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Category Archives: Mortal Wounds

In a nutshell

KhalidHeadKhalid fell down and busted his head on the corner of the wall.  Stood him up and said Khalid, did you hit your head?  With blood pouring down his face he answers: No.   No tears, no crying.  Rocking in pain, but outright denial because he refuses to acknowledge things he finds uncomfortable.  He’s an amazing little man, SubhanAllah.

Mashed a kitchen towel against the side of his head and took him to the ER where everybody already knew his name. A two-inch long gash, Alhamdulillah, not too deep.  He played iPhone while getting stitches.  I asked him how his head felt, he said “sick.”

The kids started school last week, and Khalid is finishing this week- his current school does not have a high enough percentage of English speaking children in it for him to be able to use the words we’ve spent the last two and a half years teaching him.  Bad behaviors are being reinforced, and I am running amok this week trying to find another school that will take him.

Incidentally, I am also training the KG department of the current school, because that was an agreement made with the school in exchange for accepting him in the first place.  Wonder how many KG departments I’ll have to train before we can find one that sticks. :s

Alhamdulillah, very very busy.  Hiring a personal assistant this week, InshaAllah. As well as TEN more therapists.  Alhamdulillah.  Alhamdulillah.  AllahuAkbar.

Morphine Bad, Knee Good.

So the surgery went well, Alhamdulillah.  It’s only been two days since the operation, but already the knee is free of the crunchy, audible grinding that was the result of damaged cartilage rubbing against damaged cartilage every time I flexed or extended my knee.  Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah.  I am happy and hopeful and optimistic about getting some of my mobility back.  I may never be able to run a marathon, but climbing stairs without creaking and being able to play in the park with the kids would be really amazing, InshaAllah. 🙂

I was given spinal anasthesia for the knee arthroscopy, so I was totally awake for the surgery.  It was interesting, being paralyzed from the waist-down you feel like half of a person, and as I watched the surgeon, I was sure that the iodine-painted foot planted on his chest and the carrot-colored leg he was wrapping up must have been someone else’s.  They were miles away and felt like no part of my own body.   When I got back to the room, I was laughing.  HF and I had a good time trying to move my toes, and although I was vaguely aware of sensation, I couldn’t tell how or what was touching any part of me.  It was so bizarre.  It didn’t last too long though.  The surgery was at ten, and by around 12:30, I started to regain feeling in my legs.  And then the pain level started to climb the stairs by twos, and even though I hadn’t wanted to, I had to ask for some pain relief.

Now, about morphine.  Whoever has been doing the PR for morphine should get a bonus.  When you think of morphine, you think of drowsy, blissed-out addicts sleeping their way into a happy oblivion.  Morphine is, after all, named for Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.  If there was a Greek god for vomiting every time you adjust position and losing consciousness all day, then it should have been named for him instead.  Morphine was awful.  When they were injecting me, HF asked the nurse “So, how long before this takes effect?”

The nurse said, “The full effect will take half an hour, but you should start feeling it right away.” That was when my head started spinning.  Right then and there, with the ceiling going down and the floors going up, I told HF that I needed to get out of bed, do wudu, and pray before I wasn’t able to.  And he looked at me skeptically, but he helped me out of bed, walked me to the sink, held me up while I staggered through wudu, washed my feet for me, and then led us in jamaat (I prayed in bed) where I briefly lost consciousness during the third of four rakats.  At some point, we had visitors who brought doritos and cookies and nuts.  HF said I giggled too much, I don’t remember.  My head felt like it was full of cotton, and I couldn’t hear very well.  I had some doritos and passed out  sitting up in bed.  Some of my sleep wasn’t sleep, it just felt like being deactivated.  My eyes were closed, but I could still hear everything going on around me.  And then some of my sleep felt like dreaming awake, which was scary and vivid and I woke up disoriented and not sure whether the dreams had been real or not.

Then there was a shift change, HF left and Owlie came in, and then the vomitting began.  I was mentally fuzzy and twitchy and remarkably pain-free, but every time I changed position in bed, I threw up.  I would doze off, wake up, vomit, fall asleep again, wake up, vomit, fall asleep… the cycle lasted until 9:30 pm, when I was alert enough to complain to the nurse, who then gave me another injection to control the nausea.  Then the vomitting stopped, Alhamdulillah, and Owlie and I went to sleep by around 11pm, and the next morning, SubhanAllah I woke up feeling like myself again.

I have to say, the morphine was worse than the surgery.  I cannot imagine why on earth people take it voluntarily.  This wasn’t the first time I’ve had morphine, but it was the first time that it was given to me when I was conscious enough to be able to determine what it did to me.  The last arthroscopy I had, I was partially sedated and given morphine before I even woke up, so coming out of surgery was hot, cold, itchy, shaky, nauseating, confusing, and mentally fuzzy for nearly eight hours afterwards.  I didn’t know what caused what, it was all too much to deal with at once.  With this surgery, once the spinal wore off, I was back to normal, and at no point was I nauseated, uncontrollably drowsy, or mentally fuzzy until I was given morphine.  Which I would NOT ever take again voluntarily, thank you very much!

But right, the knee.  Alhamdulillah, my surgeon (Hooray for Dr. Ali Al Belooshi!) cleaned up and trimmed down the damaged cartilage so that it no longer gets pulled and mashed and ground against when I move my knee.  Yes, there’s less cartilage in my knee than there was before, but at least my knee no longer hurts to move, Alhamdulillah.  I haven’t taken any pain killers since Friday morning (when the morphine finally wore off) and I am trying to stay that way.  My knee doesn’t feel post-surgical painful, it just feels like a really, really bad day for my knee, which I have had plenty of in the past six months.  So this pain isn’t out of the ordinary and is well within tolerability, Alhamdulillah. 🙂

JazakAllahuKheiran for the duas, I don’t know if I can post the surgery video yet, because my own laptop has died and this borrowed office laptop doesn’t have a video encoder, but as usual, the inside of my knee looks like a the inside of a cloud with frayed lining, which is then eaten by a small robot with revolving teeth.  A typical arthroscopy.  🙂

Alhamdulillah 🙂

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

One little Iman jumping on the bed
She fell off and bumped her head!
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
Take her to the ER, she might need stitches.

As life imitates art (or vice-versa?) Iman smashed her head against the corner of a dressing table while jumping on Momma’s bed and initiated herself into the world of the Mortal Wound. And what a dramatic initiation it was- twenty minutes of crying and bleeding profusely and refusing to hold still, blood on her clothes and on her face as she tried to make the pain go away by vigorously rubbing at it. (Note: this doesn’t work)

We did eventually get the bleeding to stop, and then packed her into the car and off to the emergency room in Abu Dhabi. We were seen right away, Alhamdulillah, and were asked only once- “So ma’am, what is the prob- oh. Richard, dressing for the baby please!” Iman was in a fairly good mood, the pain having subsided, and we even went through a few rounds of ‘Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,’ to the amusement of the ER staff. Iman bobbed up and down and tapped on her own head for emphasis, and appropriately shook her head and held out a very stern finger at the final line. But then the fun was over because it was time to actually do something about the hole in her forehead.

