Monday, March 23, 2009

Did facebook change its layout AGAIN?

I JUST got used to the whole news feed thing on there and as annoying as it was now I have to deal with this new more improved annoying version of it. And sad thing is*, I'm not facebook savvy enough to know how to edit it.

It's like getting used to a new year. Like when 2008 began, I was always double checking any dates I wrote down to see if I wrote the right year. That paranoia lasted 3 months. Then the next 6 months, I followed every "date writing" with an ode to the years past: "2008? 2008?? When did we get to 2008?! It feels like I was just writing 1997 yesterday!" Ok, so not much of an ode. Then I spent the remainder of 2008 "date writing" contemplating this inevitable cycle of events for 2009.

So here I am. It's 2009. A new year and a new facebook layout. 2009? 2009?? When the f^^^ did we get to 2009?! It feels like I just wrote 1999 yesterday!

* No, it's not sad because I hate facebook and I'm only on there to "keep in touch" with old friends.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Big Love

I absolutely love the HBO show “Big Love.” I LOVE it. And it’s not even a guilty pleasure like nip/tuck or I love money. The only reason I forced my husband to order we ordered HBO was cuz of this show…huzzah! So Big Love comes on every Sunday night and this Sunday is going to be the last episode of the season! Ahh! So, I’m sure ya’ll haven’t been watching Big Love, so here’s the lowdown:

Bill Henrickson: He’s the lead in the show. Husband to 3 wives and I think 8 children. He owns a couple of stores that are kinda like Lowe’s. Anyways, he is played by the devilishly handsome Bill Paxton.
Barb: Bill’s first wife. Barb and Bill got married and they didn’t plan on being polygamous, however, when Barb got cancer and going through the treatments was harsh, they both decided to bring in someone to the family to help out and possibly raise the family. So they married Nicki.

Nicki: Bill’s second wife. She’s very “traditional compound” type of girl. And I really hate her cuz she’s such a bitch sometimes. She also happens to be their prophet’s daughter which is a big deal to her.

Margene: Bill’s third wife. She’s really young and “perky” and often the only optimistic one of the bunch. I think she converted to the religion cuz supposedly she was a rebel in her youth and didn’t really have a family. Anyways, she’s really adorable.

Well, anyways the show is awesome and possibly the best show …ever. I just wish it was more than an hour long each week. Yes, I know I sound pathetic super awesome!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I made these!

Vicious Circle of Love

I grew up as an odd kid and became an odd teenager. Odd in the sense that I wasn’t a popular girl nor was I one of those that are content with their individuality and lack of popularity. Nay, I was a girl who had a best friend and a couple of periphery friends and we all got good grades. Nothing about me stood out.
Throughout those years, I, like most, wanted to be popular. But I never succeeded. I never dated, never drank, never did anything “harmful.” I was odd because even though I had every opportunity to do said harmful things, I didn’t act upon them. Whenever my family and I went to any dinner parties, I would always stay close to my mom and never approach the other girls in my age group huddled together sharing stories of romantic forays and gossip about the girls not in attendance. Often one of the mothers of those girls would attempt to get me to join the other girls and I, being a nice girl, would oblige. I would make an appearance, sit a few minutes in an attempt to bond, then excuse myself to get a drink and make my way back to my mom. I guess, how odd of me.
One thing, however, which wasn’t odd of me was to dabble in love. Ah! Love! Love for a young soul is fuel to live the day. Love is what makes you start using mascara (clear mascara, of course) and lip gloss. Love is the reason you don’t miss school and rush home to get on the internet.
In the many loves one has in their youth (and each love you think is “the one”) you begin to consider less and less the opinions and advice of those older than you. Why, no adult would ever understand this love of mine. No adult would ever be able to understand how good of a guy he really is. How dare they try to advise me!
What’s peculiar to me about this is that even though I deemed myself a good girl and a smart girl, I felt I knew better about love than those who would try to advice me. The adults would include daughters of family friends who I grew up with and trusted with secrets and an occasional older sister. I knew better, of course. No one was going to stop me from loving who I wanted to love. However, now I think back to that time and consider myself rather stupid and thickheaded for not accepting and implementing advice of those older than myself. But such is the mind of a young soul.
So now I’ve come across a threshold. Now I have younger sisters of my own who stand now at the very spot I stood on years ago. And I am now the adult character who advises the love-struck youth. Will she listen? Will she understand? Nope. Why? Because she knows the secrets to the universe. She knows that she loves truly and purely and that it is reciprocated. Who am I to think I even know an ounce of her love.
And so cometh the new generation of lovers and goeth the wisdom of lovers past.

