Wednesday, March 31, 2004

who says i can't change my mind?

ok, so i lied. after reading this review of prince's show in l.a., i decided i just had to go.

so i logged onto ticketmaster all the while feeling a tad nervous because i figured the shows were sold out. well, thankfully he's doing two shows. and while the first one appears to be sold out, the second one isn't. i'm not sure what's going on with ticketmaster because last time i checked, they were only offering nosebleed seats. but this time i got good ones: section 103, row N. pretty damn good if you ask me considering the show's been on sale for over a week now. let's not talk about the price though, ok? mm.. thanks.

so yeah, i'm excited!! the review i read just got me all nostalgic, especially knowing that he wasn't just doing a bunch of medleys. this should be a really good one. june 26th.. pride weekend.. i'll be jammin' to some prince. mm.. hmm.. yeah.

update: the june 25-26 shows are officially sold out. for those of you still interested, he added another date - june 28. tickets go on sale monday (4/5) at 10am.


a few months ago, we had a couple and their two kids move into the apartment next door to us. we live on the second floor of a three-storied six flat, so obviously ours are the only two apartments on the second floor.

now, our neighbors are really friendly and quite pleasant in general. in fact, at first we thought they were a little bit too friendly, and at times we even avoided getting too friendly with them for fear that they might (god forbid) ask us to babysit their kids for them one of these days. but so far, thankfully, that hasn't happened.

but they're really trashy!

ever since they moved in, they've pretty much taken over the common areas of our building and it's really starting to get on our nerves. i'll give you a few examples..

1. their two-seater baby stroller is permanently located on the landing between the first and second floor of the front stairwell.
2. the husband's bike is permanently located on the landing between the first and second floor of the back deck outside (which, really i don't mind that much cuz it's locked up by the railing of the deck so it's not really in the way).
3. their cat roams freely around the front stairwell.
4. on a daily basis, they leave a plastic bag full of either soiled diapers or cat litter right in front of their back porch entrance which is 2 feet away from our back porch entrance, even though the garbage dumpster is within spitting distance but they're too lazy to walk down to the garbage dumpster.
5. their kids 'play' in the carpeted front stairwell area and leave behind a trail of crumbs, wrappers and who knows what else so the carpet is pretty much visibly filthy.

now, c and i almost never use the front entrance to go in and out of the house, but we do of course use it to go downstairs to check the mail everyday and we've noticed that they never clean up after their kids' messes. frankly, i'm getting a little tired of having to look at their shit everyday. i mean, who does that? not to mention, now that it's tax season i always have clients coming in and out to drop off their taxes and i'm always embarrassed and apologetic when i walk them out through the filthy front stairwell.

thankfully c and i are moving out of this godforsaken place at the end of may. we already planned to move because we feel like our management company is nothing shy of a slumlord who doesn't give a rat's ass about the place. whenever we call to get something done, we're lucky if they come in two weeks, if at all. a few months ago they installed a new buzzer system and the engineers left a gaping hole right next to the newly installed buzzer in our apartment and another even larger gaping hole in the ceiling of our coat closet. one would think they would've patched it up before they left, but no.. we had to call the management company to come in and fix it, but of course they never did.

the entrance to the basement/storage room out back is even filthier. about a year ago we consistently ran into a bunch of high school kids at all hours of the day who used the area as their little weed smoking lounge. one day i happened to walk down there and saw a little bar stool, a raggedy chair and a box used as a coffee table set up all nicely down there. how convenient. of course c and i took all that out and threw the chairs in the dumpster. so now it's just filthy with bags and dirt and empty six pack containers and whatever else the wind blows in.

it's disgusting. and we've asked management to come in and clean the common areas about a million times, to no avail. c and i even cleaned it up ourselves once, but the very next day it was littered all over again. why bother?

anyway, it's almost time to move. and while i'll thoroughly miss the spaciousness of the apartment and the in-unit washer/dryer, i can't wait to get the hell out of this dump.

