Monday, October 27, 2008


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.




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


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


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


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.


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.



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


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


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

Friday, October 10, 2008


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


***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.
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


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

Eid Mubarak, kittens.