Saturday, December 30, 2006


It's been quite some time since I've bespectacled (yes, I'm totally using the adjective as a verb) someone Nerd of the Day. I could say that I am sick and tired of the politics and competition that come along with choosing a NOD; that the quality of nerds in my life is rather unfortunate; or that the internet age is transforming even the brightest minds into insipid drones, leaving me with a pretty shallow pool of nerds. But the truth of the matter is that, I totally forgot about NODs.

Well, that is until I came across a nerd who made me remember.

I've seen Aneesh Raman reporting on CNN countless times but last night was different. I felt like a nearsighted tourist in Jersey City who, after hours of staring at the muddy blobs of light that are supposed to be the Manhattan skyline, finally puts on her glasses to discover that, oh my, the blobs are, indeed, the Manhattan skyline. I never noticed before how handsome, intelligent and engaging the CNN Middle East correspondent is. He can recite the alphabets or read Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit on air and he'd have me riveted. Plus, he's pretty damned smart: after graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, he spent a year in India as a Fulbright Scholar.

I think I'm in love.

Read more about him here (but please note that Aneesh Raman's pic here doesn't do him any justice):


Am I, at 27, too old for Facebook?


I joined the networking site earlier today because my friend invited me and I didn't have anything better to do (I'm still ill). It seemed like a good idea at the time. The realization that I'm way past Facebook prime set in well after I'd already set up my profile, uploaded a pic, and invited a bunch of people I know from work to be my friends (I couldn't help but notice that all of them were younger than me). I'd delete my profile but I've already invited those folks. And can I really delete my profile or is Facebook (shudder) forever?


Thursday, December 28, 2006

SICK: DAY 4,039,789

It's day 4 of my week off from work and GUESS WHO'S STILL SICK??!!!!! post one lousy letter breaking up with bloody 2006 on your blog and the year suddenly hates you back. Sheesh...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


This blows. This really, really, really blows. I best be cured by tomorrow.

The end.

Monday, December 25, 2006


That sadistic, sick, old man gifted our nerd with a stomach bug this Christmas. Feeling a sense of deja vu at the sound of that? Well it's probably because you've read about a previous bout that our nerd waged with gastrointestinal terrors earlier this year. The culprit that time was bad sushi. The culprit this time can be none other than the jovial fat man. Our nerd, however, seems to believe that the My Super Sweet Sixteen marathon on MTV that she watched for hours--she likened it to a traffic accident--after her morning run had something to do with the waves of nauseau and busy stomach, which are still tormenting her.
With a shrug, our nerd sums up the diarrhea and vomiting (SO much vomiting) with the following words of wisdom:

"Better me than someone who observes Christmas."

Someone elect that nerd to public office!

And she also wishes all of her readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy Eid (Eid's next weekend!).

Friday, December 22, 2006

2006: An Open Letter

Dear 2006:

Wallace Stegner once said, "Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of life amount not to wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus." The years that came before you had broken my heart so that I was encased in caution when we met on vacation last January. Yet you wooed me anyway, using the foreign land in which we were deliberately and happily stranded as your chisel. The air was different in that part of the world. It pressed against my skin, heavy with history; it was fragrant with culture and tradition. I'd never felt more alive before and, somehow, it all seemed possible only because of you. Suddenly, you were a fresh start, a resolution to forget the past and move forward with purpose. I fell in love with you under those now-distant skies.

I thought I could make the feeling last forever with you 2006 and we made it work during those first few months back from vacation. You made routine seem euphoric and new; the world was luscious and sweet and I, I was invincible--to heartbreak, pain, regret, fear, loneliness. I was unflappable. We were happy. I have memories from those early months that I will take with me wherever I go. I hope you can do the same.

You see, 2006, I don't have any regrets about our time together. It was fun while it lasted. You were a better conversationalist than 2000 could ever be (it's all about a person's BREADTH of knowledge, isn't it) and way hotter than 2003. 1999 could learn a few things from you about kissing and I'd like to forget that 2005 ever happened. I must say, however, that you rather pulled the rug out from under me. I don't want to dwell on the issues for they might seem inconsequential, trivial when compared to the massive amounts of sorrow, pain, and agony you've likely brought to others who, regardless of whether or not they fell under your spell, were, and still are, subject to your indiscriminate will. But you still hurt me. You became full of the kind of unrequitedness that leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth and a tight, cold fist where the heart used to be. You toppled ideals and hopes and I cried one time too many because of you.

Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like 2006. I'm breaking up with an open letter...on my blog. I want you to know that thanks to you, I'm fully and securely armored against all of the years that will follow. And, don't get it wrong: it's YOU, not ME. You're old, outdated and fast approaching your expiration date. Thanks for the memories, but 2006, you bastard, I'm afraid we're through.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


As you all know, I've been behaving rather cantankerously of late for reasons listed a couple of posts below. One of the reasons, of course, is the family blind date, which hovers over me like a bad premonition. The number of ways this can go wrong are infinite and yet I must go through with it.

How I'm railroaded into such things is beyond me.

So, I was at Target eariler today, intent on wasting as much time as I could (because it's been one of those weeks, you know). Lingering over notebooks (I heart notebooks and journals) and pens (I heart pens) in the office supplies aisle, I barely noticed when a salesperson, dressed in the Target-issued red polo and khakis walked by. He startled me when he suddenly stopped and asked: "Excuse me. Do you know the what the capital of Montana is?"

I looked over my shoulder to see if he was addressing someone else. Nope, we were the only two people in the office supplies aisle.

I reached back into that sliver of brain where 4th grade geography resides. "Um, I think it's Helena," I told him.

"Helena?" he confirmed.

"Yah, I think so."

"Helena," he repeated and smiled. "Thanks."

I returned to the notebooks and pens that I loved and didn't think much of my exchange with the salesperson.

Now, I can't stop wondering if I look like the kind of person who knows what the capital of Montana is. Sweet baby Jeebus, do I LOOK like a nerd???

Monday, December 18, 2006

GONADAL TIDINGS: Sexual Politics and the Holiday Dinner

I met the bffs—you know them as R&R, don’t you—on Friday night for our annual bff holiday dinner. The night, very rapidly, (d)evolved into an interesting study of sexual politics. After ordering appetizers and entrees at a swanky JC eatery, R had just started to share a fantastically entertaining story that was, ultimately, heartbreaking at its core, when a man wearing a festive red sweater appeared next to me. We were startled.

Could he join us? Would we let him sit in the fourth seat at our table and order us drinks? His buddies—he pointed to the long table directly across from ours where his twenty or so mostly male colleagues sat—had bet that we wouldn’t let him join us. We asked if there was money riding on the bet. $20, he told us and proceeded to plead his case. Obviously, the stranger saw this as a test of his masculinity and an opportunity to reinforce his alpha male status—he was their boss, a claim that was confirmed shortly thereafter by his inebriated colleague—in the group.

But the three of us weren’t going to sit aside and be docile little pawns in this game of testicular strategy. R announced that he could sit with us if and only if he paid for our meal. We were confident that this man, who would later introduce himself as Gucci, couldn’t refuse our proposition. Refusing would result not only in his losing the bet but also in a sort of financial emasculation by which he would be left a virtual economic eunuch before a trio of females.

And, so, needless to say, he agreed to our proposition and scrambled into the fourth chair when we nodded that he could join us. Gucci, his sozzled director of human resources and the rest of the merry band of engineers across the way from us—I happened to be the one facing them, so I felt obligated to wave every once in a while as they craned their necks towards us in various stages of drunken curiosity—provided us with endless comedy relief all night. The pair eventually left us to our meal, allowing R to continue the amusing tale of her via dolorosa to the realization that, in the end, all men are the same. We laughed and asked our waitress for the dessert menu. At my suggestion, we ordered the dessert sampler; our waitress, who assured us many times throughout the meal that the Gooch was, in fact, paying, nodded her approval.

The sampler, before and after shots of which are pictured above, was absurd. We savored it thoroughly and, yes, I confess, we blushed a little each time the Gooch dropped by to say hello.

The Gooch successfully paraded his alpha masculinity before his buddies but he also lost $160 for the $20 he won.

We enjoyed a ridiculous $160 three-course meal free of charge, affording us the opportunity to extravagantly tip our sweet but clearly overworked and pregnant waitress.

I think the women won this one.


My qi has been a bit frazzled of late, hence the waning posts. I’ll blame it on the following: the holidays, excessive consumption of sugar, the sun bloody going down at four bloody thirty every single bloody day, workplace busyness, the stress of which, I was recently told, may lead to type II diabetes and the ‘rents recharged determination to marry me off (they seem to have regained their own lost focus after vacationing in Jeb Bush-land). Yours truly is set to double blind date a family with her own this weekend.

And I feel neither very intelligent nor terribly cute at the moment. Damnation.

I need an effin’ break...the bears get a good one with hiber-freakin'-nation.

In other news, I did guess the Final Jeapordy answer quite effortlessly today; it was Samuel Beckett. And praise the gods, Alex Trebek has gotten rid of that pedophilic moustache--hasn't he?

