Pandi WAS going to give his 'pinion on the movie Broken Flowers, but Upyernoz beat him to it.
Pandi WAS going to give his 'pinion on the book Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, but it had some very naughty parts and he wasn't allowed to read much of it.
Pandi WAS going to give his 'pinion on the new free cell phone, but it hasn't arrived yet.
Pandi WAS going to give his 'pinion on the song Seed 2.0, but it's even naughtier than the book.
So, instead, Pandi sings this song to Literaunty for the funny, HEAVY prezzie she gave to us via MC Chef and Broheme:

Brass Monkey
That funky Monkey
Brass Monkey, junkie
That funky Monkey. . . .


Ah, the daily commute.

Heard on the Metro:
"Attention. Please look up from your newspapers and Blackberrys now and then to be aware of your surroundings. If you see any suspicious behavior, please report it to a Metro official ee-mee-dee-ately. Remember: Be prepared, not scared. This has been your Metro tip for the day."

"Naw, naw, naw, see we is in homeroom together. Fah real! Naw, I know, I saw yo schedule. Gurrrl. Oh mah Gawwwwd, shat up, I love this song; this mah SONG!"

"Doors closing (bing bong to the tune of "Jane Says")."

"I've got a meeting with someone the White House tomorrow . . . "

Seen on the Metro:
A gorgeous view of the Potomac River coursing below us with the butter yellow sun shining above us.

A roach. A rat (on the rails, not in the train). A smear of some bodily substance making a clear view through the windows impossible.

The cool, deep green of the Virginia trees as we emerge from underground and seemingly into the endless sky.

This guy twitching and scratching and flinching wearing a ratty, stained t-shirt that barely provided any protection for his scabby skin topped off with a loud purple hat. He could be the stunt double for Tyrone Biggums. No joke.

Smelled on the Metro:
You don't wanna know.


This post goes out to that slow-moving, decrepit, disdainful, chain-smoker's wheezing, lung-hacking, locks-wrenching hairdresser I had a brief encounter with on Friday:

Errors in Communication Between My Hairdresser and Me,
in the Form of What I Said and What He Heard.
- - - -
"Just a little off the length, and a little thinned out?"
"Could you make me look like a clown's apprentice?"
- - - -
"A little shorter, thanks."
"I want the style that would emerge if you combined all three of Charlie's Angels."
- - - -
"Just the usual - little shorter and thinner."
"You know when you have a bubble bath and you shape it all around your head? I want it like that."
- - - -
"If you could take some of the width off, that'd be great."
"If you could make it hard for me to appear in public, that'd be great."
- - - -
"Of course it isn't OK - you've disfigured me beyond repair. I look like a mushroom."
"That's perfect. Take my money."


Pop Quiz

Q: You get a flat tire driving along one of DC's many treacherous streets teeming with potholes, jagged curbs, and broken pavement. You don't even notice your flat tire until several streets later because it is normal to experience shuddering jangles and jerks as you drive around town. You parallel park your car in a safe area and find that the right rear tire is badly punctured. You are wearing flip flops and therefore cannot kick the lugnuts off with your tools and put the spare on yourself. You call AAA because you pay them $56/year for pretty much no service and the least they could do is fix your freaking flat tire. You are told that someone will come within the next two hours or sooner. It is noon and 90-odd degrees outside. Do you:

a. Get a courteous call in a few minutes that a repair truck will be arriving in two hours, at precisely 1:54 p.m.

b. Make a polite status inquiry call at 2:00 p.m. when nobody has shown up only to find out that the dispatch has called and said someone will arrive at precisely 2:13 p.m.

c. Make a frustrated status inquiry call at 2:30 p.m. only to find out that there will be an additional 45 minute wait until the repair truck can come.

d. Make an infuriated status inquiry call at 3:30 p.m. only to learn that "the dispatch was just about to call you because the truck is about 10 minutes away now."

e. Memorize the cracks in the sidewalk, realize that what you had mistaken for a walnut was actually a dead bat on the ground, and donate blood to at least five to eight mosquitos before the truck finally shows up at 4:00 p.m.

f. All of the above.


I was all ready to write a "Dear Blog" letter to let my blog down easy; to assure it that it was me, not it; to end our relationship in as dignified and tearless a manner possible. Then, I thought I'd employ all of my stealthy ninja-like moves to assassinate it in the dead of night; or middle of the afternoon; or perhaps after tea. Finally, I thought I'd just go out with a big bang and list a bunch o' crap about me before I had to shut 'er down. But y'all won't let me!

