Sunday, April 30, 2006

Whitman and Neruda

Pablo Neruda hired a carpentar to put up a life size painting of Walt Whitman on the terrace of "La Sebastiana," his home in Valpraiso, Chile. When the carpenter asked him if the man in the painting was his grandfather, Neruda replied, "Yes." Or so the story goes.

Most people, myself included, are first introduced to Neruda by way of his love poems--Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair and One Hundred Love Sonnets are known the world over and have made the Chilean the most translated poet in the world. The Nobel laureate's oeuvre, however, is much more varied and rich. Like Whitman, whom he credited as his earliest poetic inspiration, Neruda's works speak of politics and nature, country and the quotidian celebration of man, the beauty of the ordinary and the nobility in the base. In a manifesto called "Towards an Impure Poetry," Neruda states:

‘It is useful at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest: wheels that have crossed long, dusty spaces with their huge vegetal and mineral burdens, bags of coal from the coal bins, barrels, baskets, handles, and hafts in a carpenter’s tool chest. From them flow the contacts of man with the earth, like an object lesson for all troubled lyricists. The used surfaces of things, the wear that hands have given to things, the air, tragic at times, pathetic at others, of such things — all lend a curious attractiveness to reality that we should not underestimate.’

These words could have just as easily been Whitman's.

Both men are tied by a common philosophy, a shared love for the people and a desire to map these nations of people with words.

For some reason, I just can't get enough of either Leaves of Grass or FSG's The Poetry of Pablo Neruda tonight. They seem to be haunting me.

Le sigh.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Killer Paan

Paan can kill.
Pakistani folks have mentioned to me, in passing, the carcinogenic properties of the delectable palate pleaser's ingredients, but it took the following abstract to scare the shit out of me:


Turkmenistan? Seriously?

*Citizens of the world: you MUST sing Chicago's "You're the inspiration" under your breath whenever you find yourself gazing lovingly at a picture of the Turkmenbashi! It is literally the only way to quiet down the pitter-pattering of your heart! Sing with me: "You're the meaning in my life, you're the inspiration, you bring feeling to my life, you're the inspiration, wanna have you near me, I wanna have you hear me sayin', no one needs you more than I need you."
Isn't that better?

In this week's issue of the New Yorker (the one with Donald Rumsfeld in the doghouse on the cover), David Remnick writes about the former Soviet state of Turkmenistan. The politics of this country are so over-the-top, that it isn't difficult to read this piece in the "Talk of the Town" section as a satire on greater world politics.
Alas, it is all too real.
So, Saparamurat Niyazov, the autocratic president of the country, has anointed himself "Turkmenbashi"--"Leader of all Turkmen." That Niyazov is an egomaniac is a gross understatement, as the article reveals: "Doctors there now take an oath not Hippocrates but to Turkmenbashi; the month of January is now called Turkemnbashi; and in the capital, Ashgabat, there is, atop the Arch of Neutrality, a two-hundred-and-fifty-foot gold statue of Turkmenbashi that, like George Hamilton, automatically rotates to face the sun."
Niyazov has written the Ruhnama, "a book that is meant to be a spiritual guide, a celebration of the Leader, and a newly contrived history of the Turkmen people." The book is displayed alongside the Qu'ran in the nation's mosques. It is required reading, makes up a large part of the Turkmen curriculum from primary school to university, and knowledge of it is required to pass the nation's driving test. Which is a relief, seeing that Niyazov believes anyone who reads the book three times will surely go to heaven.
Clearly, he has his people's best interest in mind.
I am, however, proud to say that, in spite of all this, our president still takes the crown at the egotistical, self-centered and all-around stupid world leaders pageant.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

McDonald's and KFC (Paki style)!

While we're on the topic of the globe and expanding waistlines, here are pics of Pakistani McDonald's and Pakistani KFC; both are right by Clifton Beach.

Who's Exporting the Junk: Pictorial Proof of Pizza Hut in Pakistan

Globalization: killing diversity and expanding waist lines across the planet.
By the way, the pizza from Pakistani Pizza Hut tastes almost exactly like our Pizza Hut pizza.


Seriously, you guys, don't you want to be's Nerd of the Day?
I know you want to, so submit!

Good night, Irene

In this week’s Personal History section of The New Yorker, Daniel Raeburn writes of his daughter who was born four days after she died. More than eight months into their pregnancy, Raeburn and his wife Rebekah learn that their baby girl—already named Irene by Raeburn (“Her name came to me in the night as I was falling asleep, her hands and her feet drumming against Rebekah’s belly and my palms. Good night, Irene, I thought, I’ll see you in my dreams. I didn’t know anything about this song other than the chorus, which haunted me just as a song is intended to”) has inexplicably died in her mother’s womb. Opting to remove Irene through childbirth, the couple endures hours of anguish, knowing that theirs will be a silent baby, still and lifeless. Their grief is insurmountable and radiates from the page.

In the hospital room, Raeburn recalls being told that, “William Carlos Wiliams was sitting by the bed of one of his patients when she died. He turned to look out the window and saw a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside white chickens.” Following this legend, “The Red Wheelbarrow” becomes infused with sadness, and can be seen as an attempt to mitigate grief by finding solace in quotidian details (I’ve included “The Red Wheelbarrow” at the end of this post for those of you who are not familiar with the works of WCW). So much does, indeed, depend on it. Yet the grief is too great for Raeburn and his ordinary is encroached upon by the surreal: “I saw a salt-stained sidewalk under the funnel of a street lamp, a beige plastic armrest beside a blue blanket, my left foot in a black boot slipping in my wife’s red blood.” But, clearly, I’m straying from my point. This is a much longer discussion that we can have at a later time.

The point of my post follows:
The essay is entitled “Vessel, Irene Raeburn: born December 28, 2004; died December 24, 2004,” and it’s truly heart-wrenching. It left me a sobbing mess. Read it.

"The Red Wheelbarrow"

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I sent the following email to my family and friends during lunch today.

To my friends:

In stark contrast to yesterday, this day is unfolding rather nicely. I woke up as bright as the sun at 6AM, had a terrific Americano from JT (that's Jacques Torres for those of you--ie, everyone BUT ES--who don't know), had a delicious albeit overpriced salad for lunch (with anchovies and portabella mushrooms--fish makes me happier than it should, really) and have been getting lots of work done at work.

The point of this email (which gets more and more lame as I continue to type), however, is neither to share with you a day in the life of the SabilaK and nor is it to illustrate how it doesn't take much to make the SabilaK happy (yes, the article before my name is fully intentional). ES mentioned earlier how her very good friend who is getting hitched soon sent out a sappy email to all of her friends, telling them how much she loves them. This, in turn, inspired me to compose my own sappy email to you guys, my friends (no, I haven't been diagnosed with a fatal illness, I don't need any money, and there are no impending nuptials--at least none that I know of (I wouldn't be surprised if my mother is in the process of getting me hitched to someone in Zimbabwe) in my near future. C'mon people. Be a little less cynical! Jeez!)

