Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

speaking of pleather...

this is for anisa, so she will not be disappointed in me.

pleather makes everything better.

the street next to my apartment complex has free street parking. don't everyone rush over at once. there's no room.

it's here - in this side street - where i have found fascinating new subjects for observation. why does all the fun come my way you ask? well, maybe because it's a secluded area. maybe because it's poorly lit. maybe because i live in the pacific nw, and just maybe because my living room's giant street-facing-window provides the best seats. when life gives you lemons you should do something with them besides make boring lemonade. you should know my street dweller friends are borderline secret friend status. i am bemused. i am infatuated. i watch on with bated breath, disbelief, and at times both eyes closed. i have become a community blogger. a private investigator. an anthropologist. i am gladys kravitz.

note: if i knew what the hell i was doing on Twittface, this would be the moment i could enter a # (it's called a hashtag, for idiot twitter virgins such as myself). and it would be something like:  #creepystalker.

did i get it?? did i?


the hair academy is upon us.

there is a gene juarez academy on the other side of the free parking street right below my window. for those of you not familiar with the gene juarez students of northgate, i write this for you.

dressed all in black, they are not be confused with the ladies of the Mac counter. i have found these girls to be laced with far more dark bitchy gossip smoke breaks, less turquoise eye shadow and higher heels. each morning i giddily wake to an a symmetrical shangri-la of hair.  a sea of sophisticated street walker adorned with ed hardy lighters. i once witnessed two students on a break sitting curbside, smoking a pack of cowboy killers, as they traded asshole boyfriend stories and hair trims. these things brighten my day.

the gaggle of girls flock to school every morning, parking by 6:45am, as to begin their morning ritual.  each sits in their car prefunking to the latest and greatest. as my windows begin to vibrate, they start the application of the black smokey eyes. as i fist pump my way in and out of the shower, they bounce over to starbucks and return with a venti non-fat double shot and stand around to say hi. running to the bus in my orthepedic shoes, i am kissed by 15 pairs of 6 inch thigh high studded black pleather boots and large rolling duffel bags - each containing the mystery of my amusement. i must pass them quickly, or become enslaved by my seething jealousy.

jealous of what you may ask? well, jealous of having the balls for asymmetrical hair even when there are no cheekbones, jealous of the ability to function in stilettos without the onset of osteoarthritis and knee replacements, the jealousy of each individuals commitment to self grooming and presentation. and above all, i am jealous of their collective dedication to get a party started at 6:45am without the consideration for sleeping babies and the muslim morning prayer. for the love of the creator, i wore the same green sweatpants to class for 4 years in college, and didn't know until half way through high school the terms 'blow out' and 'blow job' mean very very very different things. do not judge me.

i have grown to see the academy girls as my north star. my compass. like geese flying in formation, returning from winter vacay  - or from the shoe pavilion - i welcome them to the neighborhood. maybe i should take them a basket of mini muffins.

Runway Hairstyling. Bumble & bumble. NY. <3

Sunday, September 19, 2010

feliz cumple amor.

today is my dear friend's birthday. she's the type you come out of hiding for.

Monday, July 19, 2010

hyperbole mania x2.

hyperbole hysterics strikes again - sobbing with laughter.

hyperbole mania.

i laughed until i cried.

this brings me so much joy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

screenshot of the week.

cindy and i discuss futbol, spain, and her new dress.
and then we have a tutorial on how to take a screenshot.

