Monday, July 31, 2006

CHALLENGE: More Adventure, Less Routine

I need to be more adventurous. I have to learn to stop thinking, rethinking, analyzing and dissecting situations. I want to skydive and rockclimb and wander off the beaten path once in a while.


I'm such a creature of habit. I take solace in routine and, frankly, I'm starting to get bored. I've weighed out actions and reactions for long enough. It's time for me to freaking' lighten up.

So, be it hang gliding or skipping a workout session with my trainer, I'm going to try new things and shake the old things up a little (try being the operative word here).

Suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


It's not really a big deal. I practically raised one of the two boys and both he and his buddy are sweet and respectful kids. However, the way my mother just offered me up for lunch with them was hilarious. "You should call Sabila baji during the week and she'll treat you to lunch in the city." Baji is older sister in Urdu.

I really love my mom (I am not at all trying to be sarcastic here. I swear. She's just such a great, unique and mighty personality. I truly love her).

CABBY: The New (yikes!)?: My mom's reaction

After we're done laughing at my yellow-cab-matchmaking story, my mom points out, "You know, Sabila, most of these boys who drive cabs are doctors and PhDs. They've probably just moved here and are waiting to take their exams. They're good boys. What did this cabbie look like?? Did he sound like he came from a decent family?"


Saturday, July 29, 2006

CABBY: The New (yikes!)?

Today started with brunch with a couple of friends at Sarabeth's on Central Park South and was followed by a trip to the MET where we checked out two special exhibitions. The first exhibit was the lushly bizarre AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion. The exhibit examines the simultaneous celebration of and rebellion against noble pageantry in British fashion of the last 30 years. We then saw the exhibit of works by a lesser known artist from revolutionary France, Girodet. It was all breathtaking and enjoyable stuff.

After the MET, I hung around the upper east side long enough to work on a nice tan. When plans to meet a friend up there eventually fell through, I ended up hailing a cab to take me back to 34th Street (nice tan and all, I felt like I was on the verge of heat exhaustion).

So, my cabby was on the phone when I got into the cab. I noticed that he was wearing a Muslim prayer cap; not thinking much of it, I quietly took in the cool air. Eventually, he put down his cell phone and I, my core temperature cooled down considerably, tried to strike up polite conversation with the guy (this proved to be a very bad idea, as you will see), who turned out to be very well spoken:

Me: Are you Pakistani?
Cabby: No. I'm Bangladeshi. Are you Pakistani?
Me: Yep. Parents are from Pakistan.
Cabby: I was wondering if you were from the subcontinent.
Me: I am (I was pretty much done with the conversation at this point).
Cabby (sounding apologetic because I suspect he thought I'd overheard him talking to his friend about me): That was my friend I was on the phone with a second ago. He's Pakistan but grew up in London. I was telling him about you, that a passenger who looks just like Salma Hayek just got into my cab!

(Okay, I totally cracked up at this point because 1) I don't think I look a spit like Salma Hayek. I'd be lucky if my right nostril looked like Salma Hayek's and 2) I get that "has anyone ever told you you look like Salma Hayek?" question A LOT, leaving me, my best friends, and my brothers scratching our heads in confusion).

