Sunday, December 21, 2008

CANADA

Dear All,

I'm blogging for you live from Ottawa where it's--you guessed it--snowing. It's cold here, kittens, so cold that, upon my arrival, I promptly fell ill with a sore throat and nasal congestion. My puny immune system has never seen the likes of an extreme Canadian winter. This winter makes the winter weather we have in the mid-Atlantic region look like spring.

However, you should be proud of me: I strapped on skis for the very first time yesterday and with icicles hanging off my eyelashes (seriously, I have the pictures to prove it), I attempted cross-country skiing for the very first time in Gatineau Park. I wore more layers than I've ever worn before: thermal leggings, fleece tights, and cross-country skiing pants on the bottom and a sports bra, thermal shirt, fleece zip-up and snow jacket on top, with a balaklava covering everything but my bejeweled (with the icicles, that is) eyes. I was doing very well for the first half hour on the trail, taking MP's instructions to heart, and gliding along, feeling so wonderful and one with nature. We saw five, maybe six people.

But then I fell.

And I couldn't get up.

And, what felt like the entire population of Canada, whizzed right past us, as I lay on my back giggling my ass off. "First time skater," I managed to say, sitting up and waving to a few of the rubberneckers. The panick set in quickly thereafter. "Oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD, MP, I CAN'T get up." The skis felt giant and unwieldy. What the hell was I supposed to do with them? How the hell was I to get up?

Luckily, a nice Canadian on skis who wasn't MP stopped by us and showed me how to get up after a fall on skis.

Good thing because I proceeded to fall four more times.

The funny thing about falling is that it becomes progressively easier.

I'm happy to report that I was skiing very well by the end of my cross-country skiing adventure with MP. I'd wanted to hit the trails again today but, man, Canada's still kicking my immune system's ass especially swiftly today so I figured I'd take a break (especially with the heavy snow fall out there; this is truly a winter wonderland!).

So, happy winter to all of you. Keep reading, kittens. I'll report back to you soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OTTAWA, HERE I COME

Tomorrow I embark on my first winter vacation in Ottawa, which as you all know is that magical spot on the map where Fiance MP was born and raised. Ottawans embrace winter, he tells me. He grew up ice skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway—recognized as the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink by Guinness World Records--during Winterlude, taking breaks to sip on hot chocolate and nibble on beaver tails. There's an endless selection of activities for the sports enthusiast: winter hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, ice hokey, oh, the Canadians sure know how to turn snowy times into good times!

And t's going to be good times, kittens; great times even! Oh, the snow! Oh, the ice skating! Oh, the cross country skiing for which MP will have to buy me a whole new outfit because I don't have anything to ski in! Oh, the Christmas lights! Oh, the laser light show on Parliament Hill!

Oh, the bone-chilling, teeth-chattering, frost-bite inducing, I'm-wearing-three-layers-yet-I-still-feel-like-I'm-rolling-down-a-snow-covered-mountain-in-my-underwear, deathly, deathly cold!

The high on Friday: 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

No, that isn't a typo. That's what the Canadians call Friday! At least Saturday's high, 11 degrees, is in the double digits. It's going to snow seven of the eight days that MP and I will be there, which is actually a lovely treat.

I may bitch a bit about the weather, but, seriously, I'm looking forward to my first hardcore winter. It should be interesting!

Wish me luck!

Monday, December 15, 2008

GIANT COLLARS IN THE COLD or I NEED A COAT: A Follow-Up to the Follow-Up

The coat arrived last week and it makes me look like the Michelin Man...well, if the Michelin Man was shorter and black, anyway. Puffy down coats are for tall people; I'll stick to the semi-giant collars, thank you very much.

But, yes, you're correct. Wearing my current coat in the sub-zero hell that I'm told is an Ottawan winter is outerwear (and probably actual) suicide. I'm no dummy: I've already endured two winters on the verge of what felt like hypothermia (and that was in NYC, readers) to know that won't cut it. So, I've dug the Anne Klein herringbone plaid toggle coat that, until last night, resided in the back of my closet. The coat happens to be very cute, yes, but it also happens to be like two sizes too big for me and, frankly, I'm not sure I am--or ever was--an Anne Klein herringbone plaid toggle coat kind of girl.

I don't have the patience to elbow my way through department stores anymore, so too bad. The toggle will have to do. It certainly is warm enough.

In other news--I've certainly been obsessed with coats on my blog lately (that is when I actually am blogging; it's been a rough few days, darlings...)--fiance MP is due back from his Nepalese trekking adventure on the 18th! Woohoo! I haven't seen our favorite Canadian since the 26th of November. It's been a lonely past few weeks to say the least.

Well, that's it for now kittens. Choose your coats wisely and stay warm!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

GIANT COLLARS IN THE COLD or I NEED A COAT: A Follow-Up




I've ordered the coat above. It doesn't have big collars (I told you I'm over those). It has a faux fur lined hood (because only animals can pull off real fur); it's puffy, sporty, comes with five pockets (if you don't already know how I feel about pockets, know this: I like 'em) and a lifetime guarantee, plus I got 3-day shipping for free.

It also happens to be a pretty damned cute coat.

I think this should do the trick in Ottawa at the end of the month!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

GIANT COLLARS IN THE COLD or I NEED A COAT

Growing up, I'd always preferred winter to the other seasons. I spent my summers, daydreaming about walking through horizontal snowstorms and right up into adulthood I prayed for that elusive work-snowday, not so I could sleep in but so I could run around in a blizzard--the bigger the better!

And then there was last winter, which, strangely proved to be one of the most unbearable winters for me in recent memory. Surely, I'm getting old and, at 29 my body just can't handle colder climes anymore, right? Right?

Wrong!

It's my coat, kittens. I bought this totally not warm DKNY number last winter because I wanted a coat with big, giant collars and my fruitless shopping campaigns proved to me that there were no such coats available in the retail market...all but this DKNY coat that has a grand total of two buttons and collars that are big, but not giant. After a thoroughly exhaustive search, I decided to settle for this coat. And you wanna know what? I'm cold. I'm freezing. My teeth chatter when it's 40 degrees out. I can't tolerate any sort of chill and I'd probably fare better wearing thermal underwear and a big cableknit sweater.

Now that the giant-collared coat is all the rage this season (what can I say, I'm a woman ahead of my time), I've been totally turned off of them by my giant-collared coat (which, given my trend-setting tendencies, means that the giant-collared coat will not be en vogue again for a number of years).

The moral of the story, however, is that I need a warm coat. Well, I need more than a warm coat, really: I need a coat that can keep me toasty in one of the coldest capital cities in the world, Ottowa, as I spend my first winter with MP and his family later this month. The coat needs to be semi-stylin' because my flimsy-but-trendy-coat experience hasn't made me anti-fashion but I do understand that, at the end of the day, I might have to choose function over fashion. Plus, the balaklava I'm going to be sporting the entire time I'm up north will make it really difficult to look cute.

So, kittens, any ideas for coats to wear in one of the coldest capital cities in the world?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I CARE FOR...



TOFU SHIRATAKI!

Oh to meet the genius who first combined tofu and yam flour to make this delish pasta substitute! I more than care for Tofu Shirataki, kittens. I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! Some will probably complain that the tofu-yam spaghetti, fettuccine, and angel hair pasta is too chewy but, for someone like me, who will feverishly pedal backwards for chewy foods like tapioca balls, mochi, and nougat, Tofu Shirataki is the loveliest vegan and low-calorie-yet-surprisingly-filling food ever (we're talking 40 calories a bag, people!). 

YUM! 
 

Monday, December 01, 2008

SO, NOW WHAT?

I spend most of my days distracted by my engagement ring. It's nice to have these few stress-free weeks before MP and I begin to plan the shindigs--yes, that's a plural for all of my non-Desi readers; there is nothing like a South Asian wedding--in the new year.

Speaking of MP, he's currently trekking among mountains in South Asia, and I won't see him for another sixteen days. He won't have email access for twelve days. This separation by continents and oceans and weeks and days and countless hours and minutes is way harder than I thought it would be. Whenever I whine to amma about missing him, she tells me I should be ashamed of myself, that no polite girl expresses such feelings for her fiance out loud. I just frown and whine some more, at which point she starts to wonder out loud, "Why would anyone want to hike for twenty-one days, anyway?" to which I respond, "Canadians love the outdoors," and she says, "Ah, and why didn't you go? He asked you to go," and I respond, "Don't you know me at all?"

