Saturday, December 31, 2005


Well my computer crashed...again. It's the hard drive...again. I can't believe this has happened twice in one month. To look at the bright side of things, it's a Godsend. I had bought the extended warranty which runs out in February. If this happened after that, i'd have to pay out of my pocket so it's actually a good thing. The bad thing is I keep losing all my information and pictures and what not. It's important when you have a 3 month old who changes every day. I will pay $100 for the backup but they better do a better backup than they did last time - the last time i lost a lot of info and pictures etc. One more time of my computer's hard drive going out and i get a brand new laptop under the Lemon Law of Colorado. I'm betting it crashes again and according to that law if any product breaks three times for the same thing during it's lifetime, you get a new one. Since i bought it there, the law still applies to it. And if it doesn't, i'll get a new computer anyway because i'm "accidentally" going to spill a couple glasses of water on it and then i'm "accidentally" going to run over it a couple times a week after getting it back before i load all my programs on there again. I am really hating my computer right now and wishing i bought a cool one like dh's - whose i'm using to post this but unfortunately he's a working man and busy and needs his computer so i won't get to use it very much.

If you've emailed me and i haven't responded this is why. It'll probably take a couple weeks to get it back so i will probably only blog once or twice in that time and check my email the same. I guess i'll get some projects and chores done without the distraction of my beloved computer. I already made a list of what to get done. A little early spring cleaning is a good thing.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New interests...

I have two new interests: Iceskating and the cooking channel.

I'm hooked on both. I never knew how cool iceskating was and have never really watched it. On Christmas Eve or Christmas - don't remember which, i did, and wow, those people can do some amazingly cool stuff. I can't wait to watch the winter olympics now. Didn't do much for Christmas. Made haleem for about ten hours and was lazy. Perfect.

My other current obsession is the cooking channel - mainly Rachael Ray and Boy Meets Grill. Rachael Ray just rocks. To tell you the truth i think most of her dishes probably end up tasting like a 30-minute meals but she's got some great ideas. I don't believe in many food related shortcuts because it usually ends up tasting like a shortcut. Just my opinion of course but i'm a purist about most things food related. She's seems like this tough girl in a way and so casual about things. I just like watching her. Fun stuff! Boy Meets Grill is so awesome. He's entertaining and has tons of great ideas. Makes me want to get grilling! I think i was supposed to be a chef or something. If only owning and operating a restaurant wasn't such hard work and time consuming i would totally do it. I could open one heck of a halal restaurant. I choose being a mother over long hours so i guess i just get to keep cooking for my hubby and son. I truly do love cooking though and am seriously thinking about putting a recipe book together.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Be like a bee.

Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

"Be like a bee; anything he eats is clean, anything he drops is sweet and any branch he sits upon does not break." Saying of Imam Ali

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Favorite books

Anyone who knows me knows i love flattened wood bound together by glue and inserted between thicker pieces of flattened wood. I love books and i love anything to do with books. I love tattered covers, earmarked pages, used books with notes in the margins, the smell of a book that hasn't been read for 25 years. It is a pungent earthy beautiful smell. I love the feel of pages between my fingers. A cracked spine from multiple rereadings. I love different fonts, different types of paper, different sizes of books. I just love books. Sister Scorpion recently asked on her blog to make a list of your top ten fiction books. I put a comment in but figured i'd blog it too so brevity wasn't an issue. :-)

Here's mine but not in this order:

1. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran: This book is perfection. What else is there to say about it? I have so many quotes written down from this book.

2. The Petite Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: I love love this book. I have it in French and in English. It's a guide book to life. My favorite section is when he talks about his flower and he was too young to love her as he should have. Beautiful little diddy.

3. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri: I don't know why this book affected me like it did but it did. I found out i was pregnant and that i was going to have a son. That could be part of it. There's Russian Literature in it. There's the whole cultures colliding which i always find fascinating. I just really enjoyed this one.

4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Any book that makes me cry is a top ten. (see previous post)

5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel: I loved this book. When he said he was a Christian, Hindu, and Muslim i was hooked and knew i'd love it. Such creativity and joyfulness.

6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: I've read this so many times and just love it more every time. I don't know if it's the dashing Darcy or blushing Elizabeth but this book is such fun to read.