Friday, March 26, 2004

i'll pass on madonna..

i'm not nearly as torn about madonna as i was about prince. i'm definitely going to pass on miss madonna this time. but i thought i'd put it up here for those of you chicago headz that might be interested. tickets go on sale tomorrow.

now, there are things i like about madonna and things i don't. when she first came out i didn't care much for her but then i saw the virgin tour on video and fell in love with the choreography/dancing in her shows. and i was in bangladesh at the time, so actually attending one of her concerts wasn't even an option. so when the drowned world tour finally brought her to chicago in 2001, i decided i'd go see her, if only for nostalgic reasons.

despite balking at the price of the tickets, i figured what the fuck, i'll pay $125 to see madonna. i've waited over a decade for this, so why not?

well, it was not worth it, my friends. i mean, the show was good and all.. but it was not worth $125. maybe if i paid $20 i'd have come out of it a happy camper. but i was not a happy camper that day. i cursed myself for buying into the hype and swore off madonna concerts entirely.

tickets for this coming tour range from $45-300. i pity the fool that pays a dime over $45.

the thing that really bites though, is that i could go see one of meshell's gigs for like $20 (she had a show in nyc once where she only charged $12!) and come out of it feeling like a million bucks and then pay $125 to see big hyped ass madonna and come out of feeling like i'd been duped. funny how things work.

i'd pay $125 to catch a meshell gig any day... but not everyday, of course cuz then i'd just be a broke ass fool!

anyway, i hope you all have a great weekend! i'll be livin' it up at a really close friend's bridal shower and bachelorette party. ya know.. i am way to butch* to be attending a bridal shower [this will be my first] but she's a really close friend so i will.

*i'm not really that butch.. i'm just so not girly..

premature aging..

when i was 17 i found a gray hair on my head. just one. it was kind cool back then, actually. i had long, curly hair and on the left side if you looked closely you could see it, nestled in the mix of my curls. it was kinda distinguished looking in a indira gandhi kind of way. and yes, i was completely kidding myself with that notion. actually, there's an old wives tale in bangladesh about how if you have premature gray hair, it means that your mother loves you more than your siblings. believe that one if you will but my ma is an equal opportunity parent.

when i got to college, this guy who had a crush on me came by one day and said "ooh look.. gray hair!" and proceeded to yank it right out of my scalp. needless to say i was livid and if he even thought he had a chance of winning my affection i put him out of his misery that day. i mean, who does that?

at any rate, of course it grew right back and is still there. only it's shorter now. after a fresh hair cut it sort of pokes out and waves hello to passersby but once my hair grows out a bit it sort of goes back into hiding, but if you look closely you can still see it.

well, a couple of weeks ago i noticed that it made some new friends. they're coming out of nowhere and multiplying when i'm not looking. c says she saw them a long time ago, but clearly i don't have eyes in the back of my head so i've apparently been blissfully unaware for a while now. according to c, i've got about seven of these rugrats on the back of my head and i personally can count about five of them sprouting out from either side of my scalp. that's twelve for those of you keeping track. sometimes i joke around and tell c that she's causing me to go prematurely gray and she retaliates by saying i'm causing her to have premature wrinkles (this after she noticed her first facial wrinkle where the start of her nose meets her forehead).

anyway, i suppose i don't really have an issue with it. i mean, i've never pictured myself dying my hair or anything to cover up the inevitable gray. i guess i just have issue with it popping out so early. it is early right? i mean, i'm only 31. [only she says..]

oh well, i suppose there's no running from it. i'll just have to look forward to my salt & pepper days.

[..push it real good..]

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

trifling young thang.. conclusion

from that point on, tibg starting blowing cold air my way for the duration of the trip. i couldn't understand why.. i mean, i didn't come on to her at all, nor did i do anything to my knowledge to elicit any bitchiness from her. so i was baffled by her behaviour. but i wasn't going to let it ruin my trip.

we went to paco paco that night and it worked out such that m and i hung out together and met some cool people while tibg and s hung out together and flirted with a bunch of mexican dudes. and that pretty much set the stage for the remainder of the weekend. and that was just fine with me.

the next morning i woke up pretty early and since everyone was still sleeping, i decided to head out straight to the beach. the beach was totally empty and so i grabbed a beach chair, put on my headphones, and listened to meshell ndegeocello's "bitter" cd and relaxed by the ocean until i dozed off. i woke up to the sun in my eyes and decided to take a little swim. when i got back to my chair, i found tibg sitting on it, waiting for me. she said she had been looking for me all morning to which i asked her very puzzlingly "why?". she didn't answer my question but said that the girls were up and getting dressed for breakfast and did i want to join them. so i grabbed my things and we headed up to the room and as we were walking i asked her the inevitable question: "so.. considering you invited me to visit you here, why the hell are you acting all cold with me?" she answered nervously and incoherently about how things here in mexico are "different". "how so?" i asked. but at that point we were already at the door to our room. so i stopped, thinking we'd finish the conversation before heading back into the room, but she went ahead towards the door, and before opening it, she said "look, i don't want to talk about it, and i'd appreciate it if you wouldn't mention our little fling in chicago in front of s", and walked into the room leaving me feeling even more baffled by her behaviour.

