Category Archives: Blogistan and the Wide World of Webs

Whisper codes under the hush sky

What a mess (ii), originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

Things I Have Wikipediaed in the Last Couple of Weeks (in No Particular Order):

-Amadou et Mariam
-Dera Ismail Khan
-inside baseball
-Ashleigh Brilliant

-Amanda Plummer
-Hasan Abdal
-Girl in a Coma

-Amel Larrieux
-Whatever, Martha

-Ganga Jamuna
-Amir Khusro
-electric slide
-The Hold Steady

-Sandra Day O’Connor
-Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye

-Serenity (Firefly episode)
-technocultural studies
-Ahmed Faraz
-Michael Ignatieff

-Regina v. Dudley and Stephens
-August: Osage County
-public ivy
-Jai Ho
-Kunal Kapoor

-Nirvana (Elbosco song)
-Rub el Hizb


What about you? Is your list as strange and scattered and amusing (to me, at least)?

By the way/I saw your friends today and they all said you’re great

Tangerines!, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

Hi, is this thing still on?

I know. It’s been a long while.

Owl has tried shaming me with harassment tactics, and H (“Yasmin Without an E”) has probably resignedly reverted to reading about immunoglobulins, and Baji’s still holding out hope, and Hashim has given up altogether.

I like when I beat Hashim in things, so I’d say this is as good a time as any to make a grand return.

Not to mention the fact that M wrote on my facebook wall a few weeks ago,

“My son, Ilyas, would like me to convey this message to you:
Update the weblog, or the highfives will stop. I kid not.”

Now that is the sort of threat that makes me quake in my stabbingdagger-pointed shoes. I hope you all are taking notes and picking up lessons from M here. No more highfives from adorablicious toddlers?! That would be just blasphemy.

Hashim accused me a few weeks ago of being “clearly in blog violation.” This, coming from the dude who professes to neither understand nor read weblogs. This is why it’s even more mind-boggling that he apparently subscribes to the RSS feed for my tumblr, mistook it for my real-deal weblog, and observed a while back,

“It looks like all you are doing is copy/pasting stuff from others. You do realize if that’s what I wanted to view, I’d RSS their sites instead. I think you are failing to understand how this is supposed to work.”

Point duly noted. I’m trying to relearn “how this is supposed to work.” Shall we try again?

Here are some updates from my end:

There are tangerine peels in my jacket pocket, and half-a-dozen tangerines piled on a corner of my desk. This is because I’m coming down with a cold, and need all the Vitamin C I can get. Standing on the train platform this morning, I soaked up the (unexpected) sunshine, and munched on tangerines from my backyard, in the hope that they’d bring back my usual 8-year-old boy with a stuffy nose voice (as opposed to the 13-year-old boy undergoing puberty who swallowed gravel voice I currently possess).

I’ve also just finished eating a red velvet cupcake with cream-cheese frosting and I do believe it was amazing.

I’m almost done reading Eboo Patel’s Acts of Faith. He’s a rockstar, and he gives smashing highfives, and he writes beautifully – whether in his book, or his essays on activism, cooperation, and pluralism over at the WashingtonPost. (He’s also an extremely articulate speaker.) A couple of weeks ago, I was amused one morning to find that while I was immersed in Reza Aslan’s No god but God, the woman sitting next to me on the train was reading Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

I turned 28 on March 1st, and I still feel like I’m really just 8 years old. It being a Sunday, I celebrated at home with my family and a dozen or so of my closest friends. After an entire year away, the Lovely L Lady was back in town for the week, which offered up just the perfect excuse to gather together the All-Star Crackstar Squad and celebrate with our full entourage. Two items of note on the menu deserve a super-special shout-out: We had 1. CHAPLI KABOB! and 2. CUPCAKES! In fact, the following conversation with the parents ensued when I’d returned from grocery-shopping the evening before:

Ummy: Cake mix? You’re going to make your own cake for your birthday?
Yasmine: No, actually, I’m going to make cupcakes.
Ummy: You don’t want to just buy a cake?
Daddy-o: Cupcakes? Cupcakes are for CHILDREN.
Yasmine: Exactly!

My cousins made me a colorful rockstar guitar for my birthday, out of cardstock and construction paper and GLITTER and ribbons and photographs. Did I mention lots of glitter? It’s AMAA-ZING, and makes me laugh so much.

I work in Berkeley now, and take BART (the train) to and from work everyday. Those of you who know me as the self-professed Commuter Child Extraordinaire will understand why my (still new-seeming) train commute makes me so gleeful. I don’t have to waste time in traffic! I read books again! (See above.) Life is so much less draining this way. And the office is right downtown, a mere block away from Gelateria Naia, which means I could run down the street and grab gelato every single freakin’ day, if I felt so compelled. (I do not feel compelled to do so every single day, for the record, but it’s nice to have that option.)

And my colleagues call me “Rockstar” every day. This is even better than nice.


I’m sure there must be other things I could continue rambling on about, but I can’t think of them at the moment. As Hanife commented so well recently, “The whole world has changed since you last wrote here…” It has, hasn’t it? I have lots to say about the world, too, but I’ll get to that later.

Meanwhile, let’s hear from you, Rockstars Who are Reading This. Any news, dramas, plans, updates you want to let me in on? How are you, and how goes the life, and what are you up to these days?

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.