"Desi" Party

By Carlos

So, this past Saturday I was invited by a new friend of mine to an Indian-themed party at a nice house in Pinecrest. Now, the first thing you need to know is that I live at the northernmost part of Miami Dade County, and Pinecrest is close to the southernmost point. This friend of mine, I had discovered, is very into food and cultures, like myself. He knows of and likes different ethnic restaurants all over Miami, especially Indian food. So, naturally when he said that his friend is a fantastic cook and that he was excited about the menu, I had high expectations.

The other thing about this party was that the hostess, who was celebrating her birthday, requested that guests dressed in Indian or Indian-themed attire. My friend, JP, went on a mission to find himself a kurta or, as he referred to it, a "tunic". He managed to find one at this store called Bhoom Shanti, which is Sanskrit for "overpriced Indian crap for gauras" (seriously, it's a nice store...but it is overpriced and only sells things that are "mystical" and "spiritual" and "hippy".....stuff that non-indians identify with India). I had told him that he could borrow one of my "tunics", but he insisted on buying his own, which turned out to be a cute batik, but definitely not something a desi would be caught dead wearing unless they were in a yoga class....but then again, you never know.

So, the time came to go to this party. I agreed to just meet JP and his girlfriends at the party. They had initially wanted me to meet them in Doral (the westernmost point of Miami), which I thought was ridiculous. In the end, it was better that I came in my own car, because JP ended up coming back home at 5:30 in the morning, and I had to work the next day. Anyways, i printed directions to the party and was on my way. It was a pain in the you-know-where to find the place because in Pinecrest and "Moral Gables" the street signs are on the ground because regular street signs are thought to be vulgar (I guess car accidents caused by peoples' eyes being glued to the ground are more elegant). I ended up passing the place, so i pulled off the side of the road to consult my directions, as well as the directions that JP had texted me. I thought he'd be there by now, when he called me to inform me that he was delayed and hadn't left Doral yet. I said it was okay because I was a little lost, and I would wait for him to get there because I didn't want to show up to a party where I knew about awkward. So I turned back around and waited on the said of the road and took a cigarette break. It was all cool until a cop car drove by me slowly and pulled into the parking lot behind where I was parked. I realized I looked really suspicious pulled over on the side of the road, smoking a cigarette outside my car, dressed in a black shalwar kameez with a full beard. I put out the cigarette, got back in my car and parked in an Episcopal church parking lot and smoked a couple of more cigarettes before JP called me to tell me that he was at the party.

So, I got into my car and drove to the house. There must have been at least 30 cars in front of this beautiful house. I got out of the car and called JP to meet me in the front. The house was beautifully decorated with sheer burgundy drapes, mosquito netting, candles, oil lamps, silk pillows, garlands, etc. JP was hungry, and I was a bit peckish, so we snaked our way into the kitchen. Being that it was an Indian-themed party, I was expecting to find at least samosas, maybe some pakodas. In it's place were half-moon shaped fried pockets. At first I thought to myself, "what strange looking samosas".....oh, how naive I was!!! They were Colombian empanadas. I look at the buffet table and see two bowls of unappetizing, possibly-basmati rice. There was a plate of pita bread cut into wedges (ended up that it was store-bought naan, but it tasted the same....and WHO CUTS NAAN INTO WEDGES?!). There was also a Thai-looking shrimp curry, which I didn't eat because I don't eat shellfish that's been sitting out. There were also pork cutlets (sorry, but I don't know any desi who eats pork except for Goans, and that's pork vindaloo) with a creamy sauce that turned out to be a spicy peanut sauce. The funniest thing, though, was the "pollo al curry" (chicken curry), which looked a lot like my mother's Mid-century modern dish (read 50's American-style a-can-o-this-a-can-o-that) of chicken and broccoli casserole with a cheesy crust. I asked what it was and the Spanish-speaking help said that it was chicken curry. I took a close look and asked "this 'chicken curry' doesn't happen to have cream of chicken soup in it, does it?" And the help replied, emphatically, "YES!!! And cream of mushroom, too!" I gave her an "mmhmm" look. I have to say that the food was very, very good, if not Indian. I didn't say anything about the food, though, because I was invited to this party and I had to be a grateful guest....but I was very pleased when JP said to me "God, I wish they actually had some REAL Indian food." It was good to know that someone was thinking what I was thinking. There actually was a somewhat authentic Indian dish: channa masala, which was okay.