Me: hahahahah!
Cabby: He's a singer!
Me: Hahahahahah!
Cabby: He's Pakistani!
Me: hahahaha!
Cabby: He lives in London!
Me (still giggling to myself): giggle
Cabby: you should talk to him!
Me: Oh, um, what...
Cabby (on the phone): Hey, remember that girl I told you about? Yes! She's still here and, guess what? She's Pakistani! Here, talk to her!
Me: Er, actually...(Cabby turns around and shoves Razor Moto in my hand)
Guy on Phone: Hi.
Me: Oh. Hi.
Guy on Phone: This is Saif.
Me: Oh. Hey.
Guy on Phone: What's your name?
Me: Oh. Sabila.
Guy on Phone: So you live in New York City.
Me: Oh. Um. I live Jersey.
Guy on Phone: So, I'm a singer. I live in London.
Me: Oh. Wow. Great.
Guy on Phone: You should come to my concert. I'm having a concert tomorrow.
Me: Oh. Thanks. But I'm not in the UK. Ha.
Guy on Phone: No, the concert is in Queens. I'm in New York at the moment. You should try to make it tomorrow.
Me: Haha. Oh. Um. I don't think that's going to happen.
Guy on Phone: It's tomorrow. In Queens.
Me: Oh. No. Seriously. I can't make it.
Guy on Phone: Well, I'm in New York until the 6th. We should meet up.
Me: Um. Yah. That would be totally bizarre. It's not going to happen.
Guy on Phone: Oh.
Me: Yah. Sorry.
Guy on Phone: Well, it was nice talking to you...
Me: Great. Ahem. Bye.
Cabby (talking on the phone): Yes, she's great. She's beautiful on the inside and out (please, he was laying it on a bit thick. whatever).
Still on his cell phone, Cabby turns around to look at me as he stops at a red light.
Cabby: Please try to come to the concert tomorrow night. My friend would really like to meet you.
Me: Um, I have plans.
Cabby: Even if you can drop by for a little while. Tell you what! You can bring your parents! It will be nice if my friends can meet you and your family! He's a very great guy. He's handsome.
Cabby pulls up to my stop.
Cabby: Listen, I'll give you my cell phone number. You think about it. And then, please, do us the honor of coming with your family.
Me: Yah, how much is the fare?
Cabby: Here's my number. The concert is in Queens. If you need a ride, just call me and I'll send a car to pick you and your family up. It would be our honor.
Me (taking Cabby's number): Um. Great. Thanks.
Cabby: It'll be a lot of fun.
Me: Sure. How much do I owe you (reading the meter, I see that it's $8.20). I owe you $10.
Cabby: No, no. I can't take your money.
Me (digging through my ginormous bag for my wallet): No, you must.
Cabby: Please. It is unacceptable to take money from a friend. Think of this as a ride from a friend (he says this with his hand on his heart, which makes me feel bad about the fact that I will not, under any circumstances, be attending cabby's friend's shady Queens concert).
Me (unable to find my wallet in my big ass bag and not being able to stay in weirdo matchmaking cab for another second): Okay. Thanks! Khudha Hafiz!
Cabby: Khudha Hafiz!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mommy: The New

*Flowers rock. Clearly. Sigh.

So, I'm waiting for a friend at 71 Irving earlier, when I pick up a random section from today's Times that someone's left by my table. It's the Styles section. The front page article that catches my eye: "Spouse Courtesy of Mom the Matchmaker." Check this:

"For some people parental intervention may seem like an arranged marriage. But for today's superattentive parents, involved in almost every aspect of their children's lives, dating is merely one more sphere of influence. Surprisingly, many adult children don't seem to mind."

Americans are coming around to the meddling ways of the 'rents. One woman interviewed says of her mother that, in spite of their difference of opinion on what is handsome, "I kind of trusted her to find me a nice guy. I stopped asking her about looks."

What bothers me about my parents' method of pimping me out (I hate calling it "pimping," but whatever...that's what it essentially is, no?) is that matches are made parent to parent. The kids are just randomly thrown together, without the slightest bit of consideration going into whether or not they're at all compatible. They work on the philosophy of "If we get along, our kids will DEFINITELY get along!" It's almost like they're expanding their social networks at our expense, which isn't cool.

All that being said, I am seriously considering letting my mom put me back on the market, just so I can have some juicily hilarious material for your reading pleasure (I'm so selfless! Gosh! And isn't "juicily" a tremendous adverb?! It's almost as good as "sexily" (shout out to Craig of Puntabulous fame. That's so our FAVORITE adverb, isn't it Craig?)).

ps: I pity the fool who shares the aforementioned Times article with my mom.

pps: While I am slightly nauseated by flowers (and every other piece of sentimental, heart-shaped garbage) on Valentine's Day, I do accept flowers on my birthday, most Tuesdays, Flag Day, Yom Kippur, the Great American Smoke Out (Day), Eid, as well as on other people's birthdays. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Conversation (noun): The informal EXCHANGE of ideas by spoken word

Lately, "conversations" with my mom have been abundant in ideas and spoken word but grossly deficient in the exchange part of the definition. This leads me to suspect that what we may actually have taking place here is not so much a conversation but instead a method of systematic persuasion (ie brainwashing), by which my mother thinks I will eventually succumb to the deluge of information she's pumping my way and defer to my parents' knowledge of the relationship scene, thereby allowing them to marry me off to some random dude in some remote region of the planet.

