Saturday, December 31, 2005


...ziplock bags. Especially the ginormous ones. Gosh, they come in handy!



...Valentine's Day! Seriously, like who the eff came up with Valentine's Day.

Friday, December 30, 2005





I do plan on posting a couple more times before I say sayonara and head for Pakistan but I want to get goodbye out of the way. So, to all of you, my dear friends, enemies, frenemies, stalkers, and strangers—what a wonderful group of readers you are—here’s goodbye for now in the words of John Denver’s “I’m Leaving on a Jetplane” (ironically, he died in a plane crash. I’d rather not think about planes coming down at the moment but, you’ll probably agree, that was an interesting enough bit of morbidity to bring up).

Here’s my “goodbye-I’ll-see-you-later-and-make-sure-to-write-down-everything-that-happens-in-Pakistan-and-transfer-it-all-to-my-blog-as-soon-as-I-return” song. Don’t forget to read the footnotes. They’re essentially disclaimers. Aside from the lines they refer back to, everything else is the truth and I mean it.

All my bags are packed (1)
Im ready to go
Im standin here outside your door (2)
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin
Its early morn
The taxis waitin (3)
Hes blowin his horn
Already Im so lonesome
I could die (4)

So kiss me and smile for me (5)
Tell me that youll wait for me
Hold me like youll never let me go
Cause Im leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when Ill be back again (6)
Oh babe, I hate to go (7)

Theres so many times Ive let you down (8)
So many times Ive played around (9)
but I tell you baby, they dont mean a thing
Every place I go, I think of you (10)
Every song I sing, I sing for you (11)
When I come back, Ill bring your wedding ring (12)

So kiss me and smile for me (13)
Tell me that youll wait for me (14)
Hold me like youll never let me go (15)
Cause Im leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when Ill be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time
Let me kiss you (16)
And close your eyes
Ill be on my way
Dream about the days to come (17)
When I wont have to leave you alone
About the times, I wont have to say

Oh, kiss me and smile for me (18)
Tell me that youll wait for me
Hold me like youll never let me go
Cause Im leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when Ill be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

But, Im leavin on a jet plane
Dont know when Ill be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

1) My bags are nowhere near being packed at the moment. I’m stressing about packing them but don’t even know where to begin.
2) Don’t bother looking outside your door. I’m not out there. I’m not a stalker.
3) We’re not taking a taxi to the airport. My brother is driving us.
4) I am kinda lonesome but I don’t wanna kill myself over it. Sheesh. That would be SO melodramatic in a permanent sort of way.
5) You’re a hip, happening and cool lot but I’d rather not kiss you. Sorry.
6) I do know when I’ll be back again. Mark your calendars: January 19th.
7) While I am sad about my oldest brother not joining us and leaving my cat Zanadune for nearly three weeks (the oldest bro is taking care of her in our absence), I’d be lying if I said I hate to go. Because I don’t. I’m excited to go. Very excited. So excited that I’m a bit dizzy actually.
8) Have I ever let you folks down??? C’mon. C’MON!
9) Playing around keeps one young, spry and limber so I’m not sorry for it
10) I don’t think about you guys all the time because, as I said earlier, I’m not a stalker or crazy obsessed person.
11) I have a singing voice that’s reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard; hence, I don’t sing. So, I’m not singing any songs for you. I probably wouldn’t sing any songs for you even if I could sing. I know it hurts and all, but I’m just not that attached... gosh, I’m just being honest...someone needs a time out!
12) You guys are great and all, but I don’t wanna marry you. I’m sure someone will someday. Me, I’m just not that into you. Sorry.
13) I’m still not kissing you.
14) I’m hoping you handful of wonderful people who heart reading my blog will await my return and not fall off the face of my cyber world simply because I’m not posting new entries. Come back and read the old entries. They’re even greater the second and third times around.
15) I’m warning you now: you hold me like you’ll never let me go and I’m hollering out “fire!” as I kick you in the crotch area.
16) I’m still not kissing you.
17) I am not opposed to you dreaming about me.
18) Nope. It’s not happening.


If he's a non-paying member of and the only way he can be in touch with you directly is by becoming a paying member but he hasn't done so yet, HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.
I am a fox.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


...feeling vulnerable.


As many of you know, I'm leaving for Pakistan on Sunday.
Pakistan and weddings are synonymous. The country is in the business of weddings. Wedding halls line up the streets in Karachi and the mild winter temperatures inspire a mad, colorful, festive, exciting and fun rush to these halls. When I visited two years ago, my relatives had grueling wedding party schedules, going from one mehndi (a party traditionally held the night before the wedding, during which henna is applied to the hands and feet of the bride while everyone else parties. The bride and groom can have separate mehndis or one big, combined shindig) to a shaadhi (wedding reception) to a valima (a reception thrown by the groom's side of the family on the night following the shaadhi) all in one night.
"Sometimes, we simply can't make everyone happy," my friend HS's mother told me once, looking over a (I kid you not) pile of cards for different wedding events on the kitchen counter. "Sometimes one must simply pick and choose."
And people pick and choose very carefully. After all, wedding parties are ripe with matchmaking opportunities. Among the more traditional families, weddings offer opportunities for aunties to scope out potential mates for their single kids (of course, bachelors and bachelorettes scope each other out as well). Therefore, looking good at weddings is a must and a lot of care and effort goes into glamming up for these events. If you guys have seen Monsoon Wedding, you know how elaborate and gorgeous the outfits are. Throw thousands of dollars worth of jewelry on top and you're set to impress.
So, the reason I bring this up is because, you and I both know that if my mom and her cohorts' matchmaking efforts in the States are bad, they will reach unmatched heights while in the wedding capital of the world (you guys thought that was Las Vegas, didn't you? Didn't you?).
The following is the conversation my mom and I had today. It was in Urdu but, for obvious reasons (such as the fact that transliterating my conversation in Urdu would be a pain and useless to all of you non-Urdu speakers) I've translated it into English.
As you will see, my misery (and perhaps comedy, which always seems to go hand in hand with misery) has already started.