Friday, July 2, 2010

cowlicks and shnozes

some people grow into to adulthood. others just grow into their noses and ears.

my brother and i are a strange pairing. we are close but not the type of closeness you would assume. scarily similar, but functioning at total opposite frequencies. we remain baffled by our connection, yet adore being eachother's true confidant. my brother gets me. he is my duck walk and chin twin. together we enjoy your inappropriateness. we will talk about you for years if you give us what we want. turns out there was a 4 for 1 special the day god divvyed up the funny bones. i keep mine in my nose, while max tries to hide his in the tuggy part of his dumbo flaps. i think they're on to max.

this photo was taken on picture day at the k-8 private school we attended in tennessee. Teddy Bear Portraits was the portrait professionals who came to school each year, and set up shop in the library. not only were they known for lighting up little faces for generations, but also for handing out plastic harmonica sized sparkly pink and blue hair brushes - complete with logo. for some reason the hired teddy bear guy in charge of this teddy bear operation felt it would be a bear-ific idea for us to take a sibling portrait. and for some reason, 14 years later Teddy Bear Portraits kept the name - Teddy Bear Portraits.

so yeah, the Alinikoff school picture pose.
i had seen professional family photos in friends' houses. they were typically along the stretch of the staircase wall, or propped up on a special corner table next to a bronze bowl of red sparkly plastic apples. i remember there weren't just professional school photos, but family group shots as well - all matted, framed at Joann's, and hung so everyone could behold the progressive portraiture of polo shirts and pearls. after all, guests should have something to look at as they make their way to the upstairs game room.
family portraits typically involved matching outfits and the family dog or 4x4. individual closeups were diffused, black and white, and very serious. the girls had golden straight hair and knew how to work a mascara wand. fancy portraits typically involved a rope swing and plantation-esque background - sans the slave quarters. the less fancy ones were from jcpenny with a choice of blue or green background. those were fun too.
[not-so-side note: it should be known there will never be a better high school graduation picture taker than the great photo prophet himself, gary moor. in high school, gary always delivered the goods. click on the senior girls section, aka people i knew from high school. a couple years before senior year, i remember a specific incident where gary had to give up the fluffy white bed as a session location for the young female graduates. generations of disappointment. lock up the effing nyquil.]
i was particularly fascinated when parents hung massive picture frames enclosing 13 little wallet sized slots, one for each school year k - 12. i wrestled with how they remembered to put in each picture for 13 years, diligently preserving each grade as a landmark occasion. i was concerned for these families, all this time spent preserving new haircut and sweater day. how tragic if they ever had to make the difficult choice of what to grab in case of a house fire. oops, forgot the dog- but made sure to save Misti's 16x16 shrine of this-is-why-braces-and-acutane-were-a-great-idea.

back to my teddy bear nightmare.
before we got started, a teacher eyed one of the freebee brushes. knowing anything but a yard rake would be permanently lost in my nest, i assured myself , 'but this is the way i always look', and said no thank you to her suggestion. glancing at max's cabeza de cowlick, i noted his breathless silence of there's-only-so-much-a-young-boy-can-take, and opted to go no brush for him as well. just get it over with. at least the picture would be saved by max's new shirt. i on the other hand, wore a uniform of unfortunate circumstance and floral print schmatta. i more than likely chose it the night before, firmly pondering its duality. not only was it the perfect pajama shirt, but once again proved the myth true - flat chested frizzy haired girls do have more fun.
teddy bear camera man stood my brother and i next to each other. i was told to sit while max stood at my side. with the skills of a bob ross tutorial, he took my head in his hands and gently tilted it to the right, placed my brother's hand on my shoulder, and said 'theeeerree you go, juuuust like that'. everyone in the library watched.
i became fixated on the fact that this was all a exercise in vanity. we both knew these pictures would never be ordered, never framed, never sent out to family members or put on refrigerators or desks at the office. still to this day, the only picture i have ever seen my mother display at work is a frameless black and white 8x10 reproduction of a 60s james taylor. recently i asked her if she ever considered putting up pictures of her kids. she replied that yes, it was probably a good idea to frame a picture of cleo the dachshund.
blinded by the flash of our awkward inadequacy, the photoshoot commenced, and this picture is all that is left. the most endearing part isn't max's dopy look, but the detail of his left arm tucked behind his back, slightly peeking out from behind. he is respectfully keeping his distance from the situation as a whole. his cowlicks breaking our cover, my nose poking you in the face.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

bring thyself to account...

“Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better, his belief must increase and become firmer, his good qualities and his turning to God must be greater, the fire of his love must flame more brightly; then day by day he will make progress, for to stop advancing is the means of going back. The bird when he flies soars ever higher and higher, for as soon as he stops flying he will come down. Every day, in the morning when arising you should compare today with yesterday and see in what condition you are. If you see your belief is stronger and your heart more occupied with God and your love increased and your freedom from the world greater then thank God and ask for the increase of these qualities. You must begin to pray and repent for all that you have done that is wrong and you must implore and ask for help and assistance that you may become better than yesterday so that you may continue to make progress.”


the good

i am in bed by 12:11am. i cooked vegetable soup. i called my friends back.

the bad

i lost it at work today.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

'ol reliable.

i am not a napper.

for me, napping is sleep uncommitted. it's neither here nor there. and in my current world of gray - i appreciate me some definiteness. snoozing outside the designated parameters of 'bedtime' is not a good look for me. i wake up confused, horribly hungry, and more cranky than i was at the start of it all. and that combination doesn't exactly highlight my best awesome self - since im all about keeping up with appearances.

im a busy girl. my week consists of having a couple jobs, with a couple responsibilities, a couple of coffees - and just to make sure im still conscious - a couple nervous breakdowns in between. lately i have been so out of my mind tired, i have been just that. out of my mind. work conversations are had that i have no memory of, bosses are inquiring about my mental health, and i have a better relationship with my voicemail than actual friends. im sorry everyone. i love you and i will call you back. you actually may want to leave a message to remind me, but please not before 10am or after 10pm. yes, i am becoming my mother.

to top it off, the sleep still doesn't come as easily as it should - and i have just given up. the brain doesn't switch off. maybe im just going through a three year phase of insomnia...which will continue on for the next 50 years. it will be so exciting at the age of 88 to announce, "I slept once - but that was when i still had a waist, my license and old nose."

im starting to realize the couple of coffees probably doesn't help either...but i don't want to hear it. i can't give it up. i won't. it's just so good to me. the strange part is, i don't even drink a lot of coffee. i order a short, which living in seattle is an embarrassment for my friends. unless its a mini dress, they don't see the point of a short anything. but that's really all the caffeine i need. im a sensitive person on all levels. mellow melatonin = violent night rages. dentist laughing gas = pass out black out.

for me, coffee is that secret summer make-out fling without the awkward goodbye and language barrier. it makes me feel like a woman. something out of the norm, something to get my heart blood pumping, something to look forward to that doesn't involve airplane fare or a razor. unlike tylenol pm, cigarettes, and reality tv - it's the last legal drug left on the planet without attached judgment. and the one something i can do alone, and not feel all alone.

even when the adult acne sets up shop again, reminding me to humble myself before God, and the morning reflection. it's better than forever true love. and horses and diamonds. and this.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

wedding numero tres.

sunny san fransisco. kimia and kenny wedding. costumes. my girls.
the pics speak for themselves.
more later.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

momma's day

happy momma's day to my momma!

this past year, i have been fortunate to have many adventures with my momma gallivanting across oceans and continents. whether traveling by train or elephant or the bart, we have seen it all folks. and we have had a fa-bu-lous time:)




san fran.


i loooooooove you momma:)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

the polar bear.

they say with old age comes wisdom.....and a crap load of white hair.

how i have determined that old(er) age is a comin' :

*officially, my dark brown head hair has surrendered to the infiltration of - not gray - but wiry white. with the deforestation of india behind me, my 73 strands of new growth stand 2 inches tall, scattered all about my head. i am a fuzzy white dandelion.

*a couple months back my goatee sprouted a great white. i verbally assaulted it, plucked it out, and haven't seen him since.