Our "conversation" from last night follows:

Me:Hey amma. What's going on?
Mom: Oh! X's daughter is married!
Me: I thought they were vacationing in Pakistan.
Mom: Yes, they were. They found the boy there for her. Part of the reason X went was to find a son-in-law.
Me: Really--
Mom: I spoke to her earlier today. I think she was right in taking her search for a good, honest boy from a decent, respectable family to Pakistan. She told me that there simply aren't any good boys left here.
Me: Oh--
Mom: Y did the same thing. Her daughter was born here. She's just as American as everyone else. Yet she trusted her parents enough to find her a husband in Pakistan. And now, she's probably going to LIVE there. What a good, obedient girl.
Me: But, it won't be--
Mom: Z's daughters grew up here but when it came time to finding husbands, they let their parents do the searching because you know what parents have that kids don't?
Me: I--
Mom: Experience. Parents have lived longer, parents have seen all different sorts of people and parents know their children better than anyone else. Experience is a good judge of character.
Me: B--
Mom: Z's brother's daughter was the VALEDICTORIAN of her university's graduating class. She was smart. What happened to her? Her parents found her a nice young man who comes from a family of jewelers! He lives in India? So what? Now she's practically swimming in jewels. Be it in India or Africa or in outerspace, she's happy and she's SWIMMING in luxury. Smart, smart girl.

Eventually, I gave up trying to interrupt her and just nodded as she ran down a list of "smart, obedient girls." I pretended to watch television.

Finally, during a commercial break, when my mom had slowed down her spamming, I said, "I don't trust men. One minute they're with you and the next minute they're running the other way and you're left wondering what happened during the interim. Look at Christie Brinkley and she's a SUPER MODEL!" I laughed. "Good riddance to all that garbage. I'd rather be alone."

It was my mother's turn to pretend to be engrossed by the television.

"Wait," I continued, perking up with a bright idea, "Why shouldn't I have kids? I'll adopt a bevy of children."

My mom supplied the following nugget: "And you know what will happen? Those kids will probably end up MURDERING you."

"Eh?" I asked.

"One, they're not your blood so they wouldn't have any loyalty to you and two, most of the adopted kids they show on Dateline are on the show in the first place, for murdering their parents.

She says such bewildering and ridiculous things when she's angry.

I was reduced to a baffled silence as she returned to watching television.


...I'm going to hurl.
Just thought I'd share that nugget of information with you.
Ain't I eloquent?

Monday, July 24, 2006


I was hit with nearly 200 spammers-posing-as-commenters over the weekend. I have now activated the word verification feature on my blog, so that I can weed these automaton bastards out.

Take that jerks (and by "jerks," I actually mean "assholes," but I don't want to sound like a pottymouth or anything).

PAKISTANDARDS: Topics of Impolite Conversations or Operation: Find Grandma's Bra

There are certain things, like female undergarments, that are never spoken of or even alluded to in polite Pakistani society. Like menstruation, sex, and dating, dainty underthings are topics of hushed and giggled conversations, which usually take place amongst members of the same gender and age. Not once during my vacations to the motherland have I ever seen ads for tampons, sanitary napkins or bras.

Naturally my mother is demure when it comes to such taboo subjects. I, on the other hand, am not. Imagine her shock and outrage when, as a teenager, I’d often preface my usual declarations directed to my brothers of “I don’t care so much about the smooth move you just made in John Madden’s Football, so no, I wouldn’t be interested in watching an instant replay,” with, “Dudes, I have monster cramps right now. It feels like my uterus is doubling as someone’s stress ball.” Even mentioning that I need to purchase a new sports bra in front of them makes my mom’s eyes widen in disapproval, her cheeks flush with embarrassment. I’ve explained to her a million times that things such as periods and breasts are biological inevitabilities that one shouldn’t have to skirt around (no pun intended). She just harrumphs her disappointment in me.

Earlier today, my mother joined me in the kitchen as I prepared a salad. She had just returned from Sears where, she told me, they were having a sale on (dear goodness, she would just melt with shame if she ever discovered that I was blogging about this!) Playtex bras (I like to call them “Mommy bras”). She ignored me when I wrinkled my nose.

She told me that while trying on bras, she overheard two women in the fitting room next to hers. Both were Pakistani and sounded to be a (very old) mother (or mother-in-law) and her daughter (or daughter-in-law). Now, the younger woman was trying to convince her mother to try on the bra that she’d picked out for her. “The poor woman had probably never seen a bra in her life,” my mother said, holding her hand to her cheek, embarrassed on behalf of the older female. In any case, the daughter was speaking very loudly and in Punjabi, which makes the entire scenario all the more hilarious.

So, the daughter says “Amma ye burdha chunga hai. E pao na!” (Mom, this is very good/nice [referring to the bra]. Try it on!).

What sounds to be a struggle ensues followed by the old woman sadly declaring “May ne payna, burra thung hai.” (I don’t want to wear this. It’s very tight.)

“Es vastay ye thung hai, ye cotton ka hey. Dusra jersey kah hain. Who burdha chunga hain.” (This one’s tight because it’s made of cotton. The other [bra’s] made of jersey. That one’s very nice/good.)

