Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Your DIL Presents a Masquerade Ball (16 November 2007)

DIL (Developments in Literacy) is a not-for-profit organization working to eradicate illiteracy in remote and neglected areas of Pakistan by establishing primary and secondary level non-formal schools for underprivileged children, primarily girls.

YOUR DIL was founded in New York in January 2005 and has chapters in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC. DIL was established in 1997 in Los Angeles, with current offices in Los Angeles and Islamabad and with chapter-boards in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, Houston, San Diego, Ottawa and Singapore.

For more information, and for ticket info (coming soon) visit www.yourdil.org.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Yet Another Day in the LIfe of...

It's hit me without warning. The dull dissatisfaction, blasé detachment from everyday life is real. Perhaps this is just a function of my own restlessness caused by a brief pause in an otherwise hectic life. The din is suddenly (though temporarily) gone and being able to hear and process my own thoughts has been interesting.

What is the engine that drives us? That physically and mentally transports us from one day to the next? What makes YOU wake up every morning? Is it a sense of responsibility so deeply ingrained that it's acceptance and your submission is guaranteed? Or is it willful? I am, as of yet, unable to answer the question. And it's bothering me. It's bothering me enough to come and write about it.

I am, it seems, pursued by own personal team of demons. They showed up about two years ago and we all got along quite well. But something has changed... maybe it's them. Maybe it's me. I'm not sure. But this malaise permeates everything.

I find that I have no other choice than to mentally repeat the same clich
éd declarations of action that have come and gone. The ones where I, with surprising sincerity, will these literally empty sentences into something profound. "Things have to change." the voice says, it's logic infallible, it's sense of purpose accepted completely by my being. Yet an emptiness remains. These words have not been able to manufacture any substance.

I am not exactly sure how this change will occur. And lest we forget, I am lazy, and therefore a fool.

I fear life, for the time being, will continue on without substantial meaning.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

OK.. so, let's try this...

I'm eating the most delicious spicy coconut curry ever! But I have no idea why I'm watching Survivor China.... there's a really anorexic woman on one of the teams... AND a Christian talk radio host.

I wish we had tribal council at work. I would enjoy it so. But only if I got to participate while eating spicy coconut curry.

Having just dissed work, I decided to check corporate email. Stupid cow of a woman - hang on, Victoria's Secret ad on TV - has sent me a bitchy email. She will be dealt with tomorrow.

Survivor's done. A few brain cells have died too.

Should I roll myself another j? Shouldn't I clean up? I might have company tomorrow.

I ate too much spicy coconut curry.

Just got off the phone with my Long Island friend. I could hear his young daughter in the background. He's a resident at an area hospital. I don't think he likes it much.

CSI is on, "one of their own is in danger", I think they just used some music from Earth 1947.

I love Earth 1947. It always makes me cry. Always.

I will roll myself another j.

Blogging is easier than I thought!

Why are there so many cop shows on TV? AND why is CSI: Miami still on the air? At least it's better than Numbers. That show just pisses me off.

I didn't know KFC Chicken had zero grams of trans fats!

Rolling time. Excuse me a moment.

I'm done rolling. Wow. 7 minutes. Is that long? I'm not sure.

Smoking time. Excuse me again.

Still smoking... but I found South Park!! Life get's no better. It's the one where Jimmy keeps getting an erection.

Enough blogging. And enough excitement for one night. I hope you, gentle reader, were able to keep up with me. I'll be back in another couple of weeks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

An Awkward Walk Through the Caravans of Memory

I remember the day well. It was six years ago, almost to the hour. I was sleeping in my apartment in Dallas, on a spring 1-800-mattress on the floor. I didn't know it then but my hermit-like existence was in its initial stages and I had gone to bed some three hours before. But deep, rejuvenating sleep was elusive.

I could hear my roommate, John, walk around in the kitchen - he'd spent the night at his girlfriends, maybe he'd come home early. Back then I had a wife, who'd been living in New York City for the past three months while I finished up graduate school. I missed her. I missed her enough to cuddle with my bought-from-Walmart pillow, cooing sweet nothings into its nonexistent ear. And then both my phones rang and kept ringing for the next twenty minutes.

"What IS it?" I thought.

The caller-ID said "Maa". I knew something was wrong, I just didn't know what. As I dialed her number, I turned on the TV... and I knew what had happened.

I couldn't get through to anyone in New York. My parents phone line in upstate New York was busy. My wifes cell phone in New York was going straight to voice mail.

The second plane hit the south tower.

I was panicking. I had no idea what was happening. As someone who was born Muslim, I had very little doubt that people belonging to the same religion as mine were responsible for this. But I was helpless. Helpless to stop the attack, helpless to those in need in New York. Helpless to comfort those I loved more than anything else. Helpless to do anything other than sit on the floor, eyes burning but glued to the TV.

Eventually, I got in touch with everyone I needed to. They were all shaken up but well. I spent the next two days in my room, leaving for food only once. I watched every second of news coverage, smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. Became irrational and went online with the eventual goal of finding some herb. Was successful. Made a friend too... and we're still friends.

It's been six years and I can't help but think of how things have changed since then. I can't help but believe how that one clear summer day is almost singularly responsible for the eventual path my life has taken. Not to mention how this one day changed the lives of so many others.

This 30 year old, divorced, lapsed Muslim, pot-smoking, Pakistani New Yorker remembers... and is unlikely to forget.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

So... what do you do?

The title: Most of my conversations begin (and end) this way, so it's only fitting that this super-duper fanfare filled blogger-tastic debut come with the line that has served me about as well as my station deserves.

You, dear singular reader, have no way of knowing this, but I am on the wrong side of a deep sense of nervous foreboding. Never before have the planets been so finely aligned to deliver solid proof of my laziness to the world outside. I can only hope that my Zen friend continues to (gently) nag me and keep me honest about adding to this site periodically, if not regularly.

Let's not even talk about the fact that I have very little to say.

Yep... very little good will come of this.

Stay tuned. You know you want to.