i stood outside for a while longer and came to a decision at that point, to continue on with the vacation as if tibg was not an issue. and that's exactly what i did. my whole mood changed. no longer did i feel the need to figure out why tibg was acting the way she was and no longer was i going to allow her presence to affect my trip in any way.

we all ate breakfast, chatted and then headed out to "blue chairs" beach which was the designated gay friendly spot. there we met a bunch of fantastic people who not only entertained us throughout the day, but also hooked me up with some much needed green which m and i happily indulged in. after some more fun and frolicking in the ocean, we headed back to the hotel room to rest up for the evening's festivities which included dinner and another night on the town.

so basically, throughout the day, tibg was avoiding me entirely and doing immature things like offering gum to m and s but not to me even though i'm standing right there. or she's bitching about me and m smoking in the hotel room even though we've got the windows wide open and we're standing with our heads out the window. just straight up bitching the entire time. m and i are looking at each other and rolling our eyes, while s is telling tibg to calm the fuck down and relax because you can't really smell the smoke and we're on vacation, so just chill.

well, i have no qualms about saying that i was basically the bigger person during that whole trip. she bitched and bitched and i just ignored her. i was growing to dislike her completely. in my mind i was starting to picture her as a twelve year old and just let everything she said roll off my back.

the next day, sunday, we were supposed to leave at around 4pm to make it back to guadalajara before 9pm. before i got to mexico, the plan was that i was going to spend the night with tibg in her dorm room before leaving the following day on a 1pm flight back to chicago. but there was no way in hell i was going to do that. i made up my mind that i'd stay at a hotel and so i asked m if she knew of any that were nearby so she could drop me off. well, at that point m and i had bonded enough that we genuinely enjoyed each others company. i confided in her about the way tibg was treating me and she completely agreed that tibg was being way immature about the whole thing. so she said she'd check with her girlfriend and if it was ok with her, i could crash at their place as they have an extra bedroom.

so pretty much the remainder of sunday was spent alternating between the pool and the ocean and drinking fruity decorative drinks served in coconuts at the swim-up bar. i love swim-up bars. at one point m and i got floating beds and just drifted out into the ocean with the sun shining directly on us as we chatted about life, love and a host of other topics. m was the coolest. we got along really, really well, and i'll never forget her. she made the entire trip worthwhile for me and despite tibg and her trifling self, i had a marvelous, wonderful time. i was thrilled that i got to spend three days in mexico, floating aimlessly in the ocean. tibg was more of a nuisance than anything, i'm so glad i didn't allow her to ruin my trip or my mood.

the ride back to guadalajara was fine, although tibg's bitching never stopped. if i asked to stop at the next gas station to use the bathroom, she rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth. she constantly nagged me about the green stuff we had and demanded that i throw it out the window in case we got searched. i ignored her and that made her furious. needless to say, we never got searched. but i threw it out anyway because i wasn't about to jeopardize m in anyway, since it was her car. besides, m said she had plenty more at home. :)

so, when we dropped tibg off at her dorm, i got out of the front seat to let her out and looked at her and said "you know, i guess i should thank you for organizing this trip because i really had a fantastic time. but next time you feel the need to act like bitch with someone, don't call me." she didn't say a word and stepped out of the car to grab her things from the trunk. she turned to say "have a nice trip" and we gave each other the lamest hug ever known to mankind. and that was that.

m and i got to her place shortly after 9pm. her girlfriend t, was totally cool and friendly and we all sat outside on their massive porch and smoked and drank and laughed and chatted, and bitched about how immature tibg was acting the entire time, and chatted some more until we were all tired and ready to go to sleep. i was so glad to be at their place instead of tibg's room or some tiny little hotel room. in fact i was just glad to not be in the company of tibg anymore. but despite tibg's issues, i made some wonderful friends with whom i kept in touch even after i got back to chicago. i'll never forget their generosity in letting me stay at their place. a month later i sent them a care package to thank them for their hospitality.

shortly after i got back to chicago i sent tibg an email. i just had to let her know how fucked up her behaviour was and that all she had to do was explain her situation to me and i would've understood. but instead of communicating with me she decided to act like an asshole and i felt that was completely uncalled for. and in conclusion i told her to grow the fuck up.

m and i kept in touch for a while, but the last time i heard from her was about a year ago. she and t had split up.