As much as I love MP, I would never ever be able to hike for more than one day. Hiking/trekking/roughing it in Mother Nature, my dear non-Canadian readers, involves much more than just walking up and down rugged terrain--your Nerddd can easily do that part (ahem. Descending down a mountain might be the one exception I make, however, in this "walking up and down rugged terrain" scenario: there's nothing quite as frightening as sitting on your ass and sliding down a FUCKING MOUNTAIN FACE).

It involves:

1) eating in the wild---mildly problematic for someone who dislikes eating in sidewalk cafes, picnics, and barbecues);

2) relieving oneself in the wild---yes, foregoing that absolutely vomitous outhouse in the Pine Barrens during the Summer of '96 and choosing to pee in the forest was liberating and empowering and made me feel like I was in touch with nature all weekend. I, however, draw the line when it comes to digging a hole for number 2;

3) sleeping in the wild---a sleeping bag is uncomfortable and please refer to number 1)

4) not showering---I prefer showering every day, in the woods or out;

5) the constant danger of wild animals---while I love, love, love animals, it is one of my life's goals to never face down any of the following amazing, awesome, and beautiful creatures of God in the wild: bears, bobcats, black rhinos, venomous snakes, wolves, buffalo, mountain goats, foxes, wild boars, cougars, elephants mosquitos, crocodiles, lions, and many, many more. Nature: that's where they all reside, my friends;
*
6) I have no desire to face down the throngs of cannibals, serial murderers, terrorists, and bandits that I imagine populate dark jungles everywhere (shudder);
*
7) I enjoy hiking towards destinations such as comfortable (luxury or not) hotels where I can have a shower, warm meal, and good night's sleep in a bed. Hiking to just hike some more? What's the point in that?;
*
8) am I really expected to travel without my makeup and hairdryer? Seriously?;
*
9) and what about this lovely engagement ring? What do engaged gentleladies like myself do with their engagement rings before immersing themselves into "nature" for weeks and weeks? I didn't get this ring to leave it at home. But I suppose I don't want it to snag on a branch and fall off into an endless pile of leaves--or wild boar crap--either.
*
You see kittens? A sane American like myself can't be expected to hike for multiple days, right?
*
Right?
*
But it's been six days since MP's left on vacation and as the seconds and the minutes and the hours tick by impossibly slowly and I don't find myself appreciably closer to the 18th, I think about how I might just suck it up next time, after all. Pooping in the woods, while facing down any variety of wild animal and insect, and sliding down the steepest of mountain faces doesn't seem all that bad as long as I'm with MP.
*
Sigh.
*
For fuck's sake, this dude's made me such a fuckin' softie.
*
Ay. Love. Sigh.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

WATERLOGGED SHOES, QUEBEC CITY and THE NERDDD or HOW IT ALL WENT DOWN or THE SPARKLE MAKES MY EYES BLEED TEARS OF HAPPINESS

So, kittens, hope you're well. As always, it's been way too long since I've blogged. Oh, I've been crazed, what with being whisked away to Quebec City last weekend by our favorite Manadian, MP, who, after a string of mishaps and misery, finally managed to propose to me. And now your socially awkward, perpetually single, on-her-way-to-spinsterdom Nerddd is actually engaged, which is hard to believe, I know but goodness, it's true. What is even more difficult to believe is the fact that I'm engaged to the Madlibbin' Parasailer but that, too, is very, very true and I thank the Blogger gods for making our match possible. 

It's surreal. 

I spent last week reading through my earliest correspondences with MP and if anyone would have told me then that this guy was my future husband, I would have choked on my saliva and, upon being able to breathe once again, would have said, "Nuh uh." 

Two years and two days after the very first time MP left a comment on my blog--my response to which was, interestingly, a prophetic, "Anonymous, do I know you?" (MP went by Anonymous in those early days)--here I am, engaged to the guy. 

Life's funny kittens; it's strange and absurd, full of twists and turns that never quite seem to make sense, until that one day when all of the scattered pieces fall into place and suddenly you can see that life is beautiful, that underneath the strangeness and absurdity there is this thing called kismet or naseeb or destiny. 

Call it what you will.  It is beautiful. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

MY COLD: A Long and Necessary Whine

Apologies for the lack of updating here, readers. For once, I have a valid excuse: I've been ill, terribly, terribly ill.

It all started back on Thursday, October 23rd, when I was suddenly overwhelmed by fatigue. I usually have boundless reserves of energy, so I found my listlessness a bit odd. Chalking it all up to over-working, over-exercising, and over-hiking I decided to take the day off from boxing. The following day, however, found me just as exhausted. What was going on?! I refused to miss another day of boxing because of a little fatigue but, unfortunately, my body had other ideas. So, instead of the gym, I went out with MP, who, upon holding my hand, commented that I was burning up.

I woke up with a devastatingly sore throat on Saturday morning, which eventually subsided over the course of the day. I even managed a seven mile run.

I paid for the seven mile run the following morning, when I woke up with not only a sore throat but nasal congestion like you wouldn't believe. It felt very much like someone had stuffed water-soaked cotton balls up my nose, an odd and wholly unpleasant sensation, indeed. I stayed in bed all day.

I felt even worse on Monday morning and, yet, I somehow made it into work. I even managed to be productive. I was taking measured swigs of Robitussin by this point, in the hopes of kicking this horrible, horrible cold. Not feeling terrible on Tuesday morning, I came into work hopeful that I might be on the mend. I was proven wrong, however, when my condition quickly deteriorated over the course of the morning until I, nearly coughing up a lung and blowing deluge after deluge of sickness from my nose into wads of tissue, called the day a defeat and limped back home. I stayed at home the following day, still ill, still chugging Robitussin, to no marked improvement.

Woe.

Thursday saw my return to the office, as my waterlogged nasal passages dried up for the most part. The cough, however, was something to be contented with; booming and wet, it made my body hurt as much as it made people stare. The Robitussin was utterly useless and my hacking became my own personal theme music. The prospect of boxing anytime soon felt impossible. And so I coughed through Thursday. On Halloween Friday, the cough proved to be an appropriate accessory for my Renegade Nun. Dressed as a nun, I also carried a machine gun, was draped in bullets, had a holy water bottle strapped to my waist and a cigarette dangled from my lips. It was only fitting for Renegade Nun to have emphysema.

My cough was so bad that instead of spending a festive night with my friends, I retired home and tried to fall asleep early. As usual, I ended up glued to the cable news networks, fully obsessed with the presidential elections.

The following week was a blur of coughs. People continued to stare at me as I wondered if I was succumbing to some sort of cancer that manifested itself in cold symptoms. I bitched about being sick all of the time. I bitched about missing days and days of boxing. I suspect everyone but MP grew tired of listening to me (if you're reading this MP, now's NOT the time to be honest! Kisses!).

Oh, the patience of Canadians!

And, just when I thought things couldn't get worse, worse they became. During an especially awful coughing fit on Friday, November 7th, I severely pulled my intercostal muscles on my right side. Now, in addition to coughing like the fate of the free world depended on it, it hurt to breathe, laugh, and, oh yeah, cough. I cried about "my rib, oh, my aching rib!" all weekend. Amma told me to suck it up. My brothers ignored me. MP commented that this was an unfortunate turn of events.

I had moved onto Robitussin bottle number two and wondered if perhaps my rib pain wasn't an intercostal muscle pull at all. What if it was another manifestation of cancer. I fretted and, finally, finally called my doctor, looking for a cure!

All I found, instead, was a message stating that the number had been changed. Extensive Google research revealed that my doctor had upped and moved without informing any of his patients.

Lovely.

So, after hours of extensive online research, I found someone who looks to be a capable physician, wrote out a timeline of my lingering sickness, and brought it to him. In turn, he prescribed me with antibiotics ("you've fought this cold valiantly but sometimes it's okay to ask for a little extra help"); a strong cough suppressent ("be careful, this is a narcotic"); and Celebrex("it'll help with the severe intercostal pain").

The cough medicine is making me a bit loopy, my gastrointestinal system is experiencing all kinds of crazy because of the antibiotics, and the Celebrex has me feeling like an old fart, but I'm on the road to recovery...and might very well be boxing again tomorrow.

Anyway, that's why I couldn't blog quite as often as I would've liked to readers.

Forgive me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

BARACK OBAMA

I am a proud, proud American tonight.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

ELECTION DAY

Update: The calm to which I refer below has left me, only to be replaced, once again, by my constant companion since yesterday--an upset stomach.




The Nerddd just voted for Obama/Biden. She wants all of you (especially you kitten-fools out in the swing states) to do the same.

I've never been prouder to vote and after years of fretting, a calm has settled over me. I suspect that I'll return to wiggin' out tonight as the polls close, but right now, this is a good feeling. Go Obama.