7. The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice Cream God by John Powers: I read this in high school after a teacher suggested it to me. It's been my favorite book for as long as I can remember. It's out of print and has been for a while. After reading the library copy i checked out, i had to buy a copy for myself but it was out of print already. This was before the internet (wow, i feel old now) so I had to call around to rare book dealers and used book store shops. I finally found it for $10 which is a lot for me back then fresh out of high school. I bought it and have treasured it since. It still has the bookmark from that store on East Colfax in Denver and is a first edition. It's easy to find the book now with the internet but i looked for it so hard at the time because i loved it so much. My favorite part of the book are the letters between a mechanic who doesn't like God because "he does sloppy work" and thinks he could do a better job, and a Catholic boy. The mechanic tells the boy to ask him questions and he'll answer them as God since God doesn't answer questions/prayers out loud. Here's a couple to give you an idea:

Dear God: Why do you let people grow old? Signed, Conroy
Conroy: Although I've created all of you, I often find the way you think quite puzzling. For me, the most beautiful moment on earth is old people. They are my human sunsets. Signed, God

Dear God: I didn't go to mass last Sunday morning. Signed, Conroy
Conroy, Don't worry about it. It was a nice day. I don't know built the church but I made the sunshine. Signed, God

Dear God: Today in my philosophy class, a guest lecturer proved, through the use of logic, that You do not exist. Signed, Conroy
Conroy: Ask your professor to explain to you why sunshine feels good on your face and snow does not. Have him write on the board the logical explanation of laughter. Ask him to list the reasons why pizza and beer taste good together. What are the logical factors that allow a bumblebee to fly? According to all aeronautical theories, it cannot.
Everything in the universe makes sense to me. Why shouldn't it? I'm God. But very little makes sense to you humans because I deliberately made you considerably dumber than me. Why look for trouble?
By the way, a few years ago, there was a guy in New York who logically proved that the earth does not exist. Just to make sure, he wrote down all of his calculations and checked them over. But as he already knew, his reasoning was correct.
To prove his point, he jumped out a twelfth floor window. On his way down, to make absolutely sure his thinking was logical, he again reviewed his facts and again found no error in his thinking.
He now firmly believed he was right. But when he hit the ground, he made just as big a splat as anybody else. Logic and reality don't have much to do with one another. Signed, God

Don't you love it? This book reminds me of my youth as a questioning Catholic girl etc. It's more than a book, it's part of me.

8. The Moon Below by Barbara Bickmore: I love the female character in this book. She is the strongest woman i have read in literature. What she does is amazing.

9. The Chosen by Chaim Potok: Another book that formed my young mind. I wanted to be a Hasidic Jew after reading it. I totally identified with Danny. His dad was the silent type and i often felt that same way with my dad. Another book that made me cry. I also loved his fascination with books.

10. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway is absolutely my favorite book at the time but it is not fiction. So be it. I plan to reread this one soon (i just read it but didn't have a highlighter or pen around) and highlight passages. Insh'Allah one day i'll go to Paris again and i'll go check out all the addresses he listed in it. What a writers delight this book.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Movies and Books

I just finished reading the Kite Runner and thought it was an excellent excellent book. I haven't cried reading a book in a long long time and i did twice in this one. Perhaps it was because i had my little guy nestled in my lap and because i listened to it outloud on audiobook but the story really touched me. I also finished For Matrimonial Purposes which was a quick fun read. I know there's more but those stick out right now. I'm about to reread Little Women and am working on the Qur'an again. But instead of reading it, i'm copying the entire book and then reading the commentary. It's helping my rentention already.

Saw two really funny movies recently too. I loved Garden State and can't even believe there's someone out there that thinks like this. The guy wrote, directed, and acted in it. I liked it because it's so original and weird. Leila, i think you would love this movie. Another good one is Shaolin Soccer. A friend recommended this and at first i thought, this is gonna be lame. About five minutes into and thereafter i was cracking up. Hilarious. I don't usually watch these types of films. I prefer the serious dramas and romantic comedies so it was a nice change. We are also watching the fourth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm - funny stuff.

