Sunday, September 30, 2007

HOW NERDDDY ARE YOU? and other thoughts

Per regular commenter and friend Big Kahuna's urging, I recently took the How Nerdy Are You Test. My result:

I am nerdier than 80% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

I'm so curious to find out how my favorite commenters will score on the quiz!

In other news, while cleaning out a closet, I found myself with one of those Magic 8 balls that were all the rage in the '90s in hand. Of course, I decided to give it a shake. The results were, to say the very least, disenchanting. If the bloody stupid ball has its way, my future holds the following pitiful layers of pitifulness (there are a couple of stars here but, alas, the more pitiable perdictions totally eclipse them):

Outlook's not so good on my being independently wealthy and owning luxurious real estate around the world;

the ball's sources say no, I will not be a spinster;

but it also says that I'm most likely to be single for another decade;

and that I may rely on my being incredibly lonely for a very long time;

I shouldn't count on ever having kids;

but it is certain that I will win the MegaMillions lottery (this prediction made my mother, the only person I know who regularly plays the lotto, very happy and now she's trying to convince me to play this week's draw);

it is very doubtful that I will have a good time on the 19th (dear you-know-who...obviously, this magic 8 ball business is a crock of shite);

as far as having a tremendously great time in London, according to the blasted ball, it is decidedly so.

I trashed the stupidly idiotic magic 8 ball.
I need sleep.

Ciao kittens.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

4:36 AM

'Tis a very strange and lovely time to eat, pray, and reflect and although the 15th day of Ramadan always ends up feeling more like day 1,356,889 of Ramadan, the thought that the month is close to wrapping up makes me sad.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


So, I’m super excited about Thursday night television, right? ABC might be my answer to shutting that portal of suckage, albeit temporarily, swung wide open by Aunty Ass-face last night. Is there any better therapy than a night spent watching the season premieres of Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, and ER*. Yah, so ER is on NBC, but who cares. I was ready for (mostly--read asterisked note below) excellent television, dammit.

As usual, Ugly Betty delivered campy comedic perfection wrapped around a gooey, heartfelt, and genuine center. I started watching it a half an hour after the show started, so that I could fast forward through the commercials. It was wonderful. I was at peace (long live DVR).

At 9:30, after finishing up with Ugly Betty, I started to watch Grey’s Anatomy. The first hour was fantastic, wrought with trauma—emotional as well as physical—and that great big helping of neuroses that we’ve all come to know and love.

But then, my mother** sat down between Zanadune and me to watch the second half of Grey’s Anatomy. And, boy, did the running commentary start it’s 30-minute dash:

Amma (sighing): That could’ve been you.
Me (distracted, confused): Meredith Grey? I could’ve been Meredith Grey?
Amma (sighing): You could’ve been a surgeon. And you would’ve looked way more beautiful than that woman in scrubs.

Ignoring her, I return to the show and a period of silence between us ensues...

Amma (sighing again, pointing at the screen): Sabila, you would’ve been around surgeons like that all day! All day!
Me (looking from her to the screen and back at her again): Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane? Hate to break it to you, amma, but not all surgeons are quite as hot as Hollywood actors.
Amma: Trust me, a lot of them are.
Me (under my breath): Yeah, like on the set of a television drama.

I get caught up in the show again until,

Amma: That could’ve been you…you would’ve enjoyed delivering babies, reattaching severed arms…and meeting such nice, eligible surgeons for marriage!
Me: Amma, T.R. Knight is gay.
Amma: REALLY? Huh.

And after another while…

Amma: Are you just saying that?
Me: No Amma, he came out of the closet last year. Can we watch the show now? Please?

This went on, back and forth, from scene to scene. And then we get to Shepard and Meredith, finally "talking" about their relationship status in that sex closet, or whatever the hell it is, of theirs (doesn’t everyone at Seattle Grace have sex in that closet?).
So, they’re not having sex as of yet, and my mom is going on and on.

