Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

Category Archives: Right Brain/left Brain

Right Brain, Left Brain, Tic-Tac-Toe

RB: The kids have really messed up the living room walls.  I think there’s even a game of tic-tac-toe behind that sofa…

LB: Eh- You could be dying, why should you care about what the house looks like?

RB: Just because I could be dying doesn’t mean I need to die in squalor.

LB: You’ll be dead, how will you know if it’s squalor?

RB: That’s a good point.  But if people come to give condolences they might see that tic-tac-toe game.

LB: And?

RB: They’ll wonder who won.  I want to paint the living room.

LB: Then I hope you like zig-zags because your hands have been shaking non-stop since late August.

RB: I know right! All my drinks are shakes, haha

LB: Oh oh! And the manual toothbrush is now automatically sonic, HA!

RB: And remember, when we went out for dinner with HF, he told me to just try to hold the salt shaker still, because that would do a better job of getting the salt out.

LB: He’s horrible isn’t he.

RB: Oh yes, and awesome.  There are some other upsides to the shaking hands by the way.

LB: Oh?

RB: Yes, all of our phone videos now come with DRAMATIC BACKGROUND TREMORS for EXTRA REALISM.  Like the Blair Witch Project.

LB: Does anyone still remember the Blair Witch Project?

RB: I do, but we never saw it.  We just remember the hype, and poorly made videos of frightened people with runny noses.  I tell you, if I was running for my life the last thing I’d think of would be starting a vlog.

LB: Says the woman who’s dying on her blog.

RB: Oi! I’m not dying!

LB: Suit yourself.

RB: I am going to paint the living room!

LB: I hope you like squiggles.

RB: Musfira does.  Maybe we’ll paint it together. 🙂

The End.

On a side note…

I’m definitely getting carpal tunnel in my left hand. Which makes typing very hard. Khalid’s old school (which we left because of it’s C- average as an educational institution) has a place for him. Which is far, far, better than nothing, Alhamdulillah. Tomorrow I go to meet the principal, InshaAllah. Alhamdulillah. 🙂

In the mean time, here’s a question- what rewards you? What makes you feel warm and fuzzy and appreciated? This random survey is inspired by a rather rude but very astute thing that Mona said to me the other day. I was sharing my epiphany with her- that the harder I worked and the longer hours I clocked, the harder I found it to eat healthy. This, it would seem, is because I figure if I’m working this hard I deserve to eat tasty things. Mona’s reply? “You’re not a dog. Don’t reward yourself with food.”

(Right Brain: We’ve sent thirty emails and we haven’t eaten anything for the last seven hours, we deserve a scooby snack!)
(Left Brain: Do you have any idea how many calories are in scooby snacks?)
(Right Brain: Do you have any idea how long it took me to finish my email? Also, we haven’t cooked any dinner.)
(Left Brain: Point taken. Scooby-dooby-doo!)

After the initial shock (and possibly outrage) wore off, I had to agree with her. So here I am, trying to figure out what I can ‘reward’ myself with instead of food so that I can stop eating so poorly. I don’t have the finances (or the mindset, or the time) for retail therapy. And I am working for, InshaAllah, a reward from Allah, but it would seem that I need to tell the workaholic in me that he’s been a good doggy and deserves not a treat, but maybe some other calorie-free form of personal appreciation? Perhaps that will enable me to ‘cheat’ and ‘deprive’ myself of treats in favor of normal food?

So, what makes you feel appreciated?

Sleep Deprivation = Insomnia?

Alhadulillah, Alhamdulillah, Khalid is asleep.

He’s been asleep since 10:15 (it’s 1 am now) and he’s woken up about five times since then (don’t ask, God knows why) and this is the point where you scream at me and ask WHY THE HECK AREN’T YOU SLEEPING TOO!?

Umm. Well. I can’t sleep.

I’ve been having this problem for the past week or so- even after putting long and odd hours into the Khalid Sleep Battle, when Khalid finally drops off to sleep I lay in bed next to him, wide awake, sometimes until his next feeding, which is generally 40 minutes later. I’m exhausted, I’m sleep-starved, I’m shaky and wobbly and worn out, but my brain is feverishly churning out thoughts related to Bloom’s Taxonomy and other pedagogical nonsense with zero significance at this hour.