Monday, October 27, 2008

ADDICT or I'M SICK




Apologies for not posting in a week, dears. I've been ill with a cold for several days now. In addition to making me cough, sneeze, and burn with fever, this most peculiar cold has made me addicted to Word Whomp Derby.

ADDICTED.

AD-DIC-TED.

I CAN'T STOP.

I find nothing more satisfying than making the gopher drive at turbo high speeds by creating different combinations of words from the letter tiles I'm given. It's awesome...a waste of my life but awesome nevertheless.

I HATE being sick.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BEAR MOUNTAIN: TRANSFORMATIVE!

I won't lie: I was nervous about a hike that I couldn't do in a dress and flip-flops. Visions of being stranded on a mountain haunted me for days. The possibility of being assaulted by the elements was not appealing. And what about wild animals? I love all animals, wild or domestic, but the thought of getting up close and personal with a bear*? Sorry, that's not my cup of green tea. But, I love MP who's Canadian and, therefore, loves hiking and communing with nature and needs to reacquaint himself with both before he heads off for three weeks in Nepal.

And, so, this past weekend, the two of us went hiking. It was a crisp, bright fall day and the world was awash in a breathtaking palette of reds, golds, browns, oranges, and yellows. In spite of my nerves, I managed to show up in a downright cute, sporty number. MP wore the beginnings of a beard, explaining that there was no better place for facial hair than in the mountains. He looked adorable, which may not have been the look he was going for. With map in hand, compass in MP's pocket, and cap on my head (I know! I never wear caps! It was a rather fetching look, if I say so myself), we headed towards our trail.

And I fell in love.

Oh, kittens, it was lovely. Being immersed in nature was surreal: I was the center of the universe as well as a mere speck on an immense topographical map. My feet were planted firmly on rugged terrain but my heart felt enormous and afloat in the world around me. Sweating, struggling to get over especially steep rock faces, trying to keep my footing in running shoes, I felt numinous; I am human but a part of myself was reflected divine that day as I walked upward, towards the peak, towards the sky.

I won't lie, though: the downhill was fuckin' treacherous. I thought I was going to injure myself horribly during the entire descent, which lasted about three years. I was trying hard to maintain a good and positive attitude as I sat on my ass and slid down the numerous and steep rockfaces on the mountain, attempting not to, you know, die, but those bastard rocks just didn't want to end. Can we get some more uphills here, I asked no one in particular, as MP led the way, showing me exactly where to put my feet in order to avoid spills. Finally, after years and years of going downhill, we arrived at a clearing and my heart leapt with joy. MP assured me that we weren't very far from the bottom of the mountain. I wanted nothing more to do away with this joint, jump on the bus, and go home. I led the way, nearly running towards safer ground.

Oh, but wouldn't you know it. The terrain had briefly fooled us, readers, and, there, stretched before us were even more rocks.

This is getting old, I declared at this point. I'm so sick and tired of these fuckin' rocks. I hate this. I HATE THIS!

I sat on rocks, in tears and defeat.

MP took a picture of me. Look how far we've come, he said pointing up at the trail behind me. I'm a seasoned hiker, he told me, and this has to be one of the more difficult trails I've experienced. I'm so proud of you. You're a natural.

Finding firm ground on MP's words, I stood up and continued down the trail silently; he continued to encourage me. Before I knew it, we were at the foot of the mountain albeit on the opposite side of where we were supposed to catch our bus. I ran in a fruitless attempt to make it to the bus before it departed without us but it was too late. MP and I were trapped in the loveliness of Bear Mountain Park's Octoberfest for another two hours, with nothing to do but eat farm fresh pears, straight from the kettle kettle corn and sample delicious fudge.

Dears, you'll be surprised to know that I've decided I love hiking. MP's 1-year anniversary (it was on Sunday!) gift for me: a lovely dinner at Bouley and hiking boots!

*a friend tells me that Bear Mountain is a misnomer, that there actually aren't any bears on the mountain.

Monday, October 20, 2008

THANK YOU COLIN POWELL

In endorsing Barack Obama for president on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday, Colin Powell repudiated the Islamophobia that has been a part of the presidential campaign for quite some time now:

I'm also troubled by - not what Senator McCain says - but what members of the Party say, and it is permitted to be said: such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian; has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, "What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?" The answer's "No, that's not America." Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be President? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own Party drop the suggestion he's Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery. And she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star; showed that he died in Iraq; gave his date of birth, date of death. He was twenty years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross. It didn't have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Karim Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey, he was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11 and he waited until he could go serve his country and he gave his life.

Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that within the Party we have these kinds of expressions.



It's about time that a respected figure in American politics has taken a firm stance against Muslim bigotry.

Here is the photo that Powell spoke about on the show.

Friday, October 17, 2008

HIKING

Some of my readers have expressed a desire to know more about my relationship with MP (and less about Sony Readers...although in all honesty, this blog started as a blog about strictly nerdddy stuff..).

Know this:

1) we are hiking together for the first time ever today. MP's bought me proper hiking attire so the hike will be nothing like my hike with Rich in Maine last year (I did it in a dress and flip flops, remember?). While shopping for hiking attire, MP asked, in a concern-tinged voice: you won't be complaining during our entire hike, will you. Because I, um, I really enjoy hiking.

I can make no such promises MP, especially when you're bringing along toilet paper for the trail (ahem).

2) tomorrow is our one year anniversary.

3) I'm deliriously happy.

Another Follow-up

Upon closer reading and further inspection of my late night postings (below), I just vomited a little in my mouth (not because of the kittens, kittens. The kittens are ADORABLE).

Good morning.

A FOLLOW-UP TO THE POST DIRECTLY BELOW

I feel so fuzzy inside [as a direct result of composing the post directly below this one] that it's actually making me feel a little ill...and dirty.

I still love you guys, though (ahem...). I don't think my blog's ever been more pink than it is at this moment.

DEAR READERS, WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?

Seriously.

I know I haven't been around very much these days--blame the boyfriend for that...who knew being in a relationship would be so time consuming (and he doesn't even post comments anymore! DIOS MIO!)???--and my postings have been, at best, sporadic but, seriously, kittens, where did you go? I beg you to climb out of the car engines you've crawled inside to keep warm during the long stretches of my absence from the blogosphere. They are bone-chilling times, indeed, but I give you my word: I'll keep you warm. Return to me and I'll keep you warm.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MY READER(s)




I was reading a manuscript on my Sony Reader during my commute this morning when I realized that I have yet to tell you about my Sony Reader. So here's some old news, kittens: the Reader is a miracle into which I can download the same manuscripts I was once forced to lug around everywhere I went (and we wonder why I have a bum hip). Although I have yet to use the device to read for pleasure (at the moment it's used solely for reading manuscripts for work), I can tell you that it has changed my life. I absolutely love it! It's small, lightweight, and slides right into my bag's back pocket. The best part: it holds up to 160 books. To have such an extensive library at my fingertips, wherever I am is a miracle and this nerd has converted to the church of the digital book.

It would be so very easy for me to announce that print is dead, but I hesitate to make any such pronouncements (for mostly sentimental reasons, yes). There's nothing like the weight of a book in one's hand, the feel and the smell of it, be it old or new, as one devours the words from pages that she can touch. I like nothing better than walking through the seldom visited aisles towards the back of my library, where the dust has settled over books on obscure topics. I am, however, at the tail end of a generation that prepared its first book reports on a type writer. My generation remembers when the personal computer was a novelty. We know what it was like to pop coins into pay phones. Is it any wonder that we still have an affinity for books?

What I often wonder is whether or not the child who is born in today's digital age will have an affinity for print. The answer often feels glaring and simple (and eco-friendly!).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FIRST LADY DREAMS


I dreamt that Michelle Obama and I were hosting Saturday Night Live together.
It was awesome.

Friday, October 10, 2008

AWAKE AT 1:33AM

Hello readers:

I'm not an insomniac. In fact, I've always been quite a prompt and heavy sleeper.

And, yet, here we are, chatting at 1:30AM. Don't get me wrong. I desperately, desperately want to sleep. Work's been grueling and I've returned to boxing after a month-long hiatus, so all I can think about is sleep. Even now, I'm barely able to articulate my thoughts because all I can think about is sleep.

But I can't sleep. I can't sleep. And now it's 1:44 in the morning and here I am, still working on this post sporadically, uncertain if I'm even making much sense.

It must be the boxing. I'm so glad to be back in the ring (although, for the record, I'm not actually in the ring all that much just yet) and I'm also grateful for hydration because working out (ie running) without water is difficult. It's sure got my adrenaline pumping and, as a result, it's 1:48AM and I'm still awake. I want to stop typing but I can't. I physically can't stop. It's almost as if my fingers would rather type anything--gibberish, garbage, whatever--than shut off my computer so that I could even try to fall asleep.