Amma: I spoke to Khursheed earlier today. (Khursheed, by the way, is her younger sister)
Me: Oh great. How is she? How are the kids?
Amma: Everyone's doing fine. They're counting down the days to when we arrive in Karachi.
Me: How exciting! I can't wait to see them!
Amma: And they live very close to HS, so we won't have any problems going back and forth.
Me: Yah. That's awesome.
Amma: Sabila, we shouldn't be opposed to looking and keeping an open mind.
Me (thinking): WHA? where did that come from???!!!
Me (saying): Looking? At what?
Amma: At boys for rishtas (engagements).
Me (thinking): Like, seriously, what in the hell is going on?
Me (saying): Oh, like, what?
Amma: Both boys are American-born.
Me (thinking): I need a translator.
Me (saying, clearly still recovering from the shell shock): There are boys?
Amma: Yes. Osama's wife (Yes, my aunt Khursheed's son is named Osama. No, he has nothing to do with terrorist activities) comes from a very good family and she has an uncle who lives in New York. He's lived in the states for over 30 years now. He has two sons. The younger one is a computer (insert computer profession of choice here---I sorta zoned out at this point), is (insert age here) years old and was born in (insert name of New York town here). They're looking for a Pakistani-American girl for him. And, guess what?! They're going to be visiting Pakistan in January!
Me (thinking): UGH!
Me (saying): Joy.
Amma: And, Arqam (Khursheed's oldest son who is a doctor in Oregon) knows an American born doctor who works with him. He's going to be vacationing in Pakistan as well! So, Khursheed suggested that we meet both of the boys and their families at her house.
Me (thinking): There goes my vacation.
Me (saying): Not on the same day, I hope (wakka, wakka, wakka).
Amma: Of course not, silly!
Me (thinking): Seriously! SERIOUSLY!!!!
Me (saying): Whatever.

So, there will be matchmaking in Pakistan, which I assure you I will escape with the expertise of a Houdini-like person.


I heart running. I run 6 + miles every other day and it leaves me with the most amazing feeling, like I'm sucking on the earth or floating in the atmosphere (well, at least I think both of these experiences would result in feeling great). I've noticed, however, that when I run on very little sleep, my runs are nearly effortless. I wonder why. Someone come up with an answer for me while I go for a run--on less than 4 hours sleep...


Actually, I don't care much for how you are at the moment.
It's 1AM. I can't sleep. I'm bored and uninspired.
Someone please entertain me.
I probably should be packing for the flight on Sunday but I don't want to because it's just going to make me fret about stupid, dumb things like whether or not our pilot is or ever was suicidal or a drunkard or, even worse, a suicidal drunkard.
I have no interest in reading at the moment (shocking, isn't it?). I don't feel like watching one of my 50 backlogged episodes of Oprah that I have Tivo'd (I need to start clearing up space in order to record my favorite programs while I'm on vacation).
Okay, I'm so bored that now I'm sleepy.
I promise to post something not so random and uncool tomorrow.
Adios and tata,

Monday, December 26, 2005


I attended my cousin's husband's niece's Christmas Eve wedding reception last night. The wedding was a small one and among the bride's guests were me and my parents, my cousin and her family, her brother and his family, and their uncle and his family. As our exuberant party posed for one photograph after another, my aunt (actually, my cousins' aunt, but I happen to be very close to her and her husband and kids) commented, "We're having more pictures taken of ourselves than the bride and groom are." This was the truth, indeed.
We had a blast and, wonder of wonders, I left the reception with the desire to get hitched tugging a little at my heart. Why? Why am I so willing to throw my bachelorette crown into the fire of relationships that will weld it into wedding bands for me and some dude?
Well, I want to throw an awesome party, of course.
I want nothing more than to have all of my relatives get together in one location for a weekend for a wonderful time, courtesy of moi and my happening to have fallen in love. I want to be the center of attention. I want to finally hit my friend HS up on her offer to design the perfect Pakistani wedding outfit for me to be married on the beach---we decided that the event would be very perfume commercial-like; you can't go wrong with perfume commercials.
But then I snapped out of it and realized that I could always organize a family reunion and keep the bloody bachelorette crown.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


...impromptu family reunions.


...Patrick Park's "Something Pretty." It's one of those songs that just about makes out with your soul. If that doesn't get a sigh, nothing does. Hence, SIGH (And isn't Patrick Park HOT?).

Here I am, where I’ve been
I’ve walked a hundred miles in tobacco skin,
And my clothes are worn & gritty.
And I know ugliness,
Now show me something pretty.
I was a dumb punk kid with nothing to lose
And too much weight for walking shoes.
I could have died from being boring.
As for loneliness,
She greets me every morning.

At the most I’m a glare,
I’m the hopeless son who’s hardly there.
I’m the open sign that’s always busted.
I’m the friend you need, but can’t be trusted.