This is Bloom’s Taxonomy. It’s a pyramid. Yep. Why is my brain thinking about it? Because the six words here represent six significant intellectual processes regarding learning behavior. The simplest is Knowledge, simply ‘knowing’ and being able to recall facts. After that is Understanding of the knowledge. After that is Application, where you can take that understanding and use it. So on and so on.

(I teach too, remember? American Accent Training? I’m an American, Dammit!)

So I was writing out my syllabus for an upcoming Accent Training class that I’m supposed to teach and I stumbled upon a copy of Bloom’s Taxonomy on the desktop. HF had put it there, because HF is an education-flavored guy too, and I thought it was cool. But now it has embedded itself in my brain and I’d rather be sleeping but here I am blogging about it at 1 am.

And I can’t sleep. I try to- when Khalid takes his afternoon nap I try to join him, but I mostly lay there are stare at the patterns on the pillowcases.

Ehow.com says I should:

  • STEP 1: Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Lying in bed sleepless will only make you more stressed.
  • STEP 2: Read or perform a light chore until you feel sleepy. Then try to go back to sleep – or, if you’re feeling stressed or agitated, try some relaxation techniques.
  • STEP 3: Relax by listening to soft music or a meditation tape. Do yoga or gentle stretching.
  • STEP 4: Take a hot bath with aromatherapy soaps. Keep the lights dim. Bright light will make you more alert.
  • STEP 5: Try an herbal sleep remedy to induce sleepiness. Valerian, chamomile, catnip, lavender, lime flower, passion flower, hops or skullcap can be taken in tea or capsule form.
  • STEP 6: Snack on foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid that can help you relax. These include turkey, bananas, figs, dates, milk and tuna.
  • STEP 7: Essential oils can also help you relax. Add six to eight drops of lavender or marjoram to a bath, or put four drops of oil on your pillow.
  • STEP 8: Return to bed once you’re feeling sleepy and relaxed.

And I’ve managed steps 1, 2, and 6, but hey, I’m still up. And now I’m blogging quantity over quality. And I’m out of warm milk. And I already ate all the dates, which are supposed to be high in tryptophan to make me sleepy.

Right Brain: Go to sleep you moron.

Left Brain: Make me!

RB:I’m trying!

LB: Trying what?

RB: To make you go to sleep.

LB: I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m sleepy.

RB: Oh hey, have you heard of Bloom’s Taxonomy?


LB: Gaaaah!

RB: Wheeee!

LB: Wait, let’s try that again.

RB: Ok. Ready, count of three. One, two-



LB: This isn’t working.

RB: Wait, are we excited or are we stressed out? I can’t remember.

LB: Well we’re obviously excited. Lookit the stupid grin on the face. You see that? That’s an excitedly stupid grin.

RB: Yeah, but have you checked up on the stomach lately? It reports increased disturbance and decreased food supply.

LB: The stomach’s a moron. You can’t trust anything it says. You know it had five scoops of Haagen Dasz last night?

RB: Oh yeah, there was this zinging noise in here for a few hours afterwards.

LB: mmm, yeah…

RB: yeah…

LB: …

RB: …

LB: Five scoops is too many, really.

RB: Too many for what? It may be too much to eat, but it’s the perfect amount to cause chocolate overdose.

LB: But it’s too little an amount to cause chocolate fatality and therefore chocolate nirvana.

RB: But we don’t even believe in nirvana.

LB: We do believe in chocolate.

RB: Agreed.

LB: …

RB: …

LB: Are you ready?

RB: Ready.

LB: Awesome.

RB: Count of three. One, two-










RB: GAH-uh- err- WHEE! err..

LB: Nuts.

Guest Post Series: Owlie

This is Owl pretending to be Abez. It was her idea. I wash my hands of all responsibility from this point on. For her take on me, stop by my blog at www.degrouchyowl.blogspot.com.

Left Brain – Right Brain

LB: Pst! Is she gone?