So, on the occasion of my insomnia, I present you, ever loyal reader, with the following haiku:

I can't stop typing
And to sleep I've now bid bye.
Thank goodness for snooze.

Monday, October 06, 2008

WEDDINGS, DATES, AND THE NERDDD***

***For the purposes of maintaining the anonymity of friends who are not complete exhibitionists like myself, I have assigned assumed names in the following retelling of this Saturday past (it should come as no surprise that the bf, who, ironically enough, isn't one for having his life plastered online, will continue being called those two most magical letters of the alphabet: MP).

It's Saturday, October 4th. The clouds have conga'd right on out of the day, leaving behind plenty of blue skies for N's wedding reception. I've skipped lunch in anticipation of a 12-course banquet dinner. I've ironed my outfit for the evening (alright, so amma ironed my outfit because, truth be told, I have no idea how to iron these traditional Pakistani numbers. And, yes, like most second generation desi-Americans, who--for the most part--have only attended desi weddings, I have no idea what to wear to non-south Asian weddings and usually just settle for the traditional garb that I'd wear to, say, my second cousin's wedding. I do so without any qualms, thank you very much). I've washed my hair. I've dried it and styled it. I've rewashed and dried again because, holy mother of the internet, what the eff is going on up there anyway?!! I've fantasized for a split moment about pulling a Sinead O'Connor but then, realizing that shaving my hair probably isn't the most time efficient of options, I've taken a curling iron to it.

I've now lathered both hands with soap and, after breathless minutes of gentle squeezing and praying that there is no blood (oh God, DON'T LET THERE BE ANY BLOOD!), I've managed to put on delicate glass bangles that, for all intents and purposes, should be too small for me (when it comes to bangles, it's the smaller, the better--or so I'm told by the Pakistanis). My ironed outfit is now in a garment bag (since I'd rather not be too blinged out on the train, I've decided to change at MP's). My clutch, my heels, and my dhupphata are in my purse. My hair is done.

But, holy holy, it's already 4:15 and, the last time we spoke (five days ago) my great friend ES said that she and her lovely husband would arrive via rental car at MP's at 5 and there I am, standing in the bathroom, still contemplating my hair without a single lick of makeup on my face. For, what feels like the first time in my life, readers, I'm on the verge of being late (this is a monumental moment in the life of this very punctual Nerddd) and it's stressing me out. The stress works in my favor and, before I know it, I'm wearing a light layer of makeup and, damn, I don't think I've ever done my eyes so well. And, although it feels like it didn't take very long, it's 4:40 by the time I'm done with the makeup application and I'm running to the train station, garment bag and giant purse full of another purse and shoes and stuff in hand.

By some fortuitous stroke of train scheduling luck that, very clearly, isn't my own, the train arrives within five minutes of my own arrival at the station. Unluckily, however, when I put my left hand on the wall behind me, in order to steady myself as the train barrels to MP's part of town, those goddamned glass bangles explode (my wrist and hand, somehow, remain unscathed). A nice man collects the shards for me and hands them to me. Not knowing what to do with what's left of glass bangles that I've silently sworn off for as long as I am sane, I stuff them in my bag.

The train pulls in at MP's station after what feels like weeks and I shove my way past tourists, race up the stairs, and hail down an off-duty cab that is seemingly going in the direction of MP's place. Even though the cabby tells me he can't do it, that MP's place is actually out of the way for him, I sorta beg and stomp and feel my face turning red with desperation so the cabby, who's likely afraid for his life at this point, lets me in.

Once in the cab, sputtering about usually being so punctual and suddenly being so late to no one in particular, I fish through my shard-filled bag and emerge with my phone. I frantically dial ES's number to let her know that I'm on my way and that she and her husband should go upstairs to MP's apartment because I still have to change and, I'm so sorry I'm late, and, historically, I'm punctual so this is just so out of character.

I'm sweating now, yes.

The phone rings a few times before I get ES on the other line.

ES: (whispering) Hey, what's up?
Nerddd: (panting heavily) Where are you?!
ES: (as calm as an art museum) Hm, at the museum.
Nerddd: (on the verge of hives) But what time are you coming over to pick us up? For the wedding??? Sir, please take a left here. A left!
ES: (talking to B, her husband): B, what's the date today? The 4th, right? (getting back to me) The wedding is tomorrow.
Nerddd: (um, no it isn't) Um, no it isn't.
ES: Sabila, the wedding is on the 5th.
Nerddd: No!
ES: Yes. Yes, it is. I don't know who's wedding you're planning on attending tonight, but it isn't N's.
Nerddd: (exploding, much like those deadly glass bangles) SERIOUSLY??! OH MY GOD! WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? PULL OVER RIGHT HERE, SIR! I PRACTICALLY HIJACKED THIS GUY'S CAB BECAUSE I THOUGHT I WAS RUNNING LATE AND THE WEDDING ISN'T EVEN TONIGHT!
ES: (already giggling) It's a Sunday night reception.
Nerddd: (paying the cabby) I apologize for this, sir (the cabby doesn't look amused). Can you believe the wedding wasn't even tonight (ahem)?! I'm an idiot, clearly (I add this for good measure. He doesn't crack a smile. I double my tip and step out of the cab). ES, do you realize I've done my hair and my makeup. I took PAINS to do my hair and my makeup. And poor MP, he's probably already dressed. Ugh. I'm an idiot and I'll call you back.
ES: (trying hard not to howl at the museum, manages a very muffled goodbye).

I'm defeated. I walk slowly towards MP's apartment, the garment bag limp in the same hand that, though it was spared injury, now appears naked and patehtic wearing a lone surviving bangle. The makeup that looked so good only an hour earlier feels heavy under the layer of panic-induced sweat I'm now coated in. My hip hasn't hurt in quite some time but I feel myself almost limping: I've been routed by a misunderstanding. I've been schooled.

And, goddamn it, I'm starving.

It's only when MP opens the door, looking wedding dapper in a black ensemble, and wearing an eager-to-go-to-the-wedding smile that I allow myself to dissolve into laughter. I laugh and laugh and he laughs too, without even asking me what's the matter. Finally, I manage to spit out that the wedding is tomorrow.

We laugh for a very long time and MP takes these really nice pics of me laughing on the phone with amma (who's promptly declared that I'm crazy and now all of my friends know it, too).

And then we go out for a very nice dinner.

The End.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

NOW WE STOP EATING



Seriously. The volume of food I've consumed today is just wrong.

Eid Mubarak, kittens.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NOW WE EAT

Eid couldn't have come at a better time, kids. I was getting tired of Ramadan'ing. Judge me if you must for not bearing the difficulty of fasting with good cheer and patient piety but I'm just being honest here. Perhaps it's just age creeping up on me--the Nerd faces down the big 3-0 (uh oh!) next year, after all--but Ramadan is rough, y'all.

Thank Allah for Eid, however. My mom cooked enough to feed a small village and, like every year, we have an open door policy (translation: anyone who wants to waltz in and have some food can and probably will), so come on over if you're in town (and aren't a crazy-stalker-serial-killer type, okay, thanks).  So...

HAPPY EID, EVERYONE!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MP's Canada

MP and I recently settled into 11 months as a couple together. That we probably wouldn't have met each other had it not been for my pink-and-fabulous-yet-humble blog scares the nerdiness right out of me. I'm still pleasantly surprised by the thought of him and the fact that he is in my life. Where did you come from? I often ask him. The answer, of course, is always the same: Canada.

I've waxed poetic about Canada and Canadians in the past, dear readers, but having recently returned from a vacation in the land of ice hockey, poutine, and nice (yes, I mean the adjective), I'd like to continue waxing poetic.

Firstly, I was practically niced to death by the Canadians. MP's family, his friends, random strangers, storekeepers, waiters, waitresses, airport security, EVERYONE was so nice it hurt (but in a good way). In fact, the only rude person I encountered during the duration of my stay in Canada: the American customs official at the airport in Montreal, who was downright scary.

Canadians, secondly, are a calm and patient people (I suppose that calm and patience are essential ingredients for nice). Example: MP and I are driving up a narrow, one-way Ottowan street, lined with outdoor markets, when, suddenly, a truck in front of us stops in the middle of the street and two guys proceed to unload their market fares. These guys spend a good five minutes unloading and I stop having my "Oh-my-gaw-the-nerve-of-these-guys" moment long enough to listen to something extraordinary: silence from the long line of cars behind us. They're as quiet and as patient as MP is beside me and they seem to have no beef with these dudes holding up traffic. I am shocked.