I just want to say that I really, really, really appreciate having friends like you. I don't think I say it enough, but you guys rock and make me a better person. I feel sorry for those sad, antisocial types who don't have friends like you; and those disgustingly rich people who have a bevy of "friends" who really aren't friends at all (like Notorious B.I.G. said, "more money, more problems." That IS what he said right? How depressing); oh, and Britney Spears, because where she is right now is a lonely, lonely place.
That must suck. I’m glad I'm not her.

Plus, being my friend means having to put up with annoying and random and sporadic emails from me and yet you do so happily (even if you are deleting them without reading them--which I don't need to know).
Okay, now this is getting way too sappy even for me and probably a little weird for you guys, so I'll stop.
I feel kinda gross now and will so regret this like five minutes from now.
Oh well.


While I meant every word I said—I actually don’t think I said enough—I also wanted to see how the recipients of this email would react to such an unabashed expression of love and affection.

Here's what those of the recipients who weren't totally baffled by my declaration of affection had to say:

“You have got to be THE biggest loser I know. Oh my GOD!!!” was the first response I received. Luckily, it was from my brother so I could totally laugh it off.

The following exchange resulted between me and a rather cantankerous old friend:
T: If we wanted to read this kind of s@#t, we'd read your blog!
Me: Eff off T.
T: Damn, I forgot to respond to [everyone].
Me: You can't [respond to all], you technologically-challenged buffoon; I bcc'd everyone.
T: I had some Rice Krispies for breakfast, I better tell everyone. Oh and I saw some puppy dogs running in the park and flowers are blooming. I love life...
Me: Screw off loser.

Oh, the love.

Another friend commented that the anchovies-and-portabella-mushroom-salad-induced gas I was experiencing must have traveled to my head while a fourth friend declared, “Um, I want to have for lunch what you’ve been SMOKING!”

I did receive a handful of sweet emails, among them:

“Wow Sabila. Is it that time of the month? Just kidding. That was [a] really nice [email]. And, doesn’t it suck that [people think] there always has to be a reason to say such nice things? I think your email was wonderful…I’m very happy to have you as a friend in my life. You are a unique individual!”

The moral of this story: most people just aren't comfortable talking about feelings.


In my attempt to become more familiar with the first (of two) New Jersey State poet laureates, I looked up Gerald Stern on, which happens to be one of my fave websites of all time.
I found the following poem called "The Dancing" (when New Jersey's first poet laureate hails from PITTSBURGH, it's no wonder that we don't have an official state poem. Ugh.).:

In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture

and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots

I have never seen a post-war Philco

with the automatic eye

nor heard Ravel's "Bolero" the way I did

in 1945 in that tiny living room

on Beechwood Boulevard, nor danced as I did

then, my knives all flashing, my hair all streaming,

my mother red with laughter, my father cupping

his left hand under his armpit, doing the dance

of old Ukraine, the sound of his skin half drum,

half fart, the world at last a meadow,

the three of us whirling and singing, the three of us

screaming and falling, as if we were dying,

as if we could never stop--in 1945--

in Pittsburgh, beautiful filthy Pittsburgh, home

of the evil Mellons, 5,000 miles away

from the other dancing--in Poland and Germany--

oh God of mercy, oh wild God.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Because the state doesn't have a poet laureate, which is crap, if you ask me.
The position did exist at one time. Gerald (I wish I was familiar with his stuff, but I'm sure he was good) Stern was Jersey's first poet laureate, appointed in 2000. He was followed in 2002 by the controversial Amiri Baraka, who drew strong criticism for his poem "Somebody Blew Up America." The state's governor at the time, Jim McGreevey (yes, THAT Jim McGreevey) called for Baraka to resign, Baraka refused, so the state decided to eliminate the position of poet laureate altogether, which sucks in a major way.
So, now, the state that produced unmatchable talent like Bruce Springstreen, John Bon Jovi, William Carlos Williams, Michael Chang, Whitney Houston, Judy Blume, Ice-T, Bruce Willis, Debbie Harry, Queen Latifah, Frank Sinatra, Nathan Lane, Peter Benchley and Thomas Edison (and possibly the mullet and camel toe) DOESN'T HAVE A POET LAUREATE.
That's just unacceptable.
I say we get it over with and name Walt Whitman our poet laureate in perpetuity.
Now that a large portion of the state's populaton has gotten over its delicate, residual Victorian sensibilities, I don't think Walt's frank treatment of sexuality could offend anyone enough to terminate the position of poet laureate ever again.
I wish people would just listen to me.


Only five US states have official state poems. The states and poems follow:

1) Indiana; "Indiana" by Arthur Franklin Mapes
2) Massachusetts; "Blue Hills of Massachusetts" by Katherine E. Mullen
3) New Mexico; "A Nuevo Mexico" by Luis Tafoya
4) Oklahoma; "Howdy Folks" by David Randolph Milsten
5) Tennessee; "Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee" by Naval Adm. William Porter Lawrence

Sure, most of the above poems suck but at least these five states HAVE official state poems. Like, what the hell is wrong with the remaining 45 states? When did poetry die?

No wonder the rest of the world hates us.


...being in a bloody bad mood without having a bloody good reason for being in a bloody bad mood. Effin' hell.

DO YOU FALOODA?: A Gastronomically Challenged Blogger's Very Brief Views on the South Asian Refreshment Drink

Some people would call me gastronomically challenged, simply because my preferences in food are rather unusual.

Sure, I preferred imitation meat to the real stuff well before officially becoming a pesco-ovo-lacto vegetarian and have never been a fan of ice cream (although I will occasionally indulge in orange sorbet). A finicky eater as a young girl, I practically lived on olives, canned mandarins and beets. As a baby, I refused to drink milk that hadn't been chilled in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour.
For these and many other reasons, no one really trusts my opinions about food. They think my taste buds are delirious and irrational due to years of abuse and neglect.

Of course, I doth protest.

My taste buds happen to be very heightened, in my opinion. For instance, I can tell how chai is prepared from a single sip and vegetables that aren't fresh immediately offend my vegetarian sensibilities. Forget being gastronimically challenged; as far as I'm concerned, I'm an epicure (I can already hear the outcries from family and friends who believe otherwise).

In any case, I thought it would be fair to preface my first post about Pakistani food with this disclaimer: my taste buds may indeed be delirious and irrational from years of abuse and neglect so you may want to take what I say about foods with a grain of salt. FYI.

Now, onto the falooda.

Falooda, according to is "a South Asian refreshment drink made by using milk, vermicelli, sabja (basil seeds), tutti frutti and sugar along with huge amounts of ice cream. The popular flavours in which falooda is available include rose, mango, chocolate, fig, and many others."

