Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Oh Canada, you great exporter of sweet, thoughtful, bright, kindhearted, and all-around amazing men, I now call you Manada because you, much like that great city of Menver, give all of us single-in-Manhattan-working-women hope. Thank you, Manada. Thank you.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Dear all my kittens,

Apologies for being such a neglectful blogger of late. I was fully under London's spell during the past several days. While my first four days in Naked Chef land were spent at the mothership--the CBCs (for those of you who don't know, that's short for Care Bear Cousins) were as gregarious, intelligent, and fun as my colleagues here and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them--I spent the final two days in London sightseeing with one of my favorite baby cousins. Fine, Amir's 23, towers over me, and laughs at me whenever I declare that I'm his baji (that's Urdu for older sister) but he'll always be a kid in my eyes. Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, the Swiss Re Building, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the Tate Modern (and its crack!), we saw as much as the short amount of time I had permitted. Though I was unable to take a ride on the London Eye, I did end up taking about a dozen pics of it, plus the views from the mothership were more impressive than those offered by many other vantage points in the city.

My favorite moment(s) of the trip: it's a tie between riding the carousel with Amir in Covent Garden on Friday night and then spending most of the remaining night talking with him in my hotel room, both of us laughing until our stomachs hurt. I miss you kid!

My favorite English dish: I don't know why English food has a bad reputation throughout the world because I thoroughly enjoyed eating the traditional victuals offered in London. While everything--from the ubiquitous mash to the equally ubiquitous fish and chips, to the many varieties of savory pies--was splendid, my most favorite dish I ate was the previously blogged about treacle tart with clotted cream. My stomach's doing somersaults (these aren't necessarily somersaults of joy, mind you) just thinking about it. My cousin and I had high hopes of enjoying high tea at the swanky Savoy on Saturday, which were shattered by the fact that he was wearing jeans and sneakers. But no worries; our favorite Canadian, upon hearing that I couldn't partake of high tea in London, has asked me to join him for the late afternoon meal at the Ritz Carlton. Yes, he's dreamy.

My favorite London chain: Marks & Spencer. I could spend all day in any one of the shops. When, OH WHEN, will these United States be blessed with their own Marks & Spencer??!

My favorite London store: Fortnum & Mason was a feast for all of the senses. Talk about luxe!

My favorite London market: Burough Market, a food market through which Amir and I wandered on Saturday morning, sampling foods from around London.

My least favorite London moment: announcing that "I'm EVERYWHERE online!" during an intimate corporate dinner on Wednesday night. Yes, this might've also been one of the reasons why I felt unable to blog for the remainder of my stay. The thought of execs Googling me and finding this blog remains shudderingly disconcerting.

Needless to say, the tri-state area felt very uninspiring this morning.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It's a little past 8 in the evening and I'm sitting in my hotel room in my pajamas, feeling like a prat for not being out on the town but being too knackered to do much more than eat, blog, make a few phone calls, read, and sleep. I woke up this morning, thinking that it was surely 6AM and being disappointed when I realized that it was actually only 1AM. I ended up lying in bed for another two hours, fretting about being wide awake in the middle of the night, with not a bit of drowsiness to my name, before I finally and rather miraculously fell asleep again, only to wake up what felt like a split second later to my 6:30AM wake up call (I was both relieved and disappointed that the concierge hadn't forgotten about my wake up call like he'd done yesterday. I know, right??!).

It's been bloody parky out here in London these past couple of days--although I rather enjoy parky weather, I unfortunately failed to pack parky weather-appropriate outerwear for this trip--so I decided to wear a pair of black stockings with my mini dress and boots, only to be revisited by the maddeningly irritating spirit of static cling. Naturally, I'd failed to pack the dryer sheets that MP so thoughtfully gave me on Friday, so there I was, my skirt scaling my legs again with a staticky zeal that drove me insane.

I dialled the concierge and asked him if the hotel carried anti-static spray.
Excuse me? he asked.
Anti-static spray, I repeated.
Express checkout? he asked.
No, no, I said, tugging the hem of my skirt away from electrically charged stockings, AN-TI STA-TIC SPRAY. For static cling, you know? STA-TIC CLING.
EX-PRESS CHECK-OUT? he asked again, his voice carrying cautious optimism.
No, not express checkout! Static cling! Static cling! Like what happens when your clothes stick together? Static cling!
I was getting worked up and ready to go downstairs and volunteer myself as living evidence of static cling but he quickly muttered that he didn't understand (he must not wear stockings) and transfered me to a female attendant at the front desk.
Would you happen to have anti-static spray? I asked, sighing.
Express checkout? We do-- she started and I wondered why the bloody prats who bloody worked at this bloody hotel kept on bloody hearing "express check out" each time I bloody said "anti-static spray."
Anti-static spray. Like what you use when your clothes stick together because of static electricity--
Electricity problems?! Now I understand! You should call--
NO, NO! Static! STA-TIC!
Well, sorry, I don't think we have any of that.