Monday, March 22, 2004


i can't believe virgin airlines even thought for a minute that they could get away with this. i saw it on the news a couple of weeks ago and was certainly horrified.. but thankfully the national organization of kick ass women spoke up and tore the idea down.

hurray for feminists.. and i don't give a flying fuck if you think i don't have a sense of humor..

the nerve of some people...

this ad was posted in chicago's craigslist jobs section:

Attractive, Non Smoking Female for Reception, General Office

Read no further if honesty offends you.

Our business has grown, and is continuing to grow. We are looking to find an attractive female to work part time in our comfortable, well appointed office in the West suburbs. This receptionist position would be ideal for a woman who is married with kids and just wants out of the house a few days a week...or conversely, an erotic dancer/masseuse who wants a different type of work for the daytime hours.

It is a rather private environment, without a lot of personal customer interaction. Our receptionist will likely only see 2-4 people during the week, and most of her time will be devoted to phones, filing and follow up of various tasks. She would report to the office manager, a very open minded female who works closely with the business owner.

To be honest, the business owner is somewhat unconsciously seeking a "hottie" for the front desk...but also someone who can be detail oriented enough to file and complete paperwork. He's married, and not going to approach anyone he works with, but he really enjoys an "attractive" office environment. He is also looking to this person to evolve if they desire into a full time position with a variety of other tasks, including customer service. The receptionist should be computer literate and a NON SMOKER.

If any of this doesn't offend you, feel free to respond to this post with what you are looking for, including number of hours and expected salary.

Compensation: $8 - $10 hourly, part time..

are you offended by honesty?

the purple one..

i have exactly 40 minutes to decide whether or not i want to pay $50-75 on tickets to see prince at a venue i'm not too fond of in late june. i'm torn. if a similar opportunity was presented to me a few years ago there would've been zero hesitation. but he's since gone a little nutty butter for my personal tastes, so i'm not sure anymore.

ah.. who am i kidding.. i'm probably gonna go.. but i am truly torn and 40 minutes is not long enough for me to make a thought-out well-informed decision.

but supposedly he's gonna be playing ALL his oldies for the supposed last time...


update: i guess they're all sold out because ticketmaster online is acting like a little biyatch.. oh well, i guess the decision was made for me...

update: thanks to tasha, i found out that they're NOT sold out.. but at this point all the available seats ticketbastard is generating are of the nosebleed persuasion. for $50 a pop, i just can't see it as a worthwhile investment.. as much as i'd love to hear him jam the classics. i think i'd rather spend the money to take a trip to see meshell perform in nyc or louisiana or atlanta, since there appears to be no plans for chicago in the near future...

Friday, March 19, 2004

trifling young thang.. part 2

after cute asian girl left, we emailed each other sparingly over the next few weeks mostly catching up on her adventures in guadalajara, mexico. she told me about a weekend trip she took to puerto vallarta and how much fun it was and how i should visit so we could hang out by the beach, etc. she also told me about a new friend she made at her school who was, you know.. family.

now, our emails were by no means romantic and there was no indication from either of us that what happened that weekend was anything more than a fling. but i won't lie.. when i decided to take her up on her offer i most definitely had a few other things in mind besides just hanging out on the beach. and while a long distance relationship is definitely not my thing, i certainly wouldn't have minded another roll in the hay, you know what i'm sayin'? right..

well, a couple of days before my trip i started stressing bigtime. i'm not really sure why, but i was nervous about the whole trip. i mean, i'd never been to mexico and here i was planning a trip all by myself to visit some girl i barely knew with no guarantees as to the status of our "friendship". what was i thinking? i was about to spend over $500 on a plane ticket and who knows how much else on hotel stay and sundries... was i really sure about this? what if i ended up having a really shitty time? what if cute asian girl totally disses me and leaves me hanging at the airport with nowhere to go? what if...????