In case you’ve ever wondered what the Iman:Normal Human ratio of intensity is, I think it’s three to one. That’s how many people it takes to hold her down so that one nurse can push the edges of the wound together while another paints it with glue, fans it dry, paints it again, fans some more, and then lays down steri-strips, and then clear plastic bandage to background shrieking of “No! Wait! All Done! No No No! Mommaa!”

When it was all done and Iman’s hands were finally freed, she made an angry grab at the bandages on her forehead. Ouch! she cried out in genuine surprise. She frowned, sniffled, thought for a moment, and then tried again. Ouch! *pout*. Cindy and I were trying desperately to not laugh out loud, and we waited to see whether she would do it again. She did. Ouch! *pout* We gave her a glass of water and some tic-tacs, and with both hands full, she stopped taking swipes at herself.

She fell asleep in the car on the way home, woke up in the morning happy, and seems to have forgotten about last night’s trauma. Today Cindy and I moved the furniture around in the bedroom, and the new arrangement is awkward, but at least there is nothing forehead puncturing in the vicinity of the bed. Alhamdulillah, we were blessed that Iman did not get the corner of the dresser in her eye, and I’m not going to risk it.

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

You would think the hospital would give us a group discount…

Had HF’s family over for dinner. Made chicken kabobs. And gave every last person food poisoning, in varying degrees, with seven requiring the hospital. Myself included.

SubhanAllah. 2010 has been an interesting year already, no?

The believer is not broken by sorrow
Any more than a mountain is leveled by wind
And neither are battered, but shaped
By the force of storms they would weather

SubhanAllah

One of the great things about not updating your blog regularly is that no one really visits it anymore. So you can write whatever you want to. Like this:

Lab Technician: Ah, a BHCG test, expecting a baby?

Me: No, having a miscarriage.

LT: Oh, uh- I’m sorry.

Me: It’s ok.

-Pained silence-

Once upon a time I was in the US for Owlie’s wedding, and two days after arriving, I found out I was pregnant. And then, after four days of baby shopping, and quietly thinking of names, and imagining sweet little faces with HF’s big brown eyes, I found out I was having a miscarriage. And then I was on the next flight home, a week after I had arrived and a week before my original return.

And here I am today. Blogging.

Because it would seem that my blog fulfills many roles, one of which is catharsis. And I’m an extremely logical person, but my own brain is baffled by how deeply you can mourn something that was never yours and was never meant for you to begin with. I can’t say that I’ve lost a baby, because the baby was never mine. If Allah had willed that child for me, the entire world could not have withheld it from me. But He did not, and so the entire world can not grant it to me.

And the miscarriage was not my fault, and could not have been caused by anything I did or by any medicine I could have taken. The doctor very kindly said so. Which was nice, because up until that point I had been mentally crucifying myself for taking my daily migraine medication. Never mind that I had no idea I was pregnant until three days before I miscarried. I’m a mom, I blame myself for things. The flip side of taking responsibility for your children is that you blame yourself when something happens to any of them, even an embryo that was never meant to be born.

And you cry, and you cry, and you cry. And when no one is looking, and Abu Dhabi is flying past you at 155 kph with the highway roaring and the nasheed blasting, you cry when you remember what you’ve been trying so desperately to drown out.

A few people know, and they ask about me because they care, not because they’re trying to stick their fingers into the gaping, bleeding, hole in my heart. I have to pull myself together and be polite, and patient, and coherent, and talk about things in terms of BHCG levels and non-viability and natural termination. I have managed to not cry in front of anyone but HF and the speed radars on the Abu Dhabi/Dubai highway, not because I’m being Stoic, but because I don’t want anyone’s pity, especially my own. I’m healthy, I’m ok, I am free from permanent physical effects of what was an early and natural miscarriage that required no medical intervention, chemical or surgical. I have two beautiful, amazing children and no reason to believe that I cannot have more, InshaAllah. I have the most loving, supportive, water-proof husband in the entire world, who not only knows what to do with a wife who is crying so hard she’s incoherent, but also to make her stop, and eventually, even smile.

Allah hasn’t wronged me. He never has. And faith says that He never will. Healing is just a matter of time and patience. And being content with God’s will does not mean that I cannot allow myself to grieve. SubhanAllah, may Allah bless those who preserved the life and sunnah of the Prophet, so that fourteen hundred years after the death of Prophet Muhammad, we know what he said upon the death of Ibrahim, his 18 month old son. “”O Ibrahim, against the judgment of God, we cannot avail you a thing.”

His son died in his lap, and when he passed away, the Prophet, with tears in his eyes, said “”O Ibrahim, were the truth not certain that the last of us will join the first, we would have mourned you even more than we do now.” A moment later he said: “The eyes send their tears and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Lord. Indeed, O Ibrahim, we are bereaved by your departure from us.”

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Logic and emotion are both part of human nature, and insane, frantic, overwhelming love for your children is part of a parent’s nature. I am allowed to be sad, but I am also required to fight through the blinding storm of grief and find the knowledge that Allah doesn’t test anyone more than they can bear, and all that’s required of me to pass this test is to keep faith and be patient.

Verily we are God’s, and to Him we return.

Inna lillahi wa inna ileihi rajioon

If HF asks, tell him I was typing in my sleep…

HF is asleep, Khalid is asleep, Iman is asleep- why then am I awake? Because it’s hard to eat chocolate cereal in your dreams, that’s why.

So my bowl of chocolate cereal and I are here to share our continuing adventures in dental destiny. On Wednesday, I dutifully submitted to the dentist- a nice man who does horrible things to my mouth, and let him fight it out with my jaw for ownership of my last two wisdom teeth. It wasn’t a fair fight. He had pliers and some sort of ice-pick. My teeth were unarmed. After about twenty minutes of wrangling, the teeth were out and my unhappy gums were packed with cotton.

That would have ended a painful but mundane day in dental history, were it not for the evil forces of TMJ. TMJ is a long a complicated term that, for me, means that in addition to popping and clicking at embarrassing times, my jaw is also vulnerable to being dislocated and locked open anytime I visit a dentist. So thanks to TMJ, I left the dentist with a misaligned mouth, but thanks to the anethesia, I had no idea until 11pm that night when I realized I couldn’t close my teeth.

I called the dentist and he offered a simple solution-

Is your husband home?

Yes.

Tell him to place his thumbs on your molars and push your jaw open and down, when it clicks, push it back into place.

-blink blink-

Try that and let me know if it works. I’ll be waiting for your call.

I headed for the bedroom, where HF was sitting in the rocking chair reading while Khalid, presumably falling asleep, was waving his feet from under a pile of pillows.

(Hey, have you ever wanted to dislocate my jaw? Now’s your chance!)

HF blinked a few times when I told him the plan. He grinned nervously and said he’d give it a shot. We tried it a few times- HF with both thumbs in my mouth, trying to force my jaw open without hurting me and overall, succeeding in little more than causing my tongue to get dry.

(Don’t worry, the worst you can do is dislocate my jaw, and that’s what we’re trying to do!)

It didn’t work. HF is too nice, too gentle, and maybe even too squeamish. By then it was 11:30. I called the dentist back and arrangements were made to meet me back at his clinic. I made it there just after 1 am, and after much pushing and pulling of my jaw, the dentist succeeded in popping it somewhat back into place.