Amma: Just imagine it Sabila. Imagine yourself there, where that woman doctor is. That’s where you would’ve been, having these important discussions with this very handsome male doctor.
Me (sighing, whining): Amaaaaa. I’m not a surgeon. Life isn’t Grey’s Anatomy. If it was, I would’ve ended up sleeping with every other surgeon on the show and I don’t think you would’ve liked that very much.
Amma (totally ignoring me now): Just imagine though. That would’ve been you—
(except now, Derek and Meredith are going at it, just like they always end up going at it in that sex closet)
Amma:…you would’ve met a handsome doctor like that, married him, and then this (pointing to the television) would’ve been fine. We would’ve let this happen.

I have to give it to my mother. She didn’t miss a beat when the sex scene interrupted her nice, halal reveries of what it would’ve been like had I been a surgeon on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. And, in spite of not being able to give the wondrous second half of the third season’s premiere my undivided attention, I was practically falling off the sofa, laughing.

Then, as Ellen Pompeo’s voice over tied the episode together, and Izzy, eating ice cream went to answer the door to find George on the other side, my stupid DVR recording ended! THAT’S when the portal of suckage reopened, reader. And it sucked! Anyone care to tell me what happened next?

*Yes, I’m still on that sinking ER ship but I swear to goodness I have one big toe in the ocean, meaning I realize the NBC melodrama jumped the shark, like six seasons ago but rest assured that my level of commitment is limited to DVR’ing the show and then fast forwarding with an always fast-diminishing hope that they’ll come up with something that I want to watch.

**For the record, I realize the tone of this post has been super melodramatic an annoyed but just know that my mother is a comedian at heart; truly she is. She isn't serious about half of the things she says. I couldn’t keep a straight face even as Izzy was working to save that poor nearly road-killed deer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Dear Friend of the Family, who said hello by way of lamenting for long and torturous minutes about how much weight I've gained since the last time we met (all in the spirit of Ramadan, I'm sure):

I hate you.
A lot.
I happen to hate you so much that I hope you're reading this blog right now so that you know exactly how much I hate you.

Thanks for opening the portal to suckage on a day that was turning out to be unexceptional but swell.

I'd love to wish a pox on you, lady, but seeing that it's Ramadan and I'm trying very hard to refrain from cuss words and ill will, I'll just pray that someone introduces you to these interesting concepts called "minding your own business" and "minding your manners." They're all the rage. You might want to look into them, maybe take a couple of classes.

In the meantime, I'll focus on healing my body before I can whip it back into shape.

I'm glad we understand each other.

The Nerddd


So, my allergy eyes are so bad these days that I might need to start using steroid allergy drops!
"But, but, my eyes are my best feature!" I pleaded with my allergist over the phone yesterday. "I can't subject them to 'roids."
"You're shit out of luck, Nerddd," she replied.

Okay, I didn't say anything about the loveliness of my currently photo sensitive and watery eyes.
And she is anything but flippant.
But I am seeing my father's opthamologist on Monday, kittens. Yes, the very same opthamologist who my mother was trying to convince me to see several weeks ago (only some of you know about this story) and the following conversation with my mother did take place:

"But I've already had a comprehensive eye exam! Like last weekend, amma!" I told her.
"And, so you'll have another. Just say no to the pupil dilation drops!"
"Sabila, I think he's single! And he's half Pakistani and very cute!"

And now I must see him.
I hate my sexy eyes.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Both of my brothers have settled into significant other-hood with their lovely significant others.

The frequency of my parents noting "Wouldn't-it-have-been-nice-if-Sabila-also-had-someone-to-invite-to-dinner/brunch/whatever" has, as a result, increased tremendously.

I often wonder why the hell I'm still single. The answer is, of course, pretty obvious: I have none of the fortitude necessary to survive the emotional rigors of the dating world and so I choose being a non-contender over having my heart broken.