I ate the tall cup of falooda pictured above in about thirty seconds, not because I enjoyed it but because the cool drink worked wonders battling the heat of Karachi. Honestly, the drink left a strange aftertaste in my mouth and was crusty towards the bottom. Plus it was too damned sweet.

I have a feeling that I've just opened the door to hate mail from falooda lovers across the universe.

Oh well. Bring it, I suppose.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Our blog comes up 9th under a MSN search for "weightlifting old horny woman."
As one can see from the other search results, we are in estimable (ahem) company. This is indeed a proud moment.


Readers: I realize that my recent posts have been awfully lame. As much as I want to entertain you, those “Welcome-to-your-life-and-yes-the-joke’s-always-on-you-SabilaK,” moments have gone on hiatus. I can’t remember the last time I stepped in dead rodent, or played the role for which I’m perhaps most famous: bird outhouse. I have yet to trip and fall (knock on wood) this year and (wonder of wonders) my mother has totally stopped trying to pimp me off to strange men. While I’m admittedly relieved about most of these turns of events—one NEVER gets accustomed to tripping and falling—I don’t quite know how I feel about my mom giving up on me.

It sure as hell doesn’t make for good blogging.

For years, I’ve been trying to get her off my back about getting hitched. Now that one of my tactics has worked, I’m bored and a little offended.

Now, before sharing how I successfully (can I really call this success?) put the kibosh on my mother’s matchmaking endeavors, I must first warn you, dear reader, to attempt this tactic at your own risk. It’s nice to dramatically roll your eyes and act outraged, annoyed and eventually wounded while your mother is reminding you of your advancing age (27 in my case), your quickly shriveling fallopian tubes, and that nice boy (oh you know him [more often than not, you DON’T know him]: your cousin’s uncle’s neighbor’s sister’s oldest physician son who lives in Alaska) whose pic and biodata some random person is going to email to you before day’s end, but let’s be honest here. You love the comedy. You love feeling like the only sane person in a community full of melodramatic matchmakers. And you love blogging about it.

Here’s how I did it, reader. My mom and I were watching television when she started to tell me about another one of my cousins having found another prospective mate for me. This time our contestant lived in southern California (clearly, there aren’t any available young men on the East coast) and was (no big surprise here) a physician. My mother was very interested in pursuing this hot catch, while I came up with a dozen other ways to waste my life.

So, instead of rolling my eyes or sighing dramatically (it’s amazing how these rishta talks make me revert into a pre-teen) I very calmly told her the following:

“Amma, we’ve been down this “let’s-introduce-Sabila-to-random-people” road before and I think you know as well as I do that it hasn’t been pretty. Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to get married but I don’t want to do it this way. I want to find someone on my own. If I find him, great; if I don’t, that’s just too bad. Not everyone gets married. People aren’t born for the sole purpose of getting hitched and it’s definitely not something that I’m going to force. If it happens: awesome. If it doesn’t: oh well. Marriage just isn’t for everyone and that doesn’t bother me.”

It wasn’t the best or most eloquent speech but it worked. My mother, without saying another word, started watching television. During a commercial break I asked her if she was upset at me and she responded with a terse, “No.”

She hasn’t brought up the topic of getting me hitched since.

I know I should be ecstatic about this change in my mother, but I’m not. I feel like my blog (dare I say my life?) has lost its oomph and its comedy. I need to find a way to spur my mom to action again while attempting to maintain the distance of an (unflappable) observer when she does manage to shake the rishta boat again with blind dates, biodatas, and airbrushed photographs of strange transplanted Pakistani men wearing tapered and faded mom jeans, penny loafers and tucked in flannel shirts. Perhaps I should take the initiative and attend desi (remember, “desi” refers to folks of Indian or Pakistani descent) singles events, deep undercover for this blog. Maybe I should draft a new biodata for myself and post it up here (not a bad idea at all, actually).

Or maybe I should just sit back and enjoy not being constantly reminded of my fast shriveling fallopian tubes.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

MY HANDS (Pakistani style!)

Years ago, before henna became all the bohemian rage, I'd happily have the dye applied to my hands for religious celebrations or weddings only to show up to school and get teased for having "kakee (or however the hell it's spelled)" on my hands.
Clearly, I was fashion forward and onto something.

Here are my henna'd hands in Karachi. Don't they look festive? Upon returning home from Pakistan with three tubes of henna in my possession, I tried to teach myself how to make beautiful and intricate designs on my hands and feet. I spent many nights applying the cool and pungent brownish-green paste with a shaky right hand to my (unfortunate) left hand and (abused) feet.
The results were not so good.
I've since given up trying to learn the art of henna.
Oh well.
Now, enjoy looking at the pretty henna on my hands.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


...Alanis Morissette. In fact, I think I have a girl crush on her. For the record, I'm thrilled that she's finally found happiness with that hotty Ryan Reynolds.

Anyway, the following is my favorite song by her:

"That I Would Be Good"

That I would be good even if i did nothing
That I would be good even if i got the thumbs down
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

That i would be fine even even if I went bankrupt
That i would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
That i would be great if I was no longer queen
That i would be grand if i was not all knowing

That i would be loved even when i numb myself
That i would be good even when i am overwhelmed
That i would be loved even when i was fuming
That i would be good even if i was clingy

That i would be good even if i lost sanity
That i would be good
Whether with or without you

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Clearly, I've captured an apparition on my digital camera here at the entrance to my aunt's house in Karachi.

MY FOOT (Pakistani style)!

Well, at least my feet, even in their un-pedicured state, were semi-photogenic in Pakistan. Here's one foot, all decked out in traditional wear

Okay, on second look, they're not very photogenic at all. I run, what do you want?! I never aspired to be a foot model. Ugh.


I'm sorry. I've just realized what a lousy person I've been for not sharing any pics from my trip to Pakistan this past winter. Since I'm apparently not photogenic AT ALL in Pakistan (it's amazing, really), none of the pics I'm going to share will have me in them (or anyone else for that matter--gotta respect privacy, you know).

So, this first picture was taken in a Karachi bangle store. Yes, yours truly did end up buying most of the bangles seen here. And, no, I have not worn any of the bangles since my return to the States...or any of the hundreds of dollars worth of traditional outfits I had tailored...Ahem.


In my current state of reader's exhaustion, I'd like to take a break and put up a new post.
Since I've managed to avoid being mistaken for a boy, stepping in rat, and my mother's "you-must-get-married-before-you-become-old-and-angry" speeches recently, the only funny story I can share with you, dear reader, recounts what happened to my oldest brother this weekend.

