',
I don't know what it is
But it is gonna be great! . . .

This song is dedicated to Spring which is so close I can taste the pollen already! YAY!


Just got back from seeing Sin City in all of its over-the-top film noir glory. Stunning. As in, I was stunned when I left the theater. Stunned, shaking my head, astounded that this movie only garnered an "R" rating. Uberviolent. Grody-to-the-max. Vomitrocious. I have not seen a more graphically violent movie in my life. And I've seen some pretty horrendous flix in my time. I mean, how many mutilations can one movie hold?! (interrochop!) Dames, danger, and decapitations. Guns, guts, and gore. Excuse me while I go purge myself with something Disney.