Archive for July, 2004

Extra Extra!

Friday, July 30th, 2004

In other news:
-I hit my mid-twenties. I’m old.
-I’m in Lahore to take care of work. My urdu accent still blows.
-I have a new laptop. Widescreen makes things so much prettier.
-I’m working hard to not have a mid-twenties crisis. It’s not easy.

That’s all folks.


Thursday, July 29th, 2004

I once lived near this giant lake, man made lake filled with ducks, hundreds of ducks, brown ducks, white ducks, whitish brown ducks and brownish white ducks. Big ducks, little ducks, medium ducks, loner ducks, social ducks, dominant ducks, dumb ducks, male ducks and female ducks.
There sure were lots of ducks in that pond.

But when refugees from the Kuwait came over things changed.
For one, ducks started disappearing.

Boy oh boy.

Don’t talk to me about Times New Roman

Wednesday, July 21st, 2004

I hate Times New Roman. I do. With a passion, a fascist passion for trashing this damned font.

It started in highshcool. I remember changing all my papers to Comics Sans MS and turning them all in with a cool eye.
Oh yeah. A rebel geek.

I hate it so much that I have defied all college instructions to turn in my paper as such. As far as over-ruling a presentation before a professional peer group from the industry last year at my RFP. I hate it.

I hate it so much that when my english literature teacher demanded that we turn in all papers with this font, I took her aside during office hours and berated this damned font for almost an hour, taking with my evidence of its horrific curves, its filthy design and extremely annoying appearance. She sat back, stunned, gunned and weakly agreed to my furious demands for my paper to be turned in with a different font; She had never been subjugated to a student actually insiting on showing her the font, full blown and going over almost every letter in the alphabet.

I hate it in my IM converations, wondering why people wish to torture me like this. With a variety of nauseating colors such as purple, pink and hot magna, these folks throw upon me their verbal vocals and like a good friend, I bear it all. Painfully.
It hurts everytime. Ah the pain.
Damn you Times New Roman.

I hate it so much that when I did my first resume in freshmen year . I have out over 70 resumes that job fair, having spent over a week working on each and every single spacing. Each version, I nagged the Career Office to tell me that my choice of a font non-Times New Roman was indeed, yes yes Mr Waleed, it looks fine, yes yes, it will be scanner friendly too. No Mr Waleed, you may not talk to the Director. Oh there he is. Go talk to him Mr Waleed. The Director will explain everything. And he did.
On a seperate note, due to lack of tie-tying abilites, I would rush into all interviews with a tie stuffed in my pocket and this generous man would do them for me outside in the hallway. Alas, when in my senior year he moved away, I was severely upset, a routine damaged.
His assistant had to take over the tie-tying business thereof.

But when a client wants me to help design educational material in Islam and wants to use Times New Roman. When the english tafseer of this material will be in this font-
Oh the excruiciating pain. I silently agree, for this is a special cause. Like two students infront of a principal, I poke at this font at all other times but now.

So, I know you don’t like me Times New Roman and you know I loathe you Times New Roman but this one, this one is for The Big Guy and for Him we do what we gotta do. Capische?

(psst! I hate you Times New Roman! How you like me now?)

Zed’s dead, baby

Monday, July 19th, 2004

It’s a fact. These things just happen. My family has had a history of all electronics, even brand new, turning evil on them. My dad’s first car, his second car, his third car, his … his last car actually had a serious personality issue. The radio mysteriously locked itself, the hazard lights would go on/off in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, and all wiper fluid mysteriously vanished, tracelessly.

We’re not puzzled. We’re pretty much used to such things.

His new iMate commited suicide, his laptop turned british overnight and he’s had to superglue his carkeys together so the electronic security tags don’t fall out. His bluetooth earpiece works on a 1.5 second delay, his alarm clock button has stopped popping out, his TV remote controls take him to different channels – unasked.

We’re not angry. You get used to cows falling out of the sky.

His old lamp tried to kill him, his room fan has this weird Natural setting that makes it go on and off randomly and pauses everyone to stare at it in concern and his home stereo system front case simply fell into his hands.

