Baby Book

When you were a baby, did your parents keep a baby book for you that detailed all of your growth spurts and “firsts”?  I had one that was extremely detailed thanks to my sisters who really recorded every single moment in my life as a baby.

When Lea was born, I immediately knew that I wanted to have a baby book for her.  While you can still find some in your nearest bookstore, I managed to go a little step farther and found one that you build online.  Yep, baby books are now internet friendly!  Who knew?

At babychapters.com, you can do exactly that.  And I’ve been uploading and writing as much as possible, detailing Lea’s first year with us.  It’s pretty amazing to look at all of the photos and such that are up there (and you can share it with anyone you’d like as well), but there are a few kinks in this program that still needs to be worked out (can’t upload Quicktime videos, photos have weird caption options etc.) but at least it can never get old and yellowed with age.

That being said, there are still many tangible things that I have filed away that I want Lea to have when she’s older – the bracelets on her arms and ankles from when she was in the hospital, her first report of when she was born, ultrasound pictures, and now her new certificate for her first haircut (complete with lock of hair).  I guess sometimes you still have to have the “old fashioned way” to make your mark.

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Reminiscing!

The Golden Globes are on tomorrow night, ushering in awards season.

I figured it was the best time to remember my two favorite moments from last year’s ceremony.

Number One and Number Two:

Who loves this with me!! Come on!!

once again

They say that it’s always best to write about what you know.

For a while I had to admit I didn’t really know what that meant.  I know a lot of things, I would say to myself.

I think as I’ve continued to write stories and plays, I’ve learned to understand what that means.  You don’t have to strive to come up with a story that is unattainable.  You can start with the moments that are closer to home, because it is those things that are universal.

For a while now, the itch to write has come back to me.  I usually give myself a break for about a year or two before I get back in there.  I don’t like to force myself to begin writing again.  I had done it before, and while the end result was ultimately positive, there was a sense that I rushed through things just to meet an internal deadline.  I vowed never to do that again.

The last few pieces that I’ve written have been on the darker side of things.  Death, love and life are the main pillars of which I like to explore.  Upon finishing Following last year, I had finally felt that I had written something that I genuinely felt pride in and reflected the most of myself.  Probably due to the impending birth of my daughter, I also felt that I was done (at least for now) writing about the harder themes…time for something a little lighter.

So, the next short story I write will be about fatherhood.  Write what you know, so that’s what I’ll do.

500 Days of Summer

I am a romantic, and I love movies about love.

Of late, the best movie for the 2000’s that I’ve seen about love is Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  It’s a brilliant film that not only had an ingenius storytelling flow, but resounded in me emotionally in so many ways.  I still think about that movie often.

Last night, Mara and I got to see 500 Days of Summer, which is also a film about a boy in love with a girl.  The 500 days are made up of the time Tom (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt) is in love with Summer (played by Zooey Deschanel).  It’s a really genuine and lovely film to watch, and really hits upon love and all of its idiosyncracies.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed watching it, and how I’ve really been thinking about it off and on today!

iTunes game

Instructions: Open up your iTunes and fill out this survey. Be honest, etc.

How many songs total: 2185

How many hours or days of music: 6.2 days

Most recently played: “Intervention” by Madonna (one of my all time faves of hers that no one knows.)
Most played: “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” by Beyonce ( a popular one in our house not only for me but for Lea too!)
Most recently added: “TiK ToK” by Ke$ha.  (see previous post)

Sort by artist:

First artist: Aaliyah
Last artist: Zhane

Sort by album:

First album: Abacab by Genesis
Last album: 5 by Lenny Kravitz

Top 10 Most Played Songs (don’t judge me)

1. “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It”, Beyonce
2. “Miles Away”, Madonna
3. “Please Don’t Leave Me”, P!nk
4. “Wanna Be Starting Something”, Michael Jackson
5. “Mi Swing Es Tropical” , Nickodemus
6. “U Want Me 2”, Sarah McLachlan
7. “Love At First Sight”, Kylie Minogue
8. “Off The Wall”, Michael Jackson
9. “Slolove”, Janet Jackson
10. “Viva La Vida”, Coldplay

First Five Songs That Come Up On Shuffle:

1. “Pretty Wings”, Maxwell
2. “Travelling Without Moving”, Jamiroquai
3. “Nothing Compares 2 U:, Sinead O’Connor
4. “Say My Name”, Destiny’s Child
5. “Both Sides Now”, Joni Mitchell

Search the following and state how many songs come up:

Death – 2
Life – 27
Love – 143
Hate – 5
You – 263
Sex – 6
Wish – 1

Lovely.

This past Fall, I read Alice Sebold’s book The Lovely Bones. I had heard about the book for a few years, and knew that it was pretty popular.  I also had heard a quick synopsis of the story – that it was about a girl who had died and was looking down on her family from heaven.  It intrigued, as stories about death usually do.

Then, it was announced that Peter Jackson was doing the film version.  This also peaked my interest.  So, finally, as a birthday gift, I decided to get the book.

The Lovely Bones is quite possibly unlike anything I have ever read before.  The journey with which I went while reading was quite painful, emotional and really riveting.  I could never read chunks of the book in proper sittings.  After minutes, I would put the book down because of how real and mysterious and raw the storytelling is.  I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see what happened, and yet at the same time I wanted to savour each moment slowly so that I could fully grasp the weight in which these words were being put together.

It’s not a perfect book.  In fact there is one segment of the book that was so far fetched that I even had to take pause.  (“Oh come on!  Going into someone else’s body?! Really?”) But, that is truly just one tiny mistep.  It’s a story about life unfolding with all of its dirty, crazy choices that we make.  It’s a beautiful, tragic read all in all.

This book will truly stay with me as time goes on.  I am curious to see the movie, but am hesitant knowing that I will be heartbroken in some way as books to movies often do.  Here’s hoping for the best!

My father

Today would be my father’s 80th birthday.  He passed when I was 2 years old.  This picture is the classic one of him that I know the most.  I salute him today.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short story about him called Answers.  My cousin Deb contributed a piece to it.  I have put it in here.  I am also thinking about her today.  Love ya, Deb.  Sending you all of the positive vibes I can muster!

These are the things I remember:

– I remember his strong biceps and trying to lift his metal dumbbells which he kept on the rooftop of the house.

– His white shirts and white pants and cigarettes.  His singing and guitar playing at the house parties at our rented home in Karachi.

– Waving his handkerchief through the small PIA plane window to all of us gathered to send him off to England.  In those days, we were allowed to go right up to the tarmac and stood behind a metal rail.  The plane stayed on the tarmac for what seemed an eternity and he NEVER stopped waving at us.  We all cried when the plane took off.

– His big heart.  His last Christmas party at his home in 1977, he greeted each one of us with a hug.  When he hugged me, it was as though I could feel his heart beating with mine.  I had tears well up in my eyes for no reason at all.  He hugged every one of us so closely and tenderly.  This hug was very different.  It was almost as though he knew this was going to be our last family Christmas party together.

Always remembered, never forgotten.