"The way that woman was talking, one would think that her mother was still in Pakistan!" my mother exclaimed.

My mom exited the fitting room to discover that the search for this bra made of jersey had become a family event. Not only was the younger woman searching through the sales racks, but she had enlisted her husband as well as her little boy to participate in what seemed to be “Operation: Find Grandma's Bra.” The old woman looked mortified. Even as she tried to contain her giggles, my mom was mortified on the woman's behalf as she stood before me in the kitchen.

“And then,” she continued, “the little boy yells out to his dad: ‘Abu jee, vaykho, e bra burdha chunga hai! (Dad, look at this bra, it’s very nice!),' before he tosses it in the pile his mother's carrying."

We were both cracking up at this point. "Amma, I swear to you that my future husband and children won't have anything to do with your undergarments," I declared as solemnly as I could.

"People have no shame these days," she sighed. And then she laughed some more.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On Hating July

Okay, I promise there will be no more July hating.


How many more days until August?

Friday, July 21, 2006


According to a love addiction expert on the Today Show this morning, men fall in love faster than women do and 3 out of 4 jilted lovers who end up taking their own lives are men.
Somehow, I'm not buying that.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dear Persons Whose Ears I've Held Hostage in the Past: An Open Letter

Dear Persons Whose Ears I've Held Hostage by going on and on about topics of conversation that you might not necessarily be interested in: I'm sorry. I'd like to think that I'm a superior conversationalist (possibly among the top 100 conversationalist in the world even); if this isn't the case, and you've previously found yourself cornered in a room as I've gone on and on and on about my love for American literature, my concerns about animal welfare, my anger at this adminstration and war, my love for baseball, etc., I blush.

Really. I do.

I bring this up because recently, a dear friend mentioned that I love talking about myself and my brother commented that I talk a lot: "Sabila, you don't even pause to take a breath sometimes. It's amazing, really." And, of course, there was that one time over brunch that my mother said, "I REALLY hope you don't talk this much in front of boys" (trust me, I didn't take that one too seriously). Oh, and that time when my family left me, one by one, to watch Two Brothers on my own because I couldn't stop my tearfully bitter diatribe about the cruelty humans inflict on animals.

It should be noted, however, that while I apologize for the pain, boredom, frustration, etc. I may have caused, I'm not going to change anytime soon. So love it or leave it…in which case, I suppose, I’m not apologetic at all!

…okay, I’m officially retracting my apology and changing the title of this post to "Dear Persons Whose Ears I've Held Hostage in the Past: Whatever; it's painfully obvious to me that you have no soul if my conversations leave you uninspired, bored and/or frustrated. And it's not that I'm full of myself or enjoy talking about myself or anything. I simply enjoy making you laugh at my own expense. That's bloody selfless if you ask me. And I'm pretty goddamn entertaining! I offer everyone plenty of opportunity to jump in and tell me a thing or two and I listen (hello! I was nominated a Peer Helper in high school because other students felt like they could talk to me about their teen-angsty problems) but if you don't have anything intersting going on in your life, that's your problem. Clearly, I rock (ahem)."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Dear boys, sorry you
can't wear skirts in bitter heat.
Must suck to be you.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you’re a Pakistani male who works at the mall and helps the Nerd and her mom, you will be rewarded with the Nerd’s business card, whether or not she wants you to have said business card. Sure our Nerd’s mother pimps her out with only the best of intentions in mind; the pimping out is always unintentional, a byproduct of our Nerd’s mother’s genuine interest in people, an interest that has been passed down to the Nerd herself.

Let’s take the example of what happened earlier today.

While at Macy’s, our Nerd is purchasing a lovely blush and two lip glosses—who knew lemon and papaya would look so good on her?!—when her mother rushes over, insisting that she MUST take a look at a pair of shoes that she’s found in her size. The Nerd, who loves shoes just as much as the next girl, purchases her makeup, bracing for the beauty clerk to ask her for her number (to be explained in a future post), sighing with relief when she doesn’t, and follows her mother to the shoe department. The shoe salesman, it turns out is a fellow from the motherland. The Nerd’s mother has the gift of charm. With her eyes aglow and a dazzling smile that belies her years, she reels the boy into conversation, discovering that he hails from the Pakistani city of Lahore, has an older brother, has been in the states for just over 4 months and will be starting college in September. His father has some sort of construction business, a home in the same Islamabad sector as my uncle—they MUST be from a decent family if they live so close to your uncle, amma declares, when he heads to the back to look for a pair of shoes our Nerd’s spotted—and he misses home terribly.

