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?

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

    *removes yaz from the ON NOTICE board*

    not much to comment on this post, alas, b/c i’ve already done so for various items via multiple media venues (FB, FKR, etc.). but good to have ye back, lassie. now let’s get crackin’ on that travelogue and pixlogue. STAT!

  2. Cupcakes are for rockstars… so it follows that… I hope you have a wonderful year and thank you so much for finally updating. You saved me from undesirable stalker-like behavior. Restraining orders are so pesky.

  3. “I hope you have a wonderful year”?! Of course, I hope you have a wonderful life, too… I meant the “year” thing in the birthday context. ::head shakes:: Never mind.

  4. baji,
    thanks for the keeping-updated-on-my-life awesomeness you’ve been doing via other media platforms! but you mean there are STILL things you’re going to keep harassing me about?! (interro-somuchnagging!)

    thank YOU for continuing to stop by and being such a rocking commenter (and STALKER ;)) even when i’m a slacker! also, your second comment made me laugh right out loud :D

    also, i’m tempted to run over to the coffeeshop downstairs and buy a cupcake now…

  5. Where have you been my dear? I used to compete against Eboo Patel on speech team/forensics when I was in high school!

  6. Salaam Alaikum,

    I had a CHILD and I still managed to blog more than you. No excuses lady! ;)

    It’s great to see you back now can we have some holiday photos pleeeese?

  7. YES! holiday pictures please :)

    just the other day I saw a picture of a Red Velvet Cake and I’ve been craving some since then. and now, I need a cupcake.
    Life can be so complicated :p

    and belated happy birthday hon!! *hug*

  8. “I think you are failing to understand how this is supposed to work.”

    actually there is no such thing as “how it’s supposed to work”. you do with it what you want. if people only used the internet for “how it was supposed to work” it would suck.

    in the case that someone wants to understand how repeating someone else’s post “works”: it acts as a filter. since i know you and your taste in things, what you post acts as a filter. if you like someone else’s posts better, then by all means go ahead and follow them. this is not television, you don’t have to sit down at a specific time to watch a tv show, you can watch it when you want.

    also, welcome back.

  9. [reposted from facebook, on behalf of 2Scoops and his technical difficulties ;) -Y]

    Prelude, Act I:

    Psssshhh who has the time to blurk these days?! (Interro-I’m-way-too-busy-for-that-junk!) Hahahahahaha! Just kidding! I’ll sleep when I’m dead. So for some reason the Comment Box keeps devouring my comment like an adolescent pizza-eating monstrosity so I’m posting my comment here and that junky-punky Comment Box can stuff it!

    Comment starts now:

    Ahhhhh, so nice to have you back. Reading your posts is like the literary equivalent of eating a cupcake which by the way are awesomely-awesome. There’s something more than just physics going on with cupcakes that make them taste infinitely better which cannot be solely attributed to their unique size (is it the frosting to cake ratio, the associations with childhood? who knows? who cares? they’re deliciouso!). On the other hand, I recently had (a slice of) an ice cream cake from Coldstone that pretty much blew the frosting off everything else.

    But going back to cupcakes for a moment, I used to work with this “adorablicious” toddler who used to call them “cuppy-cakes” which I took great amounts of delight in and would try and get her to say again repeatedly.

    Finally, given your star-struck-ed-ness with Eboo Patel you should definitely check out this link:

    (click on his name) where I got to see him testify before the Senate (in person! woohoo! DC rocks! — although I miss San Diego/Cali beaches, sunshine, people, chill-mode hang-loose attitudes etc.).

    I would also recommend Dalia’s testimony who I consider to be an even bigger rockstar and a genuinely fantastic person that makes me so proud of our Ummah I could bust, mA.

    The End.

    Just kidding (again).

    Have beautiful days, Fi Amanillah.

    And now, drum roll please, The End.

  10. Anu,
    dude. you went to high school with Eboo? SUCH a small world, buddy boy!

    o mein gott, i don’t even know what to say to you. there’s NO competition. hahaha you win, totally!

    thank you for the birthday wishes! mmm, red velvet cake… i shoulda picked up another cupcake on my way home.

    your comment made my head hurt (i’m drugged up on Nyquil and half-asleep at the moment, so that might explain my slowness). regardless, thank you for the welcome-back!

    aww so nice to see you ’round here, buddy boy! highfive!

    i don’t understand how icecream cake could POSSIBLY be better than cupcakes. especially red velvet cuppycakes with cream cheese frosting. vat BLASPHEMY. thanks so much for that link, by the way. i have Eboo and Dalia’s respective testimonies open in adobe reader here, and will be checking them out in the morn. my Nyquil is finally kicking in, so i’m half-asleep at the moment. but yes, Eboo is a total rockstar in my book, and Dalia must be one, too, i’m sure – i take your word for it. but does she gives smashing highfives? because this is an imperative skill to have, from my perspective, you know!

  11. PRE-PUBESCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    and can i just say that my HOT man of a trainer told me i can’t eat cupcakes anymore?!?!?! BLASPHEMY! so i will eat them when he’s not looking! bwahahahahah

  12. Man, those orange and mandarins from your garden were the BOMB. Your cold doesn’t stand a chance :)

    And voman, vat are you doing that is SO preoccupying lately?!

  13. …. I am sorry I fainted. And this time not because your commenting system ate up my painstakingly drafted comment, but before I give it that chance once again.

    You are back! YAAAY!

    Well, someone had to say YAAY! Or Yaaay! Or YAAAY!

  14. great to see you back! i follow your blog off and on, and even myself, the intermittent blog-checker, noticed that you hadnt updated. love the story of the cupcakes, and i too call my abu daddy-o. haha. =)

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