An update

I am alive. Settle down, settle down. Curb your enthusiasm, I beg of you!

Currently on the third year of my PhD and still have no idea what I’m doing. Not really, but close enough. At least I’m a bit more assertive with my I-don’t-know’s. No, really, it’s going fine. I’ve just had a paper rejected and thus I am bitter and morose. Waiting for a response from another conference, so I promised myself I won’t eat myself to death until that one gets rejected too. Fingers crossed. For having it accepted, not eating myself to death. Well … no, no, acceptance. We’re rooting for an acceptance. Good new is I’m volunteering at the RSPCA now as an animal carer and socialiser. Eat your heart out. I essentially spend my day surrounded by cats or dogs. There are kittens and puppies. I repeat, kittens and puppies. Cue jealousy.

I’ll post something proper later on. I need for this blog not to be dead.


BBC’s the Big Read, Top 100

15/02/2014 – updated
Thought I’d give it a go. I’ll continually update the list by scratching out the ones I’ve read.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1, 2, 3) finished 1/9/2012, 5/9/2012, 11/9/2012
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis finished 28/8/2012
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame finished 23/9/2012
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell finished 13/11/2012
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien finished 31/8/2012
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins finished 18/9/2012
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
That should keep me busy for the rest of this year and the next.

*insert witty title for a links post here*

I thought I’d start a new link post to be posted every fortnight and/or month on the weekends. I’ve been thinking about it for over a year now, but I’ve finally got a nice push from our lovely Faten. I’ll try to link websites I’ve liked, posts I found interesting, or products I’ve been drooling over. I do hope you like it.

Letters of Note has been on my Reader for quite a while and I can get quite giddy with every post notice. Their about describes the blog as

an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. Scans/photos where possible. Fakes will be sneered at. Updated as often as possible; usually each weekday.

The Composites is out for my own heart. I frequently stop reading a physical description of a character to try and visualize him/her, the composites took that a bit further and uses a composite sketch software that is used by law enforcements along with literary character descriptions to draw them up. Genius, I tell you.

The Kitten Covers is just out to prove that kittens are masters of all that is cute.

The texts I get from my parents are ridiculously funny and it’s even funnier with auto-correction on. Mum once told me to turn it off for her, my thoughts were hell no lady! There’s too much fun to be had with it on, so I pretended I didn’t know how to turn it off. Yes, there is a spiked seat in hell with my name on it. Too bad When Parents Text doesn’t take Arabic submissions or I would’ve been a top contributor. It’s quite funny and definitely worth the browse.

Dear blank, please blank is another fun website to browse through. Also, their about page is out to please me (or all cat ladies out there)

Submissions are moderated by Jared’s cat Louie. If your submissions aren’t being approved, it’s because Louie is now accepting cans of tuna fish as bribes for approvals (four cans usually gets one submission approved.) Alternately, you can try rewriting your submissions, only this time make them funny

I am a sucker for cute. I’m the idiot in the middle of the street that exclaims “AWWW!” at everything, and I mean everything. The two I’m about to list made it beyond the point of awww to the point of my ovaries performing hara-kiri with a blunt sword. Maybe it’s just my ovaries, but here they are:

The second list I have today is titled “things on my to buy list, but I must think of a good reason to buy them as printing your own money/monopoly currency is illegal/not accepted”

That is all.

Dear someone

Dear baba,

You are marvelous. I pity the fool who’ll have to live up to my stupendous expectations of security, support, and loyalty.

Your daughter,

Quote: I asked for very little from life

I asked for very little from life, and even this little was denied me. A nearby field, a ray of sunlight, a little bit of calm along with a bit of bread, not to feel oppressed by the knowledge that I exist, not to demand anything from others, and not to have others demand anything from me – this was denied me, like the spare change we might deny a beggar not because we are mean-hearted but because we don’t feel like unbuttoning our coat.

– The Book of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa (source)

What now?

So, I am no longer married. I am a divorcee at 26. It stings, until my brother brings along the cookies form Anoosh, then boy is it all alright.

How we ended up was not expected, in my part anyway, I truly thought this was “it” despite our contradicting EVERYTHING. Alas, it isn’t. I do hope he prospers better without me, as I will without him insha’Allah.

Now, the fun part. I’ve been using the “divorced” card just about everywhere to get what I want. It’s fun, that includes free coffee and privileged information. I’m sure it’ll run its course soon enough.

My parents are spoiling me rotten, I love them for that. Oh, yes and I did get my masters and submitted a paper for publishing (ya rb it gets accepted). So, don’t dare feel sorry unless you’re yearning for a verbal wedgie.

I’ve postponed my iPhD until September next year (Plan B), but I am currently applying for a PhD starting early 2012, I already hold an acceptance for the best up North for an iPhD but hoping for a PhD instead (am I making sense?)

The only thing that’s upsetting me right now is being so far away from my cats. They are currently at a boarding cattery in the UK due to stupid regulations that’ll force me to place them in quarantine for 6 months when I get back to the UK. I call the cattery every 3 days to check up on them, Jackie, the owner, is tremendously nice and I love her for taking care of them due to my circumstance.

I will be blogging more frequently *crickets chirping*

it ain’t pretty

I’ve been absurdly obsessed with my weight lately. I didn’t know to which extent until today.

Around noon we decided to go out and catch a movie. We took the nearest metro, and all through the ride I felt “odd” then it ended with the hollowness that usually leads to me passing out. Passing out usually happens in stages for me, I first get tunnel vision and at the same time a slight ringing in my ear, that is then followed by an inability to speak or comprehend what on earth is going on, then flat out black out. It ain’t pretty, thus at the first indication I sat on the floor and asked Rakan to get me some orange juice. I drank it, felt better and convinced Rakan that I’m fine and that we should head out to the gate. I was fine all the way there; it’s about a 5 minute walk from the station. As soon as we queued to get tickets, I started to feel it again and opted to hold Rakan from behind until it passes. Bad idea, the last thing I know I’m on my knees and Rakan is freaking out. He takes me to a chair close by and he goes off to get me chocolate, I take a bite, feel better, but we decided to take a taxi home. As soon as I move I get dizzy again, juice usually does the trick for me and picks me right up, but today nothing is working. By now, Rakan is beyond freaking out and sits me on the floor and asks me one question after another. I do not comprehend what he’s saying to me then I start crying. Frankly, I was freaking out too, my “pass out sessions” never last this long, yet that one didn’t seem to end. Twenty minutes later we are home, and that’s when Rakan gets furious and tells me he won’t let me be on this diet. My reaction: Hysterically crying, I’ve never seen myself cry this way, and telling him, actually begging him to let me go on with it since I desperately want to be thin and eating more will only make me feel fat.

Most of you might think Rakan has gone too far by “telling” me not to continue with that diet, but I highly respect him and knew he must have a point. So, as I lay in the couch I realized my meal(s) for the day was a single banana. I was surviving on less than a 100 calories a day. I eat once a day, an hour after I exercise, a fruit.

Lately nothing is more satisfying than the emptiness of my stomach.


It takes a lifetime to actually learn how to live. Cash in early, or perhaps tread ever so briskly over my dreams?

Predicaments, predicaments, predicaments.