So, my brother and some of his friends drove up to Rhode Island for the weekend. He was walking around some Rhode Island town (Sabahat, perhaps you'll jump in here and provide us with the details) with his friend Robert when they happened upon a bar where the Doug Flutie Band was playing. Curious, maybe even a bit excited about seeing the veteran quarterback perform with his band, the guys entered the bar to find a mostly drunk audience of what seemed to be locals. Now, Sabahat and Robert were sharply dressed, taller and broader than the rest and the only minorities in the room. Not before long, Sabahat saw Robert shaking his head at a drunk patron. He couldn't overhear the conversationg but soon, Robert was confusedly posing next to this drunkard as his girlfriend took a picture of them.

The drunk dude walked over to my brother next:

"I know who you are!" he slurred.
"Huh?" Sabahat asked.
"I know you!"
"Ah, I don't think so," Sabahat responded.
"You're (insert name of some football player here--Sabahat, do you remember this dude's name?)!"
"I'm not (random football player name)!"
"Listen, I know you're trying to be anonymous but I recognized you."
"Trust me. I'm not a football player."
"Can I have my photo taken with you. I've already taken one with your friend (insert another football player's name here). Honey. Honey. Come, take a picture of us!"
The girlfriend, appearing to be mortified, took a picture of them.
"Man, thanks for not hitting on my girlfriend," the drunk guy told my brother, slapping him on his back. "Because football players like you, I know you can get any girl you want. But you're a good guy. And a good player."
"Um. Thanks. I guess."
At this point, the camera-toting girlfriend walked up to my brother, obvioulsy embarrassed. "I'm so sorry about my boyfriend. He's had a little too much to drink," she apologized. Sabahat thought that she would apologize for the mistaken identity next, that a sober woman couldn't think that he was a NFL pro.
He realized how wrong he was as she continued.
"Thanks so much for taking a picture with him. It must be so annoying for you guys to be swarmed by fans when you're just trying to take a break. I know this means the world to my boyfriend."
Swarmed by fans? A confused couple, one half of which is drunk, does not in anyway equal "swarming fans," Sabahat thought.
And then he saw the group of people that was surrounding him and Robert, cameras and napkins for autographs in hand. The two of them ended up snapping photos and signing autographs in a daze. They eventually stopped trying to argue the case of mistaken identity and signed their REAL names for adoring fans. One man who was sitting behind them shook my brother's hand saying "I don't know who you are, sir, but I'd like to shake your hand before I leave."
Another man came up to Sabahat insisting "You know my brother."
"No, I don't think so," Sabahat sighed.
"You do. You know my kid brother, (insert random name here)."
"Dude, trust me. I don't know your brother."
"No, no. You do. He's a sportscaster. He interviewed you a couple of years ago."
Sabahat was getting bored. "Listen. I don't know any sportscasters. I don't know what you're talking about."
The man laughed. "Don't worry about it man. You athletes are interviewed all the time. I'm sure it'll come to you soon."
With that, he asked for an autograph and walked away on cloud nine with a napkin bearing "Sabahat K" on it.

I can only imagine the surprise of these adoring fans once they've developed or uploaded their pictures.
Now THAT's gonna be hilarious.

Monday, April 17, 2006

FAVORITE (and not so much) SONG LYRICS

So, you folks must have heard about this poll VH1 conducted in the UK to determine the Brits' favorite song lyric of all time. The results follow:

1. U2 - One. “One life, with each other, sisters, brothers.”

2. The Smiths - How Soon is Now? “So you go, and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home, and you cry, and you want to die.”

3. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit. “I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now, entertain us.”

4. Bob Marley - Redemption Song. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds, have no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time.”

5. Coldplay - Yellow. “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.”

6. Eminem - Lose Yourself. “Look, If You Had One Shot Or One Opportunity, To Seize Everything You Ever Wanted, One Moment, Would You Capture It Or Just Let It Slip?”

7. Robbie Williams - Angels. “And Through It All She Offers Me Protection, A Lot Of Love And Affection, Whether I`m Right Or Wrong”

8. The Who - My Generation. “Hope I Die Before I Get Old”

9. Radiohead - Creep. “I’m A Creep, I’m A Weirdo, What The Hell Am I Doing Here? I Don’t Belong Here”

10. Marvin Gaye - What`s Going On. “Father, Father, We Don`t Need To Escalate, You See, War Is Not The Answer, For Only Love Can Conquer Hate”

11. U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name. “I Want To Run, I Want To Hide, I Want To Tear Down The Walls, That Hold Me Inside”

12. Abba - The Winner Takes It All. “The Winner Takes It All, The Loser Standing Small, Beside The Victory, That`s Her Destiny”

13. The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset. “Every Day I Look At The World From My Window, But Chilly, Chilly Is Evening Time. Waterloo Sunset`s Fine”

14. Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall. “We Don`t Need No Education, We Don`t Need No Thought Control. No Dark Sarcasm In The Classroom, Teachers, Leave Them Kids Alone.”

15. Tupac ft Snoop - California Love. “Now Let Me Welcome Everybody To The Wild, Wild West, A State That`s Untouchable Like Elliot Ness”

16. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody. “Is This The Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy? Caught In A Landslide, No Escape From Reality”

17. Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues. “Johnny`s In The Basement Mixing Up The Medicine. I`m On The Pavement Thinking About The Government”

18. Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot. “Watching The People Get Lairy, Is Not Very Pretty I Tell Thee, Walking Through Town Is Quite Scary, And Not Very Sensible Either”

19. David Bowie - Heroes. “We Can Be Heroes, Just For One Day”

20. The Police - Every Breath You Take. “Every Single Day, Every Word You Say, Every Game You Play, Every Night You Stay, I’ll Be Watching You”

Sure, there are some selections in this top 20 that I agree with and others that I don't care for. But that's not the point of this post, dear reader.

The point of this post is to introduce you to what is, in my opinion, one of the worst songs in human history. Yes, I said it.

I just wanted to preface the worst with what a large majority of people are calling the best so that the following lyrics would be easier to digest. You may feel nauseous. You may want to bitch slap me for sharing this perversion of song with you. Or you may already be very familiar with this melody, in which case, you SHOULD sit back and nod your head in agreement that this is pure horndog grossness (if you don't, shame on you).

I already feel my dinner coming up:

PONY by Ginuwine

I’m just a bachelor,
I’m lookin’ for a partner
Someone who knows how to ride without even fallin’ off
Gotta be compatible,
Takes me to my limits
Girl when I break you off,
I promise that you won’t wanna get off

If you’re horny, let’s do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waitin’
Come and jump on it
If you’re horny, let’s do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waitin’
Come and jump on it

Sittin’ here flossin’, peepin’ your steelo
Just once if I have the chance, the things I would do to you
You and your body, every single portion
Send chills up and down your spine, juices flowin’ down your thigh

(chorus 2x)
If you’re horny, let’s do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waitin’
Come and jump on it
If you’re horny, let’s do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waitin’
Come and jump on it

If we’re gonna get nasty baby
First we’ll show and tell
Till I reach your pony tail (oh)
Lurk all over and through you baby
Until we reach the stream
You’ll be on my jockey team (ooh)

(chorus 2 1/2x)
If you’re horny, let’s do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waitin’
Come and jump on it
If you’re horny, let’s do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waitin’
Come and jump on it

Ride it

I don't know what genius came up with these song lyrics but they're pretty awful. I remember listening to them with my best friend when we were in the 6th grade and being SHOCKED. Blech.