*tonight on my arm i spotted my first long and strong mighty whitey.

god help us.

i need a tropical island vacation. anyone who wants to come - lemme know.

i'll be the white polar bear with a virgin pina colada, evian spritzer bottle in hand, relaxing to this.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

primordial personas.

presently, i have moments of being so tightly wound i will either burst into tears or ignite into flames with your sweet glance of so how are you doing?. some of you have witnessed this already. for those of you who haven't, i apologize in advance.
in india, unplugging from our surroundings was necessary for anna and myself - but there were limited avenues available for mental escape. there was no eat,pray,love-ing it up in lucknow. sitting in silence in an ashram for 10 days may have been in the cards, but we were given the wrong deck. attending together, anna and i wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes anyway. with no money and no options, we unintentionally created our own way of taking a much needed mental-pause.
i wish i could tell you we found enlightenment by studying local indian cuisine, or painting the burnt sienna indian sunsets, or studying kundalini yoga with the yogi Bahjan himself. colossal fail on our part. sorry. all of those marvelous things seemed too complicated, too much energy and not enough escape. we are simple gals, southern raised, and we were probably too far gone to even care.
we chose to share a coke ya'll.

hey, a coke was about all we could get away with. it was economical, didn't draw too much attention, and didnt make us sick. it was our go-to upper, and quickly became our unspoken ritual. the fffftz!! of it opening. the cool carbonation. the primordial swig. the first one, the best one.

your eyes closed....the animals whispered....my body odor dissipated..........it was glorious. it was cold, it was sugar, it was fizzy, it was my high fructose security blanket.

screw 10 days of silence. with the brief primordial 10 second swig: stars were born, babies were conceived, your tax return doubled, and croissant was made of rolled oats and honey. everything but tunnel vision dried up and blew away. its' initial injection granted you your wish. the first taste was the best taste... spearing through all my ish and providing me with what i required. a friggin' moment to just be.

i had forgotten about this ritual until my recent trip home to hendersonville, tennessee. (lucknow and hendersonville are similar in the fact that they both molded my character, and were incredibly hot and smelly places to live...)
there are certain idiosyncrasies of the south which only make sense to those who have lived it. i had 2 hrs to kill at the memphis airport - just enough time for the smell of bacon wafting from gate B11 through X13 to fully permeate my clothes. in a daze, the restaurant hostess had to ask me twice if i wanted smoking or non. for a brief minute the plane ride had transported me back in time to memories of a former life. bacon and cigarettes was the smell of my next door neighbor Ida the grandmother. she used to give me mini story books about fairy tales. the waiter of the non smoking section called me sugar, and i ordered one egg scrambled with a side of hash browns since everything else involved gravy, ham, atherosclerosis, and my mother's warning. i paid attention when i saw a girl reading a novel as she waited for her flight. looked a little closer and realized the title of her book read The Last Song. what's better than a miley and bacon cigarette sandwich? being delayed an extra hour so i could watch a 60 year old woman named Missy talk about the wild time her and her 70 year old boyfriend were going to have while on vacay in mexico. she wore a spaghetti strapped midrift complete with a Southern Comfort logo...her white hooters shorts and tennis shoes were extra credit points. it was good and right to be home.

the older you get, the more you for-get. or maybe that's just my mother's experience. you become recycled in with rain and work and the city and your public transportation. and then one day, your good friend devon gundry decides marry a gorgeous woman by the name of golriz (one of THE loveliest human beings)...and you board a plane wearing your roomy dark washed jeans, sunglasses and a coffee headache. physically, i look the same as i did when i was 16. even though i have lived in seattle for 10 years (yikes), i like to think of myself as someone who hasn't changed...much. still the simple southern girl who enjoys her grits.

hendersonville is where i was raised -it's where they grew me. where i learned to pluck my eyebrows and was told to act like a lady. im still trying figure that second part out. as a teenager i wasn't schooled in personal style or sustainable architecture or even world geography. we may have 'forgotten' to cover african history, but i did know trinity city housed the great Jan Crouch. i also learned you should apply a wet wad of tobacco for a bee sting. oh, and the most important: The holy cracker barrel is where God brunches on sundays. he sits outside in the rocking chairs playing checkers with jesus. the prophet playoff is the 2nd sunday of every month.