Surely, this is a curse that's doomed me to a life of spinsterhood, to be spent in the company of cats and dogs and, of course, the cats and dogs will make my allergy eyes rain down a constant deluge of tears.

What a depressing and wussy choice, indeed.

Contrary to the overwhelmingly despondent tone of this post, my readers should know that I had a most lovely day today! Just wanted to throw that out there!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

DEAR MADLIBBIN' PARASAILER: Oh Yah, It's Another One of Those Open Letters

Dear Madlibbin Parasailer:

Hi! How've you been?

It's been quite some time since my readers have heard from you and, honestly, I still have quite a few questions I'd like to ask you before determining if you are, in fact, THE ONE. I hope you don't mind.

So, following are my questions:

1) As you well know, I love animals. I'll stop, drop, and roll in a dress during a work meeting if doing so meant I could save a critter, however large or small (I've been known to save quite a few insects in my time). You are also aware of my awful animal allergies, the medications I live on in order to keep my cat Zanadune, my undying dream of someday adopting two dogs and three cats (I developed a soft spot for cats with special needs during my stint as a volunteer at KittyKind, so I'd be happy to take in the ones that no one else wants), and my vegetarianism.

How do you feel about animals? Did you have pets growing up? Do you have pets now? Do you hope to someday have pets? How do you feel about groups like PETA, the ASPCA, and the WWF?

Please, don't let my position on the issues of animal rights influence your answer.

I look forward to hearing from you dear sir!

The Nerddd

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Holy moly. 192 readers have subjected themselves to the third How Well Do You Know Our Nerd quiz. Someone calling himself/herself "Nerdy N" scored a perfect 100 (I doubt my immediate family would score higher than a 50 on this test, yo. It's the most difficult in the series of How Well Do You Know Our Nerd quizzes. So good for you Nerdy N, good for you).

I don't say this enough but I really appreciate having a devoted readership---it may be small-ish but it is mighty.

I'm in a good mood. Sigh.

Friday, September 21, 2007


What the EFF*?!!!!!
I'm too old to learn how to pull all nighters now.
I knew this was too good to be true.

*I'm one week into Ramadan. In addition to abstaining from food and drink during the day all Muslims are to refrain from, really, anything negative, which includes swearing. I try not to swear but every so often, those pesky little bad words slip past my God-fearing lips. Let's take for instance what happened this morning. I was shocked, outraged, and angered at the fact that someone who's as devoted a baseball fan as I am wouldn't realize sooner that I'D BLOODY BE IN THE BLOODY UK DURING THE WEEK OF THE BLOODY WORLD SERIES:


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

RESCUE ME: The Plant Edition

My mom rescues plants the same way I rescue animals (read my animal rescue posts here, here, and here...
and here, here, here, and here...ahem):
compulsively. The woman cannot turn her back on a plant in need. She'll often poke her head into the garbage room on our floor to make sure someone hasn't abandoned a potted plant. She'll keep her eyes peeled on the street for discarded planters outside homes. So often, she comes home clutching houseplants thrown out by folks she's deemed negligent in their role as caretakers. A few times, the plants appeared so, well, dead, that I wasn't surprised they'd been chucked in the first place. She clucks her tongue at the carelessness that's caused such a wretched situation and always, always nurses the plants back to life.

Recently, my mother's been obsessed with what appears to be a variety of money plant that's growing at the edge of someone's front yard. She finds herself walking by it almost daily. Having had countless opportunities to examine the haphazardly located and desperate-looking tuft of vegetation, she's determined that the money plant must be rescued! She declared to me that those homeowners have no desire to cultivate the plant and that it will surely perish in the fast-approaching winter. We cased the property on our way back from the local fruit and vegetable market around a month ago and, I must agree, that she's right. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would want such an ugly plant anywhere near their property (or, for that matter, in her living room, as my mom does). A week after we cased the joint, Amma made away with half of the money plant ("I would've taken all of it but I became worried that someone would see me," she explained when I asked her later why she'd left the other half to languish). I'm happy to report that the rescued half has been lovingly restored to an alert and glossy green; it now resides in a lovely terra cotta pot.