But not completely back into place- my teeth were set too far to the right, and the ones on the bottom were set exactly in line with the ones on top, when normally they are set just behind. Apparently, my jaw has spasmed, and due possibly to inflammation as well- it’s stuck there. Still- even as I type this, my jaw is set down and to the right. My teeth only align if I manually push things back into place, and that too is painful.

So what now? Well, first we laugh and shake our head, but not too hard, because it’s all stiff and sore. Then, we wait one more day and see if the swelling goes down. We’re taking anti-inflammatory meds, and if that doesn’t work, the dentist will prescribe a muscle relaxant. Me, I just wish I could chew again.

By Abez, the end.

Mortal Wounds: Conflict and Resolution

Abez Presents: How to Mortally Wound Yourself with Lunch

Step1: Make Tuna Corn Chowder yesterday(recipe will follow at bottom of post)
Step2: Reheat bowl of Tuna Corn Chowder in microwave, set on one minute.
Step3: After one minute, take the chowder out to stir it, so that it heats evenly.
Step4: Put spoon into chowder
Step5: Be attacked by superheated flying potato from chowder.
Step6: Catch superheated flying potato- in the eye.

Yes, I burned my eye with a potato. This may be a world’s first, and remember, you read it here. Alhamdulillah, I managed to wince in time, and my eyelid caught most of the damage. It hurts though, subhanAllah, and the area around my right eye is quite red.

Facing the pain of betrayal from my own lunch, I decided to take solace in dessert, hence, the second recipe of this post- Conciliatory Icecream Cone.

Mix One scoop Vanilla Icecream with 1 tbs pancake syrup
Add 1 tsp peanutbutter (it rolled away!)
Plop onto an icecream cone.
Nurse your burned eye and enjoy.

Recipe2: Treacherous Tuna Corn Chowder

In roughly two cups water, add:
Can of Mushrooms
Frozen, mixed veggies (greenbeans, peas, carrots, corn)
1 diced potato

And boil until the potatoes are soft and seem broken of their will to retaliate with flying attacks.
Add 3 cups milk, 2 cans of tuna, black pepper, salt, and 4 cloves of garlic that have been finely minced. Or grated. Or mashed into paste. Just destroy them, ok?

Mix 1/3 cup white flour into abt 1/2 cup cold water on the side, add to soup BEFORE it boils. (if you boil milk that has no thickening agent in it, it will split) Allow soup to thicken, add salt and more pepper if you wish.

Allow soup to cool. Reheat a single bowl. Microwave on medium heat. Beware of flying potatoes.

Mortal Wounds: The next generation

There’s nothing funny about pain, but the look on Bebe’s face (brow wrinkled, lower lip protruding) followed by the offended little ‘meep!’ noise that he made when I accidentally beaned him in the face with Blue- that was funny. That was very, very funny.

I must be a horrible mother, because once when the cell phone I had been trying to hold between my ear and my shoulder slipped and bounced off of Bebe’s forehead, I couldn’t help but notice how his wide-open eyes and perfectly o-shaped mouth made him look like a surprised little coconut- and I laughed.

On a separate note: the moving and packing is about 80% complete, and we are now left with one mattress, a fridge, a washer, a stove, a kitchen and two bathrooms. There will be one last installment of work and then we should be shifted into the new house completely, InshaAllah. So if updates are few and far between these days, it’s because I’m currently busy reigning over the Kingdom of Dustbunnies in Cardboardland.

Coming soon:

Is it a sin to be rich?

For now: It has happened. I have given myself the first mortal wound of my married life. I do not wish to horrify those of you with delicate constitutions with the gory details. Nor do I wish to upset those readers who lack intestinal fortitude. (please, not on the computer chair…) So all I will say is this- There was a hot skillet and a cocky, no-good hash brown that refused to accept its rightful place in the circle of life, and when it took off I had to show it what’s what. I had to chase the sucker down and retrieve it, and being a Suggard does come with occupational hazards, and at some point during the high-speed chase, I invented a new recipe for Seared Abez. Tsssss. So now there’s the pink burn on my forearm of all places, almost into the crook of my elbow, and if you think that’s bad, you should see what I did to the hash brown. mwa. ha. ha. chomp.

Oh, and I fought the Shogun and nearly lost the tip of my thumb, but the fruit salad does taste meatier for it. The End.

And here, for the sake of posterity:

Mortal Wound: TROGDOR!

Mortal Wound: Sensei Presents

Mortal Wound: Killing me softly with pineapple

Mortal Wound: Oven-roasted Knuckles

Mortal Wound: GONGGG!

Mortal Wound: ZAP!

Mortal Wound: Waxing your thumbs: pros and cons

Mortal Wound: Carrot upside-down cake

Mortal Wound: Crackers on the rebound

Mortal Wound: Death By Exasperation

Mortal Wound: The Mortal Wound Medley

Mortal Wounds: when bannisters attack

How to:

1. In a hurry, approach the top landing of a staircase.

2. Also in a hurry, notice that there is an empty garbage can waiting to be taken back downstairs.

3. Swoop down with your right hand to pick up the garbage can, removing your eyes from the staircase and therefore altering your initial trajectory.

(Note: the bannister cannot ambush you if you’re looking right at it.)

4. Inadvertently smash your left hand into the pokey and ornate ornamental bannister at the head of the stairs.

(make sure a hard corner is jammed very precisely between two of your knuckles so that the nerves of your arm are jangled all the way up to your elbow.)

5. Watch it swell.

6. Notice the sudden discoloration.

7. Perish.

Mortal Wounds: Hypothermia

Don’t cry over spilt milk.

Unless it’s very cold.

And you’ve poured a whole glass of it into your lap.

Having done so, weep.

bawhawwwhooohooooooo! <:o


It got better… Posted by Hello

This photo by request and request. I apologize for the cheap photo quality. Or well, actually, I don’t, because if I was really sorry I would’ve taken the trouble to hook my digital cam up instead of being lazy and using the webcam instead.

Well, I’ve got a busy few weeks ahead of me, and I have a rather large project which you guys might be able to help me with, you beautiful bloggers, you. I’ll post how you guys can help me out (Yes, you!) tomorrow. In the mean time, enjoy my first mortal wound picture.

TROGDOR!!!

Some blogs are easier to write than others. Take, for example, a mortal wound blog. All I have to do is hurt myself and a great story is born. Last week I mortally wounded myself while washing the car, but because I was over-busy with my momma’s arrival, I didn’t get the chance to write it up. It woulda been a good one too, considering how I sliced my pinky off on the razor-sharp edge of the license plate. Well, I thought I sliced my pinky off anyway. I had been just kind of sloppily moving a wet rag over the front fender of the car when suddenly there was pain and blood. I checked to see if my finger had fallen into the puddle of brown water on the floor, but it was still attached to my hand. It was a good thing too. I don’t know if I would’ve wanted a dirty pinky sewed back on anyway.

Complaining about things is always a fun blog, although not necessarily a good blog. Blowing off steam about things helps, especially in dealing with the heat. Yesterday it was so hot that I melted and trickled out of my chair. I tried to re-solidify but I the best I could manage was a skilful imitation of a wet rag draped over the sofa. Then I had a nap.

Or I could blog about food. Well, I could if I had eaten any, but as it is, all I’ve had today is ice cream and breadsticks. Alternately. For breakfast I had a breadstick. For lunch I had ice cream. For tea I had a breadstick. For dinner I had ice cream. It’s too hot to cook and it’s too hot to eat anything that someone else may cook.

