Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rubber Ducky, You're the One...(in a million)

It is raining today which is very sad since my ducks will drown.

I bought 13 rubber ducks for a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. The 25,000+ rubber ducks are to be let out near the Brooklyn Bridge where they wil race each downstream to the South Street Seaport and there are prizes to be won. A million dollars, flight tickets, other goodies.

I bought the Quack Pack, where I got three extra ducks. I have been excited about this day at the races since I found the website ( and bought the ducks. Besides the one in 25,000+ chance that I might win a million bucks, rubber ducks racing down the east river have captured my imagination and excitement. Well, the rain is definetly a downer on that parade but perhaps it will clear up.

Send my duckies good vibes. Will post photos soon.

ps. The UK YouGov poll made funs of Americans (which mostly, I do as well), but they have websites for luxury rubber ducks. check it out:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Appie the SUPER KHAAS Guest Blogger

Whenever I turn around, I see Zehra typing furiously on her cutie batootie little white mac, and I wonder, can she really have all that much to say? Of course she can. There are days I see her sitting on the couch looking out at the window, laptop in lap, barney next to her, and suddenly a burst of clicking sounds come from that futon - and her face is focused, lip often bit, yet, there's a casual elegance to her posture - as if making sense of the world around us or understanding how to contend with world poverty is something we do as a daily occurance - this nonchalance worries me sometimes, but often, I find it to be incredibly liberating - the world is simple - we chose to complicate it.

I thought I would take the opportunity to guest write on zehra's blog because she's leaving us soon - after a three month summer - and that, I figure, deserves something. something like a blog entry. I suppose I could have written her a comment, but really, that is nothing like being the guest writer on someone's blog. this is like being able to be paris hilton for a day - for a moment, to stand in the space where zehra stands - to know i have at least 8 people reading this around the world knowing what happens in my world. But not really my world, the world that zehra and I occupy. That's a very different world. My sisters and I have a small universe which we rule, and we live there and when we are together, we seemlessly, effortlessly, selfishly move into those spaces -- which are comfortable, yet, problematic because we often forget to rework some power structures, but if we stay there long enough we can even make those adjustments... this is a space that zehra and i have recently rennovated since we've lived together after almost six years - a long six years - probably good that we didn't live together sooner - everything has a time - and a place - and I had to grow up and she did too - it's easier to be kids together once we've matured.

Rather than make the entire entry about zehra - and our relationship - allow me to step for a moment out of my navel gazing, and tell you about my sticky kitchen counter. I love my kitchen counter. It's the first bonifide counter space i've ever had to myself - outside of my mother's home. it makes all the difference. however, with every chaand (moon) there must be a kala dana (spot) in order to ensure it does not get the evil eye. the kala dana for my kitchen counter is the right corner which some how gets sticky every three days. This morning I woke up and even before I had my coffee (or made zehra her tea) I grabbed a sponge, sloshed a lot of orange dishwashing liquid (albeit slightly diluted since Dina decided to put water in it) and just went at the counter. hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. and wow does that counter make me feel scorned. at least i think it does cos there's a lot of fury when I scrub that corner. now that I think about it, I'm not really sure what scorned really feels like -- hmm. or maybe I'm just repressing the memory of being scorned. In any event, this sticky counter problem really upsets me. Every few days, I will put my hand on the counter while I open the fridge and pick it up with an "ew" on my face and look up to zehra who is typing away on her computer and say, "Zehra, why is this counter always sticky!??" and she will look up momentarily and say something like "didn't you just clean that?" or "why is it?" -- or will grunt. These days she's taken a lot to grunting.

Last week I was looking at a photograph of my family from the early 80's - If I had to guess, it might have been 1982 - we all look the same - well, relatively speaking. You can see all the characters in each of our faces. Characters - that's really what we are. And so I come to an end to my guest blogging - I could go on for a while, but I think I've said enough. And all this typing has reminded me of all the typing I should be doing on my dissertation. So, on to my next cup of coffee and to the dissertation desk. (sigh)

I will miss zehra when she leaves. She's a good kid.

Appie (the SUPER KHAAS Guest Blogger)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The thought of an airport when I was younger would send me into transports of infinite joy. Even going and picking someone up at the airport was enough to keep me excited for days on end.

I can remember the time when that started to fade and how perplexed I was with this. I was 9. The excitement only hit me once I was on the plane. I remember when that too faded. I was 12.

At 28, when people ask the question, are you excited about going to London, all that comes out of my mouth and palpable attitude is, no, not really.

This is considered strange. I am supposed to be really excited at the thought of London, a city, and living and studying there.

I am but there is something else there that I have not figured out...some apprehension which even when I am putting it into words, sounds just like that to me...words.