My mother, however, is very concerned about the uncared for portion of the plant that remains, wilted, unhappy, and destined to meet a chilly and bitter end. Just today, she approached me, her eyes moist with concern: "I need to grab what's left of the plant, Sabila--," and before she could even finish, I tapped into every bit of rescue reserve I have in me, and said, "Amma, I promise I'll accompany you whenever you're ready to rescue the plant."

We nodded at each other without another word.


Breaking news Kittens!***

I've been selected to spend a week at the corporate mothership next month! Yes, Wills-and-Harry-Land is welcoming your Nerddd with open arms (now, Wills or Harry welcoming her with open arms would be cause for an entirely different sort of celebration...ahem). I've never been to England before. I can't wait to have high tea (or any other sort of maybe scones...or a crumpet or two?) on an arty patio overlooking the Thames at the Tate Modern (our very own Madlibbin' Parasailer highly recommends this). I'd also love to be a groundling at the reconstructed Globe theater, visit Jane Austen's house in the English countryside, shop at Harrods, ride a double decker and the tube, watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, run around Emily Bronte's romantic moors of northern England, etc, all while I learn stuff at the corporate mothership! Phew.

Crap, it's going to be a very long week.
And, oh crap, the realization that I will be making this trans-Atlantic flight all alone is just starting to sink in. Crap (yep, I said it again).

***well, news actually broke last week but I forgot to tell you's breaking news to you, anyway)!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My wonderful 27-year-old cousin and his 24-year-old fiance will get hitched in Karachi, Pakistan in June 2008. Yours truly will be a whopping 29 years and 3 months in June 2008. I'm well on my way to developing a complex about being the oldest single chick in the wedding party. These things would have never, ever bothered me before, so why now? I guess because I've never been 28.5-years-old and without a romantic prospect in sight.

According to Rich, we could always fall back on the "I'm-a-childless-spinster-because-I-care-about-the-toll-that-global-
argument, if we do ever find ourselves single and childless in older age. But if, at 40-something, I continue feeling like I need to be included in this "global swarm," then perhaps adopting from around the globe, a la Angie Jolie, would be the most mutually beneficial way to do it:

"It'll be just like adopting a kitten or puppy, only no allergies (we hope---what if you're allergic to babies? Man, then you really would be eff'ed)!"

I'm totally using the global swarming argument at the June 2008 wedding.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

BIODATA: A Follow-Up

My folks guilt-tripped the following biodata out of me.

I'm 28 years old, was born in Tripoli, Libya and moved to Jersey City, New Jersey with the family when I was a wee toddler. I work in the book publishing industry, for ________, and while I spend way too much time reading and selling and fretting, I LOVE my job.
My saving graces are my two older brothers (ages 36 and 34), both of whom I adore. Without them I wouldn't possess the following: a wicked sense of humor, a love of sports--be warned, I am a baseball FANATIC and a long recovering lover of basketball (the Knicks drained me emotionally one time too many)---a passion for working out, and an obsession with movies.
I graduated from NYU with a BA in English Lit (blame the diversion from my plans to be pre-Med on Faulkner and Hemingway, Neruda and Whitman) and have worked for _______ for six years now.
I LOVE animals. I have a cat named Zanadune. I used to volunteer with a cat rescue group in Union Square until I had to face the ugly truth: I'm allergic to cats, dogs and horses. Cruel fate, eh? Each time I pop a Zyrtec or snort Nasonex (for the love of Zanadune), I chip away just a little more at my dream to someday adopt three cats and two dogs.
What I want people to know about me is that I'm a genuine person. What you see is what you get and this is precisely what I expect from the people in my life. My pet peeves include people who put on airs, lack passion and have poor grammar. I have yet to meet the person who possesses this trifecta of peeves but am certain that this individual is the spawn of Satan.