The Nerd engages in funniness with the boy, who’s clearly 19.5 years old, because she engages in funniness with everyone; however, she’s much too preoccupied with shoes to take much of an interest in this very decent boy about whom her mom is already concerned. “He’s so young and on his own! Give him a year and he’ll be corrupted!” she tells our Nerd sadly. “What a nice, decent Pakistani boy, tsk tsk tsk. He’ll fall into the clutches of a very fast girl. You mark my words.”

Meanwhile, the Nerd debates whether she wants these terribly cute wedges she’s found in black or tan. “Black or tan? Black or tan? Black or tan?” she struggles.

She goes with the tan. With a boxed pair of shoes under each arm, she marches to the cash register where the nice, decent, Pakistani boy will ring her up. And then her mother goes and pimps her out:

“Sabila, why don’t you give this nice boy your card.” It’s clear that she’s telling more than she’s asking.

The Nerd smiles and pretends to search through her busy wallet.

“Strange,” she says, throwing up a hand in mock confusion, “but I can’t seem to find my business cards. Oh well—“

“Oh, I see them right over here!” amma announces, reaching over to pull out a vertical Penguin card. “Here beyta,” she hands him a card. “If you need anything at all, give us a call. I know how difficult it is to move to a new country.”

The boy thanks them and then rings up the shoes. He puts the boxes in a bag, staples the receipt to the bag, carries the bag around the register to hand them to the Nerd and her mother (as is Macy’s policy); clearly the nice, decent Pakistani boy is also a 19.5-year-old gentleman.

The Nerd doesn't bother giving her mother the silent treatment. There are some battles that one can never win. As they walk out of Macy's, our Nerd's mother is suddenly struck with a thought:“Oh no Sabila! Do you think he’s going to start calling you at night and asking you out like that other boy did?!”

You see, dear reader, this has happened to our Nerd once before. It was two years ago; the store was CVS, located in—you guessed it—the mall. A young, Pakistani employee (he was seriously 18 years old) started talking with the Nerd and her mother. When he rung them up, he insisted that they use his employee discount card, which he had to run to the back of the store to get, and chatted with the mother and daughter in Urdu even as his manager looked on, clearly displeased. The boy was from Islamabad, had moved to the states a year ago; he lived with his brother, was paying his way through college by working two jobs. All of this gave the Nerd’s mother reason for great concern. She thought that the boy needed a surrogate family and that the Nerd’s family could be just that. So, once again, she insisted our Nerd give him her card and plucked it right out of her wallet as the Nerd made a great show of looking for it. And then she made the Nerd write her cell phone number on the back of the card, “Just in case you ever need anything.”

The boy called the Nerd a week later, insisting that they date. She explained that she was six years older than him and that, contrary to what he might believe, she had not given him her card because she was interested in him. She was, in fact, old enough to be CVS clerk’s much older sister. He called three more times before he decided to mack no more. Our Nerd boycotted CVS until her mother reassured her that she hadn’t seen the boy in quite some time. The two of them believe that the young gigolo has moved onto bigger and better shores of part-time mall employment.

“He won’t call you,” the Nerd’s mother continues as the Nerd considers her mom's question. “He comes from a decent family like ours. Decent boys never take advantage of situations like this.” And then, "What a shame. What a nice, decent Pakistani boy. Give him a year on his own and he'll be corrupted."

The Nerd has decided to leave her business cards at home when she goes shopping with her mother.


Friday, July 14, 2006

"To World War Two"

I nearly had an anxiety attack watching coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah war on Anderson Cooper 360 earlier.
If we're lucky, the polar ice caps will melt very soon and rescue us with watery graves.
It's more likely, however, that things are going to suck for a very long time.

I know it's long, but please read:

