Wednesday, July 16, 2003

day is done, gone the sun,/from the hills, from the lake, from the sky...

- It’s an unusual week when Somayya and I don’t have a conversation similar to the following at least a few times. Last night:

“We cooked chicken today!” she gleefully informs me. “Do you want some?”
I look at her blankly.
“Did you eat dinner already?” She stares me down. The steady death stare. No escape from this one. “You did eat something today, right? What did you eat?”
The death stare is killing me. I hurriedly put on my best “thinking face”…pursed lips, furrowed brow, and all. “Uhh, lemme see…”
She shakes her head and looks disapprovingly at me. I feel like a two-year-old. “You didn’t eat anything? Don’t tell me you went a whole day without eating anything! What the hell is—”
I hold up two fingers and wave them in front of her face. “I ate two cookies! And…and…oh! Two plums!” I sit back and grin sheepishly.
She rolls her eyes. “We cooked chicken,” she repeats. “Here. Eat it.”

- Today, I made her proud by going out to lunch and eating my fill of fish ‘n’ chips. My first time ever. Good stuff, man. Lots of tartar sauce and ketchup are essential. And here I thought fish ‘n’ chips existed only in London. California and the concept of fish ‘n’ chips just don’t fit. That’s some funky juxtaposition right there. Who even knew a tiny fish ‘n’ chips place existed in a cramped corner of that downtown area? Not me, that’s for sure. I found out today though, and I’ll be back, insha’Allah. But not this week, and maybe not even the next, because the place straight wiped me out in terms of whatever meager funds I had. I am now once more a broke college student, thank you very much. As a result, I am now accepting food donations via email and/or instant messenger. Any and all contributions will be enthusiastically accepted, I promise. Especially french fries. Err, I mean chips. And while we’re on the subject of chips, I bet all those people in Britain get their fish ‘n’ chips for some paltry sum, while I had to empty out the contents of my wallet for an order. That’s not fair, yo.

That’s it; I’m moving to London, next chance I get. I’ve always wanted to have a British accent anyway. This way, I’ll get the cool accent and my share of french fries. Sorry, I meant chips.

- One more thing: It’s taken me three years, but I’ve finally realized I’m not authorized to access my university library’s electronic journal databases from home. Damn. Smart one, aren’t I? So, this evening, I decided to resort to the old-fashioned method of researching: wandering up and down the library stacks on the second floor, peering at thick-spined books and journals containing fine print about child development, stretching up on my toes to reach for the ones on the highest shelf (I’m short, ok?). I’m too scared to even count how many books I dragged back down the elevator with me. Suffice it to say that when I staggered to the front end of the library with my armload of books and dropped them onto the circulation counter with a bang, the guy there didn’t even so much as blink.

Instead, he had the nerve to smile knowingly and ask, “Paper due tomorrow?”
Damn again. And here I had just been smugly congratulating myself on not looking as harried and desperate as I felt. I smiled back, a bit shamefacedly. “Yup.”
“And you’re starting it tonight, huh?”
“No,” I assured him. “I’ve already started. But I can’t access the database off-campus, so I need to take these books home. Either way, I can still turn this in next week and it’ll be okay.”
“Are you a good writer?” he asked.
“I hope so. I need to get this done and out of the way, quickly.”
“Is your professor a he or a she?” he asked.
“A she.”
He nodded sagely. “Turn it in tomorrow. Early. I don’t know why exactly, but that’s what always works with the female professors.” He shrugged at the look on my face. “Too bad it’s not a guy.”

Let me just say “Damn” one more time.