I'd love to hear what you guys think are the most awful song lyrics in the history of song.
Don't be shy. Share.


Congratulations to the Penguin's very own Geraldine Brooks whose novel MARCH won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction today. MARCH imagines the Civil War experiences of Mr. March, the absent father from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Give it a twirl, readers; you'll love it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Much like Animal Cops, Cold Case is a show that leaves me such an emotional wreck, that my love for it borders on hate.


Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II came to me in a dream last night.
It was bizarre but very cool.
I wonder why two icons of Catholicsm would decide to visit a Muslim girl on Easter.
Out of respect, I'd rather not disclose the details of the dream on such a public forum.


...being stuck indoors on such a gloriously, sublimely, spectacularly, marvelously, magnificently gorgeous Sunday reading a manuscript, as tremendous as the manuscript is.
Le sigh.


...comforters and my pink panther doll. Actually, I wonder where the hell that doll went. I have to look for it.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Let's throw a new word into our lexica, shall we? My favorite new word of the moment: grups.

According to a recent article in New York magazine, an ongoing "rock star-ification of America" is, essentially, erasing the generation gap. Today's 30-, 40- and even 50-somethings are watching the same movies and tv shows, listening to the same music and wearing the same clothes as people in their late teens and early twenties. Adam Sternbergh, who writes the article, came up with the term "grup," to describe these hipsters. " 'Grups' is a nerdy reference to an old Star Trek episode in which Kirk and crew land on a planet run entirely by kids, who call grown-ups 'grups,' " he explains. "All the adults have been killed off by a terrible virus, which also slows the natural aging process, so the kids are trapped in a state of extended prepubescence. They will never grow up. And they are running the show."

So, as cool a noun as "grup" is, let's try to make it a verb (a la "google," "Anna Nicole Smith" [this noun becomes a verb when one tacks on the pronoun "it" to it] "dipstick," "bookmark," and "kung fu").

For instance: "Mom totally surprised me by grupping it and buying a Franz Ferdinand t-shirt instead of another one of those Eileen Fisher blouses that literally LITTER her wardrobe!";

or: "J's never going to find romance in Manhattan unless she grups herself up!";

or: "I grupped around all day, hence, the abundance of shopping bags in my hands! SOME HELP HERE, PLEASE!"

or: "Didn't anyone tell him that suits are for wusses? I'd give anything to grup him!"

and, of course: "My great-aunt MEANT to give the church auxiliary group members a symbolic 'grup you,' when she walked into the meeting wearing oversized sunglasses, an ironic vintage t-shirt, shredded jeans, and cowboy boots."

As for this movement of grup, I LOVE IT. I mean, seriously folks, at 27, the nerd isn't getting younger and has always been an advocate of maintaining hip-ness regardless of age. I'm so gonna be a grup when I grow up and my future babies will wear rockin' clothes like the ones shown here:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


My cell phone apparently can't charge and function normally at the same time.
I don't care for this punk ass phone at all.


Like a nervous-wreck stage mom, I had to walk out of the room when my brothers screened two of their short films at the pleasantly trendy east side bar called Stone Creek last night. The bar, owned by one of my brother's friends, has a space towards the back with a big plasma television and an assortment of comfortable couches and sofas. The turnout was great, the space was conducive to a relaxed atmosphere and I really shouldn't have been experiencing sympathy anxiety and nervous nausea, but I couldn't help it! The room started to close in on me, the faces distorted into nightmarish parodies of cordiality, I started sweating bullets and had to get the hell out of there.

And so I found myself standing outside the bar, hitting random digits on my cell phone in an attempt to look preoccupied and very important. But it was cold and I was sans jacket so I decided to walk in order to warm up. I had taken a few steps to my left when I happened upon it, a gloriously kitschy emporium (well, it wasn't as much an "emporium" as it was a hole-in-the-wall "store") with a placard hanging outside that read: WE SERVE PAAN. For those of my readers who don't know what paan is, check out the following (and please note that paan is just as popular in Pakistan as it is in India; this article fails to mention that):

My heart sang (it sang a Bollywood song, yes, but, alas, paan only inspires Bollywood songs) and I almost tripped as I ran through the doors to my paan heaven. I heart paan so much. I rarely get to eat it but when I do serendipitously stumble upon paan shops, I make sure to buy in bulk and gorge on the stuff. So, I walked in and ended up buying 6 meehta (sweet) paans and a couple dozen packets of Tulsi Paan Masala. As the paan waala (the dude who makes the paan) laid out six betel leaves and proceeded to methodically create the little triangles of perfection, we engaged in a pleasant conversation in Urdu. For a moment, I felt like I was in Pakistan.

The feeling swiftly disappeared as soon as I exited the store. I walked to Stone Creek with a smile on my face and a purse full of deliciousness from the old country. And it was good.

ps: Most of my friends who've been force fed paan by yours truly liken the experience to eating perfume (as we left Stone Creek, my friend Gary asked to try some of my Tulsi Paan Masala [little packets of betel nuts, pieces of dry dates, aniseed, cardamom, tons of artificial flavor and sacchrin...paan usually contains these and many other ingredients]. Despite my warnings, he threw back a handful of the paan masala in his mouth. I cringed as I watched him try to figure out whether or not to chew on the aromatic blend. "Tastes like perfume," he finally managed to mumble).

It's an acquired taste

Consume at your own risk.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


...the Arctic Monkeys. They remain the band of choice for my runs (and for my life, really). And, in spite of the fact that they look like they're barely pushing 15, I find the band members very attractive (especially the uberdorky drummer who's so slight that he seemed to be on the verge of passing out after their SNL performance). You know what they say about girls and rock stars...


...quick-drying clear gel deodorant that's not supposed to leave white residue on your clothes, but does anyway. Talk about blatantly lying to the consumer! Ugh!


...the bitch within (for real).

I DON'T CARE FOR... stupid cell phone. The alarm didn't go off for the second day in a row!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I've given my readers so many new posts this weekend that I'm all blogged out at the moment.
Why don't you folks blog amongst yourselves for a while?
Let me know what you come up with.