oh boy, all that worrying took it's toll because a few days before the trip i broke out into a million little pimples right across the entire span of my forehead!! now, not to brag at all here, but i have really good facial skin. it's hereditary. i've never really had more than one or two zits a year and i'm blessed for that. perhaps it helps that i never wore make up in my life and never used anything on my face barring mild facial cleansers and face cream. now, the rest of my body is another story. thanks to my freakish outbreak of psoriasis in december, 1999, i have random patches of dry skin all over my body, especially on my legs. to this day it's hard for me to wear shorts in the summer and that alone pains me to no end. every once in a while though, i'll just say fuck it and wear shorts because i don't give a shit if people want to stare at my legs, but in general i'm pretty self conscious about it. thankfully it isn't contagious or else c would've left me a long time ago.. hehehe..

but i digress. my psoriasis issues are enough for another post in and of itself.

so yeah.. i've got a million zits across my forehead. i think i actually tried to count them and when i got to 40 i just gave up.. that's how bad it was. i couldn't believe it. it was the most unusual thing that had ever happened to me and i was this close to cancelling my trip for it. but then i came to my senses and reminded myself that i'm not really vain enough to do that, and so what if i have a million zits on my forehead.. i'm gonna go to mexico and have a fantastic fucking time!

so it's labor day weekend and i'm flying out to guadalajara, mexico. cute asian girl was going to meet me at the airport with two of her friends; the lesbian girl, and another straight girlfriend from school. just so we don't get confused here (since i'm not gonna use their real names), the lesbian girl m and the straight girl s (who turned out to be from chicago) were both exchange students as well at the same school cute asian girl went to. m had a jeep wrangler and was going to drive us all to puerto vallarta, about a 4 hour drive from guadalajara.

to my relief cute asian girl was indeed waiting for me at the airport and we both gave each other a hug, hopped into the wrangler, and headed for pv. the drive there was a lot of fun. i got to know m and s and found out that m was living with her "wife" in guadalajara and her wife was a writer who was trying to finish a novel while m finished school. the wife wasn't with us though because she had other things going on that weekend. the four of us chatted and laughed and exchanged some wild and not so wild stories about our pasts as we drove through winding roads and vast fields of blue agave (tequila) plants along the mexican countryside which was beautiful and reminded me of bangladeshi villages at times (the countryside that is, not the tequila plants!). i would so love to go back to mexico one of these days...

when we arrived in puerto vallarta, we checked into the hotel, changed clothes and headed straight to the beach. during this whole time, cute asian girl and i haven't really had any time alone, which is cool though, because we were really having a great time with the other girls and hanging out at the beach, splish-splashing against the waves and just being all out silly. the weather was fantastic. it was a great day and we ended it with a drive into town to have dinner at a "real" mexican restaurant. needless to say margaritas were definitely in the mix and the food was just fantastic.. mm.. real mexican salsa.. mm.. .

when we got back to the hotel, we were all exhausted but still planned on heading over to paco paco, a local gay bar in town. cute asian girl was apparently not feeling too well, and said she wanted to take a nap in the hotel room before we went out. so m and i went over to the beach and sat down and chatted for a while. she asked me how i met cute asian girl and i proceeded to tell her (the truth of course) and then she asked me if i was hoping to "hook up" again. of course i said it would be a nice by-product of the vacation if that happened, but i wasn't going to push the issue. m also mentioned to me that she didn't think cute asian girl was "out" to her friends, which left me a little confused, yet it wasn't really such a shocker considering i wasn't completely "out" myself. i mean, all my friends knew, but my parents didn't. so of course, far be it from me to judge her for that.

after our little discussion we went back upstairs to check on the other two to see if they were ready to head out. cute asian girl wasn't napping, but she was up and about chit chatting with s and rifling through fashion magazines. i went over to sit next to her and ask how she was feeling but as soon as i sat down she very nervously and hastily got up and went over to s to show her a picture in the magazine she was looking at. i totally felt her nervous energy and was a little baffled by it. it's not like i went over to sit on her face or anything.. damn! what gives?

and thus began cute asian girl's transformation into trifling immature bitch girl, herein after referred to as tibg.

well folks, i was really hoping to finish this story today but it's taking longer than i thought. wasn't intending on a cliff hanger (hehe..) but i'll have to continue this another day.

stay tuned.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

trifling young thang.. part 1

i've been meaning to blog about my little mexico fiasco for a while now.. but kept getting distracted. it's quite the entertaining story.. really.

