Category Archives: All-Star Crackstar Squad

There seems to be an endless sea of people like us

Poetry walk - Addison Street, Berkeley
Poetry walk – Addison Street, Berkeley, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

I am humbled in this city
There seems to be an endless sea of people like us
Wakeful dreamers, I pass them on the sunlit streets
In our rooms filled with laughter
We make hope from every small disaster

-Painting by Chagall (The Weepies)

Conversations from the past week:

H: my English has emproved.
Yasmine: ‘emproved,’ huh?
H: as i spell ‘improve’ wrong.

Z: sigh
they’re saying that eating too fast can give you diabetes
Yasmine: gross! people take the fun out of EVERYTHING
as my uncle used to say, TO HELL WITH THE SCIENTISTS

J: so how are you otherwise
Yasmine: doing well! just stressed out these days, working on job applications
J: yeye!
i love job apps!
especially not doing them!
that is my fav part of it
Yasmine: hahaha!
i wish i could NOT do them, and still have a job and salary!
money doesn’t buy happiness, i know, but it sure does help
J: but if you shop at the dollar store, you can get a better deal on cookies at least.
that is the secret to true happiness
Yasmine: J, that’s GENIUS

H (again): eat eat!
eat mushrooms like me
you’ll grow taller like Mario

Yasmine: Gossip Girl is drahhaaaaamaaa!
and i think this is only the second time i’m watching it
first time was at your place
N: ya it is SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!
Yasmine: i want to STAB that Chuck boy
he keeps trying to do his smoldering model gaze or whatever
it’s ridiculous!
okay, never mind – maybeee he’s going to become a good person after all!
N: noooooo i LOVE Chuck!!!
i find him so hot and badass
i thought he’s supposed to be the bad guy in this show!
N: ya he is, i guess i love bad guys!

Re. the Dostana soundtrack -
A: this one is a “pump it up in the car” song!
Yasmine: oh, those are the BEST songs
music should be listened to loudly
A: absolutely
“this should be played on high volume, preferably, in a residential area”

H (and yet again): omg, you and i should be one person
we would be soo rocking
Yasmine: is the world ready for THIS?!
i do not think so
H: oh yes!
we would be the most awesomeness
that awesome could ever have

Yasmine: dude, speaking of amazing, wasn’t my cartwheeling wideo AMA-ZING?!
H: no
your butt must have had some padding
Yasmine: hahaha my butt TOTALLY has lotsa padding, unfortunately!

Bean: it’s so cold and gloomy in SC today
its 68 degreees!
Yasmine: hahaha
it’s 67 degrees here, too, and so gray and gloomy looking!
god, we are SO spoiled!
Bean: 66 now

In other news, today (because it’s so gray and gloomy), I wore the new boots I bought last week for $20. Knee-length black boots with enough straps and buckles to give ‘em a rockstar look. The problem was, it took me an extra few minutes to properly put them on today, confused as I was as to which boot belonged on my right foot and which on my left. (“Does the zipper go on the inside? Or the outside? Inside, I think.”) Clearly, it is sad that I’m 27 years old and spend most of my days feeling like I’m seven.

Tight stuff walkin’ through

San Francisco 124
Superman in San Francisco, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

I realized the other day that I hadn’t talked to my buddy S in months – so many months that the last conversation I clearly remembered was back in January. Worse, he had left me a voicemail a couple of weeks ago, wishing me Eid mubarak, and I had never gotten around to returning his call. So, while aimlessly wandering around in downtown the other day, I settled myself on an empty bench, dug my phone out of my bag, and called S.

The details of the conversation aren’t that important; needless to say, I can always depend on S to deliver a good kick in the ass just when I need it. When I whined about how I “need to focus, and I just don’t seem to have any incentive to get my ass in gear and be productive,” I could almost see S rolling his eyes at the other end of the line.

“You need incentive?” he scoffed. “Why don’t you check your bank account. That should be all the incentive you need.”

“I know.” I started laughing. “You’re right. Thank you.”

The conversation continued, meandering through various topics – work and mutual friends and life updates and dramas and finances and family and academics. At one point, I went off on a bit of a rant about something, and S said forcefully, “See. You haven’t changed at all.”

“I haven’t changed? Is that a good thing?”

“Yes. You get it.”

Later, still smiling to myself about the conversation, I looked up the old post I had written about S. It made me even more grateful to have a friend like him – and his bluntness and sarcasm and generosity and text-messaged reminders about the moon – in my life. I think it deserves a re-read, so check it out:

[Shiny smooth automotive goodness, and goodness of another nature]

Kung-fu filum stars eat ice cream, too

sent to 2Scoops...
Sent to 2Scoops, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

[Read the front of the card in large-size.]