I've been too busy hostessing with the mostessing, going to work, coming home from work, visiting family, attending weddings, attending baseball games, and watching fat kids watch other fat kids dance. So. It comes to this. An excerpt from Sarah Vowell's Take the Cannoli on her post-Hall-of-Presidents visit at Disney World:

Boy, all that glory glory hallelujah sure makes you hungry. We exit the theater and agree that it is time to "Liberate Your Appetite" with a late lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern . . . The maitre d' announces customers as if they're representatives to the Continental Congress, barking their last names and that of their home state. He gives the bell to a small child from "the Great State of Pennsylvania" who is supposed to ring in the meal. The child yells a phrase the maitre d' whispered into his ear: "Hairy! Hairy! Hairy!" Probably he's supposed to say "Here Ye," but I'm not one to knock the healing power of childhood Disney mispronunciations: When I was four, my parents made an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist the moment they realized I was half deaf, rendering the Mickey Mouse Club theme
lyric "Forever let us hold our banner high" as "For every little polar bear to hide."

"The Vowell Family from the Great State of Illinois" is seated and served the Patriot's Platter - a family-style Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not quite sure if I feel particularly patriotic about strawberry vinaigrette on my Declaration Salad, though I gladly pledge allegiance to the mashed potatoes of the United States of America.


100 Things About Me [Part 2 of 2]

  1. I have attended safety school, public school, Catholic school, non-denominational private school, college, and law school.
  2. I have attended Mass, a Seder, and Diwali
  3. I loathe running for the sake of running, grammatical errors in published books, and wintergreen anything.
  4. I have lived near a river all of my life: Taff, Ohio, Hudson, Mississippi, and Potomac.
  5. I never really learned how to drive a manual transmission car but I have driven a U-Haul truck (with Cressie hitched to the back) across several states alone.
  6. I have enjoyed scuba-diving, parasailing, and snorkeling.
  7. I am a pack rat; I get that from my Mom who gets that from her Dad.
  8. If I were to compare my handwriting to a leaf, I'd have to go with either the ginko or the tulip.
  9. If I had to choose only one cuisine to eat the rest of my life, it would be Italian. I mean, come on: pasta, pizza, gelato, cannoli, cappuccino, macchiato, do I have to go on?
  10. Almost every time I get my hair cut, the stylist comments on how thick my hair is.
  11. One of my earliest memories is being enraptured by watching my father shave in the morning and then getting a shaving cream design of cookie monster on my little palm as a treat.
  12. Another early memory is of pretending to make French Toast (plastic pieces that fit onto a toy plate) for my mother and asking her if she wanted sesame seeds or powdered sugar on it.
  13. In my youth and into my adulthood, my father and I share this ritual: he sees my light on in my bedroom late at night; he knows I'm reading and sings out, "Baby doll, go to sleep!"; I respond, "Okay, Dad! Good night!" and continue to read for several more hours.
  14. I took four years of Spanish in high school and remember very little of it.
  15. In school, I used to envy the kids who had braces.
  16. I probably don’t drink as much water, eat enough greens, or get as much sleep as I'm supposed to.
  17. I have voted for the Independent presidential candidate for every single election since I could vote except in 2004.
  18. I have seen Frank Sinatra in concert and was probably the youngest audience member there.