Yes, dear, observant reader, this biodata is indeed (a very slightly updated version of the) "about me" blurb that I've recycled over and over again on countless networking sites. It will have to do.

Rest assured, though: this time, I'm putting my foot down and saying no to family blind dates!



Saturday, September 15, 2007

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW OUR NERD III: Another Follow-Up or I Just Got In From a Wild Night (reading a manuscript and watching the Yankees Beat those Sox

...ahem) and Now I Can't Sleep

Taking a closer look at this, my third quiz, I've arrived at the conclusion that I'm probably the only person on the face of the planet who can ace it. Aside from maybe Alan Greenspan. It's mucho difficult.

I've also determined that I Can Has Cheezburger is the greatest gift to the internet since Google and the following is, perhaps, my favorite post:


Friday, September 14, 2007


Roselle and I had our first argument in 15 years today. Of course, we made up and swore our love and best friendship to each other because is there really any other way to end a fight after 24 years of best friendship? We’ve already started pointing out and cracking up over a few chosen highlights from the argument (most of which were things that I said, in the heat of the contretemps). They follow:

A) Who died and made you the fuckin-Statue of-fuckin-Liberty!
B) No, I'm what makes America GREAT, DAMMIT!
C) This is exactly what happened to the Dixie Chicks!
D) All hail the president of Jesusland!

Okay, so most of the choice highlights from the argument (ahem, all of the highlights) were mine but I was making a really great point. And, just for the record, Roselle is not a crazy, Bible-thumping right wing Bush supporter. She’s simply someone opposed to the generalizations I love to make. And I am prone to generalizing. For example, this weekend I told my Korean-American friend, ES:

“I LOVE your people. They’re the nicest, most respectful and respectable people on earth...wait, is that prejudiced of me?”

Yah, so it turns out that was totally prejudice of me.

I’ve also said in the past:

“I LOVE all East Asians because they’re the nicest, most respectful and respectable people on earth.”

“I LOVE ALL gay men because they redeem all other men for me.”

“OMG, every single middle American is a Bible-thumping right wing Bush supporter!”

Well, sue me.

What in the eff am I doing blogging at 4:45AM? I hope this post makes sense later today.

Okay, I’m going to sleep.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The average score on the third How Well Do You Know Our Nerd test was 23. How sad. The highest score was a whopping 60 scored by a "Khan." Khan, are we related?


My folks will likely disown me (or at least give me the icy silent treatment for several days) after they discover tomorrow AM that my shiny, new biodata isn't in their inbox. I've asked them to refer all of the (un)suitable boys they and their friends unearth for me to this blog and my gazillion profiles on online networking sites, but amma very firmly declared, "I will not send anyone to that block of yours!" to which I just giggled and said, "You said block." Then, becoming very defensive, I threw in there, "You want to know how many people read my blog? Hundreds! It's good enough for them."

Okay, so maybe I embellished the number a little bit, but I was trying to make a point.

Anyway, the biodata still doesn't exist. I say phooey to such silly things. How am I supposed to condense my life's experiences into a single page? I do have a feeling, however, that my folks are going to guilt me--or ignore me--into doing just that, at which point I will make a special plea to all of my biodata experts out there to help me put something together.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The realization that---given the expeditious rate at which I'm working on finding a husband---my parents might not be around by the time I'm ready to have children, paid me another visit yesterday. This time, it was during a routine walk from the ladies' room to my office. I was in quite a panic, thinking about how I had to be pregnant now in order to ensure that my kids would know their grandparents.

I cursed that blight of advancing age, told myself it would be okay, and tried to get back to work.

I couldn't get back to work right away though.
My mom, you see, seems to have spidey sense when it comes to this marriage-baby garbage. Not five minutes after my "I-need-to-be-with-child-NOW" moment, the phone rang. It was her. After a brief and distracted hello, she announced that I must send her a new biodata straightaway---I was supposed to email it to them last night but I've resisted---plus a photo of myself, which is to be vetted by my mother, of course.