Ottawa is beautiful. Check out the following pics:






Montreal is beautiful.





I don't think I'll ever tire of a Canadian accent (for the record, Canadian accents vary aboot as much as the American English accent does...I recently met one of MP's friends who hails from Saskatchewan and her "aboots" are "a-boats". Learn how to speak like a Canadian here. To be surrounded by polite aboots was lovely.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not planning on moving to the lovely north* and even though I'm extremely critical of the good, ol' US of A**, I do still love my country and plan on raising a famiy here.*** All that being said, I'm so glad that I've found MP and he's helped me discover Canada.

*I will be revisiting my plans if Palin/McCain dupe my not-always-bright countrymen into voting another Republican adminstration into the White House.

**as all good patriots should be

***see first asterisk

Thursday, September 18, 2008

RAMADAN, IT'S PLAYING WITH MY MIND

I'm suddenly craving Pakistani food, readers, and I don't mean the few and (well, somewhat) uninspired vegetarian dishes, with which I have to resign myself at Pakistani gatherings. Oh, no, no. I would like nothing more than to stuff my face with kababs wrapped in steaming, fluffy, straight-out-of-the-tandoor naan. I want to eat a spicy chicken korma with parhatas . I want to lose myself in a delicious chicken pulao and delicious tandoori chicken.

Of course this is problematic, given that I'm a vegetarian and, yes, I've occasionally craved meat, but, goodness, the crave is strong today. Hopefully, my weekend trip to Pittsburgh where I'm attending a wedding where only the most delicious veggie cuisine will be on the menu will combat this sudden onslaught of meaty love.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

RAMADAN: FASTING AND WHINING

'Tis the season of fasting, kittens, and like most Allah-fearing Muslims on the planet, I've been going sans food and drink from sunrise to sunset for several days now. Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, each year, the month of Ramadan is about ten days earlier than in the previous year. This Ramadan, sunrise and sunset are roughly 13 hours apart. To say that I feel famished and listless these days is a gross understatement. I hate to complain while happily undertaking a God-sanctioned religious duty but, man oh man, one week into it and it already feels like forever. I think most Ramadan observers will agree that while we can go without food during the day, it's the lack of water that gets us in the end. Plus, trying to squeeze a nice, long run in just before or after sunset these days can be either invigorating or muscle-and-bone-achingly exhausting.

Okay, that's it. I think it's probably in my best interest to refrain from whining during this wonderful month. I'll shut up now.

Monday, September 08, 2008

BLAME IT ON THE RAIN: I'm Around or How Relationships Take Away Critical Blogging Time

Sabila. Are you alive. What the shit are you doing these days...

I recently received the above comment from that best-loved reader of ours, anonymous. I understand that anonymous' concerns might be shared by many of my readers so I respond to all who are anxious about my whereabouts when I say:

Hi. I'm alive and well. I've been chilling these days.

The thing is, dearest readers, that MP is totally cramping my blogging style. Having a social life, I'm finding, is not very conducive to maintaining a blog (turns out it isn't very conducive to watching television either. I can't tell you the number of Mystery Diagnosis episodes I have languishing in my DVR queue. And forget about Gossip Girl. I gave up on that very early on). And, yes, while I agree that there are loads of bloggers in the blogosphere who maintain their blogs in spite of extremely hectic life schedules, I seem to be having a difficult time finding that balance.

In any case, you'll be pleased to know that, not long ago, your one and only Nerddd took a jaunt up to Manada with her favorite Manadian and I'm happy to report back that Daddy MP, Momma MP, and Big Sister MP are even more lovely and charming than MP!

Impossible you say?
Oh, it's possible, I say! Eh!

The moral of this post: sometimes finding a balance between life and blogging is difficult but it shouldn't be impossible. Oh, and Canadians are super nice, and even MP's niceness can be eclipsed in the land from where he hails! Plus, this post has nothing to do with the rain.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I SPOTTED SPEKTOR

I did!

I was walking to MP's place this past Saturday morning, minding my own business, when I saw Regina-fun-and-quirky-but-with-oodles-of-sick-range-and-talent-Spektor standing outside The Spotted Pig.

I tried to walk away but I couldn't.

I tried not to jump up and down, but I did. Briefly.

I tried to walk over to her but I couldn't.

I mean, what would I say, without coming across as a crazy, stalker fan. We all know I'm very clearly not a crazy stalker fan, but I'll be the first to admit that I can easily be mistaken for one while under extreme levels of anxiety and stress (oh, and then I break out into hives, adding yet another--and very special--dimension to the crazy stalker persona).

And, so I stood cater-corner to her, watching her surreptitiously over my phone as I pretended to text somebody, "Fidelity" running circles inside my head. She seems nice, I told myself, as I watched her laugh and talking with another girl. She'll be so flattered and humbled if you walk right on over and tell her how much you absolutely love her music. But you don't want to do away with your cool as a cucumber New York City persona so you can throw in a "I walk by celebrities all day and couldn't give a rat's ass about them, because, you know, the city's crawling with them and who wants to bother them as they go about their daily lives but you, apparently, bring out the raving, out-of-town groupie in me. Ahem." And you can talk about going to her show at Town Hall and, wow, how fun was that! You saw Martha Plimpton in the audience, even! Well, you could probably leave the Martha Plimpton part out because who cares, really, right? What you could talk about is hearing Fidelity on Grey's Anatomy, which was such a pleasant surprise and emphasize that you're not a stalker or anything. You're cool. Cool as a cucumber. Walking to your boyfriend's place, like any other day and, bam, there's Regina Spektor! Surprise!

Luckily, Regina Spektor walked inside the restaurant with her friend as I was practicing what was sure to be a terrifying for her and humiliating for me hi-I'm-your-fan experience.

Monday, August 11, 2008

MAHJONG

Mahjong is an ancient Chinese game of skill, strategy, and calculation. It involves 144 tiles, three suits, dice, the east, west, north, and south winds, dragons, flowers, jokers, Chinese numbers and, like, ten different variations of the game.

Just thinking about it makes my head spin.

The challenge, of course, is learning how to play mahjong by the end of the month.

And, no, I haven't started yet.

Eek, is right, readers. Eek, is right.

LIVID

I AM SPEECHLESS.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

MY NEW PASSION

Oh yeah. The Nerddd has a brand new passion and IT'S CONSUMING MY LIFE.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

FIBERONE FATIGUE

As you know, kittens, my love of FiberOne cereal has been well-documented on this blog. I've longed for those fiber-filled twigs after the most delicious weekend brunches and craved them while exercising at the gym. I've even had dreams (yes, actual nighttime dreams!) of eating bowls of FiberOne during boardroom meetings and at ballgames. Is there anything more delicious than a chilled, slightly mushy bowl of FiberOne for breakfast? The answer, my friends, is no. Simply, no.

Yes, FiberOne has been a staple breakfast food for me for quite some time now. As a matter of fact, it's been such a long time that, while in the cereal aisle the other day, I was suddenly struck with intense FiberOne fatigue. Without warning everything I loved about the delicious and nutritious manna from the General Mills gods was wiped clean from my memory and all I could thtink about was how I'd be happiest if I never saw another box of FiberOne cereal again!

So, I stormed down the aisle, determined to find another cereal with which to replace my recently disgraced best-morning-friend. Surely, there was a product out there that offered the same calorie-fiber-sugar ratio FiberOne did, right?

Wrong, oh, I was ever so wrong.

Boxes sang out to me in all of their clean, straigh-lined glory; they touted bowls brimming with flakes and raisins and fruits. The promises made and the claims boasted on one side of the box were mostly empty when I looked to the other side of the box. Where was that lovely calorie-fiber-sugar ratio to which I had become so accustomed? Was there really only one cereal on the market that I could live with? Are the cereal fates so cruel?

Yes, readers, they are.

That being said, I refused to leave the supermarket without at least one brand of cereal I had never before sampled under my arm, goddamnit. Calorie-fiber-sugar ratio be damned, I wanted to try something new. So, I bought this:



and this:



These two cereals struck me as fun, delicious, and nutritious...but they didn't hold a candle to my FiberOne. Yes, readers, my journey in the cereal aisle that day, even with two strange boxes of cereal already in my arms, led me right back to what I thought was ol' faithful but, what did I find but IMPOSTERS! The FiberOne section was cluttered, littered with FiberOne Honey Clusters, FiberOne Raisin Bran Clusters, and something called FiberOne Caramel Delight. The one glaring omission, of course, was my dear FiberOne Original. Alas, these strange varieties of FiberOne don't have the nutrition, taste, or enjoyment that FiberOne Original offers me with each and every bowl and so I left with my underwhelming Kashi Honey Sunshine and Organic Flax Plus Multibran cereals, dejected and guilt-ridden about what felt like my complicity in what I suspect is the phasing out of the best cereal on the market.