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Apologies for my gross negligence in updating the blog on a daily basis. 'Tis the season, after all and this week's been very long. Tuesday felt like Thursday, Wednesday felt like Friday, Thursday was tortuously endless and Monday was downright awful. Earlier during my staggeringly perpetual day, I thought that perhaps I could create some positive juju by baking cookies for my compadres at work.

I thought about the cookies some more when I got home. I thought about baking them during my run (the formerly bum hip, which had been acting up of late, didn't cause any problems, thank goodness), then after my run, and later as I ate dinner. I was still occasionaly thinking about baking cookies while watching DVR'd episodes of Cold Case and Bones after dinner. To be honest, I didn't think about cookies at all as I read a great piece about RK Narayan in this week's New Yorker (you can read it here:, but I did think about it for quite some time after I was done reading the article.

Finally, I carried the ol' G4 here to the kitchen, plugged it in, visited this website-- cookie recipes and realized: 1) the time this project would take, 2) the energy this project would take, 3) the mess I would have to clean up after completing the project, and 4) the many ways this project could go horribly wrong.

The folks at Dunkin' Donuts best serve those Munchkins with a side of juju tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Making my way through the building that houses my gym, I found myself a few paces behind a young mother and her adorable, blonde-haired toddler. It was a precious scene: she pushed his empty stroller as she looked over her shoulder and encouraged him to stop dawdling. He was clearly in awe of the hordes leaving work at the time. As we came upon a restaurant with a large fish tank built into its wall, the mother saw her opportunity:

"Where is the fishes?" she asked him. "Can you see the fishes? Fishes, fishes!"

I nearly fainted.

Sure the toddler was practically running in the direction of the "fishes" and his mom by this time but that's beside the point. How dare this woman expose her impressionable child to such glaring grammatical errors??! And why, in the name of all that's good, didn't she have even the most elementary grasp of what, by all appearances, was her native tongue? Am I unfairly assuming that blonde hairs and blue eyes equate American? If this is the case, I apologize most profusely. Her accent, however, would prove otherwise...

I can't help but react passionately to such blatant abuses of the language.

GOODBYE FRIENDS: Brain Cells on the Rapid Decline

So, after the age of 20, people lose an average of 50,000 brain cells a day.
The key to preventing and reversing this very sad fact of life is exercising the brain as you would exercise, say, the glutes. No, no, no. Squats and gluteal flexing won't help you boost your cognition (though they do wonders boosting your derriere) but reading, doing crossword puzzles and sudoku will.

I must say that as much as I read, I do feel as if my mental acquity has taken a blow over the past several years. I was much smarter when I was a kid and my ability to retain all kinds of information was amazing. Now, not so much...

I wonder if those find-the-hidden-word puzzles count as exercise for the brain or are they the Wheel of Fortune of puzzles.

I should take up sudoku, maybe.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I've found that older Asians have no qualms at all about throwing around the "f" word: fat. Now, I'm referring to Asians from all across the continent (actually, one of my biggest pet peeves is folks who insist that I'm not Asian because I'm not Chinese or Japanese or Filipino. Please people, Asia is the largest continent on the planet and includes many regions besides the Asia-Pacific region. How about flipping through an atlas every now and then? Jeez).

For example, while in the throes of an awful hip injury that sidelined me from my usual workout regimen a couple of years ago, I went to a newsstand that I regularly frequent to buy some gum. The two Indian women who worked behind the register were always sweet and friendly, until on this day, when one of them exclaimed, "Oh, you're so fat now! You were so nice and thin! But look at you! Now you're BIG and FAT!"

I knew that the clerk meant no harm. If anything, she probably felt more at ease with me than her other customers because we shared an Asian subcontinental motherland. Nonetheless, I was shocked and upset. All eyes seemed to be on me and suddenly I was that tubby kid who tried desperately to not be noticed for fear of being teased. My jaw dropped as I squeaked out a "Really?!" and then proceeded to explain my excuse for being fat: bum hip (which, happened to be a result of working out), doctor's orders to take a break from ALL EXERCISE until I was through with 4 months of physical therapy, etc, etc. I wanted to cry.

As upsetting as that particular experience was, nothing really compares to the ruthless taunting and teasing kids are subjected to in school, right? Well, imagine if you were the butt of the jokes and your tormentor was an infuriatingly clueless, FOB teacher. It makes it that much more awful when an adult hands kids a free pass to make someone cry. It was the third grade; the teacher's name was Ms. Yunis and she had recently immigrated to the US from the Philippines. She was young and energetic and fun. She sang songs in class. She taught us how to spell Mississippi by singing M-I-double S-I-double S-I-double P-I, MISSISSIPPI! I mostly liked her except she had this terrible habit of making comments about my portliness in front of the class, which was, as you can imagine, mortifying.