Of course, as per usual, she's not especially forthcoming with the information she does have (a family friend knows of some eligible bachelor in New, and that's all she's told me........). Of course, as per usual, I've reverted to pouting and rolling my eyes a la pre-teeny bopper Nerd.

I really don't want to bloody write a bloody biodata. And, to tell you the truth, this nonsense has made me get over my "I-need-to-be-with-child-NOW" moment pretty quickly. Eff. I dunno what to do.

By the way, you kittens don't know me at all. The highest anyone's scored on the quiz in the post below is a 30%! Damn straight, I'm an enigma!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Yes, ladies and gents, it's that special time again! Test your knowledge of the Nerddd with this brand-spanking-new test. Don't be shy! Share your results and your thoughts about the test with us!
And, all of you overachievers can take the first two tests here and here.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I was surprise-gifted with tickets to the US Open this weekend and it was excellent. Well, to tell you the truth the men's semis yesterday took place under a ferocious sun so the experience was more draining and distracting than excellent (it also left me with the most desperate tan I've ever seen on myself---or on anyone else, for that matter). But I'd be lying terribly if I said that I didn't enjoy seeing Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic play their ways to the finals. The conditions for tennis were nearly perfect by the time the women's finals got underway, but Justine Henin (the former Justine Henin-Hardenne--I used to love saying her name back when she was married. Alas.) trounced Svetlana Kuznetsova too promptly for us to really appreciate the weather.

Today was amazing though. I was joined by some of my favorite people--my brother, our friend Gloria, and my bff Roselle--and although the sun sizzled down on us for the duration of the women's doubles championships (Roselle and I were too busy giggling ourselves silly over the minor everyday absurdities that only the two of us seem to notice to care much about the women's doubles championships. The Taiwanese, I suspect, may have lost), we were blessed with clouds very soon thereafter. Unlike yesterday, when I was encumbered by my brand-spanking-new pair of bargain aviators (I can't bring myself to purchase---or accept gifts of---sunglasses over $10 ever since I lost the $300 pair my brothers bought me), the Nike visor I wore today allowed me to enjoy the sporting spectacle without any tinted misery (I mean, seriously folks, all that dimness is depressing!).

Federer didn't play his best but maintained his amazing calm and composure throughout the match. His style of play is so relaxed, smooth, and effortless. I was rooting for Djokovic, who put up a great fight but, ultimately, choked under the pressure of his first Grand Slam final. He's only 20-years-old (so, I was totally crushing on him when Roselle and I did the math and realized that he was born in 1987; that he was 4 in 1991, when we were 12; and that he was 15-years-old only five years ago! Age, I suppose, is but a number). He'll be back.

It was good times.

Friday, September 07, 2007


The highlight of my second day on the marriage market was the fact that my face stopped leaking.

I need help but shudder to think what kind of circus this might turn into if I get my mother and her cohorts involved.

Perhaps, like amma suggested, I should invest in literature. How does one go about picking up a guy, who'll make a great husband during her commute (because seriously folks, where else am I going to pick him up)?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


So, my first day on the meat--I mean marriage (ahem) market didn't start so auspiciously.

I fell asleep wearing my contact lenses last night--something I haven't done in the ten years that I've been wearing contact lenses.