"To World War Two"
by Kenneth Koch

Early on you introduced me to young women in bars
You were large, and with a large hand
You presented them in different cities,
Made me in San Luis Obispo, drunk
On French seventy-fives, in Los Angeles, on pousse-cafe's.
It was a time of general confusion
Of being a body hurled at a wall.
I didn't do much fighting. I sat, rather I stood, in a foxhole.
I stood while the typhoon splashed us into morning.
It felt unusual
Even if for a good cause
To be part of a destructive force
With my rifle in my hands
And in my head
My serial number
The entire object of my existence
To eliminate Japanese soldiers
By killing them
With a rifle or with a grenade
And then, many years after that,
I could write poetry
Fall in love
And have a daughter
And think about these things
From a great distance
If I survived
I was "paying my debt
To society" a paid
Killer. It wasn't
like anything I'd done
Before, on the paved
Streets of Cincinatti
Or on the ballroom floor
At Mr. Vathe's dancing class
What would Anne Marie Goldsmith
Have thought of me
If instead of asking her to dance
I had put my BAR to my shoulder
And shot her in the face
I thought about her in my foxhole--
One, in a foxhole near me, has his throat cut during the night
We take precautions but it is night and it is you.
The typhoon continues and so do you.
"I can't be killed--because of my poetry. I have to live on in order to write
I thought--even crazier thought, or just as crazy--
"If I'm killed while thinking of lines, it will be too corny
When it's reported" (I imagined it would be reported!)
So I kept thinking of lines of poetry. One that came to me on the beach on
Was "The surf comes in like masochistic lions."
I loved this terrible line. It was keeping me alive. My Uncle Leo wrote to me,
"You won't believe this, but some day you may wish
You were footloose and twenty on Leyte again." I have never wanted
To be on Leyte again,
With you, whispering into my ear,
"Go on and win me! Tomorrow you might not be alive,
So do it today!" How could anyone win you?
You were too much for me, though I
Was older than you were and in camouflage. But for you
Who threw everything together, and had all the systems
Working for you all the time, this was trivial. If you could use me
You'd use me, and then forget. How else
Did I think you'd behave?
I'm glad you ended. I'm glad I didn't die. Or lose my mind.
As machines make ice
We made dead enemy soldiers, in
Dark jungle alleys, with weapons in our hands
That produced fire and kept going straight through
I was carrying one,
I who had gone about for years as a child
Praying God don't let there be another war
Or if there is, don't let me be in it. Well, I was in you.

All you cared about was existing and being won.
You died of a bomb blast in Nagasaki, and there were parades.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


It's official.
July 2006 and I are through.
Someone effin' bring in August already.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

THE BOYFRIEND: "This Holding Feeling Does Not Accumulate..." says Kameo, the genius Japanese manufacturer behind the Boyfriend Arm Pillow.

Check out the product link:
Boyfriend Arm Pillow

Unless you can read Japanese, translate the page with the help of Babelfish:
Babel Fish

Clearly, a single girl would rather hold onto the man-boob of a severed torso-pillow than sleep alone.


On behalf of single girls everywhere, thank you for the Boyfriend Arm Pillow, Kameo! It's so dreamy!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Dear July: An Open Letter (or an open threat??!)

Dear July:
You've given me nothing but suckage this year. You and I are gonna have some serious words if you don't shape up soon.
Why can't you be more like June? You could learn a thing or two about how spectacular months work from June.
Well, you have 21 more, actually, that's 20 days (in a few minutes anyway), to prove that you can be more than a terribly disastrous and poor excuse of a month (A SUMMER MONTH AT THAT!).
If you fail me again, I shall remove you from the will, publicly disown you, and leave everything to June.
I hope we have an understanding.

Anxiously waiting for you to prove yourself,

Sunday, July 09, 2006


*Hey buddy, you better believe I'm no dummy.

The nerd gets on remarkably well with children, toddlers, infants, newborns and fetuses at various stages of development. She, however, refuses to baby young people simply because popular opinion dictates that anyone under the age of 10 is, in fact, an idiot, responding only to unintelligible baby talk and constant smiling of the face-cracking variety. Frankly, baby talk and all of that cooing, peek-a-boo garbage makes her very uncomfortable so she refuses to partake in such silliness.

Instead, the nerd talks to persons under ten years of age (this age range includes the above-mentioned children, toddler, infants, newborns and fetuses at various states of development) just as she would talk to any adult. For instance, check how she deals with a random aunty’s strange(r) toddler granddaughter during an encounter at the mall last year: Baby

Our nerd engaged the toddler in talks ranging from the virtue of celebrity chefs—a la Rachel Ray—to the housewares faux pas, committed by countless Pakistani families, of not having matching dinnerware and silverware, to the pressures to get hitched faced by South Asian women of a certain age. Sure, the toddler didn’t have much of an opinion on the matters discussed, but she seemed FASCINATED by what the nerd had to say and the nerd could almost see her little brain cells dancing a happy thanks-for-not-talking-to-me-like-I’m-retarded dance.

Some would say that toddlers are too young to participate in grown up discussions. This is not true. The nerd’s own cousin’s daughter, soon to be 5 years old, used to be able to walk her through her picture books, talk to her about the weather, her mother’s bad mood, her baby sister’s cold or her opinions about the educational system at the age of 2.5 years. Was she just smarter than other toddlers? Well, yah, because she IS related to the nerd, after all. We must point out, however, that this particular toddler was not coddled like most children are; instead, her parents are also proponents of the socializing method practiced by our nerd.