I ended up walking to the drugstore next door, where a kindly female employee, who seemed to know a thing or two about static electricity told me that--get this--it had been years since she'd last seen a can of anti-static spray (what are the Brits doing right, is my question) in London but that I should spray the afflicted areas of my clothing with hairspray.

I sprayed my skirt and tights into a firm hold that even a determined gust of wind shouldn't have been able to move. But, alas, the skirt continued to climb the stockings until I, utterly defeated to nylon, stole to the ladies room and did away with them. Though freezing for the remainder of the day, I was relieved. I was relieved.

Finally, don't eat sushi in London. I bought what looked to be lovely rolls at a Japanese takeout place, was asked to pay extra for wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger and discovered while eating my dinner that the Brits seem to enjoy their sushi with the least possible amount of fish and a whole lot of rice.

This city, however, remains charming and I can't wait to explore it this weekend! Woohoo!

I'm exhausted.

Monday, October 22, 2007

COMMUTING, CAMARADERIE, AND CLOTTED CREAM: London Day 1 or a Part 2 to the Post Below

It's been an awfully long day here in London. Two of my American colleagues and I had to fight through the shockingly uncivilized commuting masses in the tube after work today--a journey that was made more difficult by the fact that the District Line was down. We stood on the platform, our eyes filled with the desperation only lost tourists can muster but, like the intrepid New Yorkers that we are, we figured out an alternate route home. After a long, exhausting, frustrating, circuitous journey that's likely bonded us for life, we found ourselves back at our less-than-stellar hotel. It should be noted that my heart, heavy with homesickness, longed for the familiarity (and relative spaciousness) of Manhattan's subway system (the tubes are NARROW. One male commuter became very familiar with my right boob and another with my colleague's butt. One can't help but press into random body parts in the cramped confines of the trains. Plus, no one by the doors likes to move. We almost suffocated a small child because her mother ordered her not to move away from the door as we tried to exit the blasted train and make our way to fresh air) during this journey.

Dinner tonight was a three course meal of buffola mozzarella and tomatoes, grilled swordfish with rocket mashed potatoes and string beans, and a delicious treacle pie with clotted cream. The treacle pie may very well have been one of the most delicious foods I've had in recent memory.

I am so so so grateful for my four other colleagues who have joined me in London. While we didn't know each other very well prior to this program, we've formed a camaraderie in the weeks leading up to our trip. It's comforting to experience a foreign city, which is just different enough to be a bit disorienting and overwhelming, with friends. And, in spite of the horrendous commute home today, our London colleagues are a delightful bunch and I can rather get used to the corporate mothership. London also remains a charming and whimsical city. I believe I should return here on my own to take in some of the lovely sights that surround us.

Well, that's it for now, my darlings. I'm off to sleep as I've got a busy day at work tomorrow! More TK.



Blogging live from London, kittens. The flight was, thankfully, uneventful, save for a few pockets of heart-stopping turbulence and the fact that as soon as we took off from JFK, a South Asian aunty moved from her middle row seat to sit next to men in the exit row (I was sure that she did so to talk up some single son, nephew, or next door neighbor of hers. This wasn't the case. Phew.). London is absolutely lovely, a great combination of history and modernity. Today is appropriately overcast and I've just returned from a delicious authentic British lunch of butternut squash soup and cabbage cheese (at least that's what I think it's called).

Anyway, must get back to work now. Will talk more later.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I have one word for you: TRANSFORMATIVE!

Actually, I've got some more words for you (ie, a most excellent story about sweet Canadians, nine course meals, umbrellas, bidets, and my nerves going haywire) but I'm way too tired to share at the moment. I promise I'll try to blog about it tomorrow night though.

Love you kittens.

The Nerddd

Friday, October 19, 2007

SHORT ON THE Ts: A Follow-Up

Remember when I mentioned feeling very zen about this date tonight.......?

Yah, well, I'm taking that back. I'm feeling rather sick to my stomach at the moment and these delicious chewable Rolaids aren't helping, people. I imagine this is how I will feel on the plane.

