Spent the evening at the annual summer concert at Fort Reno where I found more enjoyment in watching the kids pinwheel their arms around and dance like maniacs and zoning out watching the fireflies (or lightening bugs, if you prefer) flit and flicker in the park than I did listening to the Evens. Don't get me wrong; I think Ian MacKaye is a fantastic artist and Amy Farina has a decent enough singing voice when she sings solo, but Ian's attempts at soprano singing and Amy's whispery spoken word is not the kinda stuff I wanna listen to when I wanna rock out. Now those Sleater Kinney girls I heard shredding last weekend? Intense.

Anyway, for the upcoming holiday weekend, it's wagons west for yours truly. Y'all behave while I'm gone. Savvy? I'll leave you with a quote from Annie Hall that is apropos to nothing but makes me smile:

There's an old joke. Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah. I know." (pause) "And such small portions!"


Well we got no choice
All the girls and boys
Makin all that noise
'Cause they found new toys
Well we can't salute ya
Can't find a flag
If that don't suit ya
That's a drag

School's out for summer
School's out forever
School's been blown to pieces

Today was the last day of my training and since they didn't fire me, I presume I passed the final exam. Woot! No more classes, no more book, no more teacher's dirty looks! Too bad my summer vacation lasts all of 12 hours. Tomorrow if my first official day at work. Wish me luck.


Ever had to (1) listen to your husband bellowing in anger and confusion when he (a) failed to read the large-fonted warning to wear protective gloves when applying insulating foam sealant around the outside of the house and (b) tried to apply it barehanded and bareheaded, (2) try to help him get out the sticky goop all over his hands and hair, and (3) get the scissors and cut a chunk of hair off of his head because the sealant won't come out with the equally toxic remover with which he has already doused his hands?
Just me then.


1. Afghanistan
2. Austria
3. Bahamas
4. Belize
5. Canada
6. Costa Rica
7. China
8. Denmark
9. Egypt
10. France
11. Germany
12. Greece
13. Iceland
14. Ireland
15. Italy
16. Mexico
17. Netherland Antilles
18. Pakistan
19. Puerto Rico
20. Saudi Arabia
21. South Africa
22. Spain
23. Sweden
24. Switzerland
25. Tunisia
26. Turkey
27. United Kingdom
28. United States
29. Vatican City

Jonesing for Japan. Aspirations of Australia. Possibly Portugal.

2 Scoops - dude, where've you been? have barely seen you bopping around Blogistan of late but hope you are eshtudying well and insha'Allah, in a few weeks, all your bar woes will be a thing of the past. may you pass with flying colors, use your power for good, and never regret choosing a path to uphold truth, justice, and the . . . er . . . global way. come visit for some post-bar exam gelato anytime. we might even be able to coax The Hulk out for some high times in the big city. miss you, lil' bro.


I'm nearing the end of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. As before, I find his writing gripping and erudite even when the subject is so beyond my purview of my experiences. While the story of the young self-proclaimed "super tramp" who met his death in the Alaska wilderness is tragic, I kinda agree with this guy's take on the matter:

His ignorance, which could have been cured by a USGS quadrant and a Boy Scout manual, is what killed him. And while I feel for his parents, I have no sympathy for him. Such willful ignorance . . . amounts to disrespect for the land, and paradoxically demonstrates the same sort of arrogance that resulted in the Exxon Valdez spill - just another case of under-prepared, over-confident men bumbling around out there and screwing up because they lacked the requisite humility. It's all a matter of degree. McCandless's contrived asceticism and a pseudo-literary stance compound rather than reduce the fault . . . McCandless's postcards, notes, and journals . . . read like the work of an above average, somewhat histrionic high school kid - or am I missing something?
At the other end of the spectrum, ever feel this way about a book?

You fling the book on the floor, you would hurl it out of the window, even out of the closed window, through the slats of the Venetian blinds; let them shred its incongruous quires, let sentences, words, morphemes, phonemes gush forth, beyond recomposition into discourse' through the panes, and if they are of unbreakable glass so much the better, hurl the book and reduce it to photons, undulatory vibrations, polarized spectra; through the wall, let the book crumble into molecules and atoms passing between atom and atom of the einforced concrete, breaking up into electrons, neutrons, neutrinos, elementary particles more and more minute; through the telephone wires, let it be reduced to electronic impulses, into flow of information, shaken by redundancies and noises, and let it be degraded into a swirling entropy. You would like to throw it out of the house, out of the block, beyond the neighborhood, beyond the city limits, beyond the state confines, beyond the regional administration, beyond the national community, beyond the Common Market, beyond Western culture, eyond the continental shelf, beyond the atmosphere, the biosphere, the
stratosphere, the field of gravity, the solar system, the galaxy, the cumulus of galaxies, to succeed in hurling it beyond the point the galaxies have reached in their expansion, where space-time has not yet arrived, where it would be received by nonbeing, or, rather, the not-being which has never been and will never be, to be lost in the most absolutely guaranteed undeniable negativity. Merely what it deserves, neither more nor less.
--italo calvino, If On a Winter's Night a Traveler