I'm back to reviewing books again and have two thick ones in front of me and also writing for the magazine so i don't have a lot of time to read, especially with Little Dude who is getting more interactional and wants to have long chats with his ami. MashAllah. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Don’t tell my husband but when I ate the dalcha yesterday afternoon, I sucked the marrow from the bone. I HATE it when people do that. That sound just disgusts me, but when I was all alone I did it just to see how it was. Not too shabby. A tribute to dalcha too – it is absolutely positively my favorite Pakistani dish – and haleem. Yummmm.

KhattaDalchaB from
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Speaking of Pakistani food and eating customs. How is it that any Pakistani can get their plate clean with a quarter of the bread that I use? I mean seriously, there’s always sauce and stuff left on my plate but theirs is cleaned and with very little bread?

People are always surprised that we eat mostly Pakistani food and some will even ask – when we eat out - if I can handle it and they have a look of fear in their eyes. It took a while to get used to and I’ll never forget the first time my husband took me to a Pakistani restaurant. This was one of the first times we met in person. I was so miserable eating. The food was sooooo hot and greasy and it burned my mouth – I seriously thought I was gonna die. I didn't eat very much and was literally sweating.

This weekend we went for the typical Pakistani breakfast at the same restaurant we went to that night and I realized I am no longer fob to Pakistani food. I ate up the nihari which used to be too hot for me and two plates of food (I guess I need to re-read Why French Women Don’t Get Fat but anyway). I now love halva puri and back then I thought it was a little weird. And now when I eat the eggs I don’t think they are too hot, I just don’t think they are very good because well as both dh and I realized, I cook them better. There’s nothing better for breakfast than desi scrambled eggs and paratha and then some raspberry jam on the last remaining piece of paratha. I eat this almost every day now if I have the time to actually cook breakfast.

When we first got married the food was still hot to me and dh would add achar to everything that i cooked. He rarely does that anymore because i've spiced it up quite a bit. Now, if I don’t make it spicy enough, I’m the one adding achar. And when I eat American food, it seems so bland and without taste hence the reason we eat mostly Pakistani food. We've been known to add spicy corriander chutney to american food. I’ve been trying out some Afghani, Iranian, and Iraqi foods now to mix things up but have to add at least chili powder, garam masala and cumin etc to the dishes. Like I tried this dish of of Sister Scorpions and it was really good but way too bland for us but we both imagined how good it would be spiced up. Sister Scorpion has some great recipes up on her site though. Do try some out!

I was only going to write one sentence and look at me now. If i start talking about food, it's neverending. Anyway, another thing that has changed food wise is dessert. I never used to like sweets – at all. I just wasn’t fond of them (another Pakistani influence…the word fond and keen...ugh...i think i picked those up from my mil grrrr – but at least I don’t switch v’s and w’s). The first time DH visited me he brought me some Southern style pralines which if you've had them will rock your world. I tasted them and was like Yuck – that is way too sweet. It is now my favorite thing and if either of us go by the mall that has them and doesn’t pick some up, it is considered a sin in this house. I also eat every type of dessert and always prepare something for dessert now. A note on Pakistani desserts too – they are all sugar! I mean for someone who didn’t like sweets to go to this extreme is crazy. Now if we don’t have something for dessert, the meal doesn’t seem complete. I used to make fun of my husband for always needing something sweet after dinner and now i do it! We have to at least have a piece of fruit or something sweet. And since we almost always eat at home, I have learned to make some good desserts. I have to thank dh for introducing me to rasmalai, his mom’s yummy saffron dessert (I think I’ll go make that now in fact), pralines, red velvet cake, gulab jamun – never will forget the time I called it gulab julab not knowing my error (lol), and so much more.
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

No wonder I can’t lose the baby fat. It’s not just baby fat, maybe it’s also getting married fat…

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I have two types of envy as of late. Blogger envy and stroller envy. You mothers know what i'm talking about too. You see someone with a cool stroller and you wish you had that one. Peg Perego's aside (what husband wanted to get until the rational sides of us kicked in), the European strollers are awesome. We saw a German lady the other day at the park and both (dh has stroller envy too even if he won't admit it) of us were eyeing it. I had to start a conversation with her to find out where she found such a cool one. Of course - in Germany, in a country where people actually walk. I love that about Europe. That's why they have better strollers...because we are just a bunch of lazy Americans. Speaking of lazy Americans, i recently finished reading French Women Don't Get Fat. She brings up a lot of good points of why Americans are so fat. Basically it's because we overindulge and top it off with laziness.