Deep breaths, positive thoughts, right? RIGHT???!!!
I'm freakin' out.
Where the HELL are my BFFs?! EFF!


Greetings from a super busy Nerddd, kittens!

Tonight's the night. Eeeeek, yes, but I'm also starting to feel very zen about this date! Let's hope that my sensory integration disorder decides that it doesn't like sushi and goes out for Italian, instead.

Plus, in less than 45 hours, I'll be boarding a jet plane headed for London. Eeeeek indeed and, in this case, I'm not feeling very zen, kittens. Let's hope (for the sake of the traveler sitting next to me on said flight) that I don't have a total meltdown during take-off. The slightly neurotic-about-flying tendencies love airplane food, apparently. Alas.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Not everyone in Pakistan approves of dating. In this searing expose of how "dates are happened, and one can guess further," hordes of lascivious boys and girls "go in the cabins of net cafes and do the love making" (that internet cafes can be so goddamn sexy is news to me!). And, even more shockingly, boys can purchase "fresh" mobile numbers of girls to indecently assault from "Easy Load Centers" (gasp, though the Easy Load Center might provide some great business opportunities for American entrepreneurs...I'm just saying...).

Obviously, this is my favorite article of all time and the following is my favorite comment in response to this eye-opening report:

Ishtiaq Ali said...
Let me tell you a true experience of mine. I was coming back from work from DHA, and was going back to home in Malir Cantt. As it was dark, and I was getting really hungry I opted to follow a short cut which passed through some lonely plots where there were bushes and shrubs.

As I was passing through it, I heart some weird "sounds", and then a female laughter. First I thought I am about to be taken away by some fairy, and then I thought it might be a demon. As I followed the voices, I found that 3 girls and a boy were lying on the ground and were busy in ****.

I stood there shocked, and suddenly, there was a mayhem, as lots of people from nowhere stormed the area, and they started beating the hell of out four of them. It was quite a scene. Almost nakes girls screaming with terror, boy was uttering abuses, everyone in the crowd was so excited and earger to beat the girls then the boys.

This carried on for 10 minutes, and then people took four of them unconsious to police station.

And it just happeneed three days ago.

Shudder is all I have to say. SHUDDER.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I woke up this morning with a burning desire to wear fishnet stockings with my black dress. Fearing the static cling that's destroyed my life of late, I followed commenter extraordinaire Big Kahuna's advice and, after moisturizing as per usual, I rubbed my legs, the skirt of the dress, and the stockings down with dryer sheets. I spent a good ten minutes attempting to neutralize the static cling and, by the end of the ten minutes, the operation seemed to be a success. So, I packed my black boots in a bag, threw on a jacket, and headed out to work, under the impression that my problems were a thing of the past.

It was once I was out on the street that the problems started. Walking to the station, the skirt of my dress fell prey, once again, to that bastard static cling. The more I walked, the more the skirt stuck to my stockings and climbed up my legs. Carrying two ginormous bags while attempting to pull my skirt from my stockings was challenging to say the least and it became downright impossible to do once I picked up my coffee.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to dive into a secluded corner where I could peel off the goddamn effin' static-charged mofo stockings but, alas (I suspect that some would argue, thankfully), such a corner never showed up. And so I tried to walk and, somehow, I managed to make it to my office, where I, in the heat of my anger and frustration and on the verge of tears, took off my stockings as I bitched to my assistant outside her cube (a moment that was very reminiscent of Halloween 1992, when Roselle and I dressed like rock stars and I was wearing problematic pantyhose. After marching in what felt like the longest Halloween parade of my life, with the crotch of the pantyhose hovering mid-thigh, I put myself out of my misery by pulling the hose off on a street corner on my way home from school. My shocked and outraged mother and best friend, along with a city bus that happened to be pulling into that corner, were witness to my desperate action).

I hate stockings.
I hate static cling.
The end.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


"You'll be surrounded by hot, eligible South Asian British guys on those London tubes, Sabila! I suggest you keep several copies of your biodata in your handbag... stranger things have happened."

No. I beg to differ.
Nothing quite takes that strangeness crown like a chick handing out her biodata during her commute.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


T minus four days until my amma-sanctioned "hot date," to which I alluded several posts ago. Between you, my vast multitudes of readers (I'm rounding up, naysayers...ahem...), and me, I'm effin' nervous. Let's be honest here, folks: I'm not very skilled at that fine art of courting or at being courted, for that matter. Perhaps there's a book out there that can teach me how not to come across as a complete moron on a first date...? Any pointers would help.