So, I did manage to escape the restful cocoon of my bedroom today long enough to have dinner with a friend we'll call K. As we're talking about her new boyfriend and her new apartment, she leans over her MahiMahi towards me and, dropping her voice conspiratorially, says, "The secret to life, Sabila: bitchiness."
I found all of this very bizarre, since another friend has been saying the same thing of late and my brother, has long been an advocate of aloofness and haughtiness.
It's almost as if the universe is trying to tell me something.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Etymology and the Esperanto

Somewhere between lolling in our chairs at the Esperanto, where we often confabbed about the art of penning love letters to boys who hardly appreciate love letters and waiting anxiously for Etymology, the only class we ever shared in college, to start, Rich penned the following poem for me.

"For Sabila"

She sighs, crying, "When will someone come
to sweep me off my feet, Rich?"
But I don't know, why there is no 'us' ––
even when there's a 'you' and a 'me', love.
And she's really very beautiful, my friend.
If you could only but see her, reader.
You'd want to abduct her from the page,
steal her away from me, carry her off
into the wilting wake of day.
I won't let you take her from me. But if you could taste ––
the way her sable hair succumbs to her neck,
spilling on to fitful shoulders ––
how her delicate frame deliquesces into mine.
How the spoon tries to hug the fork
but cannot find its fit here –– or there.

Sabila is studying for her Whitman final now.
She says that Walt loves all,
would love her as well. (And I guess that means he could
love me too.) And maybe I should better disguise her,
wrap her up in twine and knots, in splendid Technicolor veils,
so that she will not be known for being who she is and is not.
I cannot paint her well enough in words,
to write how her hand sometimes catches her cheek
to keep her sultry mind in check.
She told me once that sometimes, walking from the PATH,
she'll sometimes talk to herself, and that's the moment I knew that she was me,
a part of me lost, absorbed in her delicate exterior, in her dark skin,
torrential hair, like shadows to pull me into her nighttime sun.
She is the moon –– the truth illusion imparts.
We are so caught in idyllic dreams and romantic fancies, spoon.

In darker recesses, my mind deconstructs the phantom
beanpole-vestige, the man this fork would allow him knife.
She says he's arrogant and uptight (but really taciturn and scared, I think)
and suggests I stop passing him wanton notes to feed his ego fuller.
And we say that we are writers and cannot live in reality's tenure.
He is so Gothic and beautiful, I sigh. How I could siphon
black ink from his hair to transubstantiate into poems –– for him ––
to drape about his dripping-cold and stoic, tenuous form.
She sips her tea and I quaff cup-of-coffee depression until,
gazing into her labyrinth, am Lethe to be found,
escaping the fugue of unrequited want back into her serene asylum,
to break from oceanic seas which seize me in their sepulcher.
Together –– We are so taken with our own rubescent dormition, friend.
Sometimes I think we are like Evelings hedging the fall.



I am convinced that all schoolgirls and schoolboys fall in love with a handful of the long dead figures from history, literature, and science that they study in class. Do you still find yourself penning ballads for Napoleon or drawing hearts around Marie Curie’s name? Does your heart skip a beat at the mere thought of John Keats or Nefertiti? Does the thought of bearing Shakespeare’s children in some alternate universe send you into transports of joy?

You’re not alone.

The following, in no particular order, are a few of the dead objects of my affection; I shall expatiate on each person separately at a later time:

Walt Whitman
Pablo Neruda
Matthew Brady
Alexander Hamilton
Emily Dickinson
Leif Erickson
Eric the Red
William Faulkner
Ernest Hemingway
Teddy Roosevelt
Shoeless Joe Jackson


Rich emailed the following Dorothy Parker poem to me this morning (clearly, he's this nerd's Saturday blog-muse). How true this poem is!


Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.
Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney
Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.
Playwrights and poets and such horses' necks
Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.
Diarists, critics, and similar roe
Never say nothing, and never say no.
People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
God, for a man that solicits insurance!

--Dorothy Parker (1926)


I have a feeling that I'm going to put up a number of new posts today for the following reasons:

1) it's raining monkeys outside and one can't do much when it's raining monkeys.
2) I, the Nerd, woke up at 11:40AM on this Saturday morning (QUITE unbelievable, I know!) and am liking this feeling of lazing around (QUITE unbelievable, I know!).
3) I just realized how much I heart the verb "laze." I encourage you, dear reader, to use it in a sentence today. It just rolls off the tongue perfectly: laaaazzzze.
4) must I REALLY run in the morning on weekends? Why not shake things up a little and run on a Saturday night? Running at night will be very nice, I think.
5) it's raining monkeys outside and one really doesn't have to do much when it's raining monkeys.


Dear readers: Please read the following article from the Guardian, kindly shared with me by one Richard Russell of London, by way of Jersey.,,1748085,00.html

The results of the survey discussed in the article reveal that, when it comes to novels, men prefer “all angst and Orwell. Sort of puberty reading,” while women read novels of more emotional depth. These results certainly perpetuate societal stereotypes about gender. Throw in there the fact that, during the survey, men were unwilling to discuss the influence of literature in their lives and one must ask the question, “Are men emotionally unavailable to literature??!”


This is why I encourage all of the straight men in my life to read Pride and Prejudice and shatter through the oppressive shackles of gender typecasting.


NYU alum and old chum Elizabeth Marie Hadden is our Nerd of the Day (thanks to former NOD, Rich, for nominating her)! Not only is she a stunner (because nothing beats an attractive nerd), but her interests also include knitting, battlestar galactica, weightlifting, church history, and hair. Moreover, she has a fab blog at, in which she passionately imparts her opinions about the intellectual property battle over the term “Stitch and Bitch” ( and teaches us the astounding word atrabilious ( Even her blog readers are literary nerds with uncommon élan, as they leave comments about what they call “the truly apathetic utterance”: “Flah.” (check it out at

This lady makes all things literary quite glamorous and, for that, we crown her’s Nerd of the Day.

I agree with Rich that this may very well be phase I of Elizabeth’s deification and that it won’t be very long before people start seeing her image in a variety of foods. As our common friend says, “[Elizabeth’s] a nerd goddess, and when properly apotheosized, will spend her immortal days as Patron Saint of Nerds, rescuing poor little Nevilles and Ediths from bullies on playgrounds across the universe.”

Let this inspire you, dear reader.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


YAH. So, I read The New Yorker between nodding off on the train on the way to and back from Connecticut.
The experiment went kablooey.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I will be rising and shining at an ungodly (who am I kidding...I heart the morning...I don't mind waking up so early at all) 5AM tomorrow morning in order to head out of state for a sales conference. And while I could be sleeping and dreaming about the FiberOne cereal I won't be able to enjoy while at the meeting (I become intensely obsessive about certain foods and eat them everyday until my system goes, "Enough already! Can we shake things up a bit, please?!" At the moment, my obsessions are FiberOne and crab meat. Later, I'll tell you more about the crab meat, which I'll also be unable to have tomorrow), or reading Gautam Malkani's brilliant LONDONSTANI (pubbing in late June), or listening to my iPod, I've decided to spend my commute writing a blog post in real time for the pleasure of my readers. So, brace yourselves for an unedited, unscripted, no-holds-barred look at the way the Nerd's mind works. It's gonna be stream of consciousness on no food and little sleep. James Joyce would be proud.