RB: Are you kidding me, is she ever here? I mean, ALL HERE?

LB: Hah hah, righto. Man, it’s so good to be able to relax and do what I want. Once she’s got an RPG in the PlayStation it’s like -FTHOOOM- no activity on the radar.

RB: It’s great, no more having to remember the dumbest stuff at the drop of a hat. I mean, where does she get off expecting us to provide the lyrics to the HMS Pinafore? She only heard it once, seven years ago!

LB: That’s not so bad, yesterday she relayed an entire BBC documentary to her sister – and of course, expected me to provide statistics for the thermodynamics of the African Shovel-Nosed Lizard. I was like, “Yeah right lady, you don’t pay me enough for that.” So I gave her a locker combination from gradeschool. She never knew the difference.

RB: Good one!

LB: Shoot, if I’m not happy, the girl gets none of my logical data processing. And if I’m really cheesed, she gets a brainfreeze, for nothing!

RB: Sick!

LB: But of course, all those numbers are wasted on her vacuous twit of a sibling. She just nods and smiles and tries to plan an escape. I could have told her that the Namib Golden Mole ejects her litter from the nest after they weight 450 grams instead of 45 and she’d have believed it, circus reject that she is.

RB: You tell it!

LB: There I was, dutifully reeling off insane fact – “When at rest, golden moles do not regulate their body temperature, and they have a low metabolic rate, which reduces their energy demands. They have extremely sensitive hearing and vibration detection, and can navigate underground with unerring accuracy…” and the sister was just like “A FAT FURRY MOLE, HOW CUTE! It’s just like a wombat but smaller! I want one!”

RB: I’m surprised you didn’t high tail it out of there. There’s only so much I’d be willing to take. I give you props.

LB: Where could I go? There’s no room in her ear and her sinuses are all drafty.

RB: You still coulda stuck it to her. Last week I didn’t feel like going to work so I called in sick. Every time she accessed me for point location and space analysis I put on the Calypso holding music she hates so much.

LB: There’s hope for you yet Dexter. A couple more nasties like that and the boys will be mistaking you for Sinister.

RB: Yeah and now consequently her parents think she’s the biggest space cadet. They don’t even bother asking her to find stuff any more. She spent half an hour looking for her shoes last week and you know where they were? ON HER FEET!

LB: That’s better than the time I convinced her that the prayer qibla was south. She was praying to Antartica for days before someone tipped her off. There must be some holy penguins down there.

RB: I know right, but man, it sorta backfired. Without Dexter R. Hemisphere, she was smashing into banisters and cabinets right and left. I was like “Danger Scotty, we need more power to the shields!”

LB: Whoa, that explains the damage I noticed up here. You gotta be more careful.

RB: I’ll try bu…Oh crap! She’s found a save-point in the videogame. She’s coming to!


*Calpyso music begins*

RB: psst, you still awake?

LB: yeah, somewhat. What’s up?

RB: Did you see the MRI report?

LB: Yeah…

RB: Good thing it came out normal, otherwise we might have been in big trouble…

LB: Trouble? What do you mean?

RB: Ever hear the term ‘partial lobotomy?’

LB: Oi! Don’t say the ‘L’ word! This is all your fault anyway.

RB: How is this my fault? You’re in charge of the right side of the body, not me.

LB: Yeah, but you’ve got the nerve with the faulty wiring. You’re short-circuiting everything.

RB: Excuse me, but it’s not like you’re doing your part to help out either. That hot chocolate you made the other day was weird!

LB: Yeah? And whose lack of motor skills nearly dropped us down the stairs eh?

RB: Lack of motor skills?!?! Why I oughtta…

LB: Not if I first!

RB: woop woop woop!

LB: nyul nyuk nyuk!

*three-stooges style battle ensues*


Momma: How’s your head feeling Abez?

Abez: It feels strange, first one side hurts and then the other, it’s almost like-

Momma: Like the two sides of your brain are at war?

Abez: Yeah. Imagine that.

-The End-

Alhamdulillah, the MRI sez everything in Brainistan is normal, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. 🙂 So now I get to take the results back to the Tabib and blame the 12th cranial nerve instead.