At the most I’m a glare,
I’m the hopeless son who’s hardly there.
I’m the open sign that’s always busted.
I’m the friend you need, but can’t be trusted.

Here I am, where I’ve been
I’ve walked a hundred miles in tobacco skin,
And my clothes are worn & gritty.
And I know ugliness,
Now show me something pretty.

At the most I’m a glare,
I’m the hopeless son who’s hardly there.
I’m the open sign that’s always busted.
I’m the friend you need, but can’t be trusted.

At the most I’m a glare,
I’m the hopeless son who’s hardly there.
I’m the open sign that’s always busted.
I’m the friend you need, but can’t be trusted.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I had an appointment in Midtown yesterday, so, when I was done, I once again hopped onto the Journal Square PATH train to return to work. There I was, leaning against the doors of the first car (exactly how the warning on the door instructs you not to), waiting for it to move. My giant bookbag and handbag were on the floor by my feet. There were plenty of seats available, since this wasn't during rush hour, but I was only a few minutes from my stop and figured I'd remain standing.
Suddenly, this guy who had been sitting, got up and was like, "Hey, why don't you sit down?"
I was like, "Hey, thanks, but no. I'm fine."
He was like, "But I insist. Please."
And I was like, "I'm gonna get off at the fourth stop from here. Really, it's no big deal."
He was like, "I insist. Really. It's my pleasure." He put his hand to his heart.
I was like, "Oh. Okay then. Thank you."
I didn't want to disappoint this dude or discourage such acts of valiant chivalry. Therefore, I took his seat and not the vacant ones on either side of his seat.
So, I sat in his spot while he stood in my spot. I wondered if I was obligated to talk to him or something. Did he expect me to give him my number? Or to make conversation with him? I felt so put on the spot.
I decided to read Villette as the train chugged towards Christopher Street.
I settled on smiling at him as I exited the train.
He returned the smile. Maybe he didn't have any ulterior motives. Maybe he was just a gentleman and, because there aren't many remaining in today's day and age, women immediately think the worst of men who act gentlemanly.
It's nice to see chivalry in action.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005



I went up to 34th Street---via the PATH, of course---to do some shopping during lunch today. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Journal Square train I caught on the way back to work wasn't very crowded at all. As a matter of fact, there were quite a few seats available. I sat down in the first seat that I spotted.
The seat was warm.
The seat happened to be the warmest seat I've ever sat on. It was verging on hot.
I felt like I was sitting on an electric heating blanket or the door to hell, which in this case was just heavenly (it's been bitterly cold here for the past couple of days).
My first instinct was to get up and look at the seat, which I did. I wanted to make sure that my numb behind (it, like the rest of me, felt frozen) wasn't sitting in a pool of warm liquid (ugh. gross, I know--sorry).
The seat was dry.
So, I sat back down and wondered if maybe, just maybe, the previous occupant of the seat had been an extremely corpulent person. Had he or she, without even knowing it, done me the service of providing heat for my tush? And could one person make a seat so hot? Or were the other seats in the car just as nicely heated?
When the woman sitting to my right got up from her seat abruptly (not because I was acting weird or anything! Sheesh! She was on the wrong train!), I moved to her seat and, ding dong, it was as nicely heated as the seat that I had just abandoned. This got me thinking.
Did the PATH have a seat heating system that they didn't usually activate in order to cut costs? Did they kick it into operation today because they wanted to make new and devoted commuters of the disgruntled New Yorkers (actually, they weren't as disgruntled as they could've been. New Yorkers take everything in stride) and they knew that no one could turn down an ass heater during the winter?
I wanted to test my theory. I wanted to reach over and touch the seat that was to the left of the seat that I had first occupied. Would it be warm as well? My hunch was that it would but I wouldn't know until I gave it a touch.
Unfortunately, just as I reached out to touch the seat, this Wall Street, financial type (read: former frat boy type, UGH) took the seat.
I guess we'll never find out whether the PATH system has the capability of heating the frozen behinds of commuters.
I, however, would like to think that it does.

A Haiku on the Occasion of the NYC Transit Strike or Why I Live in Jersey

*Click on the map above for a closer look at where the PATH can take you!

As most of everyone knows, New York City transit workers walked the picket lines today, shutting down the world's largest transportation system.
Clearly, this blowed...
Man, I heart the Port Authority Trans Hudson. I've been commuting on the PATH for 7 1/2 years now (ever since I was a wide- eyed freshman at NYU) and it's been nothing but reliable, clean, and devoid of smelly weirdos...although there was that one perverted weirdo flasher at the Newport station but, in all fairness, he didn't smell (please refer to my flasher post for further information). PATH, for those of you who don't know, is an underground system that connects New York and New Jersey.
Most Jersey Cityeans know and appreciate the PATH. However, most New Yorkers don't even know it exists and those who do are hesitant to venture out from their subway stations. Yes, it doesn't go everywhere in the city, but it's a nice change of pace if you want to go from, say, downtown to the Manhattan Mall on 34th Street. Why not just hop on the PATH?
So, today, PATH set it's strike contingency plan into action, running more trains and a special service between 33rd Street and the World Trade Center. Needless to say, the PATH stations in NYC were packed but extremely organized. Christopher Street, where I get off for work, is one of the smaller of the PATH stations and, in the morning, it was gridlocked with commuters exiting and entering the station. By the evening, the line to the station wound around the corner and up Hudson Street. However, it moved very smoothly and I was at the gym much sooner than I had expected. The crowds were unlike anything I've seen since the months following 9/11 when the WTC line of the PATH went down, making Christopher Street the most southerly stop in the line.
Anyway, today's strike and the fact that PATH emerged as a glowing hero (perhaps the LIRR or something did as well, but I don't care about Long Island) inspired me to write the following haiku.