so.. i went out one saturday in july, 2000 with an acquaintance-friend to the now defunct "girlbar". every so often i liked to go there to play pool and show off my skills in the hopes of attracting one of the several ladies that stood around to watch, but that never happened. i also went to indulge in some much needed eye candy. of course i was single back then and quite the care-free lesbian. in fact, if memory serves me correctly, i think girlbar was actually one of the few establishments i frequented all by my lonesome. we're talking back in the day when i was a fresh 25 year old baby dyke and figured that if i wanted to meet other lesbians i'd have to go to girlbar. because if you're a lesbian, you must hang out at girlbar, every weekend. funny how time cures everything...

right.. so back to the story in progress.

so we're at girlbar, just chillin' and i'm about to smoke the last cigarette in my pack. just then, a girl comes upto me and asks to bum a cigarette. i look at her and look at my pack and look at her again and say "sorry, it's my last one, but you can have a drag or two if you like" (i don't usually share cigs with strangers, but for some reason i did that night). she accepted my offer and went on to tell me that she quit smoking a while ago but was just jonesing for a few drags.. and i can totally relate to that kind of jonesing.

as we're talking, another girl comes up and starts getting into the mix of our conversation. we all exchange names and i find out that the two women are friends, visiting from minneapolis for the weekend. the second girl is this really cute asian girl who turns out to be 21 and full of spunk and starts vibing with my acquaintance-friend while i'm chatting away with cigarette bummer girl. as the evening progresses, the four of us are vibing really well; we're doing shots, laughing, chatting and having a grand old time.

we bar hop a little and end up at the closet, another one of chicago's several hundred lesbian bars [insert sarcasm here] where we continue to drink, get to know each other and laugh and party some more. there ain't much to do at the closet. it's about the size of my bedroom and the bartenders and i.d. checkers are so not friendly! they're a bunch of biyatches i must admit.

so after a brief stint at the closet, and a chow-down at the nearby ihop, acquaintance-friend decides it's time to go home and leaves me with the out of towners. the out of towners are staying with a friend who lives way the fuck out somewhere which would cost them about $30 in cabfare. so, being the gentile, considerate and whacked out person that i am, i invited them to crash at my place for the evening. err, i mean morning because i swear by the time we got to my place it was 6am.

aah, the wild and crazy days of my youth...

so we get to my place which is a one bedroom with a stunning view of lake michigan. they both ooh and aah over the view for a good 20 minutes and then cute asian girl decides she wants to take a shower, which she does, and very casually leaves her panties hanging on the shower door after she's done. i love how people take a mile when you offer them an inch. not only does she ask to wear a pair of my shorts and a t-shirt but after changing into my clothes she plops herself onto my bed and starts to fall asleep.

inch.. mile..

meanwhile, cigarette bummer girl makes herself cozy on my couch in the living room and i slip into bed with cute asian girl. we both fall asleep and wake up at around 10am and what ensues thereafter is some shit i never imagined i would do. yup, you guessed it folks.. cute asian girl and i are all over each other and have mad, passionate morning sex.. twice.

to make a long story short, cute asian girl and i end up spending the remainder of the lust-filled weekend together after dropping cig bummer girl off at her friend's house. when monday morning came around, i was genuinely sad to see her go but pretty damn happy with the way the weekend ended. a casual weekend summer romp was a-ok with me.

well, it turns out that not only was cute asian girl leaving that day for minneapolis but she was also headed to mexico in a couple of days on a year-long exchange program. when she left, we exchanged email addresses and she urged me to think about making a trip to mexico to visit her.

two months later, that's exactly what i did.

stay tuned for the conclusion to "trifling young thang"...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

loose change..

a few months ago i started thinking about how great it would be to have a "vacation fund" of sorts. a place where i could put money away whenever possible to save up towards a vacation. well, that never happened. but i did start to drop all my loose change into a drawer at work. every morning i would gather up all my loose change and toss them into one of the compartments in my drawer tray, separating the pennies from the dimes, nickels and quarters. i even made a conscious effort not to dish out exact change when buying things if i could help it.

now, while i'm far from having saved up enough for a real vacation, i'm definitely pleased with the collection so far. i empty out the coins and put them in a black bag about once every two weeks to make room for more coins, and each time i do i count about 15-17 dollars in change. considering i only started doing this in december, and have tallied about $80 in change so far, i think i'm doing pretty damn good!

i'm not sure when i'll actually take it to the bank in exchange for bills, but i'm just happy that i managed to collect so much! a few more months and i'll be ready for that vacation! the best part about it is that i don't even feel like i had to sacrifice anything because loose change is almost always spent.