Perhaps I never deserved FiberOne Original, though it tasted so...right.

Sigh.

Friday, August 01, 2008

OWNING

Here's what went down this week: I bought an apartment. The process, which started over a year ago and was rife with unprecedented demonstrations of flakiness by sellers, bank representatives, and various other parties, took a long time to complete. I almost felt myself age every time I spat into the telephone in elevated tones of rage (fret not, dears: my rage is reserved only for the most uncouth, vile, disagreeable personalities). Oh, I spat into the telephone in elevated tones of rage on an almost daily basis and the experience was unsettling (it left me close to tears and feeling like my insides were shaking) but also cathartic (you haven't lived until you've roared "YOU AREN'T LISTENING TO THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH" and soon thereafter hung up on someone. Sweet, splendid release!).

While I didn't vomit or pass out at today's closing as I had wholly expected I would, the experience did leave me with an intense, anxiety-fueled headache, which, as I expected, was a precursor to a small outbreak of (I never have headaches unless I'm about to break out into hives) hives on my legs.

Oh, hives, you never fail me, do you? You've become my constant companions in stress, my sidekicks, my compadres. I almost don't know what I'd do without you guys popping up whenever I get super stressed or excited. And now that I have the responsibility of a mortgage hovering over me, I expect to be seeing a lot more of you, you crazy guys, you. Super good times to come. Joy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

BRUNCH AND CONVERSATION

Nerddd: It was great meeting your cousins!

MP: They're wonderful, aren't they? I like them a lot.

Nerddd: Lovely! They're lovely and funny and fun!

(brief pause during which our Nerddd and her MP walk, hand in hand)

Nerddd: Do you think they liked me?
MP: I'm sure they did. Why wouldn't they like you. What's there not to like...?

Nerddd smiles.

MP: ...except-maybe-all-that-raving-about-mma.

Our Nerddd stops walking.

Nerddd: Wait. Seriously? OMG! I knew I should've shut my mouth but I kept going and going and going about the Gracies. I almost couldn't stop.

MP nods.

Nerddd: And all of that talk about Renzo Gracie not tapping out in spite of breaking his arm. Fuck!

MP nods.

Nerddd: It was all a bit strange to them, I'm sure. They listened attentively enough.

MP: Darling, I don't think they knew what to make of you. You were positively gushing.

Our Nerddd resumes walking.

Nerddd (muttering): Don't blame me. I grew up with two older brothers.

BOXING: A Haiku

'Tis divine to wake
at 5 AM and box at
a gym with no air

Friday, July 25, 2008

I WISH I COULD DANCE

I realize that JabbaWockeeZ are so, like, four months ago, but I've been meaning to post about them for a while. If I could do it all over again, I'd make sure I could dance like this.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

LINKSYS: The Next Generation

Holy jeebus, I haven't blogged since the day before Independence Day! Forgive me, kittens--although, after making all of those promises to return to my daily blogging ways, I've failed each and everyone here terribly and I wouldn't at all be terribly surprised if you started sending me hate mail or signed a petition to have me forcibly removed from Blogger (or something).

That would suck.

This time, however, the promises are real. I've invested in a brand-spanking new wireless router (once again, I'm putting my wireless internet connection in the hands of Linksys, but the dude at Radio Shack told me that the one I bought is way superior to the craptastic Linksys that destroyed my life all those months ago. He swore that this Linksys would try harder at making this partnership work. Like I haven't heard that one before. Maybe I should've bought that one-year warranty for an additional $10, after all. Eff).

So, I'm back (albeit without the warranty).

Yes, again (the guilt of misleading you so many times this year keeps me awake at nights. I promise).

No. This time it's for keeps (again, I promise).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

THE DAY BEFORE INDEPENDENCE

Apologies for not posting earlier today, my darlings. I suspect that most of you are far away from your computers now, en route to your Independence Day weekend destinations of choice. Or, perhaps, the horrific economy's got you staycationing it, in which case, I hope you're at least frolicking outdoors somewhere. Then again, if you're in the greater New York City area, you can't frolick for very much longer before it starts thunderstorming at midnight and continues to rain buckets right into the weekend (I'm done with these thunderstorms we've been having, like, every single weekend. What's with that?). In which case, I suspect there might be more of you than I thought.

Hi.

Anyway, today was a lovely day. The bird observed the day before Independence Day as a holiday and let us stay at home. I slept in until 7:45AM (!), then went out for a nice six mile run. Later, I frolicked with the girls in a suddenly tourist-infested downtown Manhattan. It was still lovely albeit as hot as the bottom of a barbeque pit. We had brunch in Tribeca and then lazed around Chinatown. In a sudden moment of "OMG-I-have-premature-wrinkles-around-my-eyes" I bought yet another pair of $5 sunglasses that will be rejected in a couple of days.

So, now I'm at home.

And America's less than five hours away from turning 232.

I suggest that you invest in sunglasses and lots of sunscreen, lady, because 231 hasn't been kind and, wow, I don't even have to squint to see the wrinkles.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

HOT CANADIANS

Here is a list of The Huffington Post's 10 hottest Canadian men and women. Mrrrow, yes, but they totally left MP off the list. I smell a fix.

ASK THE NERD

I've got nothing for you today, folks (I suspect my brain is already celebrating the Fourth of July, sparklers and all). So, I open the blog to you. Ask me a question, any question. I'll try to answer to the best of my ability.

Sweet jeebus, I hope I get more than one question, or else it'll be elementary school gym class all over again: the Nerddd alone and embarrassed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

MANADA DAY, EH



Clearly, I had my head up my ass this morning because how else could I have forgotten to wish all of my readers a happy, happy, happy Manada (and by Manada, I mean Canada) Day, eh?! What is Manada Day all aboot, you ask? Well, my curious Americans (and others), you can read all aboot it right here! I haven't read the article just yet but I suspect that on Manada Day, Manadians engage in the very same revelries that we Americans do on the Four of July: they have barbeques and picnics, watch fireworks, blow up their fingers and their faces with firecrakcers and those sparklers I loved as a kid. They might also gorge themselves on alcohol and then hop into their jeeps.

Oh, patriotism, you loud, boisterous chum, we can always turn to you for a good time...even in Manada!

To all of my dear Manadians (there are certainly more of you this year than there were last year), I leave you with the gift of Robin Sparkle. Dance, shimmy, and sing your hearts out, you crazy, crazy Canucks, for this day is your day and no one can take that away from you.

MYSTERY DIAGNOSIS

Discovery Health Channel's Mystery Diagnosis is my favorite show for this summer (you'll remember, reader, that Little People, Big World was my favorite show last summer). Surprisingly, the show has yet to become this hypochondriac's worst nightmare. Sure, I sometimes find myself panicking that maybe my psychosomatic hives and other allergies are actually signs of Kawasaki disease or maybe that metallic taste in my mouth is my cerebrospinal fluid leaking or, OH MY GOD I HAVE Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia , but, for the most part I'm able to enjoy the show the same way I was able to enjoy the first season of House (just for the record, even Little People, Big World got the paranoid juices going: "What if I'm, at this very moment, carrying a mutated gene for dwarfism that I'll pass onto my poor, helpless babies??!)

Monday, June 30, 2008

SUMMER

I'm tired and cranky. I've tried for hours to come up with something funny and entertaining to post here but I've got nothing (but the most desperate need to go away on vacation) folks. I'd rather be on a beach (wearing enough sunscreen to ensure that the skin cells don't go all funky on me) or at a spa or farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere.

I'm exhausted. A creature of habit, I'm tired of routine. I need a massage. I need a change of scenery.

I've got nothing for you folks.

But, luckily, my MP does have something for you. According to Canada's most popular magazine, Canada is where it's at. If I had the energy to do so, I'd vigorously protest such biased, one-sided, and probably absolutely accurate claims. But I don't. America's on its own.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I THOUGHT I WAS OFF THE MATCHMAKING BLOCK

Apparently, I've received a proposal from a friend of a family friend, who, along with his mother, saw me at some random desi gathering. For the record, a proper Pakistani girl isn't supposed to date (especially not non Desi men), so my folks have been keeping MP on the downlow for the time being--"until things are more permanent," they say. For the time being, they've been reacting to random proposals such as this by, first asking me what they should say (secretly hoping that I either flash them a diamond on my left ring finger, announcing that MP's finally proposed, making things so permenant), then giving me a lecture about waiting too long to get engaged, and, finally, deciding that they will tell the following story: we (ie, my folks) are in talks with a family (ie, MP's folks) in Canada, who have a nice, decent lawyer son in Manhattan, and since talks have gotten so serious, it would be wrong for us (ie my folks) to look at other prospective suitors.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NERDDDY APPETITES

As many of you already know, I'm a pesco-ovo-lacto vegetarian (never eat something you can potentially befriend, I say...and, yes, I'm still trying to figure out how realistic a friendship with marine life or a vegan lifestyle is). Because of these dietary restrictions, when I go out to eat, I prefer going to vegetarian/macrobiotic/vegan restaurants because, hey, there's nothing like pork medallions made from the chewy goodness that is seitan (and when would a good Muslim girl like me ever get to "taste pork" anyway?).