A Haiku on the Occasion of the NYC Transit Strike or Why I Live in Jersey

Transit workers strike
The wheels of the city stop.
Oh, God bless the PATH!

Friday, December 16, 2005


*Just for the record, I was never a blonde baby. The girl in the photo above is not me. FYI.

The below-mentioned flight is not the only one on which I cried.
The story of our flight back to New York from a vacation in Malta has become a family favorite.
It was 1981.
I was a toddler.
I was a spoiled toddler.
Like many toddlers I was becoming agitated on the very long trans-Atlantic flight.
Being a spoiled brat, I had my specific diva-like demands. In spite of getting everything that I wanted (the flight attendants were supposedly doting on me...yah, the nerd was THAT CUTE as a baby!)--chilled milk, olives, and canned mandarin segments--I wanted something else.........
I, Sabila Khan, wanted to see the plane flying from the outside.
Yes, as a toddler, I demanded to be taken outside of the flying plane so that I could see exactly what it looked like in transit.
When no one made it happen, I threw what I'd like to think of as one of the mightiest tantrums thrown by a kid in the history of kids.
I cried and cried and cried. I held my breath. I screamed at the top of my lungs. When a male flight attendant, concerned that I'd cry myself sick, brought me a cup of water ("Water for the doll," he'd announced to my exhausted mother), I kicked him, spilling the water on the front of his shirt and pants. I kicked a female flight attendant who tried to console me.
I cried until I couldn't cry anymore.
I cried until I wore my mom, my dad, my brothers and myself out.
I cried until I bloody well realized that no one was going to show me the plane flying from the outside.
And so, I went to sleep, perhaps a little wiser.....


...even though I've never read anything by him (a blush-worthy confession, indeed):


PIA is the most fabulously bizarre airlines I've ever flown in my life.
When we flew PIA two years ago, my mother and I started running into people we knew at the flight gate.
We met another mother and daughter traveling duo, who happened to be family friends. The daughter, a year older than me, was getting married in the spring (...of all the lousy people we could've run into...) and was going to Pakistan to shop for her impending nuptials. I knew that, with my luck, I wouldn't hear the end of it on the flight--unless my mother was distracted. And, with my luck, this distraction came in the form of a Pakistani bachelor who took a seat to my mom's left.
As he was settling into his seat, my mom turned to me:
"He's CUTE! I don't think I see a wedding band."
I cowered in my seat, feeling slightly queasy at the thought of not only being 35000 feet in he air but of also attempting to deflect my mother's efforts at matchmaking for the duration of the 20 hour flight.
A good 20 minutes into the flight, I was still green with nerves, too busy gripping onto the armrests of my seat and willing the plane to stay in the air to actually talk to the bachelor. Thankfully, my mother was doing all the talking for me.
He had just invited us to his brother's wedding in Lahore (here I was tormented by the thought of the plane plunging into the murky miles of the Atlantic below us and all this kid could do was invite us to his bloody brother's bloody wedding that I gave two bloody rat's asses about!!!!! I was SO on the verge) and my mother had just finished relaying to me the very same fact with wide-eyed giddiness when a woman seemed to materialize in the aisle.
She greeted us.
In my panicked delirium, I wondered if she was the angel of death.
Were we Naila S.'s aunt and cousin, she wanted to know.
Naila S. of Michigan?
The one and only!
She'd recognized us from my cousin's (you guessed it) wedding photos and had been eagerly awaiting for the seat belt lights to turn off so that she could say hello.
The bachelor gave up his seat and paced the aisle for ten minutes, during which time she chattered with my mother about our plans in Pakistan.
I tried to press my eyes closed against the fact that there were 30 + thousand feet of nothing but air below the plane in which we were all riding.
"Wasn't that nice?" my mother asked after she got up, giving the bachelor back his seat. "She said she recognized you as we got onto the plane. How funny! She's one of Naila's closest friends in Michigan!"
And, for the sake of smooth story telling, let's say this is when the turbulence began (the turbulence, in fact, actually started once we took off from our layover at Heathrow). Our plane convulsed in an air pocket for what seemed to be hours and hours. We dropped, we moved side to side; we were a giant salt shaker hovering above the ocen. I was practically chewing on my heart as my numb fingers continued to grip on the arm rests. I cried like a baby.
"She's crying because she's afraid of flying. It's a post-9/11 fear," my mother explained to the bachelor.
"I'm crying because we're all going to die! (sob, cry, sob, weep)" I told her, not worried about who could hear me. "We're all going to die (hiccup, sob, sob) and that woman--" I nodded towards the flight attendant who was working her way towards us, pushing a silver cart up the aisle, "--(sob, blow my nose, sniffle) doesn't seem to care enough to stop serving dinner!"
The bachelor mumbled something to my mom; the half a dozen kids in our section of the plane chortled downright delightfully, as if they were enjoying the airplane's death throes. "He's right," my mother said. "Draw some strength from these children. They're not afraid! Why should you be!"
"They're too bloody stupid to realize what's going on! Never again, NEVER AGAIN am I flying this airline. How the HELL do they expect us to eat?!!!!! And how did you talk me into taking this endless flight in the first place?!!" I demanded, conveniently forgetting that the trip happened to be my idea (ahem).
Thankfully, the plane fought it's way out of that bastard air pocket and when it was safe enough for us to get up out of our seats again, my mother left me and the bachelor to use the restroom. An awkward silence settled in between us as I dabbed at my red and swollen eyes and mumbled prayers of thanks for escaping that close brush with death.
And then, out of nowhere, he stated:
"You don't strike me as the adventurous type."
What I really wanted to say was "No effin' shit, asshole," but I was still feeling unsteady and strange so that all that managed to escape past my gritted teeth was an end-of-conversation "No."
He seemed relieved when my mother, smiling brightly as usual, inserted herself between us.
After the flight attendant went around collecting the remnants of our dinners (my nervous stomach had inspired me only enough to push the food around in interesting patterns that worked magically in distracting making my eyelids heavy with sleep, albeit briefly), the speed walking began. Several older women brisk walked up and down the aisle, dead set on digesting the food they had just consumed, perhaps even hoping that they'd burn some additional calories before landing in Pakistan. Some little kids ran up and down the aisle behind them. I saw one sneak into the kitchen area and emerge with two cups of water and crackers--he seemed to have helped himself. Pretty soon, there were circles of people near the emergency exits of the plane. They were sipping on plastic cups, laughing and talking as if they were at a cocktail party instead of on a trans-Atlantic flight.
I shook my mom awake and pointed out the scene to her. For the first time since we'd gotten to the airport, we shared a laugh at how bizarre the scene before us was. And as we were taking it all in, I noticed a giant rock of a man, waving to us from the opposite side of the plane. I recognized him as one of my father's friends and pretty soon, he'd unfolded himself from his seat and was bulldozing his way past the restless passengers. He was followed by the engaged acquaintance we'd met at the flight gate. The poor bachelor awoke only to feel obligated to offer his seat once again and paced the aisle as we chatted. And, for a while, I forgot that I was in the air at all.
Don't get me wrong. My fears certainly weren't alleviated by the assortment of personalities on the plane but I'd be lying if I said that the strangely homey feel of the flight didn't put me at ease for long enough to remember what it was like to just sit back and just let the plane do what it did 99.999999% of the time: fly.
The next time those jerk pilots found an air pocket for us to fly directly into, I didn't cry QUITE as hard.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