Maybe it’s just too hot to do anything in general. Maybe I should just lurk in the cool basement and watch Strong Bad cartoons. Oh wait, I’ve been doing that already…

Oh well.

TROGDOR!!!!!

Mortally wounded my fingers while dismantling 15-foot trampoline. Will dramaticize it later. Right now it hurts to type.

Have a laff instead: from www.funnycleanjokes.com

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!

-Dave Barry

We have women in the military, but they don’t put us in the front lines. They don’t know if we can fight, if we can kill. I think we can. All the general has to do is walk over to the women and say, You see the enemy over there? They say you look fat in those uniforms.

-Elayne Boosler

I am not the boss of my house. I don’t know how I lost it. I don’t know when I lost it. I don’t think I ever had it. But I’ve seen the boss’s job and I don’t want it.

-Bill Cosby

If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten.

-George Carlin

Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and give her a house.

-Lewis Grizzard

The problem with the designated driver program, it’s not a desirable job. But if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house.

-Jeff Foxworthy

Don’t spend two dollars to dry clean a shirt. Donate it to the Salvation Army instead. They’ll clean it and put it on a hanger. Next morning buy it back for seventy five cents.

–William Coronel

Sometimes I think war is God’s way of teaching us geography.

–Paul Rodriguez

Some women hold up dresses that are so ugly and they always say the same thing: This looks much better on.’ On what? On fire?

–Marsha Warfield

I went into a McDonald’s yesterday and said, I’d like some fries. The girl at the counter said, Would you like some fries with that?

–Jay Leno

I’m desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.

–Dave Edison

If it weren’t for electricity we’d all be watching television by candlelight.

–George Gobel

Suppose you were an idiot… and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

–Mark Twain

I just broke up with someone and the last thing she said to me was, You’ll never find anyone like me again! I’m thinking, ‘I should hope not! If I don’t want you, why would I want someone like you?’

–Larry Miller

My mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, ‘Mom, they weren’t trying to teach you how to swim.’

–Paula Poundstone

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they seem okay, then it’s you.

–Rita Mae Brown

Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you’ve got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn’t your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.

–Jerry Seinfeld

Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I’m halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God….I could be eating a slow learner.

–Lynda Montgomery

Why is it that when we talk to God we’re said to be praying, but when God talks to us we’re schizophrenic?

–Lily Tomlin

The reason most people play golf is to wear clothes they would not be caught dead in otherwise.

–Roger Simon

Golf — a good walk spoiled.

–Mark Twain

Sensei Presents: Mortally Wound Yourself, In Bed.

I know it sounds hard, but it can be done. And last night, I proved it. Here’s how.

Set your alarm clock for 6 am, the appropriate time for Fajr prayer these days. When it goes off, wait for your roomie to pray first because there’s only one prayer-rug upstairs, and because that’s the way it works. So wait in your warm and comfy bed, and then be woken up five minutes later and pushed in the direction of the bathroom to do wudu.

Do wudu with cruelly cold water (I could pray faster than it would take the warm water to come into the tap) and then shiver your way over to the prayer rug. Do your best to be worshipful through chattering teeth.

I would like to take a minute here to describe the architecture of Pakistani housing. Most Pakistani houses are composed of plaster on brick, or RCC- reinforced concrete cement. None of them, not a single one, are insulated, and you could find a horned cat before you found one with central heating. What this means is that when it’s 50 F outside (10 C) it’s not much warmer on the inside unless you’re within the immediate vicinity of a heater. For all practical purposes, you live inside of a giant concrete refrigerator until spring comes and you thaw out.

It was 50 F/10 C last night, and foggy, and wet, and bitterly cold. The inside of the house wasn’t much better off. I tell you this so you may understand the blind enthusiasm with which I jumped back into bed after praying and nearly split my head open on a hard, pointed object that turned out to be Aniraz’s elbow lying on my pillow.

Then I died. And I have the bruise to prove it.

Now, there is some dispute as to whether her elbow infiltrated Abezistani territory and ambushed me, or whether my head was violating the border terms that had been decided in previous bilateral talks. (This is my bed, that is your bed. My bed, your bed. See?) . Our two beds have been pushed together so that both of them can be as close to the heater as possible, and there are often border skirmishes. She accuses my head of cross-border infiltration, and argues that her elbow responded with appropriate military measures. I maintain that my head was acting on it preexisting right to use the aforesaid pillow, as it is my ancestral pillow and its usage cannot be curbed based on the arbitrary Line of Control that Anirazistan has drawn up without consideration for the indigenous population. I would also point out that certain unsavory elements, such as Aniraz’s knee, have often made incursions into Abezistani territory to terrorize the native population and then return to the safety of their borders.

If it gets any worse, I will have no choice but to appeal to the third-party intervention for a peaceful and just resolve to the issue. Forget Mom, I’m taking this to the UN.

Click THIS LINK to read a really amazing and powerful piece of writing that a sister (not me, Thank God!) posted on the Muslim Writers Society. You must go. Sensei sez so.

***

Mortally Wound Yourself in a Musical Way –or- Killing me softly, with pineapple.

I didn’t know if I should bother telling people about this, because it may make me seem stupider than I actually am, but then I remembered, it’s impossible to make me seem any more foolish. Have I not already punctured my head on a tree-branch, jumped down the stairs and broken my ankle, burned my knuckles in a fist-fight with the oven and torn my thumb open on the dryer? Yes, I have. (surf the archives, I don’t have permalinks)

Well, lemme just say that I shouldn’t dance, especially while drinking pineapple juice. It’s a bad idea. See, last night Aniraz decided that we had never tried to dance, specifically:



The Robot

The Hustle

The Funky Chicken

The Macarena

So we tried. It wasn’t pretty. We almost killed ourselves laughing at each other’s horrid lack of physical coordination, and it was during one of these laughing and dancing fits that I took a swig of pineapple juice. A big one. You know what happens when you’re trying to laugh and swallow at the same time? You reach critical mass or explosion point or cold fusion or nuclear fission or something technical like that, and it’s a disaster. I was doing a good job of not spraying anyone with pineapple juice, and I was almost able to swallow when Aniraz goes, “Whoa, Pineapple Cannon!”

And that was when I died. I inhaled the entire mouthful of pineapple juice, not just a little, but all the way down into my lungs. Really man, I should’ve been drinking milk, it’s less acidic. It burned, my eyes were watering, my voice was strangulated and I was coughing and doing a good impersonation of a rat drowned in a pina colada. (alcohol free, of course.) Yeah, I died. And half an hour later I was still coughing up pineapple juice. The End.

It’s sad that after all that pineappley suffering, we still can’t dance:

The Robot

The Hustle

The Funky Chicken

The Macarena

We can, however, do:

The Gag

The Choke

The Cough

The Pineapple Cannon.

***********

I must take a moment here to give props were props are due. Since our recent adventures with the PTCL walas and our broken phone lines and the bribery and all that, we’ve discovered at least one nice man. PTCL-wala Irshad (unlike Sadaqat D. Loser) fixed our phone line the first day we reported it to him, and when, out of sincere gratitude, he was offered a cup of tea or something, he turned it down. He doesn’t take anything for doing his job. No money, no mithai, no tea. The End.