For knicq. Whose blog is brilliant. 🙂

We Taste Like Lard


Not Really Wontons

Go to Floor


(I typed this blog last night and then ran out of internet hours, so now it’s being posted after the fact, ex-post-facto, har har! -ahem- Ok, moving on…)

LB: I’m tired.

RB: Me too.

LB: Let’s go to bed.

RB: Ok.

LB: …

RB: …

LB: I thought we were going to bed.

RB: I thought you were going to take us?

LB: I can’t. Too tired.

RB: If we’re too tired to get to bed then how are we going to go to bed?

LB: The floor is close…

RB: It’s not bed though.

LB: But we’re not too tired to go to floor…

RB: We can’t go to floor.

LB: Why not? It’s right there, and it looks so soft.

RB: What do you mean it looks soft? Your eyes are closed.

LB: It looks better that way.


RB: I’m tired.

LB: Me too.

RB: Hey, remember in Lahore, when we were so tired we couldn’t even think straight, but then we went to the amusement park and rode a couple things and suddenly we were awake again?

LB: Yes, but how’s that relevant.

RB: I’m not sure. I’m tired.

LB: Me too.

RB: I’m more tired than you are.

LB: That’s not humanly possible.

RB: Yes it is.

LB: Nu-unh

RB: Uh-hunh.

LB: Nu-unh

RB: Un-Hunh

LB: …

RB: …

LB: Let’s go to floor already.

RB: Ok.

(abeZ falls off chair)

The End.

Left Brain: Look, it’s 3:15 am. Why are we up again?

Right Brain: Up again? I wasn’t sure we had been up before.

Left Brain: Me neither. What’s there to eat in this place anyway?

RB: Wonton Soup. But they’re not wontons, and it isn’t really soup.

LB: Then why are you calling it wonton soup?

RB: Because that’s what it was before I boiled it for an hour.

LB: What would you call it now?

RB: Concentrated. And very slimy.

LB: Is it still edible?

RB: Does the pope wear a funny hat?

LB: I don’t find his hat very amusing.

RB: I know. Don’t worry, there are still eggrolls, but they’re not-

LB: They’re not really eggrolls?

RB: Exactly.

LB: Then what are they?

RB: Frozen.


3 am props to Jogia for the squidfingers, and Oleo for the backgrounds. 🙂

Left Brain: It’s 1 am again.

Right Brain: Yep. Same time as yesterday.

LB: That makes today Friday already.

RB: Yep. Happens every week.

LB: You know what that means, don’t you?

RB: That we know the days of the week?

LB: No, it means that we haven’t showered in three days.

RB: So what?

LB: So what? If we wait any longer we’ll set a world record, that’s what.

RB: I’ve always wanted to be famous.

LB: And if another day goes by without shampooing, then our hair will be able to stand up in spikes of its own volition.

RB: Hey man, you’re the one who scratched your head after eating parathas, so don’t try to blame this on me. Besides, even if we wash it it’s just going to get dirty again.

LB: Right, just like how there’s no point in cleaning anything because it’s just going to get dirty again.

RB: Now you’re talking.

LB: And there’s no point in eating cuz you’ll just get hungry again..

RB: Whoa, hey, now that’s just crazy talk. Step back from the ledge and we’ll talk about this.

LB: There’s nothing to talk about. We can’t go on like this, if we insist on having hair then it must be washed, and that’s final.

RB: Hmmmm.

LB: Hmmmm?


LB: Hey, where are you going?

RB: To get a pair of scissors.

The Importance of Praying Early

A one-act play

by Sensei

Left Brain: It’s 1:30 am.

Right Brain: What’s your point.

LB: Aren’t we tired?

RB: Yep.

LB: Then we should go to bed.

RB: Can’t, we haven’t prayed Isha yet.

LB: Then why not pray Isha already?

RB: Can’t. Too tired to get out of chair.

LB: Have we ever read Catch 22?

RB: No, but I think we might have written it.

-The End

Sensei’s blogging at 3 am again.

Left Brain: Are we not asleep yet?