*Originally posted on Naseeb and based on a true story (this is gonna make ES laugh!)

Ladies, there's a danger lurking in your closets: the (potentially killer) combination of cuffed trouser and those pointy toed heels that were all the rage a couple of falls ago. Take it from someone who has the battle scars---well the invisible scars, anyway: wear these articles of clothing together at your own risk.

In the fall of 2003, I was a naive but optimistic fashionista. I'd worn all varieties of shoes over the years, on the toughest obstacle course for feet anywhere: the sidewalks of Manhattan. During my years at NYU, I'd run from class to class in platforms and heels, clogs and Birkenstocks, flipflops and flats and slides, without so much as a twist of the ankle. I was a pro when it came to shoes. Oh, don't get me wrong. I experienced my fair share of falls. But it was NEVER as the result of my shoe-pants combination.

Yes, I was wide-eyed and innocent of the dangers of shoes in Fall 03, when pointy-toed heels made their entry into the fashion limelight. Like women all across the country, I stocked up on them. At the same time, the Limited came out with a line of cuffed trousers, that were perfect for work. I thought that the combination was a smash hit! Little did I know that the only smash in the picture was me nearly smashing my face each time I wore the two together.

It's still very difficult for me to discuss this, but the first time I fell, I was walking down the hall at work. Luckily, it was lunch time and not many people were around. I had just turned a corner after chatting with my friend. She told me that the next thing she heard was a crash and muffled laughter (okay, the laughter was my own!). You see, the pointy toe of my right shoe had somehow gotten caught in my left cuff and sent me flying. It was like slow motion for me. I was airborne, nearly parallel to the ground that was fast approaching me in a lover's death embrace. And I couldn't stop myself from falling. I fell and, surprisingly, I didn't make a sound, not a single yelp, until I started giggling. After reassuring everyone that, no, they didn't need to call an ambulance, I walked away, trying to be more mindful of where my shoes were in relation to those goddamn cuffs. And trying not to laugh.

The second time my cuffs and heels sabotaged a perfectly good day was a few weeks later, after work. I was wearing another pair of cuffed trousers from Limited and a matching pair of pointy toed heels. It was after work and I was walking through my gym's parking lot, with my work bag over my shoulder and a giant bookbag on my back. It was a lovely day; it almost felt like spring and the Hudson River looked less polluted than usual in the sunlight. The parking lot seemed to be brimming with people as I ambled towards the gym and, suddenly, oh no, I'm falling. Once again, it was slow motion. Once again, I couldn't stop myself. My heart dropped as I crashed towards the ground. This time, there was the added comedy touch of my bookbag, flying over my head.

Miracles of miracles, no one saw me. I got up and even before I could examine my pants for tears or my burning knees for bruises and gashes, I whipped out my cell phone and dialed my brother in a panic. I wanted to look busy; I wanted to give the impression that the fall was nothing, that I was a suave, working woman who fell and got up all the time, dahling (which is actually more true than I'd like to admit). I was half laughing and half whining to my brother. "Let me get this straight," he asked, cracking up. "You called me because you fell flat on your face and your bookbag went flying over your head?! Hahahahahah!"