I'm still trying to lose my baby fat after giving birth to a big baby. I was apalled when after having a 9+ pound baby that i had lost exactly 5 pounds. I mean, that's just not fair. I thought I would have lost at least the weight of the baby. I did lose another 25 pounds the first month but now i have plateaued and i think baby fat is here to stay for a while longer. Where was i going with this? Oh yeah, that's why i read the book. So all you people (you know who you are) who used to say "Oh you are so skinny. How do you do it? I'm so jealous. blah blah blah." Well no longer am i lithe. Enjoy.

The other envy i am experiencing is blog envy. I read so many good blogs that mine just pales in comparison and i wonder why i blog at all. It seems everyone's lives are so interesting and well mine is interesting to me but no one really wants to hear about how my son has started using the letter g which is a huge milestone for his age. I spend most of my time lately categorizing types of drool, cry's, babble and diapers. Diapers do need several categories as some of them actually defy physics. I mean really, how do they get doody all the way up to their shoulders like that???? The best part of my day is when my son gets on a talking spree and just blabs away and then laughs at himself and me for mimicing him. That and when i'm doing something around the house and i hear from the other room a crazy slurping sound that doesn't end and then laughter. He loves chewing on his hands and that slurping sound is a delightful part of my day. I love my little slobber monster.

I am a mother and i love it but i seem to have lost my interestingness if that's a word. That's another thing that goes with being a mom - language skills. And that's not a good thing for a writer - which by the way i'm back to doing.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wanna be my neighbor?

Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

So that was weird. Someone either has my password and thinks they are funny (but really rude) or blogger has/had an issue. Somebody wrote a bunch of doody on my blog. I deleted that mumbo jumbo and am now too lazy to repost. It's the weekend after all. Basically all i said is that i celebrate some aspects of Christmas (the cultural ones and not the religious ones) and i baked a bunch of goodies for my neighbors (zucchini bread, christmas wreaths made out of rice krispies and red hots, chocolate fudge with butterscotch topping, peanut butter sugar cookies with chocolate kisses filled with caramel etc). I also posted a cool article about how christmas got all messed up: History of Christmas from a Christian perspective.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Japanese Maple

Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

This tree is in our front yard and every season it offers something beautiful. When we moved in it was purple from winter, then it turned green with beautiful little red flowers, then golden orange, and now this vivid red orange. It's such a beautiful tree.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A few new blogs...

I just added five or so new blogs to my blogroll...and removed a few too that i just don't seem to ever read although they are good. One of my new favorites has to be Inspirations and Creative Thoughts - what a great site (and thanks to Sis Scorp for leading me to it).

Simple pleasures

choc chip cookies
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

A BIG thanks to Carol for getting me in the mood to make these. The husband and Little Dude thanks you too. Little Dude knawed on his knuckles and salivated as I ate away. He told me later how much he liked them with a hefty burp. Such simple pleasures. Ah...I'm off to have another one.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Monopoly sucks!

Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Or at least I suck at playing it. My brother and I played it a lot when we were kids and I never (not even once) won. Years later, ten to be precise, Monopoly came up in a conversation and i cringed and said, "Remember how i could never win at that game?" He just snickered. I asked what the snicker was about and he said "You never won because I always cheated."

I told my husband about this and he said "Everyone cheats when they are the banker." Well I was the banker a lot and I never cheated (being the good God-fearing girl that I was). Not once.

Now let me go into more detail about the level of losing I lost at. We would go on and on with one game, sometimes for a month. My brother kept a log of my debt which was often six digits long and once i think even seven. Yes, i was millions in debt but was determined to get back on top. I would borrow money so i could build double hotels on property but I would still lose.

Well, times haven't changed. DH and I were at the store last week and bought a copy of Monopoly and I told him "Maybe now I can win!" I was excited at the prospect of winning my first game of Monopoly. Wrong! Everytime I passed go I had to hand over my measly two hundred dollars to him. Eventually I had to pull out the notebook and start tracking my debt, and once again I was optimistic that I would be able to rise up and conquer him, but it was not so.

I, Wayfarer, am officially the worst Monopoly player ever! DH is now coaching me on how I can do a few things different to win. We'll see. Sadly, I hold a license that allows me to give investment advice for a nominal fee. Ironic? Yes. Anyone want to give me some money to invest?