Thankfully, MP is a pretty adventurous eater and doesn't mind vegetarian/macrobiotic/vegan fare (plus, he went to college in Vancouver, which, according to him, is, like, the capital of vegetarian/macrobiotic/vegan restaurants and a crunchy lifestyle). We almost always eat at vegetarian/macrobiotic/vegan resturants. Our current favorite, Pure Food & Wine, is raw as well as vegan, which makes it even better!

Suffice it to say, I've been spoiled, so, these days, I expect everyone to share in my enthusiasm for vegetarian/macrobiotic/vegan food. Is there anyone in Manhattan who doesn't like raw vegan? Recently, my very incorrect answer to this question, especially when scheduling business lunches, has been, OF COURSE NOT! The consequence is, of course, a distinctly disappointed business associate poking at his or her spelt noodles, while I, drowning in a sea of guilt, ask over and over again whether or not he or she is enjoying the delicious and (oh so very) nutritious food.

One would assume that I'd learn my lesson after the first or second time this happened. I assure you, reader, this is not true. It's almost as if I can't help myself from strong-arming my business dates, my friends, my parents (anyone who's willing to join me at a meal, really) into eating at vegetarian/macrobiotic/vegan restuarants. So, beware the next time you agree to eat with me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

MP DOESN'T COMMENT HERE ANYMORE: An Argument Averted Because I'm so Easy Going

Nerddd: My blog isn't the same without your comments. Why have you stopped commenting, anyway?

MP: Actually, darling, what most of your readers who witnessed our very public courtship on Revenge of the Nerddd probably don't realize is that I'm an inherently private person. I don't usually leave comments on blogs. As you've probably noticed, I am, for the most part, very quiet on Facebook as well. When was the last time I Facebook'd? I can't even remember!

Nerddd: But you left comments on my blog. What was that: temporary exhibitionism?

MP: It was the only way I could talk to you. Why should I comment on my blog when I can just see you in person? If I need to say something in response to a particular post, I just pick up my phone. I'd much rather communicate with you one on one in real life than over the internet.

Nerddd: But my readers miss you.

MP: Come, come. I don't think any of your readers notice or care about my absence from the comment's section.

Nerddd: You know what I think? You're embarrassed to leave comments because most of your friends read my blog now. You want to maintain this too-cool-to-read-and-comment-on-blogs image of yours at the expense of our blog relationship.

MP: That's not true! (insert very long and convoluted explanation of why MP refuses to comment on my blog here; explanation may or may not have something to do with his Canadian roots, his love of hiking and the outdoors, his very busy schedule, and brie (unfortunately, I tuned out at "That's not true!")) So, in closing, I don't comment on anyone's blog.

Nerddd: Are we fighting? (it should be noted that what I actually wanted to say was "But I'm not just anyone. I'm your girlfriend!")

MP: I'm not sure. Maybe.

Nerddd: No, no. You are a private person and would rather not comment on my blog anymore. We're not fighting. Oh my God! You won't believe what happened on Mystery Diagnosis last night! I have three words for you: cerebrospinal fluid leak!

Gosh, I'm so easy going (plus, I didn't want our first fight to be over my blog)! I may very well be the embodiment of easy going. I'm so easy going that Hawaiian surfer types look at me and say "Damn, that chick's easy going."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BOLLYWOOD DRAMAS

As I mentioned in the post below, my folks are a little obsessed with Zee TV, the South Asian diaspora's dream of a cable network. Whether it's an old Bollywood flick or a celebrity gossip show detailing the latest scandal in the lives of Indian movie stars, the channel is increasingly becoming a constant presence at home.

Now, I know that many non-South Asians enjoy all things Bollywood because of the kitsch factor (I can't tell you the number of non-South Asian friends who've ended up watching and enjoying Zee TV with my folks at home. "This is what you're always bitchin' about??! BUT THIS IS GREAT!!!!!") but let me tell you, there can be no appreciation of the kitsch when you've grown up surrounded by it. There is nothing but an overwhelming sense of helplessness and frustration when you're subjected to this, this, AND this.

The baby's always cuter when it's not your own, folks. Try changing its diaper five times a day, every single day and trust you me, you won't be able to see beyond the massive heaps of fetid poop.

Monday, June 23, 2008

THE WEEKEND

In one of the more surreal moments of my life, amma and MP sat down together and watched an entire episode of Ek Se BadhKar Ek--one of the many thoroughly annoying programs on an Indian cable network called Zee TV that my parents (like most South Asian, diasporic parents) LOVE--while I flitted in and out of the room, going about my own business.

"Shahrukh Khan is my favorite actor," I heard amma tell him at one point.

"Do you like Salman Khan?" MP asked.

"Yes, he's nice too," she said thoughtfully.

"Though a bit of an alcholic, no?"

MP, as many of you already know, is NOT South Asian.

It was bizarre.

Friday, June 20, 2008

8 MONTHS

MP and I celebrated our 8th month anniversary yesterday--and by celebrated, I mean I went for a long run and hung out with my folks while he worked late (oh, the lives of busy Manhattanites (fine, and Jersey Cityeans)!). I marvel that during this time, we haven't had a single fight (mashaAllah, knock on wood, etc.). He says it's because he's so easy going. I think it's because he's Canadian.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

PINK IS THE NEW WEBMD or WHO KNEW

I'm so pleased to announce that on the sixteenth day of June in this glorious year of 2008, for the briefest of moments, reading my blog became more than an excercise in idleness or voyeurism. Revenge of the Nerddd actually proved to be prescriptive and useful and, for one reader, she became the Panacea of the blogosphere, healing pain, providing relief to discomfort, hope to despair.

What the hezazzal am I talking about, you ask?

On the aforementioned day, an anonymous reader, a reader who was obviously experiencing the hip agony with which I'm so familiar, Google'd "how to crack my hip." My post answering just this very question was the second in the search result (as an aside, the first search result was a wholly unhelpful post from Yahoo! Answers; instead of showing our anonymous hip pain sufferer how to crack his/her hip, it answered the question, "why does my hip always crack/pop?" (my personal answer to this thought provoking question: I don't give a fuck). Clearly, I should've been number one, but let's save that discussion for another day).

Dear anonymous hip-pain-sufferer: internet fate sent you to me. I hope your pain is somewhat relieved. I am glad to have been your Florence Nightingale, if for a trice.

Dear internet search engines (ie, Google and all of you other engines that come in a distant second...), in the words of that great Statue of Liberty that stands in New York Harbor (but, let's be honest here, is waaaaaay closer to New Jersey), as penned by that poetess Emma Lazarus and paraphrased by me:

“Give me your pained, your limpers,
Your huddled masses yearning to be hip pain free,
The wretched runners of your teeming shore.
Send these, the athletes, with effed up joints to me,
I promise not to myofascially release their asses with my fist."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WHO IS MP?

Remember this post about a comment from a devoted fan who, along with her devoted fan sister, is trying to solve the mystery of what is MP's real name? Sadly, 7825537, as my anonymous fan-sleuth calls herself, guessed incorrectly that MP's real name is Mike.

Well, she's at it again, and 7825537's latest detective/guesswork has led her to yet another name: Chris. Sorry, darling, but you're incorrect this time too.

A couple of questions for you (and I hope to goodness you have a moment to answer them while you study for your exams): what makes you think that MP has an Anglo-Saxon name? Now, I'm not saying that he doesn't have an Anglo-Saxon name--but, then again, I'm not saying the he does--but I'm curious about how you did manage to narrow it down to Mike initially (which, again, is not MP's name). Also, I can't remember whether or not you mentioned that we know each other in real life. Do we? If we don't, how did you and your sister find my blog? I'm always curious to know how folks stumble across nerd.