no it wasn't new york, or la. it was better.

waffle house in lieu of starbucks. pintos and cheese was our old reliable for 75 cents in couch change. a night at the park was a good place for the perfect story. high school friends were honest with the best of intentions, they looked you in the eye and loved you, and trusted me to do the same for them. our friendships weren't based off of money or what someone wanted from me. they were based on the stuff they were supposed to be based on - connectivity, mutual respect, and a lot of laughter. even though i was a bahai - and even though many prayed for my salvation- they still love(d) me. and i still love them.

but if you want to know about my life before high school...what groomed me, who i answer(ed) to, who i am indebted to forever...look no further than my bahai community of the south. these are my mothers and my fathers. my sisters and bothers. these are the ones that took care of me, that loved me, that baby-sat me, took care of max and i when we were sick, fed me, clothed me, reprimanded me, and created the makings of my identity. it does take a village to raise a child, and when i see the incredible children this village has raised - i can only pray to find such a place to raise my own. sorry, i should say... it takes a village and one baby-sitter. 10-13 children is quite the load, and assembly meetings are once a month.

i have traveled, i have visited, i have experienced community in all forms. however i can honestly say, the others don't come close in comparison. i know you aren't supposed to say things like that - but it's true. and, yes, it's a pride thing - so i'm going to save you some time and let you know the search is off. it is imperative to understand the genius of my community is not simply as a result of one person or family in particular. it is a complicated tangled puzzle of mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and children and grandchildren all fitted together perfectly. all artists and entertainers in one way or another, regardless of how much it was discouraged. if you drank the water, you were in. even if you left, or returned, or were a late settler, you know exactly what i am talking about. the wedding allowed for the birth of a phenomenal experience. for the first time in a long time, every piece was in place.

it was this blessed catalyst which enabled me to soak in my bahai community in its truest form. at it's finest. i was gifted the experience of watching the fruits of determined parents, love, companionship, humor, and genius in all forms - and was reminded of its breathtaking mastery to heal and nurture those who are swept away within it - whether it be for 5 days, 3 hours, or 15 minutes. i fell head over heals in love again with every.single.one.of them. even the ones that have continued on to watch over us.

i was surrounded by radiating love. pure and simple. and for the first time in a long time, i found myself in a safe place. a place where people love me for me, the person before all the life happened to her. the first friends. the best friends. my walls came down, i could unwind, and for a brief moment my heart could beat without restriction.

i'm eternally grateful for all of it. bacon smell included.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

i miss you

even if you do wear head gear.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

very soon...

we will see each other.

i heart my tutu and grandpa danny.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

analysis paralysis.

why do i feel more capable of running other people's lives better than my own?
what the hell is my problem?

i am a clever girl. a witty girl. a hard workin' girl. a girl who can problem solve, multi-task, knows recipes by heart. a girl who did kumon. has the skill to de-seed a pomegranate in seconds - without mess. i understand the difference between too tight and just right. i can be self deprecating - or charming - or confident - or invisible - or whatever you need. i have the power to make the unsocial social. i can shower, do hair/makeup, and be out the door in 15 minutes. i can put together the perfect anthropological outfit for you. i know how to haggle with the rickshaw wallah. i am your desert island first choice. if you let me, i will work it all out for you.

key word. you.

how is it humanly possible for someone so sure (and vocal) about making other people's life decisions, SO INEPT when it comes to her own? HOW is it that i am so indecisive?