It’s always such a pleasant surprise to find honest people. May Allah bless him and keep him in an ever-increasing state of Iman. Ameen.

Ah Mondays. I mortally wounded myself, and I would take a picture except then the picture never looks as painful or life-threatening as the situation really is. Hmmph. What now? I burned three of my knuckles simultaneously while baking cookies. Not at all exciting. Basically I punched the over rack while trying to slide in a tray of cookies. The oven rack started it. I was like Lissen here Mr. Oven, you will take these cookies and you will bake these cookies and if you burn these cookies like you burned my cookies last time, I will destroy you.

Then the oven snorted and made an unmentionable comment about my mother’s apron and I admit, I threw the first punch. Wham, right into the oven rack.

:::tsss::: (that’s the sound of my knuckles turning magenta)

The oven’s heat, I think it might be some sort of self-defense mechanism. But anyway. I think I’m having a hard time blogging because I’m really, really tired and it’s still 3 ½ hours till bedtime, traditionally observed at 2 am on weekdays and 3 am on weekends.

***

And yet, I return! It’s tomorrow now, (Tuesday) and I’m not at work…HAHA! Woke up this morning feeling substandard and I decided to stay home. I called and postponed the class that was scheduled for this morn and then I flopped myself down on the sofa for some sleep. I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to get up and do something useful.

One thing lead to another, and eventually up to me kneeling on the floor with a can of WD-40 and a screwdriver, taking my computer chair apart. (What can I say, I have a fever.) I was trying to adjust the height, but the chair was all dusty and rusty and needed greasing. I battled the chair for a while, thoroughly greased it (and myself) and was ready to put it back together, so I picked the chair up by the arms and tried to put the rod back into the base. But, since my fingers were already slick with WD-40, one of the arms slipped free, and the heavy chair swung in my grip and crashed into my left knee, unidentified pokey-thing foremost. And then I died.

What a morning. Not only have I bruised and punctured my knee, I’ve also turned my cuticles and the tips of my nails black with lubricant that won’t wash off. And on top of that, the chair STILL isn’t tall enough. I should have gone to work. –sigh-

Sorry my blogging has been even more sporadic than usual. It’s monsoon season, and the phone line is cut and re-connected several times every hour. You never know when it’ll be back, and even when it is back, you never know whether it is good enough. Apparently the PTCL (Pakistan Tele-Communications Limited) people made a mistake and routed our phone line through Siberia, cuz every time we pick up the receiver it sounds like a snowstorm. Snowstorms are very inconducive to internet connectivity.

And now I’m just typing to bide time between the moments when I will sprint back to the phone and lift the receiver, trying to surprise it into producing a dial tone. Oh well. Now that I have my comments back I’ll re-ask the last poll question: What’s the weirdest place you ever prayed? –or- What was the weirdest experience you ever had while praying in a public place?

I haven’t been a bad blogistani, really I haven’t, it’s just that we haven’t had a working phone line for days. I dutifully typed it, I just couldn’t post it. Here it is.

Funny that He-Man should come up in the comments on my last post, because I actually saw an episode the other day and I almost died laughing. Lemme just say it was more impressive when I was a child.

Sensei Presents: Mortally wound yourself while attempting two complex tasks, such as walking and talking, at the same time.

Remember kids, don’t try this at home.

In this instance, park your car under a shady tree on a hot day and step out. Upon exiting, discover that a man is asking you whether or not you want your car washed. Politely say no thank you and close the car door. Start walking (here’s where it gets complicated) away from the car, and turn your head to tell the insistent man that you really don’t want your car washed. (filth is a deterrent to finicky thieves) By turning your head, you have taken your eyes off of the space in front of you, which actually contains a stout and very pokey tree branch. So bang the side of your turned head on the tree branch and hear a loud –gong- noise go off inside of the rapidly deflating ball that was once your skull.

You know, when you’re a kid, you get all excited at the prospect of hitting your head on something and actually drawing blood, just like on TV or in every Desi film. It’s especially easy to draw blood from a head wound in Desi films, the heroine trips and falls and hits her head on the dirt and the director yells ‘CUT!’ and they break out the gauze and the ketchup. As a kid, every time I hit my head (which was often, which explains a lot) after I got over the initial shock, I always had to check if it was bleeding. To find out that the pain I had inflicted on myself wasn’t bloody-wound-worthy was a big disappointment, all that pain and nothing to show for it. A head-wound was a battle scar, a badge of honor, something to take to show and tell and gross your classmates out with the next day. But Alas, (Alhamdulillah!) I never got one as a kid.

I spent lunch that day with one hand working my lunch and the other rubbing my head. Aniraz kept asking, what, it hurts that much? What’s wrong with you?

I dunno, I answered, it just feels like I punctured my head. And I DID, now when I’m a boring old adult with a black stain-resistant head scarf, NOW I get a bloody head wound and I don’t even KNOW about it till I get home. And now I have no one to show it to, except Aniraz, who thinks I’m a doofus for attacking a poor defenseless tree with my hard old head. (that tree had it coming I sez!) All that pain for nothing. Hmmph.

All the things I thought I wanted as a kid aren’t turning out the way I thought they would. I wanted a big scar, just like a pirate, and now I have one from having my appendix out and I can’t show that to anyone either. I wanted a parrot (I liked pirates, ok?) and when I finally got one a few years ago it was the most vile, malicious, hateful creature on God’s green earth that I ever had the displeasure of meeting. Officially she was named Sweetpea. Actually, she was called The Green Menace, Spit’n’Vinegar, Craven Raven, and She Who Bites The Hand Who Feeds Her. She was such an unholy terror that when she escaped her cage and flew the coop one day, we actually rejoiced.

Oh well. The kids at the school where I’m subbing had a class pet today. I say today because it is unlikely that they will have it tomorrow. Sitting prominently on the teacher’s desk, in a small water-bottle lined lovingly with pink tissue and pencil shavings lives Hanori (sp?) the class’s beloved…drum roll please…bottle fly. Get it? The bottle fly lives in a bottle. He. He. He.

In a tribute to the mental inadequacy of flies, Hanori the fly is trapped in an open bottle. He crawled in through the top and can’t seem to remember where the exit is. He spends his time walking around in circles and staring at me with the trillions of facets on his beady little eyes. His hobbies include climbing, licking the ground upon which he stands, and rubbing his hind legs together pensively.

Methinks that Hanori will not be with us for very long. Class pets live short, harried lives as it is, but I think this one may die sooner rather than later. Especially since his diet consists solely of pencil shavings.

Sensei dizzily presents: How to Mortally Wound Yourself While Doing Class Work.

or- Amnesia and You: Making the Dream Come True.

Proudly and smugly finish your class work exactly half an hour before you have to leave for class, and then try to print it out. Then realize that the printer isn’t hooked up. Crawl underneath of the filthy computer table in high-heels and nice, clean work-clothes, and fumble around with the wires blindly. (Note: make sure that your computer has faulty wiring somewhere, otherwise you won’t be able to get electrocuted) Get zapped with an invigorating surge of 220 volts, straighten up reflexively and crack your head on the top of the desk. Swoon. Collapse. Perish.

Wake up with a stylish purple bruise on your temple and try to remember what you’re doing under the computer desk with the dust bunnies and the filthy, snaky cables that go to computer accessories we don’t know how to use. Then discover that (in typical Lollywood fashion) you have AMNESIA!!!!