I gave the cuffed pants and pointy toed heels more chances than I should have (hell, I had enough pairs of both for the combinations to be nearly endless) and I suffered the consequences. I can't count the number of times I nearly fell down stairs in subway and path stations when my heel would land directly into the cuff of the opposite pant leg. Allah knows those were opportunities for especially "smashing" accidents. Needless to say, I have since become an especially clingy bannister gripper.

The last straw for me involved me trying to sneak out of a meeting inconspicuously. I don't want to talk about it.

I've since trashed the pants because of the safety hazard those damned cuffs pose. I've kept the pointy toed heels deep in the dark recesses of my closet, where they can't hurt anyone. I thank the fashion gods for flats being all the rage these days.

Flats can't hurt me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Rich emailed me and a couple other NYU alums with the following email (and yes, that quote from Brokeback Mountain accompanied his email)...guys, while the above is the pic that accompanied the article, do click on the link to read about these delightfully nerdy AP English nerds:

These kids are never going to have sex EVER.

Rich xoxo

"You're too much for me, Ennis, you son of a whoreson bitch. I wish I knew how to quit you."

To which EH replied:

What are you talking about?? I was those kids and even I eventually got laid (admittedly to a psycho in a relationship that lasted for far too long but still sex was had). I'm still sorry I got rid of my awesome Spock sweatshirt. Damn.

Rich's response:

I just can't stop looking at the picture. "We used the trusty Internet..." Oh my.

And my two cents about the pic:

Who's that punk in the t-shirt supposed to be? (because really, were there t-shirts around in the Victorian times????? I DON'T THINK SO!)

Rich: I have no idea who tee-shirt dude is! -- isn't he HILARIOUS though?!
And then Rich proceeded to describe a female somebody he knows with the following aside, which reminded me why I love the boy so much (it's an answer to his question of why this particular female is not a male):

(Oh, right, because you're a woman, and according to Freud women will never have superegos because they'll never resolve their castration complex unless they have a child and that child is a son. Oh, Freud. But, simmer down, ladies -- let's remember that Freud imagined the world not as it should be but as it was, within a patriarchal construct, and it's our job as social innovators to pose the riposte of "Well, why is it this way, Siggy?" Plus, he's just such a fucking HOOT to read.)

All this was a reminder that Rich is my favorite nerd and I miss him terribly.


I was almost convinced that the bitch optometrist was jealous of my long eyelashes and wanted nothing more than to yank them out when she reached for the eyelid numbing solution.
The solution worked like magic. I couldn't feel anything so I put a stop to the fluttering eyelashes allowing bitchy optometrist to flip them inside out.
You see, my eyes have been terribly irritated for the past several days. Not only have they been puffy and itchy (especially at night) but I awoke this morning to find that my eyelashes were practically matted with eye gunk. Ugh. (I know that's gross and probably too much information, but deal with it). I nearly had an anxiety attack as I drew up a mental list of possible diagnoses while washing out my eyes. Somehow, all of the diagnoses involved eye removal and glass eyes. Then I proceeded to miss my train because the damn turnstile wouldn't take my PATH card, and later, I spilled coffee on myself on the street. Sigh.
I made an emergency appointment with my optometrist's office (I won't say which one but can reveal that it's an independent eye doctor's office, attached to a larger store that sells eyeglasses) and hauled ass back to Jersey during my lunch break.
I've never seen this particular optometrist before. Boy was she a biatch. She was young-ish, probably a few years older than me, which may be why she was on such an "I-am-an-optometrist-and-you-my-lowly-can't-flip-her-eyelids-inside-out-patient" high horse.
"How many hours in a day do you wear your contacts?" she asked, rolling her eyes and smirking as I did the math.
"You don't wear daily disposables, do you?" she asked, rolling her eyes again.
"Let's flip your eyelids inside out," she said, grabbing my eyelashes and rolling her eyes as my lashes kept fluttering.
"Okay," she announced with a frustrated sigh. "Let's make this easier for me, shall we?" she said as she rolled her eyes, smirked and reached for the numbing solution.
I was inspired to kick her ass.
But I didn't. Because I needed a cure. And if one of my eyes had to go, I wanted her to recommend the best goddamit glass eye available.
Okay, so the diagnosis wasn't quite as dire as the ones I imagined: the inside of my eyelids had an allergic reaction. She diagnosed an anti-inflammatory eye drop. I am now cured.
But the entire experience left me with a couple of questions: do optometrists have to go to medical school? If not, what the hell was with that chick's bitchy attitude? If they do, what the hell was with that chick's bitchy attitude?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


...sounding like a pre-teenager (please refer to the post directly below this one).