T minus six days until I leave on a jet plane bound for London. Just between my immense audience (ahem) and me, I'm effin' nervous. Let's be honest here, people: I'm not very skilled at that fine art of taking-off without having a nervous breakdown. Perhaps there are drugs out there that can zonk me out for the duration of the six hour flight without making me feel groggy afterwards...? And, by the way, the thought of packing for eight days and then lugging my ginormous suitcase, handbag, and laptop bag from the airport to the hotel is making me wish I had an entourage. Sigh.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


If you're not Muslim, I suggest you visit one of your Muslim friends. They're guaranteed to have loads of delicious food and an open door policy for guests on this day!

Me, I'm as uncomfortable as ever in the fancy schmancy native garb! I can't wait to change!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Dear Linsys Wireless Router:

You're an effin' slacker and I hate you. I should've just coughed up the cash and bought the Apple Airport when I initially bought my G4 two and a half years ago but I was concerned about keeping the purse trings tight after I'd just spent over three grand on the laptop. For the love of Steve Jobs, I work in publishing; I can't go around spending close to $200 on wireless routers! So, yes, I was stuck with you and thought, well, maybe this reasonably priced router will do what it claims to do (that is, wirelessly route me, or whatever--I told you, I work in publishing!).

Alas, you can't even do that, you prig! Do you have any idea how sick and tired I am of disconnecting the ethernet cable-- first from my modem and then from you--and then waiting for a minute before I restart the modem, wait until it's booted, restart your sorry router ass, and then restart the computer. I'm exhausted! You were supposed to have helped me with my connectivity issues but, guess what genius, you've only succeeded in slowing me down. I don't need an effin' tortoise, you effin' tortoise! I demand a hare!

If you act up one more time, God help me, I'm gonna fire your ass and I don't give a rat's ass if it does happen right before the holidays. Give me an excuse to replace you with the Airport...just give me an excuse...

I thought so.


The Nerddd

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I was on the verge of developing a complex about my come-hither-ly skills, but, thank Immanuel Kant, it turns out that German men might just be into me, after all! According to this article, the German male expresses his attraction towards a female by staring at her blankly and occasionally discussing geopolitical matters with her but mostly by ignoring her. Read about it here.

Success! We've rescued an entire nation of prospective suitors for me! I like intellectual discussions as much as the next fraulein. I can appreciate subtle, long drawn out courting processes and having the pants bored off me. Bring it on!

I'd love to hear from my German readers about this matter.

This, of course, begs the question: do I have any German readers?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I am at my bloody wit's end, trying to figure out a way to rid my stupid-asshole-idiot tights of goddamn static cling! I've recently purchased three (yes, THREE) different static guard sprays, hoping that one of them will be able to deliver on the bloody promises that all three of them boisterously make.

So, do the sprays work? NO! They're liars, all of them liars or else why would my dress still be fuckin' clinging to every single pair of tights I own! And it's too bloody cold outside to go without tights but that's precisely what I have to do because of outrageously false advertising!

What would Heloise do? Or is she an effin' liar, as well, playing with the fashion dreams of girls everywhere?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


From the minute I wake up, I know this morning’s going to be impossible. I’ve awoken a little after my usual 6:30AM and now, I lay still in bed, listening to the discourteously energetic jingle of my cell phone’s alarm clock as it does what feels like permanent damage to my cabeza. By the time I turn off the alarm, it is already 7; I manage to climb out of bed ten minutes later. I pad out of my bedroom barefoot and wearing my nightie, which—pictured above—was purchased in Rockland, Maine for an exorbitant amount of money.

I shower. I brush my teeth and cleanse and moisturize my face. I change into the first dress I fish out of the closet, blow-dry my hair, and apply blush, lipstick. With that I’m set to face the day, which I first do by closing my eyes during my commute and willing it to be Friday. Alas, I know it’s still Monday morning when I open my eyes so I settle for facing the day by reading Brian Hall’s I SHOULD BE EXTREMELY HAPPY IN YOUR COMPANY.

It’s exactly 9AM when I step out of the elevator at work. The receptionist hasn’t arrived yet. She must be having a rough morning too, I think and smile to myself. Letting myself in, I walk to my office, noticing how quiet the corner that my department occupies is. Most of the foreign rights managers are at the Frankfurt Book Fair, after all. At least it’ll be a quiet week. Pushing the door to my office, I’m surprised to see that my assistant isn’t in yet. Her dog wasn’t well last week and I hope she hasn’t had to take him in to the vet again.

I sit down at my desk and start to plug away. Thirty minutes go by. Then an hour.