(cue melodramatic theme music, quickly wrap white gauze around head and stain with ketchup)

I’ve decided that since I have amnesia, I should forget everything, absolutely everything, especially those things that I don’t feel like….errr….can’t remember to do. Like work. What work? I teach?! Where am I? Are you my mommy?

I have also forgotten how to clean off the table and how to do laundry. Really. You never know how long it will take me to recuperate, so you can’t burden me with housecleaning or work right away. I have to build up to it slowly so that’s I’m not overwhelmed and I don’t have a nervous breakdown.

After an accident like this (plus a new identity) I could become a superhero. You know, all really great comic book characters were created though accidents of some sort. Spiderman got bit by a radioactive spider. The Joker fell into a vat of toxic goo, and a million other minor characters got zapped with electricity while handling chemicals of some sort. Me, I was surrounded by dust bunnies when I got zapped. I don’t know whether that makes me good or evil, or what kind of superpowers I have. Maybe I have the power to summon dust. My room is certainly dusty, and my entire computer room is covered in a not-so-fine powdering of terra infirma.

Hmmm.

Maybe I should try again. Maybe I should take a bar of kryptonite or plutonium or chocolate down into the computer’s wire jungle next time. I get zapped every time I stick my fingers in there. I might as well make the best of it and get some really great superpowers.

Yes, even aside from the ability to summon dust.

Sensei Presents: How to mortally wound yourself when the electricity goes out -or- Waxing your thumbs: the Pros and Cons.

Wait until the electricity goes out, leaving you in pitch-darkness and utter boredom. Then feel your way into the kitchen and slap at the counter blindly for the box of matches. First you must put your hands into something wet and sticky, and then you must slap a fork. You will find the matches eventually.

Light one and start looking for a candle. While you are intent on looking for a candle, allow the match to burn all the way down to your fingers. Yelp and throw the match away angrily. Don’t bother trying to set the house on fire though, it’s made of cement. So, light the candle and shake the match to put it out. Make sure that somehow you’ve dipped the match into molten wax though, because otherwise when you shake it, you won’t get hot wax all over your hand. Make a pitiful face and try to peel the wax off. Die in the process if the pain hasn’t already killed you.

The pro of using the shook-match-hot-wax-system is that your thumb will be smooth and free of unwanted hair. The con, however, is that you will be free of unwanted skin as well. The End.

Yeah, the electricity went out today. Where’d it go? I don’t know, shopping maybe. It left us in the dark with nothing to do but sit around the candles and wonder how people ever lived before the advent of electricity. We tried to make a list of things to do that required neither electricity or light, and we came up with:

1. Slap mosquitoes.

2. Stare at each other.

3. Think about what we would do if we had electricity.

4. Make phone calls in the dark.

5. Use the bathroom in the dark.

6. Wash your hands in the dark.

7. Decide that candle light is not at all romantic.

Seriously, Alhamdulillah for electricity! Thank God for the lights and the microwave and the computer, especially the computer. And ESPECIALLY the fans. Sheesh, without the fans the mosquitoes feasted on us. We were wondering if they hadn’t combined forces and cut our electricity as part of a devious plan. You know, a couple mosquitoes, just a thousand or so, decide to cram their little bodies into the circuit breaker all at once with the intention of causing a short so that the rest of them, just a million or so, can prey on us under the cover of darkness. Props to the mosquitoes for pulling it off. They got a few good hits on me while the lights were out.

The ants do the same thing when it rains. Seeking shelter, they crawl into the space beneath our doorbell button where all the circuits and wires and stuff are located. (Techno-twit ahoy!) Hundreds of soggy, wet ants make it in there and get electrocuted and die, and then the water they brought with them conducts electricity and causes the doorbell to ring nonstop. Our doorbell sounds like a bird- a big, vicious, electric bird, and when it goes off non-stop we start to feel like extras in an Alfred Hitchcock film. We can’t do anything about it while it’s still raining, short of turning off the electricity to the house. We have to wait until it stops so we can go out, pop the cover off the doorbell, scrape out the electrocuted ants and then blow-dry all the circuits and wires (and stuff!).

Oh yes, the moral of this story is: You never know what you got till it’s gone! Especially when you’re trying to microwave something. Hmmph.

I mortally wounded myself, just to make you guys happy. I present: How to Mortally Wound Yourself While Cleaning Off The Table. -or- How to Make Carrot Upside-down Cake.

Clean off the remnants of Easter dinner, and cover a largely un-touched carrot cake with plastic wrap, marveling at the skill with which it is applied and the flawless, wrinkleless way it is stretched over the glass sheet-cake pan. Carry this cake to the fridge, still gazing at the taut plastic wrap is quiet admiration, then try to open the fridge with one thumb. Fail miserably, allow the cake to tip, turn over in mid-air, strike your knee heavily on the way down and then crash to the floor in a thousand shards of glass and a pile of cakey carrot crumbs.

Since the cake will have crashed just inches from your sandaled foot, tiny glass shards will embed themselves in your foot like mini-shrapnel, making your foot burn until you can pick all of them out. Well, most of them at least. I may or may not die of gangrene. I already would have died of sadness if Aniraz hadn’t rescued what was left of the cake and decided that glass shards, the smaller ones anyone, are edible. He he. She says it’s part of her training for the circus. Every freak-show needs at least one glass-eater. Fortunately, my mother is a very kind and un-materialistic woman, so she did not try to murder me for destroying her favorite baking dish.

You know what’s ridiculous is that as I stood there with cake on the floor and glass in my feet, I laughed to myself and thought, Oh well, at least this will make for an interesting blog…

I have a really bizarre way of looking at things, I know. Once, a guy broadsided my car (with me in it) and then took off. As I was standing there, barefooted, with a busted car in the middle of an intersection, I laughed to myself and thought, Oh well, at least this will make an interesting story. Why was I barefooted? Well, that’s an interesting story too. Ok, I’ll elaborate.

I had just gotten out of the shower when I got a phone call from my mom, saying she needed to be picked up from a friend’s house. (This was back when he lived in the States) I was like sure mom, no prob. I got dressed, but couldn’t find my shoes. I figured what the heck, I drive barefooted in summer anyway. So I hopped into my car and headed off to pick my mom up. I stopped my car at a four-way intersection with stop-signs. (Incidentally, they don’t HAVE stop signs in Pakistan, so some of you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about.)

I was the first car to stop, then came a blue car, and then a police car. It was my turn to go through the intersection, so I pulled out, and just as I was half-way through, I heard a nasty crunch and felt the whole car jolt. The blue car had gunned it, shot out into the intersection while I was still in the middle, and hit my car so hard that it was slammed to the curb and the axel was broken. He hit the car on the driver’s side, my side, and caved the door in. Alhamdulillah, I was ok. (Always wear your seat-belt!)

I got out of the car from the passenger side (cuz his car was still crammed into my door!) and said, Umm…dude? The policeman pulled up and asked to see our licenses. I produced mine, and the cop looked it over. He asked for the other guy’s license, and the other guy panicked, started yelling at me and saying it was my fault. The cop actually laughed and said, oh no, it’s not her fault, it’s yours. I was here. Where’s your license?