Saturday, December 10, 2005


...Tea's Teas. It's my newest obsession. On most mornings before work, I go out of my way to buy two 17 oz bottles, which I then drink throughout the day at work (of course this is in addition to my morning coffee and water--what can I say: I'm a liquid groupie). It's wonderful stuff and makes me feel so good and healthy. I've been sampling all of the varieties available at this deli on Hudson Street. So far, I've tried the following:

Green Hoji: this is my favorite of the Tea's Teas. It's a roasted variety of green tea with a very strong, smoky and bitter flavor. Gosh, I'm craving some now...
Jasmine: tastes like I'm drinking a flower, which isn't so much fun. Really, take my word for it. It's not fun. Seriously. I'm doing you a favor here yo!
Lemongrass Green: light and refreshing, this one's a charmer!
Rose Green: doesn't taste as flowery as the Jasmine, it's subtle flavor is magnificent
Green White: I hate white teas. I've discovered that quite recently. I first purchased a box of Celestial Seasonings Pear White Tea from my fave health food store, Health and Harmony (why they don't carry Tea's Teas is beyond me...I think I'll have a talk with the good folks who work there). It tasted like crap. There's no other way to describe that tea. I decided to sample Tea's Teas' version of the white tea, thinking that perhaps Celestial Seasonings had played hooky the day that the lesson on white teas was taught at tea school (okay, that was pretty lame). I was wrong. White tea simply sucks.
Pure Green: good ol' original that never fails to deliver a party in my mouth.

I have yet to sample:
Golden Oolong
Green Genmai

As if Tea's Teas didn't rock enough, they have an annual haiku contest and print the winning haikus on the tea's product labels. Who doesn't love a good haiku? For those of you who don't know, haikus are traditional Japanese poems of 17 syllables, which are in three lines of five, seven and five syllables.
Buy some Tea's Teas today (I feel like Oprah).

Thursday, December 08, 2005


A young woman must never emerge from a boutique's changing room, grabbing her chest area and announcing "Great outfit, but it's a bit snug around here," to the salesperson if the salesperson in the said boutique happens to be a male. Polite chaos will ensue. All at once, the guy will turn a violently terrific shade of eggplant and avert his eyes in the most dramatic fashion (no pun intended!); the young woman's mother and aunt will gasp in shock and horror; and the young woman's cousin will, almost in slow motion, grab the outifit's accompanying dupatta* (see below) and throw it across the young woman's shoulders. And in the pin drop silence that follows, the young woman will wonder what in the hell just happened.
Apparently, male salespeople are not to be informed/asked about any alterations that a patron might need since they work in a woman's fashion boutique and all. Ahem.
At least the experience gave us something to giggle about later.
For those of you who care, I did end up purchasing the outifit.

*click on the following link if you're not familiar with Pakstani garb and have no idea what a dupatta is:

Oh, and the pics above show what shalwaar kameez look like (clearly, there are many variations to the traditional outfit). The scarf that the woman has wrapped around her head in the first pic and draping on her neck in the second pic is a dupatta.



I've been to Pakistan three times in my life: as an infant in 1980; as a
cantankerous pre-teen in 1992; and, finally, 2 years ago as a hip (ahem) 24-
year-old working woman. I could've continued the dozen year trend and waited until my 36th year to visit Pakistan for a fourth time but I decided to shake things up. So, instead, Pakistan will see me in 2006. I will pay her a wuzzup from January 1st thru
the 18th (well, taking travel time into consideration it's more like the 2nd-17th...or something).

My trip to Pakistan two years ago was a very special one for me, since it was my first time in the motherland as an adult. I was determined to absorb everything about it, to appreciate the differences
between Pakistan and home without letting them freak me out. My visit to the country back when I was 12 had been one long freak out and I didn't want a repeat of that craziness (just for the record though, readers must keep in mind that I was 12 at the time and, seriously, what doesn't a 12-year-old hate? Also, in all fairness, the trip had been a pretty miserable one for me as I battled not only one stomach ailment after another, but also the social politics of pre-teens/teens (in this case, my cousins) who were wondering the exact same thing that I was at the time: Who in the bloody hell ARE you (let's throw in a "you nerd!" here for the cousins, because you know that's what they were thinking!)).

But Pakistan proved to be grand in 2004 and I learned quite a few things about the country, about my family and about myself during my stay there.

So, I've decided to share those lessons with my readers in a series of posts called "Pakistandards." The experience changed my life and, I hope, that by reading about it, it'll be life-altering for you folks as well.
Or maybe it won't.
In which case, whatever: just freakin' lie to me.


I found an article entitled "The Straight Dude's Guide to Brokeback" on (a link follows). Apparently, straight men are shying away from Brokeback Mountain, which opens tomorrow in NY, LA, and San Francisco and insiders are predicting that the film--a romance albeit between two men--will draw more female viewers than males.
I'm currently trying to convince my brothers to watch the movie with me tomorrow night (I was supposed to go with Mr. Puntabulous himself. CM, however, needs to head out to LI tomorrow and must, therefore, stand me up. CM: I'm so sorry I'm not waiting for you. I NEED to watch this movie tomorrow night because I SO NEED a good cry. I'll be more than happy to watch it again with you next week, though!).
C'mon you guys. Stop being punks. Watch the movie! You're not like those haters in the mid-West and the South. You need to watch this film for several reasons, including:

1) Ang Lee
2) Oscar-worthy performances from Jake G., Heath L., Anne H. and Michelle W.
3) Who doesn't heart the above-mentioned cast? People without hearts, that's who!
4) Pulitzer-prize winning novelist and literary legend Larry MucMurtry adapted the screenplay from...
5)...Pulitzer-prize winner Annie Proulx's O. Henry Award-winning short story (it first graced the pages of The New Yorker. Now I know that some of you guys reading this are, if nothing else, fans of The New Yorker. Shouldn't that be reason enough for you to watch the film? I think it should.
6) Ang Lee
7) Michelle W. shows just how much better she is than that stupid Katie Holmes who played the cute card to death on Dawson's Creek
8) Jake G. is a cutie pie who will prove that he's so much more than just a pretty face
9) Ang Lee
10) Who would've thunk that Heath L. would deliver what so many critics are calling one of the best performances of the year! You know who would?! My brother. C'mon SK (my bro), you predicted that Heath L. would be a great actor back in the day when we watched 10 Things I Hate About You. You know you want to watch it happen now.
11) Annie Proulx
12) In The Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway played a nerd who discovers she is a princess! That should appeal to everyone who likes this site! Support the nerds (including those actors who play nerds/geeks)
13) Larry McMurtry
14) Michelle W. and Heath L. fell in love while filming this movie and are now married and the parents of a newborn baby girl; they call her Matilda. And, and, the hipster couple is living in Brooklyn. And they rock. How awesome is that? I always thought that what's-her-face was too old for Heath L. I'm glad to see that he's come around to girls closer to his own age.
That other actress he dated, what's-her-face, was a lot older than him, too. Talk about robbing the cradle (oh yah: Naomi Watts and Heather Graham).
15) here's the link I mentioned at the beginning of this post:
"The Straight Dude's Guide to Brokeback"

So, ladies, share this with the men in your lives; straight men in my life
(SK and SK, I'm talking to YOU), we need to watch this movie this


...people who call me a fox.
I KNOW I'm a fox, but it's always nice to hear it from people other than the voices inside my head.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I'm suspicious of anyone who doesn't heart angry, suicidal, and disillusioned Sylvia Plath. Here's her masterpiece (the last line KILLS me). Before you begin reading it, please note that the opinions expressed in this poem are Ms. Plath's and do not reflect my own opinions about my daddy or anyone else's daddy. I'm sure that both you, dear reader, and I have relatively happy opinions of our daddies (the plural of daddy is FUNNY) and we, unlike poor Ms. Plath, actually had the freedom to achoo. Furthermore, just for the record, I have never had the desire to kill my daddy (possibly because, while my daddy does have a cleft in his chin, he has neither a fat black heart nor a goobledygoo). Oh, and I've never killed two men; I may have wanted to kill a few men I've come across over the years (again, NEVER my daddy), but I assure you, I haven't done so.


You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

The miyagi Pat Morita

I realize that Pat Morita's death last Thursday is pretty old news now, but I want to say something about it anyway.
My brothers and I were huge fans of Pat Morita's Mr. Miyaga character in the Karate Kid films. From "wax on, wax off," to the bonsai tree, to the whole catching a fly with chopsticks shtick, who can forget the wisdom that Miyagi imparted to Daniel-san as well as to everyone else who grew up in the 80s?
After watching The Karate Kid, Part II, my brothers and I decided that Mr. Miyagi was the epitome of cool and tried to incorporate his name into the youth vernacular. So, for a couple of weeks, we replaced "cool" with "miyagi," thinking that we were on the verge of bringing about change to language. We imagined that the trend of saying "miyagi" instead of "cool" would spread across the continents in a matter of months and we could rightly shrug and say "Yah, we did that.". We even came up with a formula to determine how long it would take before "miyagi" replaced "cool."
While the masses never quite warmed to "miyagi" as an adjective, Pat Morita's iconic portrayal of the martial arts guru will stay with us forever.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I don't care for people who flash me.
To all of you freaks out there who enjoy exposing yourselves to me: stop it! Just STOP IT! Why must you flash ME of all people? I've never asked for it! I don't leave home with the desire to see some weird random dude schlonging his schlong. It's just not cool.
It's like these pervs are trying to get into some weirdo freak fraternity whose primary hazing practice is FLASHING ME!!!
So, a couple of nights ago, I'm minding my own business at the gym, myofascially releasing my piriformis on a medicine ball, when I notice an older man and his scrotum smiling at me.
At first I smile back.
When the scene finally registers in my brain, I turn away, shocked and confused:
Is this an intentional flash or is it inadvertent?
Doesn't the old man feel the air hitting places it shouldn't be hitting quite so freely?
Is he SO OBLIVIOUS?! Is he so desperately perverted that he'd showoff his jewel sack at his gym?? That's like dropping your pants at the office or taking a crap where you eat: there's just no going back.
Once I've managed to compose myself (I've also managed to impressively maintain my balance on the medicine ball, I should add), I peek at the geezer through the corner of my eye. He's still doing the right-leg-straight-left-leg-crossing-over-right-leg-with-left-foot-on-the-floor lower back stretch, and both he and his scrotum continue to leer at me.
And at that moment, he looks just like the rest of them:
1) dude in the office building across the street from my balcony (oy! again, one does not drop his/her pants in the workplace! I was ten at the time. It took me another five or so years to realize what exactly it was that he was doing. UGH.)
2) kid in the elevator (a perv prodigy, apparently)
3) guy on the bus (I was on my way back from SCHOOL for goodness' sake. I was wearing a freakin' uniform...that may explain it. Ew.)
4) guy at the airport in Jordan (we had a layover in Jordan on the way back from Pakistan 14 years ago. Actually, he looked a lot like the guy on the bus. Wonder if they were related. Perviness might just run in the family).
5) that harmless looking short guy on the platform at the Newport Path Station (I had the misfortune of seeing him two times; luckily, the second time, I walked the hell away when I saw him start to repeat his old shenanigans).

I was so disgusted that instead of beaming the guy's groin area with the medicine ball, or killing him with my mastery of Aikido, I just got up, walked to the front desk and complained.
They said they'd keep an eye on him.