Monday, March 15, 2004


before i go into the details of what i thought about "the passion of the christ" which c and i went to see on saturday night, let me shamefully admit first of all that i've never really been too familiar with the bible. or any other holy book for that matter, including the qu'ran (and i call myself a muslim). let me also digress a bit to explain the background of my religious/spiritual beliefs.

the reason i call myself a muslim is because i grew up a muslim; by default of course, having been born to parents who are both practicing (but not fanatical) muslims. while living in the states during our childhood, we (my sister and i) were told not to eat pork, we celebrated eid instead of christmas, we were told that our god was allah, and that we were muslims. and to this day i don't eat pork and i'll be the first to admit that it's a 100% psychological phenomenon. i don't believe i've ever consciously indulged in anything pork related, but the thought/sight of it makes me turn up my nose in disgust and the smell of it makes me nauseous. and that just can't be helped.

i am not, however, what most would call a practicing muslim. i pray to allah, in my own way. i don't pray five times a day, nor do i fast during ramadan. but i still believe in allah, and muhammad and the fundamental basics of islam (which i happen to think are really not that different from the fundamental basics of any religion). there was a short period of time in my life when i lived in bangladesh, when i somehow became uber religious: i prayed five times a day, started to learn to read the qu'ran from an arabic teacher who came to our house once a week, fasted everyday during ramadan, etc. i was headed towards the path of being a good little muslim girl at the tender age of twelve.

but then something happened. i started to develop critical thought.

for those of you unfamiliar with muslim prayers, they involve a variety of ritualistic stances and sayings and motions, and the sayings are all mostly verses taken from the qu'ran, in arabic, which i had to memorize (and did). but soon i started to question why i was memorizing verses in arabic and learning to read the qu'ran when it was clearly in a language that i didn't understand. why should i have to learn arabic in order to read the qu'ran? and why should all my prayers be in arabic when i have no idea what the hell i'm saying in my prayers? why was islam so biased towards the arabic language? i didn't get it.

so instead i started praying in my own language. i would talk to my god in english sometimes and other times in bengali depending on what was at the tip of my tongue. and i knew that my god understood what i was saying no matter what language i used.

so you see, the foundation for my beliefs come from islam. but my spirituality is what brings me comfort on a daily basis.

i do believe in god and i do believe that all the prophets were living beings whose lives were spent spreading religious thought. but muslims don't believe that jesus was the son of god; muslims believe that he was one of god's prophets, like muhammed (who was the last prophet). and while i've dismissed and accepted a variety of the teachings of islam based on my ability to think critically, i've somehow managed to hold on to that belief all along.

so when c and i went to see "the passion..", i was a bit skeptical about how i'd feel about the whole "son of god" aspect of jesus' life. but i knew not to go into it thinking everything portrayed would be the absolute truth. and frankly, i felt a little nervous about the blood and gore aspect of the movie, as most reviews were so adamant about revealing.

but as soon as the movie started, all my inhibitions left me and i found myself very deeply focused on the story being told.

according to c, the entire movie was pretty much depicted right out of the bible. there weren't any surprises (save for the hellish torture that led upto the crucifixion). but to me, a lot of it was a history lesson, again, because i wasn't familiar with the bible and it's stories. and while i didn't cry at all during the movie, i have to say that the torture inflicted on jesus was heart, mind and gut wrenching.. all because he was feared by a group of people for gaining popularity and being able to heal the wounded. ok, so maybe it wasn't quite that simplistic.

but i have to admit that i didn't come away from the movie thinking it was in anyway anti-semitic. i didn't come away from it feeling like jews were 100% responsible for crucifying jesus. in fact, if anything, i think pontious pilate (sp?) had a lot more to do with the actual crucifixion than anyone. he was given the authority to make a decision and he chose to save his own life and avoid an uprising, instead of saving jesus, whom he obviously (based on his portrayal in the movie) believed to be a holy man. and i don't care if he washed his hands of it.. he gave the order and then jesus was crucified.