The guy said it was in his car, so he got back in…and then sped off. The policeman took off after him, and that’s how I was left alone, barefoot, in the middle of an intersection with a busted car. I laughed to myself, pulled my car to the side of the road and walked home, barefooted and with a quickly swelling knee. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but when the car was hit, my knee was slammed into the steering column and badly bruised. When I got home I called my mom and she took a taxi.

I went to the police station later that afternoon, and told them what happened, and they radioed around and asked that the policeman who was at the intersection come to the station. He showed up about forty-five minutes later, and we had an interesting chat. It turned out that the guy in the blue car was 15 years old, and the car was stolen. He led the police on an interesting chase that ended when he crashed the car into something else.

The policeman told me that he saw the guy in the blue car staring at him nervously, and so the policeman stared steadily back at him. The guy was still staring at the policeman when he punched the gas and crashed into me. Boy, a guilty conscious needs no accuser! I don’t know what happened to the guy, we didn’t sue for damages (boy did we feel sorry for his parents!) so my car was busted for two months before I could get it fixed. That was the summer that I realized I liked to cycle. The End.

This is turning out to be a very long blog, but I must include an update on my favorite three-year old. (He’s the son of one of my students). He snuck up on me (in plain view, again) while I was teaching a lesson, this time wearing neon-green swimming goggles, water wings and flippers. After we oohed and aahed over him, he came back ten minutes later, this time with just the goggles, and proceeded to distribute wet-wipes to everyone in the room. Very gracious of him. I must remember to write a thank-you note.

Here’s a really great (but then, aren’t they all great?) ayah from the Qur’an. It’s from Surah 9, ayah 71.

‘And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another, they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them, Lo! Allah is Mighty and Wise.’

I May Not Know Art, But I Know What I Like!

I get tired of mortally wounding myself, and yet I just can’t seem to stop. Ere go: How To Mortally Wound Yourself While Baking Crackers

Don’t ask me why we’re baking crackers. Pakistan is a hands-on kinda place, and if you want your own saltines, you have to make them yourself. So anyways, roll out a batch of crackers and jab at them with a fork hurriedly because you’re on the internet and baking simultaneously and wasting time is wasting money. So, roll out your crackers, stab at them with a fork, limp to the oven (the ankle’s still purple) and throw open the oven door. Thrust the tray of crackers in, and then yelp out when the oven door rebounds (because you opened it too hard and it has sprung back) and bakes your knuckles. :: tsssssss::: Releasing your crackers into the bottom off the oven is optional.

The anti-war art exhibit was fairly interesting. There were a few nice looking pieces, collages done with obvious skill and thought. Then there some really weird things….a piece of red fabric thrown on a box. I thought it was a stand for a sculpture, then I noticed that there was plaque with the artist’s name. This piece was titled, “Grief.” I think I would’ve called it, “Missed The Deadline For The Art Exhibit And Have No Sculpture To Put On The Stand.” Hmmm

Two things I liked a lot: A painting of a pair of bloodied hands releasing a stained bird of peace. There was a Qur’anic verse next to it, which I can half-way remember in Arabic, but not where it’s from. It goes, And when it is said to them, spread no mischief in the earth, they answer, we are of those who do good! nay, they spread mischief, though they perceive it not. That’s just a paraphrase btw, can anyone gimme the actual quote?

The second one was an oil barrel painted with the stars and stripes, surrounded by a bunch of lotas. Lemme tell you what a lota is if you don’t know. A lota is a round container with a spout and no handle, used for pouring water in the uh…bathroom. But in Pakistani politics, a lota is a person who swims with the political current, or turns his political stance to whichever way the wind is blowing. This is because real lotas aren’t very stable have a tendency to tip over (and soak your feet!). So anyways, all these lotas were painted with the flags of the various countries supporting the US, or at least not opposing it. And there was a star of David painted on the floor around the oil barrel, but since I’m not a very big Jewish Conspiracy theorist, I didn’t think it was too relevant. The way I see it, Zionists in Palestine are committing their atrocities openly, good grief, what need have they for secrecy? Now I know at least ten people are going to jump down my throat for this, but I’m going to put this up anyway. It’s a site belonging to a group of Orthodox Jews opposed the very creation of Israel. (Oh yeah, and not all Jews are Zionists, and they make Christian Zionists too)

“… We also condemn the existence of the state of Israel forbidden to us by the Torah. Jews were not meant to be dispossessor of others’ property. Jews were not meant to wield tanks against children. Jews were not meant to wage war against any people on the face of the earth…” –Netureikarta.org

Mostly-Christian Russia is the one killing us off in Chechnya, and Christian France wreaked havoc in Egypt and Algeria, and Christian Spaniards massacred the Moorish Muslims and turned our Masjids into museums, and last but not least, our Born-Again-Christian Bush is blasting the Muslim world to smithereens, one country at a time. He’s got his sights set on Syria and Iran now, and with no one to stop him, who knows how far it’ll go?

What’s my point? Either we stop hating the Zionists or we start hating those Militant Christians (not all of em, just the militant ones) because we have a double standard. I think we should denounce whoever needs to be denounced, regardless of their religion. And I think I’ll start with Bush, and then my very own dictator Musharraf, and the bloody massacring pig Ariel Sharon (the only war criminal with not one, but TWO, count em, TWO girly names…) and the inept, oil-rich leaders of *some* countries in the Middle East. Aniraz sez wait, they’re not inept, just criminally negligent of the other Muslim countries. Nuts to all of them.

Never mind. My sending nuts to them as a symbol of my angst doesn’t count for much. That’s what Judgment Day is for. 😉

Signed,

Your Cosmoplanetary Electronegative Jesmopolitain Leader,

With a purple ankle and a baked knuckle. ( :: tsssss :: )

-Sensei

Here we go again: How to Mortally Wound Yourself While Trying to Answer the Phone

In order to do this successfully, you must have only one phone, and it has to be downstairs. Now, go upstairs and wait for the phone to ring. When it does ring, run headlong down the stairs at break-neck speed. No, this isn’t where you mortally wound yourself. Once you get down the stairs, grab the banister and swing down the last few steps, planting your sandaled feet very infirmly on a slippery marble floor. Then slip ungracefully, toppling off your left shoe and twisting your ankle viciously. This alone may kill you. If it doesn’t, limp unsteadily to the phone, only to discover that is has already stopped ringing and then die of exasperation.

My ankle is discolored and swollen and I’ve got it wrapped. I actually have a really cool ankle brace, but I can‘t find it. It’s all black, and the splints are full of hi-tech squishy gel and it straps on with velcro. I still have it from the last time I sprained my ankle at the Taste of Chicago Food Festival. I was crossing Lake Shore Drive in a hurry and tripped. I didn’t go down, but I did falter, and the traffic cop actually laughed at me! But then when he saw that my ankle had swollen to three times its normal size within about two seconds, he called me an ambulance. (You stupid ambulance!) It was my first and only ambulance ride, overall, it was fun. He he. But not at all like I imagined. You can’t see the flashing lights because you’re inside and they’re outside. And it’s all rather anticlimactic to be rushed to the hospital only to have to wait in the emergency room for 45 minutes.