Little to no time to update so mini-shout-outs instead.
anju - congrats and good luck on the newish job.
arsh - grill me some tuna and portabella mushrooms and asparagus, stat!
ayan - dude, get a new camera and update already.
bness - are you back yet?
baq - i'm scared to see if you've updated b/c the longer the time in between posts, the denser the material.
binj - new audiopost on the horizon?
chan - see you next month!
chij - you still around?
cray - you have a June deadline or else Faiza is gonna get it.
faiz - R.E.M. has a cover song of "I Will Survive" too.
shah - in addition to going into stores and sitting on their couches and not buying anything, I also enjoy going into hotels and using their bathrooms and not staying there.
gun - november? you gotta be kidding me.
hb - where you at, grrl? bring me back a croissant, some coffee, and lots of pix.
hem - happy birthday 4 real!
chai - oz is coming on july 19th, wanna coordinate?
iz - you still around?
kk - i miss our literati games. well. i mean, i miss cajoling, threatening, browbeating you into playing literati.
kn - i can't believe i've had Catch-22 on my bookshelf for a decade and never got around to reading it; but i'll remedy that soon, bromise!
mnm - wanna meet up in old town sometime when you return?
meeks - happy birthday! now update.
moiz - good luck on yr exams.
najm - i can't beliewe i missed out on susha! waaah! wanna go to udupi today?
nj - are you going to post one of your novels on your new, girly girly blog?
owl - any plans for a granny visit/side-trip to me this summer?
pop - i was in the national cathedral gardens last night and there was a circle of red poppies that made me think of you!
ppp - happy graduation, princess!
saru - mabrook on yr new kicks.
noz - fine, if you go to syria this year, then i'm going to portugal next year.
ushi - give aunty Q a big hug from me.
vl - don't fret, when you get older, your metabolism will slow down and you'll get your poundage before you know it.
yaz - happy graduation, rockstar!


Full tank of gas: $30
Four new tires and an alignment: $300
New compressor to fix the busticated A/C: $1200 (psst - hijabman, 'twas TP's doing, not mine)
Cressie purring like a kitten: Priceless, plus $1530.


Happy Birthday, Li'l Baji!
Happy (early) Birthday, Hemmie!


Pandi's 'Pinions

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett caught me off guard. For some reason, the first time I heard about it, I sort of dismissed it as nothing more than the latest in a string of factory-produced chick-lit that seemed to pervade the market. A glimpse of the synopsis left only the words "world-famous soprano" and "relationships" and "love" in my mind and so back to the shelf it went. Several years later, with a week of each other, my cousin Osman (whose tastes in books I hold in great regard) and my friend Rage (ditto), berated me for not having given this book a chance. A while back, the book crossed my path again and demanded my attention. I just finished it and I have to agree: it was exceptional. It was complex yet simplistic; foreign yet accessible; fantastic yet believable. The whole book, save the last five pages which I felt were tacked on and unnecessary and untrue to the plot, was gripping and intriguing. A peek into each character's minds, motives, methods. A slice of elegance and terror. A dip into unpredictable and commonplace human behavior. The author deftly handles the character development, the plot, and the pace in a way that leaves you never bored. Grade: A.


Today was action-packed as LB and I went for facials (thanks, Cybermom, you rule!), then I met up with Hijabman (who kindly hand-delivered my t-shirt that I will try to remember to wear when I treat him to the traditional welcome ice cream scoop), then I met up with TP with the intention of checking out this month's line-up at Rock-n-Romp but was too late so instead, we walked through LeDroit Park (some portions less historicky than others), then we had dinner at Etete (recall Pandi's 'Pinion which you can find here), then we walked over to the 9:30 Club to get our tickets for the Sleater-Kinney concert ($1 service charge jerks), then we came home.

Anyone else remember this McCarthyist rhyme:

(group) Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?
(finger pointer) LB stole the cookies from the cookie jar!
(LB) Who me?
(rabid mob) Yes, you!
(LB) Couldn't be!
(confused public) Then who?

and so on and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseam?


It's interesting how when you are hungry, I mean really hungry, your sense of smell intensifies. Today on the metro, after a pathetic lunch, I was joined by a woman who apparently fell into a swimming pool of perfume, dried off, and sat next to me. The scent was cloying, sickly sweet, overwhelming. I tried to hold my breath and then surreptitiously to hold my nose and engage in shallow mouth-breathing until she disembarked a few stops later. I gulped several lungfuls (is that a word? No? Well, it is now.) of blissfully fresh air while I could.

Alas, her replacement was a living, breathing, walking fart. Seriously. I know, I couldn't believe it either. This morning, some intestinal gas was born (possibly in an explosion), disguised itself as a fat human woman, put on some business casual clothes and a little make-up to start the day. Maybe the fart had a light lunch but more likely a heavy lunch balanced out with a gallon of diet soda. Then it decided to board the metro and sit right next to me. Right next to me. For the entire rest of the trip. I was trapped by the sealed window on one side and the stinky-wind-made-solid on the other side. It wasn't as unbearable as the perfume and certainly not as deadly as 'The Sea Captain,' but it was, in its own way, mentally disturbing and kinda made me want to vomit out of my nose. As soon as I escaped, I healed my withered and abused lungs and burnt nasal passages* with some blisteringly hot, but clean, outside air. I bought some flowers too. And gave them to TP. The end.