This morning, I woke up to an ocular DISASTER. It was awful. My eyes, which are pretty sensitive to begin with, were red, watery, and super sensitive to the light. Plus, I had a runny nose (lachrymal fluid draining into the nasal cavity). I stumbled into work wearing shades, which I kept on in the office, appearing odd and mysterious when all I was, in fact, was MELTING. Behind the shades, big, fat tears rolled down my cheeks. My vision was severly compromised, I could barely keep my eyes open, or my nose dry. Needless to say, I was forced to make today a sick (half)day. At the time, I was pretty certain that my allergies were raping and pillaging my immune system (an aside: In addition to all this drama, I haven't showered since yesterday! My allergist is running skin patch tests on me to determine if I have any chemical allergies and the patches aren't coming off until tomorrow. Ew, gross, right? (I also haven't taken my allergy medication since Thursday, which is why I suspected my immune system was vulnerable to abuse)) but my optometrist told me that the contact lenses had destroyed (okay, I said "destroyed"; he wasn't quite as dramatic as I am) me. He prescribed two different eye drops for the inflammation and reassured me that I wasn't "destroyed" and that I would regain optimum vision in no time. I've regained a lot of my vision in the past hour alone, as a matter of fact. And, to all of you Acuvue2 wearers out there, it's supposedly a dinosaur among the birds of the contact lens world, so WATCH OUT.

Let's hope tomorrow's a better day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


As of today, I'm officially ready to get hitched and make babies.
The Nerddd

Monday, September 03, 2007


11) After visiting the deliriously beautiful Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, I jumped behind Barbie's wheel and drove us to Montpelier, the General Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston, Maine. We made it just in time to join a tour that was underway.

12) After the museum, RR and I (and by "RR and I," I actually mean "RR." By this time, I'd resumed my role of trusty navigator) drove in search of The Olson House, which was the subject of many paintings by Andrew Wyeth--one of the best known artists of the 20th century. Christina's World--a favorite of both mine and RR's--is, undoubtedly, his most famous work, so there was no way we were leaving Maine without having seen the house that figures so prominently in the painting. We found it. It was lovely albeit somewhat creepy from the inside. Across the road from the house is the Olson family plot, set among trees adjacent to water. That parcel of land was among the most peaceful I've ever seen.

13) I channeled Wyeth as I photographed RR channeling Christina outside the Olson house.

14) RR and I dreamt about bidding farewell to our lives down south and enrolling in the College of the Atlantic, which was right across the way from our hotel and where we could pursue degrees in Human Ecology, while watching ridiculously fit and shirtless blondes emerge from a campus garden like Adam. Sigh.

15) In an effort to prove ourselves as adventurous foodies, RR and I had lobster ice cream. We ate enough of the ice cream (and by "enough," I mean not very much at all) to conclude that we're not very good at playing adventurous foodies.

16) The final day of our vacation was grossly misspent on an agonizingly boring trip to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Was Yarmouth worth the six hours of brain numbing misery--that's three hours each way, folks--we experienced on The Cat? No. Now as beautiful as the rest of Nova Scotia might be--and I have no doubt it is--Yarmouth was the pits. Our "Ultimate Nova Scotia" bus tour was awful. Our loquacious tour guide drove past the local McDonald's (or, as the locals like to call it, the American Embassy! Har, har, har) and WalMart and her doctor's office. I was quickly losing consciousness by the time she stopped outside her opthamologist's house. Like we gave a hoot, right?
Even seeing the spout of an ocassional whale or dolphin on the way out to Nova Scotia didn't make the trip any less wretched. The highlight of the awful Yarmouth trip ended up being the two hours we spent watching Music and Lyrics on the ride back home (and by "home," I mean "Bar Harbor," of course).

17) Lobster dishes I had in Maine: lobster roll, lobster sandwich, lobster ice cream, lobster salad, and a lobster strudel.

18) On the flight home, I ended up sitting next to a gregarious teacher from Chicago, who, after I'd told him that I was an awfully nervous flier, did a fine job distracting me with conversation. We talked about books, injuries, hiking, religion, war, politics, his fear that he'd miss his connecting flight home from JFK. He was such a lovely person, that I gave him my copy of Brian Hall's I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company. When, shortly after landing, the pilot announced that our same flight would be going to Chicago, the gentleman declared that I must be a lucky charm! I've never had a pleasanter flight in my life!