No no, definitely not upset. We laugh, madly, especially when it’s a known fact that all lanes that my dad drives in will halt immediately and all other lanes will proceed at normal speeds. I’ve suggested that we try and trick fate, giving a right signal and turning left sharpy but my dad sighs sadly. It’s useless, he confesses. Fate was always waiting for him on the left anyways.

Yes, all this happens and it’s quite normal. We’re used to it. So used to it infact, that when my laptop died two days ago, a motherboard gone faulty due to excessive heat and dust possibly from Pakistan, taking with it to eHeaven my entire portfolio, office work, college work and pictures of various roadtrips (including that time akds and I went skimming stones), we shrugged it off.

Oh yeah. We’re brave like that.

The Forgiveness Project

Friday, July 16th, 2004

One day I’d like to meet Zacharias Moussaoui. I’d like to say to him, ‘you can hate me and my brother as much as you like, but I want you to know that I loved your mother and I comforted her when she was crying’. {excerpt}

What would your story be?

Dangerous mirrors

Monday, July 12th, 2004

I remember the last time I saw her. Starving, we had gone out to Subway to grab a bite to eat or to walk, I can’t remember which. It was to take a break from all the studying, the coding, the projects, the deadlines. I remember why I cared about school that time. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. I did it too, almost though. I swear.

My roommate wanted to bring her along. I didn’t care for the world at that time, having just made the life altering decision to be muslim. I just wanted to have dinner and I hate eating alone though I’m amazing company even to myself. She was utterly and absolutely fascinated with me. This I slowly realized when I was digging out change at the payphone and she stopped by to say what a lovely time she had had. We did have a lovely time, despite a crappy half wet apartment and take away food from the local desi restuarant; it was her first time eating pakistani cuisine. She hung around for a few seconds uncertainly and I didn’t notice; the change in my pocket was now getting hard to find but I solidly believed it existed.

I remember how shocked she was when I told her all the stories that I had told her, all of them true, didn’t you know, they were all about you. I remember her wide eyes, her absolutely blank startled face, her light pink lips parted slightly as she tried to put into order her world once again. Her body snatched to basic life support, legs working independantly, arms barely moving to keep to their last position of balance. Balance.

I had read her too well and few authors like their work read back to them. Partially because no-one can capture their passion, their tone for it. Partially because they don’t think anybody would truely and absolutely get it.
I got most of it. And gave it back.

I never saw her again, though we did exchange emails a few years later. The impact of truth had erupted too close to her, the blast radius forcing her to tumble down to a basement of solitude. And protection. The emails themselves had little content to it. It was a formal courtesy to each other, given that I was quite shaken up with an accident in the family. Her words were guarded and I remember smiling sadly at them. We had just started our interfaith-discussion and now I could never continue.

Meeting new people can be like that.
Like finding dangerous mirrors on walls you walk past.

Technical Difficulties

Monday, July 12th, 2004

This blog has recently been plagued by technical difficulties of the H kind. Due to server error, dns issues and possible lack of coffee for programmers in New Jersey, I wasn’t able to write.

Now it should be back up.

Meanwhilst, I’ve had a swamp of emails asking me on further details of fourteenYears. Why the one year gap between the last and latest entry? Who the hell is this man? What is so forbidden about 14? Has he been married before? Is he half jewish and half native american? What’s his name? Why is his name? When is his name?
Is that you in the story?

And I’ve tried answering people. Firstly, it’s not possible to dissect an author from his writing. Secondly, it’s not me. The story first started in last years blogathon (which incidently is not being held this year which works out nicely for me, since I’ll be on the road that day). Inititally I wanted to write it backwards, a la Momento, but that turned out harder then I thought since I kept thinking of plots backwards and forwards.
At the moment, the plot is going 360 degrees and there are other fictional stories in the work too. Unfortunately, most of them have too much drama/action in them and I’ve come to the conclusion that most of my better entries tend to lean towards that section.

Having never taken a creative writing course in my life, I’m starting to feel stinted in terms of writing abilities. Tis time to hijack the local library I believe.

Now, to go shopping for fully black clothes. In the Middle East heat.