So, one day, she comes up with this stupid exercise in class. She went from row to row and asked each one of us what we would take with us on a camping trip (strangely enough, I think this was during Religion class). Now, I don't know how the hell this bullshit exercise was supposed to be helping us scholastically but I do know one thing: I was terrified. I was freakin' scared as all shit that she would make fun of me for my food choice. She went from student to student--each one announcing foods that were wholly inappropriate for camping trips--without making a single comment. The closer she got to me, the more nervous I became. My hands were clammy and my heart was lodged in my throat as I racked my brain for a healthy food I could take on a goddamn bloody camping trip. Marshmallows, Twinkies, ice cream--the other kids declared as my turn fast approached--a Snicker's bar, pizza, candy! And then it was my turn:

Apples, I told her solemnly.

She laughed. "You must eat lots and lots of apple! That's why you're so FAT."

And the rest of the class laughed.

So, to all you great, dear Asians of the world: stop calling people fat. It's awfully impolite. Furthermore, who died and made you great weight critic? Get off it you jerks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's all about the O: NOT!

I'm sure you've all seen those "sexy" ads on television: a brunette who seems to have a gift for projecting to the camera nothing but the most anemic attempts at being sexy, sighs, "It's all about the O," against a virginal white backdrop. Needless to say, I find this ad campaign to be very annoying. I should have followed my instincts and dismissed my friend's suggestion to visit when I was on the market for a coffeemaker.

You see, a little over two months ago, I decided to transform my office into a hip, happening joint by tempting colleagues with fancy-pants coffee sent to me by a friend. Now, the communal coffeemaker in this quadrant of our floor wouldn't do since it's not in my office and it isn't digital (I don't know whether a digital coffeemaker guarantees superior cups of joe, but I want to believe that it does). Plus, I wasn't about to let inferior-coffee-residue get in the way of fancy-pants coffee perfection. See what I mean?

A friend, who has since confessed to never having actually used, informed me about the terrific prices for products on the website and insisted I check it out. I did. I found one that I thought was perfect, the DeLonghi 12-cup digital coffeemaker, which, among other delightful features, boasted the following:

*12-cup programmable coffeemaker lets you load the grounds, fill the tank, and set the start-time in advance so you can wake up to a fresh pot of Joe

*Automatically shuts off after 2 hrs. and the eco-friendly permanent filter eliminates the need for paper throwaways

*Showerhead design saturates all of the coffee grounds, bringing out the fullest possible flavor

So I purchased the coffeemaker (for something like $15) and was downright giddy when it arrived two days later. I bought skim milk and had our office manager make room for the coffeemaker on one of my shelves by shifting it down, which proved to be a project in itself.

I christened the DeLonghi with my assistant that very same morning; I was looking forward to drinking superior Hawaiian coffee brewed in a superior digital coffeemaker and served with skim milk, which is always superior to that nasty powdery shit with which the company provides us...that is until the coffeemaker started leaking a small flood in my office.

It was defective. Sigh. Even more infuriating, however, was the circus act I was expected to perform in order to return the bloody coffeemaker. I thought about going through with it until thinking about it made me way too tired to actually do anything about it.

So, now, the DeLonghi digital coffeemaker sits haphazardly on my shelf, it's wire spilling defeatedly onto my now-dry carpet. The coffee,which was sampled once in the communal coffeemaker but came out as weak as communal coffemakers are, rests next to the DeLonghi, folded over in shame.

Damn you and damn you lying, wanna-be seductress of

Sunday, December 03, 2006


As some of you may know, my dear friend H has been visiting from Pakistan this month. A born and bred Pakistani, H lived in the States for 8 years before heading back home permanently four years ago. Her family and mine go way back, with our grandparents being great friends (the story goes that my grandfather, who was a physician, delivered her father); her father and my mother were also friends and now the tradition continues with us.

This weekend was her last one with us before she heads back to the motherland. So, yes, I'm sad. I love H; she's the sister I never had. I admire her carefree approach to the world (so, so, so different from my own uptight, type-A approach to all things) and her ability to look past even the most glaring faults in people and, somehow, unearth their souls. She's an extraordinary human: patient, empathetic, and unassuming. She makes everyone around her strive to be better.

Yes, I'm sad but for good reason.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Vigorously scratching any part of the body during a meeting is something that folks should know not to do.