This was originally posted to flickr, but, again, really belongs here, because Blogistan is where it started. Also, I need to stop blogging on flickr. It’s getting ridiculous.


September 2008

2Scoops is one of my favorite crackstars in the entire world – and was, in fact, the one to initially come up with the ‘All-Star Crackstar Squad’ moniker for me and my rockstar entourage. [The story of his nickname, by the way, has been documented by Baji on flickr, here, in her inimitable story-telling way.]

I bought this card YEARS ago, soon after 2Scoops guest-posted an audioblog on Chai’s veblog. I wish I had saved that mp3 file, because it was brilliant. Years later, all I remember now is kung-fu references, and 2Scoops’ throwdown to his ‘ARCH-NEMESIS CHAI.’

Anyway, I came across the card years ago, laughed, bought it…and then never sent it to 2Scoops, because he’s slightly topsecret about sharing his birthday date. But I think it’s August. We haven’t played our usual phonetag/5minutevoicemails drama for a while, so I missed the crackhead and decided it was about time he finally got his card.

I didn’t get around to sending it out in August after all (surprise!), so mid-September had to do. And he got it!


Upon finding out that 2Scoops’ birthday was actually more along the lines of late September (saved! whew!), I posted the following:

Once more, with conviction

It appears to be "Celebrate 2Scoops" Week ’round here on flickr lately, so let’s carry on with this for a couple of more days.

[Preferable topics of rambling conversation include but are not limited to: Ice cream, shawarmas, swing-jump championships, the making-up-of words, Calvin&Hobbes, avocados vs. cucumbers, extolling the virtues of San Diego, explaining the concept of "quaint" in British accents in Berkeley bookstores (while getting yelled at by the saleswoman for videotaping the scene), apple pie a la mode, and the usage of "duu-huuu-huuude!" in any and all contexts.]

At the grocery store the other day (never a smart errand to run while fasting), I came across these cartons of strawberry cheesecake ice cream, and they made me laugh and think of 2Scoops. In college, I used to call him from campus and leave excited, 5-minute-long voicemails about the fact that, "They have strawberry cheesecake ice cream today – a whole cup for a dollar – and it’s AWESOME!" Last night, I had dreyer’s Apple Pie ice cream (yes! there is indeed such a flavor!), and it was just as SPECTACULARICIOUS as I had remembered.

Recently, I was cleaning out my room and came across a post-it, on which I had scribbled the following:

-electric-blue parka/snowboarding jacket
-strawberry cheesecake ice cream
-blue slurpee
-chicken shawarma
-gyro: ‘geero’? ‘jyro’?

I don’t remember quite what this was about, but I guess I’d been taking notes while listening to 2Scoops’ rambling voicemail. This must have been around the time when I was going to Ottawa last December, and I’d asked him how (HOW!) the heck a guy from San Diego managed to survive DC winters. The convoluted explanation of an ‘electric-blue parka’ that zipped all the way up to his chin was part of his hilarious answer.

Happy birthday to my Baji of the dagger-chappals

Happy birthday, Baji! (the belated, flickr edition)
Happy birthday, Baji! (the belated, flickr edition), originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

This was originally posted to flickr, but truly belongs here. Although Baji and I have both been hanging out a lot more on flickr these days, Blogistan is where it all started, after all.


September 25, 2008

My wrinkly pirate t-shirt and I would like to shout, ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY!’ to our MOST FAVORITE (robot monkey pirate and) BAJI IN THE WORLD. (with caps-lock and multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!)

Thank you, BajiBaj, for taking care of my friends, for busting out with inside jokes and witty repartee and banter at a moment’s notice, for making me mix CDs, for holding sunshine playlists in stock for me and gifting me NINETY Wilco songs, for chauffeuring my sorry ass around DC, even when I spent too long chitchatting with S at Mama Ayesha’s, the Lebanese restaurant, and you had to sleepily text-message me to sweetly ask if I would be done soon so you could pick me up before you went to bed. Also, for introducing me to the concept of both dagger chappals and cannoli – although I’ve yet to have any cannoli, besides in gelato form – and for never tiring of ice cream- and gelato-related conversations. And for so good-naturedly (and hilariously) sharing your rockstar family with us.