The party was really good, though. Everyone dressed up in what each person thought was Indian style. Some people dressed up in belly-dancer costumes, some girls actually appeared to have spent a pretty penny on saris, chudis and bindis. Some girls, however, thought it was Indian brothel night, and some girls apparently missed the memo altogether or just came back from a pimps n' hos party. My little group of people was very cool, though. There was also a live 90s rock cover band, which we mostly ignored, and lot's and lot's and lot's of hookah with a hookah waiter, too. I've got to get my hands on some tangerine tobacco!!! There was also a henna "artist". Note that I say henna artist and not mehndi artist. This girl was okay, but Sheala and I are so much better. I was looking at her work and it was gauras, because they're just fascinated by this green paste that stains your hands....really, you could just poop henna paste onto them and they'll be all oohs and ahs. By the way, I realize that I'm talking like I'm a Desi. Okay, you guys, you caught me. I'm an imposter....but i really want it i could feel it lol. Anyways, I let this girl do a design on my palm, which now I'm embarassed to have because people know I do mehndi and are probably thinking "wow! he's really let his talent go....poor guy..."

I ended up meeting some very cool people, which didn't include this creepy Colombian guy who looked around my age but turned out to be 35 or 36 with a 12 year old child and wanted me to go with him with one of the hookahs and smoke weed out of it. Wow! Just wow! That's what drugs do to ya, kids: you want to smoke weed out of someone else's hookah in the bushes at a crowded party.

Well, until next time, you all take care.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My friends are few and spaced between

A choraha is a meeting or gathering place in small villages in countries like Pakistan. It's usually an informal setting: a couple of chairs, maybe some straw beds to lounge in, and a smoking pipe accompanied with some snacks. Mostly the town elders or the household men gather in these chorahas every evening or so and discuss events, the latest news, and any social matter. Back in Miami, my friends and I used to have our own chorahas here or there, now that we're all separated and miles apart, I've decided to make this blog as a way of keeping that choraha alive. So grab a chair and take part in our Amreeki Choraha - American Choraha.

First and foremost is India. I made friends with India in 2007. India speaks fluent French and I'm exposed to it everytime I log onto facebook (seriously, India, you can write some posts in English too!) We solidified our friendship in Morocco on a journey we were sent on to learn Arabic…pfftt learn Arabic. India has a certain coolness about her and no matter what is troubling you, she’s there to listen and help you with your stupid problems and ideas. She is the only friend who has joined me in “The Married Club” and we’re living two time zones apart now! India moved to Los Angeles.

Jameelah is my first university friend who I met circa second week of freshman year. She is a strong-minded, silent but deadly type. She keeps quiet and can kill you and your weak opinions with one strike of her confident and thorough answers. Her on-campus apartment was the scene of many-a-sheesha’d discussions. She is very hospitable and very hard to reach through a phone. (Dude, why do you have a cell phone if you don’t pick it up?!) She makes a mean lasagna, though. Jameelah is currently in the northeast.

I met Carlos sophomore year. Carlos is the friend every girl (every cool girl) needs. He’s a party all by himself; set up a couple of chairs, some ginger ale, a sandwich, and the Frenchest dessert and you lack nothing if you have Carlos there. He is a walking culinary encyclopedia and will give you the era by era history of the cheese you just ate and why it’s not posh enough. (oh Carlos, how I miss thee). Carlos stayed back in Miami. Although Carlos was a great friend during my years that I knew him, our friendship couldn't stand the test of time. I wish you well wherever you are Carlos, and I hope one day in the future we can pick up where we left off.

India is my co-author on this blog and on Amreeki World Adventures. Prior to my figuring out how to add another author on blogger, India posted from my account which is why all the first 88 posts show only Baji as the author. Anyways now India is an official co-author and she will be posting as Zarga.

As for Jameelah and Carlos, well, Jameelah is a hermit and hates "putting herself out there" so I just force things out of her: like the banana bread recipe! And Carlos wrote a couple of posts in the first few months such as the Desi Party he went to and Hairstyles in Miami.

Oh and me. Well I'll be known to you all as Baji. What's a Baji, you ask? Well a Baji is a big sister, usually younger siblings will refer to the elder sisters as Baji and even strangers will refer to older women as Baji (I'm not old, I swear.) So you guessed it, I have younger siblings (both beautiful young ladies, Mash'Allah) who call me Baji and to add more pudding to the pie that is my life, ALL OF MY DAD'S FRIENDS call me Baji. (sigh) I don't know why they do, but till this day I have men in their 40s and 50s (well only men that are my dad's friends) call me Baji. So ta-da! Also, I'm married to a wonderful man (Alhumdulillah) and apparently now he, too, has a blog (what's next? my grandmother in Karachi starting a blog, too?) Anyways, in real life I call my husband Poops, so it's only natural I use Poops when writing about him. Poops and I live in/near Chicago.