See how devoted I am to you guys?
I mean, I MIGHT sneak a few pages of LONDONSTANI in there somewhere, but I'll TRY to MOSTLY write in my diary.

INSOMINA: Yet Another Haiku

Sleep, you've pimped me off
to insomnia again
and that's so not cool.

(Well, at least the Yankees-Oakland game is on. Insomnia's not that bad after all. Let's go Yanks!)

Check out this half-cute, sorta-disturbing video of an insomniac toddler:

Monday, April 03, 2006

THE NERDY SPY: A Fabulously True Story of Adventure and Intrigue (well, sorta)

I love my friends and will go to great lengths for them, as is illustrated by the true story that follows. My mom will too, as is also illustrated by this true-life account.

The year: 2003
The month: late February
The day: Saturday
The players: The nerd, the nerd’s mother, the nerd’s friend on the other side of a tense telephone conversation, the nerd’s friend’s ex-boyfriend, the nerd’s friend’s ex-boyfriends new girlfriend (rumor has it fiancé) and the nerd’s friend’s ex-boyfriend’s new girfriend’s (some say fiance’s) friend.
The weather: unseasonably balmy
The location: outside/inside Starbucks

Our nerd and her mother have just left the mall after a thoroughly satisfying shopping expedition. The nerd suggests that they drive to Starbucks; her mom can stay in the van while she runs inside to buy coffees for the two of them. Stopped at the light right before the turn that will take them towards the roundabout outside the Starbucks, which rests by the (polluted but oftentimes pretty [mostly by night when all the crap floating in the water isn’t visible]) Hudson, the nerd sees something that makes her dramatically shriek and makes her mother confusedly scream: her very good friend’s ex-boyfriend is crossing the street with his never-before-seen-but-much-rumored-about new girlfriend (many people are saying that the two might, in fact, be engaged). The nerd’s mother demands to know what’s happening as her daughter fishes her cell phone out of her very large handbag and immediately dials her friend.



Nerd: Right by Starbucks.

Friend: OH MY GOD!


Nerd (to mom): They might be engaged.

Nerd’s Mom: Tell Friend that this new girl is ugly! She’s SO much prettier than this new girl. WHAT was X thinking??

Nerd: Clearly boys are stupid.

Friend: Clearly. Where are they going?
Nerd: Looks to me that they’re going to Starbucks like us. We’re following them!

Nerd’s Mom: We’re so following the twit and his fiancé.

Nerd (covering the phone with her hand): We’re not sure about that yet.

Friend: Actually, I got confirmation yesterday.

Nerd: Oh.

Friend: You have to tell me what she looks like. YOU HAVE TO.

Nerd: We’re following them Friend. Stay on the phone with me.

Friend: Make sure he doesn’t see you!

Nerd (sliding down the passenger seat so that only the top of her head and eyes are visible to anyone who might be looking in from the outside): He won’t see me.

The Nerd’s Mom parks the van parallel to where the X’s girfriend/fiancé is introducing him to a friend of hers. Starbucks is some five yards behind the van.

Nerd: Ew. She’s not good looking at all.

Nerds Mom: Tell Friend she’s pretty butt ugly.

Friend: Is that your mom?

Nerd: Yah. She wants you to know that the chick is butt ugly. And that X is a jerk ass for leaving you.

Friend: You sure he can’t see you right?

Nerd: Yah. I’m practically on the floor, yo.

Nerd’s Mom: Tell Friend that she’s beautiful and that she’ll find a man who recognizes that very soon, Inshallah.

Friend (kinda teary now): I LOVE your mom. Tell her I love her.

Nerd: Friend says she loves you.

Nerd’s Mom: Tell her I love her too and that I mean everything I say.

Nerd: We both love you. For real, this girl is not good looking at all.

Friend: Describe her. What are they doing anyway?

Nerd: Well, she’s probably 5’5” and fat. Her nose looks like wet dough. It’s just splayed out there on her round as a pie face. Ugh.

Friend (clearly crying): Ew! Really!

Nerd: She seems to be introducing him to one of her slutty friends…who’s just as ugly. No way is she as good looking as your friends.

Friend: Obviously.

Nerd: I know. And, man, she’s wearing SO much makeup. I can tell she has horrible skin.

Friend: What’s she wearing? Can you see the ring?

Nerd (craning her neck to get a view of the new girlfriend/fiance’s hand): OH NO!


Nerd’s Mom: Friend is SO much cuter than this girl. Just look at the layers of makeup on this girl’s face! Unbelievable.

Nerd: I think he saw me!

Friend: What?! Oh no!

Nerd’s Mom: Don’t be paranoid, Sabila. The twit’s only looking this way.

Nerd (sinking lower still): Are you sure?

Nerd’s Mom: Yes! Are you going to go in for coffee or what?

Friend: You’re going to go in for coffee?!!

Nerd (trying to calm herself down, prepping for the impending mission): Yes. I’m going in!

Friend: Oh no! You can’t have him see you!

Nerd: I’ll be careful. I promise. And this way, I can get a closer look at the ring. Potentially, anyway. Stay with me on the phone, okay?

Friend: I’m here with you Sabila.

Nerd’s Mom: Be careful.
Our nerd sits up and looks at her mother, turning her back to the pathetic party of three loitering outside the coffeehouse. She nods at her mother and, cradling the phone between her shoulder and ear, she steps out of the car, keeping her back to X and his new friends. Quickly, she turns towards Starbucks, her left hand shielding her face from X and speed walks to the door. Once inside, she waits on the ridiculously long line, cursing the shoddy service and X.

Friend: Can you see them from inside?

Nerd (standing on tiptoe): Yah. I can’t see her hand though. I swear, she’s a monster.

Friend (laughing and crying at the same time): He’s a jerk. He hurt me so much.

Nerd: I know babe. If you ask me, he looks pretty miserable.

Friend: How?

Nerd: Bored out of his mind. The chick and her friend are blabbing like monkeys while he’s just staring at his shoes.

Friend: Good. Jerk.

Nerd: She looks like a Kmart catalog.

Friend: What is she wearing?

Nerd: Ill-fitting jeans, an ugly t-shirt topped with this wrap around sweater thing that just isn’t flattering on her. Someone ought to tell her that purple isn’t her color.

Friend: What’s her hair like?

Nerd: Straight, dark with cheap and ugly highlights. It looks like someone took a crap on her head. The highlights are the color of poop, I swear.

Friend: Some people have no taste.

Nerd: Tell me about it.

Friend: Wow, is the line long?