  19. I wish I could use and take advantage of my Palm Pilot (now TP's) as much as my sister does.
  20. I used to love Welch's Grape Soda. Liquid candy!
  21. I dislike small minds, small dogs, and small girls wearing thick make-up and skankified clothes.
  22. I can give a pretty decent tour of Washington, D.C.
  23. I have ridden a camel, horses, and a very large dog.
  24. I have been on a helicopter, a cruise ship, and various motorcycles.
  25. I used to hate but now I love tomatoes, olives, and dates.
  26. When I was younger, I used to break my fasts with chocolate chips.
  27. I can raise just my left eyebrow.
  28. After a bout of chicken pox, I lost a chunk of eyelashes on my lower left eyelid which never grew back.
  29. The only time my parents ever spanked me was when I was in Pakistan and had to take a horse-pill-sized malaria pill but couldn't choke it down. Well, couldn't without a little added physical incentive, that is.
  30. Dad used to enjoy waking me up in the morning by holding the palm of his hands, recently wetted by after-shave, under my nose until the fumes, yes, fumes, woke me up.
  31. I was once so addicted to Atari that I formed calluses on my hands from holding the joystick so tightly.
  32. I like ice cream. I like cake. But I don't like ice cream cake.
  33. With my Dad being a cardiologist and not needing copies of EKGs after he had reviewed them, I had an unlimited supply of scratch paper growing up.
  34. Newcomer to a new country, my Mom was so concerned about my English language skills that she forbade me from purchasing comic books for fear that they would ruin my grammar. That didn't stop me from devouring them when we visited friends who had a stash though.
  35. Going for Hajj is still the most spiritually overwhelming experience I've ever had.
  36. I have one bookshelf dedicated to travel guides and languages, one to classics, one to comics, one to compilations of humorous pieces, one to DVDs, one to non-fiction, one to mysteries and sci-fi, one to mild fiction, one to edgier fiction, one to outrageous fiction, one to photo albums, one to series, one to hardbacks that don't fit anywhere else, and one to books I haven't read yet.
  37. I have twin sisters-in-law.
  38. I really have enjoyed meeting all of the bloggers and blurkers that visit – be it in person or just virtually.
  39. This list thing reminds me so much of the lyrics by L7: Enough talk about me, Let's talk about you, What do you think of me? What do you think of me, me, me...
  40. Once, when I was choking on an Everlasting Gobstopper, my Mom saved me by performing the Heimlich maneuver.
  41. One of the things I really dislike about myself is my boundless capacity to hold a grudge or want revenge; but I'm working on that.
  42. I have been lovingly called the following: Monkeyboots, Junk Monkey, Buck-toothed Monster, The Buck-Toothed Kid, Tuckered Out Mouse, and Snarling Beast.
  43. In my pre-teen days, I was so enamored with Star Wars that when a special behind-the-scenes show came on television one pre-VCR year, I recorded it onto an analog, audio, old-school tape with my tape-recorder. As a clip featured Han Solo warning jubilant Luke Skywalker, "don't get cocky, kid," you could hear my Mother doing the dishes and my parakeet chirping in the background.
  44. When I sleep, I don't so much toss as I do turn, like a goat on a spit, in one place.
  45. At family functions, I tend to tower over everyone else.
  46. I love irony, sarcasm (when witty and dry, not mean and stupid), absurdity, and twists.
  47. I will readily admit to being a Buffy fan. Joss Whedon rules!
  48. I was a Girl Scout, a 4-H member, and a Guppy.
  49. I wanna rock and roll all niiiiight, and party ev. er. ee. day.
  50. I'm done.