So, reader, the next time you come across a person under 10 years of age, please restrain yourself from becoming a dancing monkey. Go ahead: ask the little person what she thinks about the Bush administration’s foreign policy, the radical emergence of American Modernism as a cultural and literary movement following World War I, or the appeal of reality television programs. Chances are, that while she might be too young to respond, she’s never too young to listen and to comprehend.

Or maybe she is too young to comprehend. In which case she’ll probably just spit on you and, utterly disgusted, you’ll return the bundle of joy to her mother and be glad that you’re not breeding just yet.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

POETS IN SPACE: An Open Letter to NASA

Dear NASA:

Since the inception of the space program, you've sent a variety of scientifically-inclined persons to outer space: aeronautical engineers, chemists, biologists, biochemists, aerospace engineers, ecologists, electronic engineers, geologists, meteorologists, physicians, computer engineers, physicists, geneticists and many, many more. I say ENOUGH is ENOUGH (and simultaneously shake my fist at you)! Have these scientifically-inclined persons REALLY taught us anything new from their trips to outer space (for the sake of argument, the answer we're looking for here is NO)?


I suspect a large segment of the population agrees that it is high time we send up someone who can give us a fresh perspective on and, perhaps, capture the true essence of outer space: naturally, said someone should probably be a poet (God knows, those shuttles could use some good ol' English Department drama out there in space. Gosh, who DOESN'T miss the English Department?). Anyway, I say we suit up either Maya Angelou or Ted Kooser for the job. Had he still been alive, Walt Whitman would have naturally been our first choice (read "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer") but Angelou or Kooser will have to do--the former because she's so well known and the latter because he probably has a lot of time on his hands now that his term as US Poet Laureate is up.

I look forward to hearing back from you and discussing in further details the possibility of sending poets on future space missions.

Thanks and best,

ps: Our "Poets in Space" program can pave the way for other artsy-fartsy types to travel to space. The possibilities are endless:

Novelists in Space
Muralists in Space
Interpretive Dancers in Space
Screenwriters in Space
Rappers in Space
Mimes in Space
Yanni in Space
Comedians in Space
Rhythmic Gymnasts in Space
Synchronized Swimmers and/or Skaters in Space
Canine Musical Freestylists in Space
etc, etc, etc

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

JADE: Chapter 6

You guys have waited long enough for the next installment of Jade: The Mystical Power, the zombie thriller I wrote when I was 10. Hopefully, the gruesome blood-spillage and zombie action will start now (as I mentioned before, I'm reading this story as I post it up, chapter by chapter, so I have no idea where it's going).


Zach woke up at 6:30 the next morning. Todd had already left (what? no post-coital cuddling?!).

Zach stood up and walked into the shower. As the warm water sprayed around him, he thought about what had happened the other night (some strange voodoo crap, if you ask me). Right when Sean was about to finish communicating with the "spirit world" (I hate unnecessary quotations), the flashlight had gone out (duh. Tell us something we don't already know Zach). Sean later said he had put new batteries in the flashlight...and that draft of wind, it was a long one...

Later that night, the phone had rang when Zach was fast asleep. It was Sean. He said that when he returned to his room, the flashlight suddenly came on again (you know Zach was all like, "You woke me up to tell me THAT fool? I'm gonna destroy you!"). It was amazing, just amazing. Then the draft of wind had went past him, the same draft they'd felt on the third floor when the flashlight had gone out (stalker wind).

Feeling scared all of a sudden, Zach stepped out of the shower and got ready for school (I bet he didn't even wash behind the ears. Ew.).


Zach met Mike (great, here we go again) and Sean after third period.

"Wow, it's really windy today," said Mike. "Do you think that draft last night was from an open window or something?"

"I've been here the longest and the windows are never opened on the third floor," Sean said.

"And how come the flashlight went out?" Zach asked.

"And then started working again in my room?" Sean asked.

(How many Kettleburg University students does it take to figure out that they've opened the portal to HELL?)

"Why are you guys asking me, now I ain't THAT smart," Mike joked (jerk doesn't know when to stop. WE'RE TALKING THE PORTAL TO HELL...A portal, anyway).

"This ain't funny Mike. I'm serious," Sean said (I'm hoping he's gonna kick Mike's ass on the following page!).

"Sorry," Mike apologized.

"That's more like it," Sean said with a smile on his face. After that, Mike knew Sean was kidding (Dammit! Too bad.).

"Do you still hav the book?" Zach asked.