Nerd: Isn’t it always long here? Ugh. She really has one of the ugliest noses I’ve ever seen in my life.

Friend: Are you just saying these things to make me feel better?

Nerd: Uh, NO! Would I lie?! Would my mother lie?!
Friend: Good. That makes me feel better. It’s just that we were together for so many years. He walked away from it like it was nothing and he’s with someone new within the month, while I’m still pining away.

Nerd: Why? Why are you pining?! You’re intelligent, beautiful, magnificent. You have so much going for you! You know I never liked X.

Friend: You ALWAYS had a bad feeling about him didn’t you?

Nerd: I did. He had shifty eyes—one tall light iced skim latte please—and I am suspicious of people with shifty eyes—and one tall soy chai tea latte, easy on the soy. He could never meet my eyes. Remember?

Friend: Yah. You were right about him.

Nerd: You’re so better off.

Friend: Gosh, I could use a frap right now. Wanna go back to Starbucks tonight? I need to get out of the house. I’m driving myself crazy thinking about this jerk.

Nerd: Yah. Absolutely. What time?

Friend: 7-ish.

Nerd: I’m there…I mean…I’m already here but…I’m there…tonight. I mean.

Friend: Cool.

Nerd: Friend, I’m heading back out.

Friend: Crap. Run, okay?

Nerd: I can’t run with these cups in hand. I spill drinks just looking at them.

Friend: Oh yah. Just go as fast as you can.

Nerd: Dur.

With tall light skim latte and tall soy chai tea latte—easy on the soy—in hand, our nerd exits the coffeehouse, her head down as avoiding a phantom glare. Her feet skim the surface of the pavement as she rushes to the waiting van. Once in the van, she returns to her half-sitting, mostly horizontal position in the passenger seat. Finding that sipping on her latte in this position is nearly impossible she puts and forgets it in the cup holder and resumes spying.

Nerd’s Mom: He looks bored. That’s what he gets for leaving such a good girl. May he be bored out of his mind.

Nerd: Oh no! I think he saw me.

Nerd’s Mom: He might’ve seen you. He’s looking right here.

Friend: Oh crap. I say you abort the mission.

Nerd (hiding under the glove compartment now and digging through her giant handbag): Not yet. Not just yet.

Nerd’s Mom: I’m glaring at him. He has no idea who I am.

Nerd (finding the tiny compact she keeps in her makeup bag): Aha! Found it!

Removing the tiny mirror from its velvet cover, she holds it over her head, attempting to examine the scene in reflection.

Friend: What?! What did you find?

Nerd: Mirror.

Nerd’s Mom: Okay, we’re leaving.

Friend: You have to leave! Dammit!

Nerd: He’s still looking here.

Nerd’s Mom: Because he sees a compact floating in front of my face.

Friend: I love you guys! I love you guys!

Nerd’s Mom steps on the gas and the van rips into the street leaving a very confused (and bored) X wondering if he just saw a floating compact.

THE NERD OF ALL NERDS my friends/coworkers who didn't know me in high school and weren't buying that I was a bona fide nerd/geek and have now seen the lovely pics on friendster: I told you so.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I've always been very vigilant about my dad's diet. Although his diabetes is more or less under control and he's always had normal blood pressure and cholestrol, I think he carries way too much weight around the middle which, along with the diabetes, makes him vulnerable to many other health issues. He's put on quite a few pounds after our trip to Pakistan and, as a result, has heard more than one lecture from me about the importance of diet and exercise. I'm proud of him though; he's been able to stick to high fiber, low-fat natural foods recently and is looking even more handsome than usual.

I don't have the patience to enjoy cooking. I cook dozens of food items from scratch on Thanksgiving and that's only because I feel like I must uphold this silly tradition of self-torture that I started back in the day when I subscribed to Family Circle for the recipes (please read previous blog post entitled "Iron Chef: Khan Family Thanksgiving" for background). That I rolled back my sleeves and stepped into the kitchen determined to do more than throw a veggie burger into the microwave was rather earth shattering. Earlier today abu had mentioned that he felt like having dessert later, so I was determined to whip up something both delicious and healthy.

I call the following concoction "Fields of Gold":


3 cups puffed wheat cereal
1 ripe golden delicious apple
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups plain fat-free yogurt
1 cup flour
24 packets Equal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (we were out of baking soda, so I threw in baking powder instead; close enough, no?)

1) crush puffed wheat cereal in food processor and put in a large mixing bowl
2) throw golden delicious apple in food processor; spoon mixture out into separate, smaller bowl
3) go out for a walk with a sibling and/or friend
4) add egg whites and yogurt to apple
5) take a break to check your email and read news on; mull over how effed up the world is
6) call best friend to talk about how effed up world is; be a good friend and listen to her bitch about demanding post grad schedule
7) mix flour, Equal, salt and baking soda (OR powder because, seriously, like, what's the difference?)
8) go to brother's place to debate illegal alien controversy, whether or not Crash should have taken the Oscar over Brokeback Mountain and how badass Jack Bauer is
9) wonder why the hell you decided to bake in the first place
10) think about returning home to pop muffin batter into oven
11) call home and ask mother if she can spoon batter into muffin pan and pop pan into oven
12) return home when mom refuses to finish what you started, spoon batter into muffin pan and pop pan into oven for 20 minutes or until muffins turn golden brown
13) when mom asks if these are lemon muffins, tell her "Sure!" with confidence
14) when family comments that muffins are slightly undercooked, say that they're SUPPOSED to be moist and chewy.
15) smile when dad asks for seconds


Mad Libs have been around for over fifty years and chances are, if you weren’t raised in a cave on a deserted and still unmapped Pacific island, you’ve played Mad Libs at least once as a kid. The object of the game is simple enough: players are to replace selected blank words in stories, designated by either their parts of speech (adjective, noun, adverb, verb) or sometimes by more specific instructions (girl in the room, part of body, exclamation, etc.). Once the (usually in)appropriate words are plugged in, the story is then read aloud to a soundtrack of laughter.

While a regular game of Mad Libs is silly and fun, you haven’t lived until you’ve participated in a game of Dirty Mad Libs. Dirty Mad Libs is sophomoric humor (is there really a better kind of FUNny?) at its finest.

I could provide you guys with a few examples but wouldn’t want to offend the delicate sensibilities of some readers. So, all of you non-killjoys out there, pick up a Mad Lib from your bookstore or go to to play Dirty Mad Libs online.

If it doesn’t make you laugh, you’re dead inside.


...Fiber One cereal.
Who knew that 14 grams of fiber per serving could taste so damned good (and I usually have twice the regular serving. That's 28 grams of fiber a pop, folks. Yum)? Throw in some Jacques Torres coffee and I'm so having a party in my mouth!
Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day.
Bless you General Mills for creating the deliciousness that is Fiber One cereal.