Right Brain: You’re asking me? You’re the one who approved that last cup of chai. We’ve had enough chai to kill a horse.


LB: I like horses.

RB: Me too.

LB: Do horses like chai?


RB: We’ll have to find out.

LB: How? All the horses are at Clifton.

RB: Hmmm…

LB: Hmmm….

RB: We could go to Clifton?

LB: It’s 3:38.

RB: Wouldn’t be crowded at all…

LB: We can’t go to Clifton.


RB: We could ask Uncle.

LB: If he’ll drive us to Clifton?

RB: No, if he has a horse.

LB: He has a cat.

RB: But the cat doesn’t like us.

LB: Who cares, so long as the cat likes chai…then, then uh….

RB: Then what?

LB: Well, then….then we won’t have to find a horse. Yeah.

RB: You’re talking nonsense. We don’t need to a find a horse.

LB: We don’t?

RB: No, we can make one at home.


LB: We should go to bed now.

RB: Why? I just figured out how we could make a horse from an apple, some toothpicks, and a handful of gum-drops.

LB: Which is exactly why we should go to bed.

RB: Fine.

LB: Fine.


LB: Are we asleep yet?

RB: What do you think?

LB: I think it’s Sehri time.

RB: I think you’re right. What do you want for Sehri?

LB: Chai.

:::whacks self on head with keyboard::::

Ow. It’s not my fault I’m still up. I don’t even want to be up right now, but I can’t sleep. Up until five minutes ago, I had been laying in bed, dutifully trying to fall asleep since midnight, but now I’ve given up and answered the computer’s siren song.

I really need to be asleep too. Aside from the fact that sleeping in ruins a perfectly good fast, my eyes are also bloodshot to hell and my head feels disconnected from my body. In the last 48 hours, I’ve slept a grand total of…drumroll please…four hours. So why haven’t I crashed yet? Chai. Chai, chai, chai, and chai. Yes, five cups of chai since Iftar. One of which was drunk at midnight, all of which were very strong and very large. What can I say, excessive chai consumption is part of hanging out with the Khandaan. You sit around and talk for hours, and of course, every 45 minutes or so you get another cup of chai. You don’t ask for more chai, it just comes, and you just drink it.

Then, when it’s bed-time (midnight) you brush your teeth, wash your face, hop into bed and then stare at the fuzz on your blanket for the next three hours with your mind running a mile a minute and your body pleading for mercy. The body wants to be asleep, really. It appreciates the bed, and the pillow, and even the overly-fuzzy blanket, but the mind is too busy to sleep. So far, mine has reinvented both the wheel and a better mouse-trap, as well as made plans for Sehri as soon as it’s officially time to ‘wake up.’

We’ll eat our plate of food, and then we’ll eat Aniraz’s plate of food, and when we’re done, we’ll have a nice hot cup of chai, yeah, yeah, un-hunh, and then we’ll drink Aniraz’s chai. *nods*

Like I’ve said before. Sensei is sleep depraved. *nods*

Right Brain, Left Brain, Toes

Right Brain: I’m cold, turn the fan off.

Left Brain: I’m freezing cold too.

Right Brain: Then we agree. So get up and turn the fan off.

Left Brain: We can’t. If we turn off the fan then the mosquitoes will get us.

Right Brain : I’m not sure they want us. We taste like lard.


Left Brain: Look, our toes are blue.

Right Brain: Then why are we wearing sandals?

Left Brain: Our toes are freedom-loving people who won’t tolerate oppression. Any attempt to curb their liberties will result in an all-out uprising.

Right Brain: Then what happens?

Left Brain: They forge an unholy alliance with the shins and all hell breaks loose. You know how these things are. Besides, all of the socks are still in winter storage.

Right Brain: Wasn’t it 38 degrees last week?

Left Brain: Last week was summer. It’s winter now.

Right Brain: It wasn’t winter this morning.

Left Brain: Winter started after Maghrib.


Right Brain: So we’re not going to turn the fan off?

Left Brain: No.

Right Brain: And we’re not going to find any socks?

Left Brain: No.

Right Brain: Then what are we going to do?

Left Brain: Complain. And blog. Complainingly.