"No, I returned it about an hour ago," Sean answered (good going. How the hell are you geniuses going to close the portal now. Thanks for bringing upon the apocalypse guys. Your folks'll be proud).

"Did you read more of it before you returned it?" Zach asked.

"No way, it was too spooky, even for me," Sean said.

"You jerk," Zach said. "We could have found out more about the draft (Jeez. If only they knew how much more they have to worry about than the freakin' draft). We could have commuicated with the dead. It would have been fun, you know (wow, this is out of character for Zach)." Zach's blue eyes were looking directly into Sean's.

What had happened? One minute Zach was okay and the next he completely blew up at Sean. His voice was different too, rougher, wilder (AHEM).

"I'm sorry Sean. I guess I completely lost it and blew up on you, ha," Zach said, softly.

(Ah, no shit).

"No problem Zach, I know you're tired. All of us slept really late last night," Sean said.

"Well, I'll see you two later. I have to go to class, " Zach waved and walked away towards one of the large brown buildings.

"Wow, I don't think Zach has been feeling good the last couple of days," Mike said.

"I think so too, and all of us got pretty spooked out last night. Don't worry your head off Mike, he's going to feel better," Sean said.

"But it was like a complete mood swing. Hey, do you think my hair looks allr right," Mike suddenly asked (dipshit).

"Yeah, it looks fine to me," Sean said.

"Maybe I should look at it myself to be sure," and with that Mike pulled out his pocket mirror and a comb and started combing his hair while the two boys walked towards the building (I can't express to you, dear reader, how much I HATE Mike; I can't believe that 10-year-old Sabila was able to create such a contemptible character).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


The above photo clearly demonstrates how much I rock. CLEARLY.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


...that life is full of the funnies and that as mortifyingly awful as things seem sometimes, I can always laugh about them.


...pain in the thoracic cavity. It effin' sucks.


...ES for spending Saturday wandering the East Village with me and making me happy with iced coffee and a pay-by-the-pound macrobiotic meal that was so delicious it inspired me to profess my love for lotus root, announce my wish to marry a piece of wheat gluten and go into transports of delight for shittake mushrooms.

Clearly, it doesn't take very much to make me happy...ahem...


...…my kick-ass personal trainer, who is an even better friend, shrink, and dramatic foil and who—after I woke him with a phone call at 9:30 this morning, blubbering about knee discomfort and pain in the thoracic cavity region—stumbled into the gym earlier than he is physically programmed to do so, sporting heavy-eyed bewilderment and bed head and muttering, “I swear, if it was anyone but you…,” but, nonetheless, prepared to heal me.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

THE MORNING AFTER: How Natural History Saves

I was nine or ten years old the last time I woke up with puffy eyes in the morning. It was a Sunday morning and my body ached with emotion. A pair of my cousins who’d been visiting from down south had left very suddenly the previous night after promising me that they were staying for another several days and would accompany my parents, brothers and me to the Museum of Natural History. There was buzz of the early departure among guests at the dinner party my parents were hosting that very same night but surely, these were vicious lies I was hearing.

So, I tried not to think about my cousins leaving on Saturday night until my mom, coming into my room, informed me that everything I’d been hearing was, in fact, the truth; instead of going to the Museum of Natural History with us on Sunday morning, they were hitting the road in a few hours.

I was livid and dejected, heartbroken and fuming. I locked myself in my room and cried until my eyes stung and my head throbbed painfully. How could my cousins back out of our plans? How dare they not tell me? Did they not love me as much as I loved them? Oh, the sorrow. I cried myself to a fitful sleep congested with nightmares.

The following morning, I stumbled out of bed, hung over on tears and sadness. In the mirror, I saw that the lids swelled over my eyes like dough. I looked unlike myself.

So, I washed my face with icy cold water. I showered and changed into my Sunday museum best. With my lips pursed into uncharacteristic and solemn silence, I accompanied my family to the Museum of Natural History, determined to have a lousy time.

But how could I have a lousy time ambling down the stretches of darkened hallway with softly lit dioramas of mammals and ancient man, ocean life and geographical locations on either side of me? My sadness faded away, a relic of a bygone time, as I stood amidst the larger-than-life wonders of reconstructed dinosaur fossils, a nearly 100-foot-long blue whale model suspended over the ocean life exhibit and startling images of the cosmos.

Whether or not my cousins had stayed a few days, the question of their loving me, even my furious tears and seemingly inescapable sadness no longer mattered; I was but a speck on the timeline of natural history and none of it mattered.


Stupid effin' knee. I have no idea why it hurts. And today was leg workout day. Damnation.