It's so expensive, I say. True but not really cause for apprehension.
I am apprehensive, I say. True, but not cause for the feeling of non excitement and in fact, one would think that adds to any sort of a rush.
I want to bad mouth it and play it down before I get there in case everyone thinks I am a loser and therefore I can think and say, Well, I thought you all were losers before I got here. Good pre emptive action on my part but a moot point since I don't really expect to be a loser and I make friends easily.
I will miss my friends and family. True but A: most of my friends are not here anyway and I miss them already and B: I will miss my family regardless of where I am and always do but it has not before contributed to present feelings.

I refuse to believe at 28, I am losing a certain joie de vivre that I have always counted on. Not possible. More and more, I think, perhaps I am in denial. I don't want to turn into one of those people who have to travel far and wide and have crazy ass experiences in order to experience a rush from life. I want it to be more simple than that.

I think it will be ok.

I am excited about graduate school. It better live up to it's non expectation I have for it right now.


I picked up my passport from the passport agency since I needed new pages stuck into it to get a visa for the UK. I passed a firehouse on my way and looked around wondering why the fuck there were so many people there....

It was the 5th anniversary of 9 11. That is what happens.

I was walking around in my We Will Not Be Silent t shirt and it was not designed that I do that on 9 11. I happen to like the t shirt and it is comfortable.

I got some not so nice stares and I didn't realize I was wearing the t shirt and thought instead I was getting mean looks for being brown, walking around in daylight with my head up and not looking like I wanted to cry that it was 9 11. I also did walk through a bunch of people standing there and I clicked my tounge and jolted my steps impatiently trying to get through the crowd taking over the sidewalk, implicit in the clicking was : get off the sidewalk bitches, I have things to do, people to see, and your mid day frolicking on the sidewalk like well dressed vagabounds with nothing better to do than have your kids tour the firetruck is infrining on my busy and important life.

Any could be reason for the mean stares. Not sure.

The minutes before 9-11 5 years later turned into 9-12 today, I stood outside having a smoky treat with my sister. She pointed out the gigantic lights that shoot up into the sky like two twin towers where the towers used to be. We could see them from our sidewalk in Brooklyn.

Zehra: Wow, those lights are reallly bright for us to be able to see it all the way here
Appie: Yeah.
Zehra: Makes sense actually that they are in that direction. That is where I stood and could see smoke from the towers that day.
Appie: Really? You could see it from Fort Green park?
Zehra: Yeah...I saw the second tower go down on TV and Rehan and I went outside and the first thing we did was get money from the ATM since we didn't know what to expect and then went to the park, and on the hill near the memorial and looked across at Manhattan....helicopters, sirens, and lots of smoke. We actually found pieces of paper in our backyard, singed from an accounting firm, I think, and there was a fine layer of dust and ash on everything. We didn't eat the vegetables from the yard that year. Who knows what the fuck was in that ash.
Appie: hmm..
Zehra: hmmm

Zehra: Did we just have our 9 11 moment?
Appie: Guess so.

We clicked our cigarettes together and said cheers.


I love food tv. It has been one of the channels I have been addicted to this summer. I am now in love with Alton Brown and Bobby Flay. More with Alton since he actually tells me about food, the chemistry of it all...why ovens and grills work in the ways that they do and how they react with different surfaces of food. How different cuts of meat are in fact different and how one should buy them, cook them, freeze or not freeze them, and what to mix them up with it. How spices cannot just be thrown into a pot and be expected to react to each other but instead, how they will inevitably react with each other. How a mushroom must be washed, cut and sauteed. How potatoes have a life of their own.

It's brilliant.

I am an awful cook. I cannot cook for shit anymore.

Before food tv came into my life, I was a good cook. People used to come from far and wide to eat my cooking. I have cooked twice in the three months I have been home and both times it has been a disaster. And I was cooking two of my tried, tested and true recipes and both sucked ass. I am in shock but no longer in denial.

I do not know if this is because people in my life who couldn't cook to save their lives now use truffle oil delectably or can make potatoes sing with fresh rosemary or if I now have lost the belief that if you stick everything in a pot with some love and a suspension of belief, that it will taste great, whatever the reason may be, I can no longer cook and this makes me very afraid.

I may have to start following recipes and I do not know how this translates for the free spirit that I am. Knowing what I know about reactions, how can I blindly throw things together and expect them to do what I want them to do? To will them into submission of flavor and applause for my effortless, flawless cooking?

If I mistakenly read a manual for life, I'm fucked.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Vulgar American

London, I am coming in two weeks. This is what you all think about me...I love it!

Consider the findings of a July YouGov poll on the British view of
America and Americans. Sixty-five percent of respondents consider Americans
"vulgar"; 72% think American society is unequal; 52% take a negative
view of American culture; and 58% believe the U.S. is "an essentially
imperial power, one that wants to dominate the world by one means or
another." Only 12% of Britons have confidence in U.S. leadership.


Isn't that fab? Sorry for the long delay in writing. I don't even know why I have been busy with. Taking in oxygen, I think.

Congrats to Johan and Vero on their marriage. I wish I had a photo of them to stick on my site.

Recent photos of me. I like that the sun is blocking most of me out.