as for the depiction of jews wanting nothing less than death for jesus.. i have to be completely honest here and say this: you could've put any power hungry religious or political group in there to replace the jews and i think they would've done the same thing. we're talking about a time when "whores" were stoned to death and so-called heretics were burned at the stakes. there was a group of people who feared jesus because of his abilities and his growing popularity and felt threatened by him and therefore wanted him dead. bottom line. insert religious/political group (from that era) of your choice [here] and i tend to think the outcome would've been the same. that's just the nature of power hungry religious/political groups.

and of course that's just my opinion.

while i was disappointed that jesus was depicted as a white man, i was pleased that most of the extras and several characters (including some of the disciples) were indeed people of color (persian, arabian). i also appreciated the fact that the movie was entirely in hebrew with english subtitles. and i truly did enjoy the movie. it was educational for me and inspired long hours of fantastic post-movie discussion between c and i. i don't know that all that credit should go to mel and his movie, but i'm glad i saw it.

the movie didn't change my life, nor did i even fathom it would, and i'm by no means giving up islam, but at least i now know more about jesus christ than i did before. and that's all jood.

Friday, March 12, 2004

friday five...

i don't usually do too many memes but i figure i haven't posted in a while and don't really have much to say lately courtesy of my busy tax season and a host of other mind numbing distractions. so instead, i entertain you with this week's friday five:

1. what was the last song you heard?

it's in my head right now because i just got back from getting a cup of coffee from the cafeteria and they were playing it on the radio.. "i hear a symphony" by the supremes.

2. what were the last two movies you saw?

* pirates of the caribbean for the second time. c and i were supposed to watch it back when it came out in theaters but we never got around to it. then they played it on the plane during my trip home to bangladesh in october so i watched it without c and she gave me loads of shit for it. so we rented it from netflix and watched it the other day. i love johnny depp.

* once upon a time in mexico, another one with johnny depp. only i couldn't really get through it. i'm not a fan of antonio banderas, maybe that's why. plus it was late and i was sleepy. we still have it, so maybe i'll give it another shot this weekend.

speaking of movies i couldn't get through.. lord of the rings. am i the only person in the world who thought it was boring as all hell? we rented the first two parts and i barely got through the first one, let alone the second one. goes to show the oscars and i don't really agree on everything.

3. what were the last three things you purchased?

* a couple of pairs of hanes hipster underwear in gray, white and baby blue.. very cute, very comfortable and tagless!

* some office supplies for my tax business including a much needed electric pencil sharpener. i'll never go back to the manual kind. ever. (i'm a closet dorky accountant, what can i say?)

* two very cool dress shirts from petite sophisticate (because i'm both petite and sophisticated, didn't you know?). i love them. they have french cuffs and the cutest little cufflinks that look like miniature balls of yarn. got one in white and another in blue. i'm such a stylish lesbian sometimes i don't know what to do with myself.

4. what four things do you need to do this weekend?

* sleep, sleep, sleep...!
* do tax returns (for my business, not the j.o.b.)
* workout... either curves or swimming.. haven't quite made up my mind
* veg on the couch in front of the tv

5. who are the last five people you talked to?

* c, of course.. as i do everyday
* my co-worker who sits next to me
* my boss
* a client that came by last night to drop off his tax return
* my friend m, who i had lunch with yesterday

have a great weekend!

Monday, March 01, 2004

if they knock on your door, you already gave..

some of you may know i'm a huge fan of lenny kravitz. but you won't see me linking to his site as i do with meshell and pamela means and others, mainly because he's already pretty mainstream and doesn't necessarily need the advertising like my grrrls do. however, i'm willing to put it up here once for those that may not be familiar with his work. but this month's audio pleasure is a gem and i decided i should stop being selfish and share it with you. in fact, it's hands down my favorite song by lenny kravitz of all time. there are several close seconds, but "sister" has got to be the best in my opinion.

the particular version put up here for this month only, comes off his mtv unplugged session from 1994, which i'm sorry to say is not sold in stores. i paid a pretty penny for it on ebay because it's one of the rawest versions i've heard to date... unplugged, acoustic and downright gorgeous. trust me on this one.

it's over seven minutes long (7:29 to be exact), so have a seat, relax, kick off your shoes and by all means put your feet up on your desk and turn the volume waaaay up.

i'd love to hear what you think of it.. enjoy!