Then, when I was at the hospital waiting for my x-rays, I leaned over the bed to peek at all the levers and pulleys underneath, and an overactive intern (I learned it was his first day) rushed to my aid because he thought I had passed out and was toppling over. (Tiiimmmmberrrrrrr…) Well, that was my first ankle sprain. This is my second, and there were no flashing lights, no interns rushing to my rescue (handsome or otherwise) and no squishy, high-tech ankle brace. But then, I’m not on crutches this time, so it’s not all bad. I just limped to the car and went to work.

You may ask, why does this moron keep spraining the same ankle? The answer is: Purple, Diana, because ice cream has no bones. Aniraz says it’s tartar sauce, the fish that doesn’t swim, but I cannot concur. I mean really, the actual is preexistent to the actual in potential, is it not? Any suggestions here people?

My mom has gone out to Chez Daddy and I’m waiting for her to bring back something edible. Maybe even tasty. In the mean time, I think I’ll limp over to the kitchen for some random nibbling. Here, have a pearl of wisdom: “Don’t be silly by saying: If people do good, we will do good and if they do wrong then we will do wrong. Accustom yourselves to good if people do good, but do no wrong if they do wrong.” -Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him and all Prophets. (Tirmithi)

You know, sometimes I outdo even myself. Based on today’s experience, I present: How to Detonate Your Pressure Cooker.

See, you wouldn’t normally consider a pressure cooker to be an explosive device, but with a little skill, some hungry impatience and instruction from yours truly, you too can endanger your very life. Simply ignore everything you know about safety and common sense, and twist the lid off the cooker after it’s been hissing for over twenty minutes. As soon as you have twisted the seal open, the lid will fly vertically off the pot and beef stew will explode all over the freshly scrubbed stove, go flying into the pot of milk you‘ve just boiled, and arrange itself artfully in your hair. Fortunately, the droplets of scalding broth that land on your feet will be adequately cooled by their descent to not prove lethal. What will kill you, however, are the hungry people who preferred their stew for dinner, not decoration. (I know not how much longer I shall tarry in this mortal sphere…)

But since I’m still alive and there’s still exactly 23 minutes and 40 seconds until the bread is out of the oven, I’m free-bloggin, just typing whatever comes to mind. I would like people to think that I put alot of time and mental effort into my blog, but the truth is I go for quantity instead of quality, and I try to blog every day even if it’s just rubbish. tee hee

Sixteen minutes till the bread’s out. Now what? I’ve already typed a paragraph of nonsense and then deleted it. It’s not that I can’t think on an empty stomach, it’s just that the bread smells so good that it’s very distracting. What’s left of my stew isn’t half-way bad either.

Ten minutes left on the bread. The weather here is turning warm again, which means it’s time to put away my winter-weight jilbs. The summer temps in Islamabad are around 40 C, 110F, (sometimes higher, the highest last year was 46 C, that’s too much in Fahrenheit to count anymore without feeling woozy). After a few weeks of it you feel like you’ve been stewing in your own juices. We cope by drinking gallons of ice water, wearing frozen bandanas and wet scarves. Rats, now I’ve given away my summer secret. Yes, I dunk my scarf in cold water, give it a good squeeze and then pin it on. Keeps you mercifully cool for about half an hour before it dries out completely. Plus then I don’t have to iron it if it looks wrinkly. I must confess, I religiously avoid ironing anything from about May to October till the fall rains come.

Four minutes on the bread! Monsoon season comes towards the end of summer. Boy I thought it rained hard in Chicago, but it was nothing compared to the tropical storms we get here, and they blow up out of nowhere sometimes, too. Last year my sister and I were standing on the balcony watching the lightening in the sky, and I asked her, “You think it’s gonna rain?” As soon as I had said that, suddenly a vertical sheet of water and wind hit us both in the face and pushed us backwards. Yes it rained, tons and tons of water like someone opened floodgates in the sky, and then closed them just as abruptly half an hour later.

Bread’s done! Soup’s on!

Aaaah…now dinner’s over and the world seems like a happier place 🙂 Alhamdulillahillazi ata’amana, wa saqana, wa ja’alana minal Muslimeen! (All Praise is due to Allah who fed us and gave us drink and made us of among the Muslims).

T’was the night before Monday

And all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Except this lazy bum here who can’t think of anything to rhyme with house, excluding mouse, grouse, souse and louse. Hmmmm.

This blog is finally operational and pretty slick lookin if I may say so ;). It’s 3 am, and I’m full of Chinese food and 4 cups of green tea that I didn’t really wanna drink, but I did anyways and now the caffeine is keeping me up. Too much caffeine gives me an irregular heart-beat, so I’m sitting here hearing lub-dub, lub, lub, dub…dub? So now what? I have work in the morn (Eek! Eek! Eek! The beginning of another week!) and as usual, I haven’t done my work, and on top of that, I’m not sure how I’m getting there tomorrow morn. Hmmmm.

The mortal wound on my thumb (incurred earlier this evening) hasn’t killed me yet, but it kept bleeding at dinner. This wouldn’t be a problem except that I was at a Chinese restaurant, and I don’t think they had Band-Aids on the menu, not even for the mortally wounded. So I confess, I used my posh cloth napkin as a posh cloth rag for dabbing at the blood.

It’s ok, it was a terrible napkin, it had more starch in it than the white rice did. I tried to wipe my mouth with it and almost tore the skin right off my lips! Ok, I’m lying…but it was too scratchy and too hard to be of any use in any other way. If I was a smarter man, I might have kept my Band-Aid on, even when I went out for dinner. But you see, I’m not a smart man, or a man of any sort for that matter, so I just bled politely on the napkin, ok?

Dinner was really good, the great thing about being in a Muslim country is that you can order anything you want from the menu and it’s always halal!!! Yay! The bad thing is, then you get all ambitious and eat out WAY too often for your own dietary good. I gotta get to bed, so I’ll just throw this post up and be gone. More tomorrow morn after work I guess. Zing!

Today we present: How To Mortally Wound Yourself While Doing Laundry

It’s quite simple, really, you just turn your head while throwing clothes into the dryer and consequently rake your hand over the metal latch that makes the dryer close. Having done this, you will have torn a gash across your thumb, cross-wise. You may then proceed to bleed onto the clean laundry and expire after an elaborate death scene of some sort. The End. (gosh, it’s hard to type with a Band-Aid on your thumb)

We forgot to present: How To Mortally Wound Yourself While Putting Oil in Your Car

This is also very simple. Pit all of the strength you can muster against the oil cap in your car. Succeed in twisting it off at a very high velocity, while letting a pokey bit of metal near the cap slice through your knuckle, and then get motor oil in it. This will produce a lovely black scar that will still look gray four years later, IF the wound itself hasn’t already killed you. The End.

Previous real-life episodes include: How to puncture your head on the corner of the microwave, how to skin your thumb using only a plastic measuring cup, how to singe the hair off your arms with a gas grill, how to fall UP the stairs, how to permanently dent your kneecap, and how to get second-degree burns on ten of your fingertips at once.

And if the pain seems unbearable, remember, “Any trouble, any sickness or disease, any worry, any grief, any problem or anything sad or painful, even the prick of a thorn to a Muslim results in the forgiveness of his sins (due to his patience).” -Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Hadith on the authority by Bukhari and Muslim. So, endure everything with patience and sabr and you’ll pass the test with extra bonus points!

Many, many thanks to Al-Mansurah who’s tolerated my status as a techno-twit and done my blogger HTML for me. JazakAllah!