There are so many things I love about you. May this year bring you all that is good and beautiful and blessed, inshaAllah, and may you have bajillions of even more rocking rockstar years to come!

Smashing HIGHFIVE and squeezy, bone-crushing hugs!


The t-shirt is from the pirate store in San Francisco, at 826 Valencia.

I cannot wait to call you and tell you that I landed somewhere

Melody, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten how to blog – or, at least, how to write in general. This is a sad state of affairs. And if that’s not bad enough, Adnan has gone and deleted all RSS feeds from his GoogleReader.

“But how you vill follow veblogs now?!” I exclaimed [mentally, it came out in a Desi accent]. “Back to the pre-googlereader days of opening a page and hoping the blogger has updated?”

“You guys rarely update anyway!” came the rejoinder. Can’t argue with that one. Besides, maybe Adnan’s right in attempting to simplify his blog-reading habits through un-following feeds. After all, I just spent an entire afternoon+evening whittling down my GoogleReader unread-posts count from 1,000+ to 689. Also, I’ve just realized I subscribe to 263 feeds. This is slightly ridiculous. Just slightly.

Anyway, in lieu of a real post, I present to you my latest “fake update” (highfive to Ayan!), a recently rediscovered .txt file on my harddrive. I’m not sure anymore what the context was behind half of these, but it’s all bullet points (from the last few months) that were meant to be GMail or facebook status messages, I think, and were used as such in many cases.

Lists and bullet points! We haven’t done those in a while.

Onward, then.


“The precise location of my camera is undetermined.” – original z-lo flava

crackfiendserene: Don’t come to California unless you know how to SPELL! Because CALIFORNIA is a BIG WORD, I know. (What kinda Desi are you? I need spelling-bee champs!)

ich bin zurueck

“Art always tastes better when it’s brought to you live!” – Pacific Art Collective

“And what is there to life besides highfives and kickass gelato?” – Z (again)

“Just gotta stab your way to success.” – Anjum

I am out of chapstick, and have now resorted to applying lipgloss as part of my bedtime ritual. As Somayya would say, “Dubyoo tee EFF!”

“Are you updating your address book? You are more of a (a) nerd and (b) uncle than I am.” – Z

Goroo ba means Daika jay ga/”We will see”

Hey, Jude

Holy hell, there are eyelash enhancement techniques now! Whaaaat?!

“Hijabis should come with an instruction manual or something.” – A in Toronto

We must let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
- Joseph Campbell

“Nobody stabs my bus!” – Enchanted

“Apply the quadratic equation to your life.” – Conversation with the halaqafools

Favorite words today:
1. Doppelgaenger
2. Zeitgeist

It’s settled. I need to have CUPCAKES at my wedding.

Duaiyaan ne thyaareh shuruuh ho gaey

“I don’t know what ‘melodramatic’ means… but you’ll be removed.” – Enchanted, again

My eating habits are best described as,
“Yes, please.”

I lowve Juno, because she’s OBSESSED with blue slurpees. Why did you all fail to tell me that THIS was the one reason why I should watch the filum?!

“Have your stabbing pen ready. You’re gonna hide it in the headwrap, right?” – Z

I am not aloof. I am aloo, without an F. [Epiphany resulting from a conversation with a smart friend, who came up with that statement. Aloo=potatoes, the single food item, in any form, with which I am highly obsessed.]

“It would be lovely if what we loved to do also made enough money for us.
It would be lovelier if we knew what we loved to do.” – N bhaiyya


Somayya: “Yazzo, you get addicted to things too easily. I don’t think you should ever try drugs.”
“What about crack?”
“You won’t really get addicted to crack. Now, HEROIN, on the other hand…!”

“Super salad?” [This will never get old.]

I want a vespa the color of tangerines. [Like maybe this one that Hashim pointed me towards.]

“I love when you stay people need to be stabbed. I can just hear you saying, ‘I will cut youuuuu.’ ” – Dina

I keep dreaming I’m taking photos.

“Yes, I think I read that on wikipedia once.”

“You go, cracker! The daily waffles make it work.” – A, trying to wheedle me into being productive.

I wear glasses. My eyes are great.

Dishoom! Ka-pow! Zabardast!

Who the hell pays $4 for a salad with no tomatoes? – @ Library cafe
Holy hell, who pays over $7 for a salad!? – @ Hipster cafe
Shit, I just did. And it’s a Mediterranean one with tomatoes and avocado and capers and olives and pepperoncini and artichoke and cucumbers. And it comes with bread and butter.

In love with crinkly-eyed smiles. Bas.