It's 2 for 1...Do I get 2? Do I NEED 2?? Is this a trick so that I spend more? If I got 2, I could save the other for next month...but then i need to buy more ingredients. Or should I save the money...or should I not get this brand....hmmmm...no sugar..but it does have ascorbic acid....

truthfully, my minutia mania has almost completely come to an end. i had to learn to get over myself. now i just buy two. screw it. over time i became angered- watching how my enjoyable toiletry isle browse was being ruined by my outrageousness. i was tired of clouding the delightfully delicate choice between cellulite obliterating lotion and sweet pea body wash.

however, one huge victory is never without a gigantic loss. instead of the small, i have become obsessively fixated on the massively meaningful - that whichisaffectingtheoutcomeofmylife - decisions. adult decisions. long term care and folic acid decisions. somehow the older i get, the deeper my thoughts piggyback on what carries the most weight. i have become a junkie to what oozes the highest proof of dramatic flair. am i addicted to the adrenaline rush of losing my mind? is my plight to be a drama whore? am i just a moron?

no. i am apparently just a victim of analysis paralysis.

analysis paralysis looks a bit like one supersized order of deflated hopelessness (add a side of extra sarcasm), sprinkled with an aversion to light, and a big gulp. no eating. no focus. no sleeping. no doing...just existing in a hamster wheel of fun.

when it comes to analysis paralysis, i am the crappiest type. i am out of control. judge judy would label me an Outrageous Person. she speaks truth, and i can prove it. number one, i myself can't stand people like myself. i hate indecisive people. ambivalence is a waste of life- it drives me insane. number two, i choose to not choose help. i don't want help with my indecision. i hate appearing to others as if i've lost my mind (huge surprise i know). i detest my ego for having so much control over my inability to share myself with you. i am bitter at the fact i have turned into this wavering woman...who may undoubtedly one day collect all two-for-one specials but no real ingredients. i will come to rely on the private life, solitude, and colossal landslide of funk which has a nice weight and keeps me warm at night.

what kind of person is addicted to the battle of internal struggle? how do we exist using this outrageous approach?

one sleepless night at 3am - with one hand surrendered to an empty bag of sea salt and vinegar kettle chips - and the other surfing the internet for the purpose of my superficial existence - i found my answer.


behold. the mother ship. it was at this moment, my brain haze momentarily dissipated and a deep love blossomed. gazing at my computer screen like it just offered me a lifetime supply of marc jacobs. never before had the internet's true ability been so clear. i had entered unto the mecca of my people. some little decision warriors, and others with a heavy heart the weight of a whale. people who are desperate for resolution, but stress with execution. there was no reason to be embarrassed, there are are all types. people who are self-conscious. people who don't give a shit. those who are silly, those who are serious, those who can't sleep. wannabe foodies embarrassed to ask if the french eat french onion soup in france, 13 year old girls trying to decide if an when to lose their virginity. anime enthusiasts being enthusiastic about...anime. a fascinating community who prefers to enter their questions into an online data base, rather than talk to their best friend, or mother, or teacher...sounds like perfection. i let it simmer and surfed for a couple more hours.

after my initial awe wore off, i was left with an unsettling feeling. is this what technology has given us? the ability to lose our connection with each other? no need to research? not have to study for the test - or ask a doctor- or do the hard work to reap the rewards? if i fear my son has arthritis, should i be asking a website where other loserfaces (like myself) are awake at 3am? it terrified me to think i had lost my connection with the things i valued most. i began feeling i wasn't cut out for wiki.answers. i became certain of it when i found myself beginning a response post to the 13 year old who wanted to know if she should lose her virginity. after first telling her to go to sleep, and then providing her with my personal phone number so we could 'talk things out',i realized i had hit the boundary wall my therapist and i worked so hard to establish. maybe not. i deleted, signed off, and went to bed. i am not going to be that weirdo. i am not i am not.

for me, what wiki.answers represents is far scarier than myself or any indecision i may feel. and that is something i will be working out with myself. but it won't be with "How much does it cost for your dog to get an abortion?" guy. no thanks.

it's time to go make some decisions.

other decisions may take time. wearing this khat was not one of them.
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