100 Things About Me [Part 1 of 2]

  1. I was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
  2. My family moved to the United States when I was three months old and I've been traveling ever since.
  3. If I could, I would become a professional world traveler.
  4. The locals of every country (except China) that I've ever traveled to believe that I am from their country.
  5. I love my parents, my sister, and my husband.
  6. I have taken piano lessons, tried flute for a while, and am quite adept at singing the tunes that the non-vocal instruments create in songs.
  7. Without cable, I have become more attracted to home improvement television shows, cooking shows, and travel shows than ever.
  8. I was once in such a rush that as I was exiting my bedroom, four of my toes cleared the doorjamb; my pinky did not. It broke and despite its perpendicular angle to the rest of my toes, my father insisted that it was just bruised.
  9. I believe there is an appropriate Simpsons quote for every occasion, and that, if someone can quote The Simpsons they can't be all bad.
  10. I'm a fan of British comedy.
  11. When I was a child, I decided to extend the track of my motorized miniature car and proceeded to roll the car along my arm, up my neck, and into my hair where the wheels became inextricably tangled and had to be cut loose.
  12. I have a hard time comprehending the fact that some people don't read for pleasure.
  13. I like cheese, monkeys, and pirates; one equally as much as the others, but rarely in conjunction with each other.
  14. I first learned the sign-language alphabet when I was reprimanded for talking in class with my friend and we decided to continue our v-e-r-y. s-l-o-w. c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n-s. in silence.
  15. I prefer dark chocolate over milk, hot weather over cold, and comedy over tragedy.
  16. I've never smoked, had an alcoholic drink, or taken any drugs that were not over-the-counter.
  17. Despite my disinterest in sports and apathy for exercise, I participated in the following in school: kickball, dodgeball, softball, field hockey, tennis, swimming, badminton, track, basketball, and gymnastics along with some unnamed sport that involves all of the children grasping an edge of a parachute and whipping it up and down to make a ball in the middle fly up.
  18. I love the smell of laundry, jasmine, and Vera Wang's perfume.
  19. I once had as pets the following: parakeets, fish, hamsters (one of which went rabid), a box turtle (who ran away), cats, chicks, and by default, my neighbor's dogs (upon whose warm bellies I would sometimes rest my head in the summer and nap).
  20. I used to count among my favorite televisions shows the following: The A-Team, Voyager, Manimal, Remmington Steele, and Saturday Night Live. I will only admit to SNL now and even that I don't like as much anymore.
  21. I enjoy an eclectic mix of music. I used to say I liked "all kinds of music except country" but now that has grown on me and pop music irritates me instead and I'll never really get into industrial quote music unquote.
  22. In college, I joined in on the Rocky Horror Picture Show's audience participation night. More than once.
  23. I work for the U.S. Government and have the badge, fingerprint record, and meager paycheck to prove it.
  24. My car is a 1992 Toyota Cressida named "Cressie" which I can parallel park with ease.
  25. My favorite lotion is Santa Maria Novella's rose milk lotion.
  26. I've had the best and the worst pizza in Italy.
  27. I can spend an inordinate amount of time browsing the beauty products aisles.
  28. My favorite accent is the Scottish accent.
  29. I love "Catcher in the Rye," "Marathon Man," "Me Talk Pretty One Day," and "Ex Libris" inter alia.
  30. When I was younger, I could form a 'jump rope' with my arms (hands clasped together) and jump through them.
  31. I have held, at one time or another, the following paid, some more than others, positions: garbage collector, house painter, travel writer, attorney, cherry picker.
  32. My hair is long and dark brown that turns reddish in the summer sun.
  33. My mother used to call me in from playing outside by alerting me to the fact that the Muppet Show was on; these days, Brak, Samurai Jack, or Spongebob Squarepants would probably do the trick.
  34. I am plotting the death of my blog.
  35. I'm still stunned that Bush got re-elected.
  36. Other than Eid, Talk Like a Pirate Day is my favorite holiday - which is not a sanctioned holiday, but should be.
  37. I always try to read a book before the film-version comes out, regardless of whether or not I plan to see the remake.
  38. Despite the many "are ewe tew twains?" we are asked, I am five years older and five inches taller than my sister.
  39. I have bestowed upon my sister the title of beloved, enemy, stalemate, friend, best friend, and beloved.
  40. My sister lives anywhere between 1.0 and 1.2 miles away from me, depending on which route you take.
  41. I love movies and have seen probably more than my share over the years.
  42. Despite having done quite well in A.P. Calculus, I'm bad with numbers.
  43. If I don't get to become a professional world traveler, I wouldn't mind opening my own bookstore, and spend my days reading and discussing books with people, and not caring whether I sell the books or not.
  44. I enjoying making up my own words whether or not Literati or Scrabble acknowledges them.
  45. I am assisting a friend in creating a sci-fi graphic novel.
  46. I dislike public speaking immensely.
  47. I have no appendix, wisdom teeth, or perfect sight.
  48. I have a fairly dark sense of humor and get reprimanded often for it.
  49. I love caffeine in chocolate, coffee, and tea form.
  50. One of my favorite possessions is a gold ring that was given by a prisoner in WWII Hong Kong (on charges of being a British spy), to my Uncle (also imprisoned for the same reason), to my Grandmother (who was also in Hong Kong at the time), to my Mother (upon finishing the Quran) to me.


Our newz:

Our newest lil' stick o' butter is a boy!

Our buddy Nazia will be singing the national anthem at the upcoming Washington National's game. Masha'Allah, tu tu tu (as Shaheen would say).

Our friendly neighborhood plumber (if by 'neighborhood' you mean 'same time zone resident') celebrated his birthday yesterday - Happy Birthday, Mothman!

Our patience with skeeters has reached its limit, whipped right past it, risen to the boiling point, and exploded in a rage of white-hot rain of fire and brimstone.

Our tix are ready for the wedding of our buddy Gavin and his "Tiffany Blue" obsessed bride-to-be.

Our order has been placed for "Kung Fu Hustle" on deeweedee.

What's new witchu?


O's final guest post:

The hardware store provided new and improved parts, but they were no match for my uncanny ability to blunder. The pipes still dripped ever so slightly. Note: there is no grey area in plumbing. A pipe either leaks or it doesn't.
As my visit was coming to a close, I had no choice but to leave my client with a leaking drain pipe. (It's a good thing we're family!) I flew home dejected.

The slight drip was weathered patiently for two days, when a second expert came and fixed the problem by simply "tweaking" current fixture with plumber's putty. Ego aside, I'm glad the problem was fixed.


Onlookers: baji and TP
Client/assistant: LB
Theorist/failed plumber: O
Expert/the Wolf: himself