On a different note, to all the haters out there: bite me. I frankly don't give a shit about how you found my blog. Thanks.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

REVENGE OF THE HIVES: The Second Chapter or FUCK-FUCK-FUCKITY-FUCK-FUCK-FUCK

Reasons why I'm on the verge of breaking into a fresh new set of hives:

1) My new mortage broker is only slight more competent than my former mortgage broker;
2) my new mortgage broker's incompetence makes me a crazy, inarticulate, drivelling fool, who can't get across a single point or grievance;
3) I have to read through reams of documents before I sign my finances away to the hungry, hungry home gods;
4) I have to drive down to some godforsaken place called Clark, New Jersey to sit down with my incompetent broker because she's too goddamn distracted and incompetent to make sense to me on the phone;
5) I don't drive;
6) there's no good mode of public transportation going to godforsaken places like Clark;
7) and as always, I'm the "let's-buy-dad-(insert electronic device of your choice here)-for-Father's-Day" coordinator, which means I have to trek down to the store after work tonight and purchase the gift we've decided on for my dad.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THE STATE OF OUR UNION (or, I can feel MP cringing as he reads this)

The couple that brings down the hizzle with their karaoke duet of the B-52's "Love Shack," stays together.

Thank blog (but mostly God) for MP.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

REVENGE OF THE HIVES!

As you may well remember, faithful readers who remain, I've experienced a couple of hives outbreaks in my life. While my first close encounter with the condition saw me rush to the allergist and fear the worst, the second encounter made me take pause. I connected the dots, seeing the bigger picture: it's extreme stress that's making me break into hives.

If I had any lingering doubts about the cause of my hives, friends, they have finally been quashed by yet some more evidence supporting the I-stress-way-too-much theory. This time, the stress was brought on by the heebie jeebies associated with purchasing a property; these hee-jees included the scramble to find a new mortgage broker after my last broker pulled a "surprise-I-don't-know-how-to-do-my-job" on me, the seller decided her life's purpose was to call me and harass me at work about signing contracts that were, literally, illegible, and my legal team--apparently following the mortgage broker's example, sat back and gave me a "gosh-those-I-regret-hiring-you-in-the-first-place-blues-look-really-not-that-much-fun-from-where-we're-sitting" look."

All of this happened in one day, folks.

So, it shouldn't have been too much of a surprise when, the following day, I broke out into "holy-shit-what-the-fuck-do-I-think-I'm-doing-buying-an-apartment" hives.

My allergist's advice when I called her for her wisdom: "You should really think about taking a day or two of the week to relax and not stress so much."

Sigh.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dear Readers

Dear Readers:

It feels like there aren't very many of you left here (I could find out how many of you have stuck around by clicking on my handy site meter counter but I find the thought as horrifying as stepping onto a weight scale after my birthday dinner. I'd rather not know. Ahem.). I don't blame you. Like chewing gum, old blog posts lose their flavor pretty quickly. What's left is bland, boring, and probably inconducive to blowing bubbles. And what's the damned point if you can't blow bubbles anyway? So, I understand.

Several of you have asked why I went on strike in the first place. The reasons, dear faithful and remaining readers, are legion. Firstly, I am still sans wireless router (I suppose my failure to purchase a replacement wireless router can be chalked up to overwhelming technological sloth). Secondly, I'm totally immersed in purchasing an apartment (this has been over a year in the making, folks). The thought of being a landlord (Me? The Nerd? Surely, you jest!) still makes me nauseous (I think I just vomited Fiber One cereal in my mouth). Buying real estate (especially from a woman who, I'm convinced, is certifiably insane) is time consuming, to say the least.

Finally, I want to set the record straight as far as MP and I go: we're still together. So, for all of you conspiracy theorist out there who thought that the humiliation of MP breaking my poor nerdddy heart is what kept me away from blogging, I suggest it's time you dream up another story. We'll be celebrating our eighth month anniversary on the nineteenth. Booya!

Yours,
The Nerddd

Friday, June 06, 2008

THE EMAIL THAT BROUGHT THE NERDDD BACK

Dear Sabila,

Please update me. I miss you.

Love,
Your blog

The above email from our dear Puntabulous succeeded where others didn't for one reason and one reason only: Puntabulous somehow knew that nothing could beat a good dose of anthromorphism if the Nerddd was to be guilted back to the blogosphere--or guilted into doing much of anything for that matter (surely, he must've strategized with my mother, who, over the years, has taken on the varied voices of countless dead cars, shattered plates and lost toys and pets, expressing their sadness and grief until I, literally, dissolve into tears).

Thank you my dear Puntabulous for making me see my neglectful ways.

Blog, I am back.

Readers, I've returned.

Monday, April 28, 2008

!!!!!!!!

Everyone beware. I'm in an unusually vile mood today. Sorry, but there's no love here today, kittens. I hate everyone (except maybe MP. I still love you, baby), especially those mofos on the train who don't know a thing about commuter etiquette and insist on keeping their bags slung over their shoulders or on their backs while I, like an asshole, stand with my bags placed politely between my feet, and get poked, prodded, and molested by purses and backpacks during the ride to work. And work? Work! I love you on most days but, frankly, I have nothing to say to you today but fuck you. I'm done with wankers and bad weather and umbrellas. Could it have gotten any more unseasonable yesterday? I nearly froze in my summer dress and jacket as MP and I ventured on a walk through Jersey City. MP, of course, welcomes unseasonable chills in the air, due mostly to the fact that he's as Canadian as they get, minus the accent, which only makes an appearance when he's overworked and exhausted. We're expecting a lot of that for the next two weeks, so I suppose a fuck you is in order for MP's job. And can we talk about umbrellas? Try holding one above your head as you carry two bags and a cup of coffee that's way too hot. It's not fun, readers. As a matter of fact, I was almost convinced that my umbrella was trying to have me hospitalized this morning.

I need a vacation that's fuckin' longer than three work days and the weekend. That's bullshit and it's miserable.

FUCK.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

:)

I heart the following comment I recently received from a reader so much that it deserves a post of its own. I'm glad I inspire slight obsession and sleepless nights in my fans. Hell, I'm glad I have fans!

This comment was ADORABLE. I am flattered. Here it is:

This is on a completely unrealted note and has nothing to do with this post.

Hello Sabila,

My sister and I have been silent readers of your blog for a very very long time (too long, in fact- been leaving anonymous comments here and there, but nothing more than that). We are not stalkers, don't get afraid (or excited). We are just really sad and bored.. oh what the hell, we are stalkers. Something like that.

So yeah, we've been following your MP stories as well. And for a very long time, MP's identity has been too much of a source of lack of sleep for me. Therefore I embarked on a serious mission. Which was, to find out who the man behind the mask is.

Please don't scared. I assure you, treat me like your friend. I mean no harm at all. I am just slightly obsessive when it comes to my googling etc abilities, as well as shit curious.

So. After half a day of constant dedicated research, my sister and I narrowed down our hunt to the result of One Man. All I need you to do is, to confirm whether our result is correct or not. You dont have to reveal it on your blog! I am enclosing my e-mail address for you to reply to. If you consider that to be too much of a hassle, then you can leave a sidelined hint on one of your posts (we are avid readers, we won't miss it).

If our guess is correct, it means we can rest our case. Otherwise we need to continue our hunt till we crack/track the man down.

All this has been done in purely innocent interests. Down to the guess. The Guy we think MP is:

Mike. (Michael?)

I DO NOT INTEND ON DISCLOSING THIS ANYWHERE, JUST PLEASE TELL ME IF I AM RIGHT.

Ahem. Honestly. Please don't get freaked out. I swear, and if you want to ask anything about this seemingly weird outburst, you have the right to. But please reply/contact me in some form/TELL ME IF I'M FUCKING RIGHT.

My e-mail address is:--------@gmail.com

I repeat, --------@gmail.com .

I will be waiting for your reply/hint. If I don't get it soon, I won't lose hope, or get discouraged, I will be contacting you again! sadly, I couldn't find your e-mail address anywhere online.

I left this in your comments on purpose because I know you have moderation enabled.

Much thanks for taking the time to read this. Hope you and MP are happy together.

I call myself 7825537. I'll prefer to remain nameless.

waiting, day 1.

----------------
Lovely, no?

I hate to break it to you 7825537, but MP is not Mike. As a matter of fact, the letter M doesn't appear even once in my MP's (first or last)name.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I SHOOT BLANKS: A Haiku

I'm struggling with technology these days. You may officially declare me technologically impotent. The router was two days old and the iPod lived two years and two days. May they rest in peace. May I find the time, energy, and funds (oh, I'm dropping a whole lotta dough on this first of what is hopefully many luxurious real estate investments around the world) to be one with technology again.

That wasn't the haiku.

This is the haiku:

My iPod followed
Linksys into the light and
died on me today

Oh, if only I had room for more syllables in the haiku above to express the depth of my despair. Alas. Alas.