*when we were kids and someone would expel some gas (for some reason, a favorite activity and subject of discussion for my family), Dad used to exclaim, "you burnt my nose!"


Oof, it was so hot today that my brains were dribbling out of my ear a little bit. ("lil bit" said in De Niro's voice). I came home and what is waiting for me but more homework. Okay, Akvetcher, here ya go:

If I could be a writer, I'd totally be a travel writer. I mean, come on. Getting to travel all over the world and writing pithy comments about silly observations and making bank for doing it?! (interro-fantasy!) Oh, Lonely Planet, wherefore hast thou forsaken me?

If I could be a chef, I'd be an Iron Chef. With Alton Brown on my team. But without that yellow-pepper-eating-weirdo Takeshi Kaga smirking at me. And the secret ingredient is: chocolate! No joke, Musicalchef, it's on.

If I could be a movie critic, I would use the following grading system, from highest to lowest:
Movies I'd see in the theater mutliple times and then purchase on deeweedee
Movies I'd see in the theater and then recommend to family and friends.
Movies I'd wait for on deeweedee so I could rent it from Netflix.
Movies I'd wait for to show up on cable.
Movies I'd wait for to show up on network teewee.
Movies I'd accidentally see and then warn everyone within earshot to avoid at all costs.
Movies I will cross the street to avoid seeing, acknowledging, or helping escape rabid dingoes.
Movies I'd gouge my own eyes out before watching.
Movies I hate.

If I could be a time-traveler, I'd like to visit last weekend and find out where it went.

If I could be a pirate, I'd be the best buccabloodyneer that 'ere sailed the seven seas. My loyal monkey crew and robotic limbs would make me nigh invincible. I would literally rule with an iron fist! I would be indominatable! Landlubbers would cower before my might! *ding* ooh, my veggie lasagna is ready.

So I reckon I'm supposed to pass this stick along, but it's really too hot to engage in such strenous activities so I'll just leave this stick right here for anyone of you to pick up. Did I mention that my veggie lasanga is ready?


Going through some old pictures. Can you believe, from left to right, these guys are going to med school, becoming an aspiring politician, and finishing dental school? Still. I mean, honestly. Isn't there an age limit on playing "jhuula mayan, double roti kaayaa"?

*Editor's note: one, if not all, of those three might do me serious bodily harm if I included the pix of the jhuula mayan antics. Hence removed. Out, out, damned blackmail material!


Things to do this month:
  • See Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks at the Black Cat
  • Go to Fort Reno for the summer concert series.
  • See Sleater Kinney, the Eels, and possibly Ted Leo at the 930 Club.
  • Celebrate LB's birthday (over the course of a week).
  • Get a haircut (it has, after all, been about several months since my last one).
  • Catch up on Smallville eps in my downtime.
  • Decide between DirecTV and Comcast Cable.
  • Sit around and/or take naps as often as possible.
  • Scrape the remaining paint off of the antique door.
  • Wish Dad a happy Father's Day.
  • Find out if TP or I won the New Yorker cartoon caption contest.
  • Plant some flowers out front and some veggies and herbs out back.
  • Get me a shotgun and kill all the skeeters I seeeeeee.
  • Make and eat lots of guacamole.
  • Read, read, read.


In spite of the international and cosmopolitan nature of this blog, I though I'd guest post a bit about my own life.

Memorial Day is celebrated differently throughout the United States, but in Indiana it is most famous for one thing: the Indianapolis 500. Though I officially live in Kentucky now, I thought it fitting to pay homage to my 18-plus years in Indiana by attending the "greatest spectacle in racing." There were quite a few notable moments of this weekend, but I'll mention only four most superlative:

Funniest moment:
Seeing a [not so fit] guy with classic rock album covers tattooed on his torso. This included, but certainly was not limited to, having 'Leonard Skynard' tattooed across his stomach. I know this because, of course, he was shirtless, shoeless, and perhaps toothless - the perpetual beer can was in the way. [Note: He was not Leonard Skynard]

Cool/corny sports moment:
The roar of the crowd of 500,000 people as Danica Patrick took the lead to become the first woman EVER to lead in the Indianapolis 500. Sadly, she was unable to maintain it. [Perhaps, like Earl, she had to 'shut 'er down?']

Most nostalgic moment:
Though I've never really been into auto racing, it was exciting in a child-like sort of way to see real cars driving the way they once did on my slot car racing track in the living room.

Most disturbing moment:
Seeing a grown man approach a group of college students only to see him pause and wait for his daughter [...12 years old, tops...] to catch up, so she could watch with pride as her father had beer poured down a funnel and into his mouth. ('That's my dad...')

So there you have it - my first Indy 500. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to continue to try to get fired.