It’s a little after an hour when I realize that the floor’s still dead quiet. It’s almost as if everyone’s decided to take a personal day on the same d---


And so I sit there, quite possibly the lone person in the office this morning, laughing. I consider sticking around and being super productive on what will doubtlessly be a quiet morning. Quickly coming to my senses, I grab my bags and scramble out of there, praising the Lord for everyday miracles.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Though it feels like I've been fasting for several years now (in actuality, it's only been twenty some odd days), things are, for the most part, on the up and up. I'm currently crushing on a charming, brainy (read: nerdddy. sigh), and handsome young lad, who finds me adorable--neuroses, bum hip, recent chubbiness resulting from the bum hip and all. While the thought of putting my notoriously bad dating skills back to use is a bit terrifying (I've recently discovered that there are rules to dating. Men, apparent slaves to their hunter-gatherer days, find the chase more thrilling than the catch. Women must, therefore, play hard to get. Showing any eagerness or interest in an object of affection is a no-no. Yes, readers, I'm SCREWED), I think that this guy might just be worth the risk of potentially making a jackass of myself.

Speaking of the bum hip, it took a turn for the worse last week but has been on the mend ever since, thanks to my vigilant icing, heating, stretching, myofacial releasing, and praying. I do believe that I'll be back to normal in no time.

Finally, my super fabulous London trip is almost upon us. Yes, I remain terrified of the flight and, in all honesty, a bit apprehensive about traditional British cuisine, but visions of the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, and the Tate Modern are getting me through the fear!

This promises to be an eventful month, kittens.

Friday, October 05, 2007



Yeah, yeah, I know I'm a grown woman and should be able to maintain my poise in the company of a boy I fancy but I can't help it, really. I mean, even The Secret Language of Birthdays book claims that all Pisces born on March 14th idolize their objects of affection. I'm sure this is ultimately detrimental to my love life, but what can I do? I'm a slave to the date of my birth. It's out of my hands.

Plus, I've been told that dating / dealing-with-crushes poise is mastered during ages 15-22. Clearly, I've missed that window of opportunity (I wasn't dating very much back then...hell I'm not dating very much now...ahem). So, this is what you're left with people. Love it or snicker at me behind my virtual back. I can deal with it...well, for the most part, anyway.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

SOOOOOO......... seems that I might have busted my hamstring again today (additionally, I don't seem to have complete feeling in two toes...I wonder if that has anything to do with the busted hamstring and the always busted hip).

Thank goodness I don't have a hot date on the 19th because if I did have a hot date on the 19th not only would I be bespectacled (and still a bit red in the allergy eyes) but I'd also be horribly bloated (remember, I haven't worked out in eons), gimpy (seems like it's going to be quite some time before I'll be able to work out again) and a bit crazy (owing to the allergies, the busted leg, and the bloat).

Phew. I am so glad that I haven't met anyone who wants to take me out on the 19th!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


So, I visited opthamologist no. 2 today, who ended up not being the hotty optho that my mother was hoping I'd end up seeing but some little pregnant lady, instead. She confirmed what my allergist and I knew all along: my eyes are experiencing major allergic reactions. The underside of my eyelids have broken out into tiny little bumps, which are irritating and scratching up my corneas every time I blink. I'm to stay away from contact lenses for at least a month, during which time I'll be on two different prescription eye drops plus fake tears to help lubricate the balls.

Hypothetically speaking, let's say I have a hot date in another couple of weeks, right? This raises the very real possibility that I might be bespectacled during this potentially hot, hypothetical date. Glasses are WAY more attractive than red, watery, photo-sensitive eyes, yes but, still, I'd prefer not to wear glasses on a date. If I happened to have a date, of course. Which I don't...because I'm perpetually single and not very dating adept.


DEAR SABILA: An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Sabila:

The surest way to scare off an obviously learned and self-possessed man, who is vaguely interested in you, is by

1) dissolving into slightly hysterical and extremely screechy giggles that are more befitting a teenage chimpanzee than a grown ass woman;
2) blushing so furiously as you giggle that that you feel lightheaded and flush and are reduced to futilely fanning your tomato-colored face with your hand and, ultimately, left with a pounding headache; and, finally,
3) admitting to the man that you’re blushing, hysterical and lightheaded because you’re nervous as hell that you’ve revealed all of your neuroses to him in the first shot.

You might want to start by practicing restraint and speaking at a pitch that is below the threshold of pain and discomfort.

Super! Good luck in the future!

The Nerddd

ps: You're a dork. Thanks!