Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Heartbreak City Bound

I AM IN A VERY DEPRESSED STATE OF MIND right now. I love traveling; particularly traveling by air, but everything feels very yellow when my heart is not with my destination. I am headed to Karachi - Heartbreak City I call it. The city and I share a love hate relationship. It has wronged me in so many ways - some unforgivable - and yet I keep going back. Sometimes, I don't want to - I have to.
 The gorgeous Butler's Cafe cappuccino I treated myself to
FRIENDS ARE ALWAYS WELCOMING and they have so many ideas for adventures. In the past few years hundreds of coffeehouses have sprouted up in Karachi and they know I have a thing for cappuccinos and lattes. They use these places and the charming photos to lure me into the trap! *smiles peevishly* I am pressed for time. The trip is pure business, and perhaps, a little dose of family drama. Each date is reserved and there are breathers in between which I will use to sneak away and meet girlfriends. 
THEN THERE ARE THE GHOSTS OF KARACHI who switch on ghost mode when I announce my arrival. There is a sharp contrast between their lives and mine - considering I am still rolling single. Desi women; perhaps it is all women, only tag along with others that belong their relative social club. Mommy clubs don't welcome me unless I bring my niece over, married or getting-married club would cause my ears to bleed because they wouldn't know when to shut up and ask about my life in general if not specific. 

I WAS NEVER A PERFECT FIT in the City of Heartbreak. My parents decided to put me into a strict disciplinarian school in the heart of the city with girls from all mixes of life. Their grand idea was to raise a kid who was humble and down to earth unlike the brats and spoiled rich kids attending fancy heavy priced schools around me. They thought those low-on-discipline school were responsible to create snobbish children who held their noses a bit too high up in the air. They did wrong. I realized I was not on the same page with the girls around me and they never accepted me and my lifestyle. They stopped asking me about my summer holidays and I stopped sharing after I realized speaking about Disneyland would make me a laughing stock. Either they wouldn't believe me and I would have to bring photos to show. Or, they wouldn't hear me out because that was not their idea of a vacation. I was bullied for carrying premium crayons, a Disney backpack, and watching Disney movies. I stopped talking because nobody wanted to listen, and lived as a misfit throughout my school life. There were one or two close friends who could relate and they lasted. But I always found myself telling them an edited version of my happiness because I feared the real version would just draw them apart. I switched to a different high school of my liking but the damage had been done. And the bully lot was always in the majority. There was an implied stereotype associated with girls of my type. I was always the 'Burger' or the 'Mummie Daddie' kid for being an obedient child who respected parental curfew, and for being the girl who was blessed by Allah SWT financially and intellectually. In college, my A grades did not fit right with the lot and I only made bitter, cut-throat competitive adversaries for friends. Teachers too would attempt to sabotage my grades because they engaged in favoring their pets or were too sadist about giving the worthy a high rank. Why didn't I transfer to one of the super duper rich kid schools? Because I was terrified of the horrors of superiority and pompousness there. Plus, my defense mechanism against bullies was broken down. Socially, I was not ready to hit the dance floor and did not win praise from the cool college lot. As I became religiously inclined, people just turned into ghosts.

THE COSTS OF BEING LOVELY, as a friend's wise mother said to me once, were so high. I tried extra hard to make friends and relationships and keep them. Nothing seemed to work. Gifts, favors (emotional and financial), a friendly ear, a helpful hand, car rides, standing up to them in tough time, moral support, motivation ... nothing I did could win me sincere friends. They say there could be a fault in our stars but I failed to understand.  
FAMILY (OR SOMETHING LIKE IT) used to be pure and full of sincere emotions when I was a child. Birthdays were celebrated with great love, festivals were full of sparklers and colors, and every occasion was so happy! I was loved, pampered, and treated like a princess. And the very same people somehow started changing. I fail to understand why they changed when I stayed the same? They moved on in their lives and somehow their emotions, their purity, and their passion towards family just got tampered. Family is said to be unconditional love and when that is adulterated - nothing is left.
And so, I leave with a heavy heart for the city of so much heartbreak. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bringin' In 2017

Google had these cute little guys waiting to break loose and bring in the new year. Okay, the first look made me think of my sister Sara --- but that's all cutsie round things. New Year's Eve is a special affair for me and Bestie. That's why I planned ahead.

Celebrations always start early for me because girlfriends start posting their NYE celebrations everywhere. 
Sanjay Gupta showed up with Dalai Lama. He was all the way across the world. 
Happy New Year should include happy mind. - Dalai Lama


Bestie reminded me I made pizza last year for New Year's Eve. 

Rabiyya shared this and OH EMM JEE this is so so so true!

Abbie's Drink of Choice Tonight: The Edgy Abbie




Favorite New Year's Eve Memory

 Read My Goals!!! HERE

FUNNIEST NYE SUGGESTION

"ayen nyc chaltay dhol lekar. .better than the ball drop!" - Qz


MOST SAD MOMENT OF 2016

SHE FOIL-WRAPPED COOPER! 

Kitchenspiration 2017: 2016 Kitchen Recap


When 2016 started I made REALLY big bucket lists for my kitchen adventures. I was talking like a sous chef or something of the sort. And then the year took off and so did my wild travel plans and in-between work and home management. I don't know where my kitchen adventures went. Culinary inspiration was almost zero this year. I went on another tangent and made stuff that was not on my adventures list. Here are some of the delicious recipes I am particularly happy about:
ABBIE'S CAFE 2016 IN REVIEW
Prawn Masala 


















2017 Kitchen List

Coconut Macaroons


These could be ideal low-cal snacks and there could be a sugar-free version as well. So these are definitely on the 2017's simpletons list.

Soups


I have never made a real soup before. All my soups are cheat mode instant pour-the-powder-from-sachet-and-get-creative type of soups. I got my hands on an immersion hand blender which is a magic device that purees anything inside a pot! So, I feel like making a real soup in 2017 now.

Chinese


There has to be more Chinese in 2017. Definitely. Proper spices, proper techniques!

Basbousa


This is a wishful project being carried over from 2016. I really want to do this this year, insha'Allah. Since it is Sooji (Semolina) I may be able to pull off a sugar free version too!

Coffee Cake


2017 --- I am making that rich coffee flavor cake! The icing is also coffee! I so want to make it this year. I ate this in 2016 at a party and I have been in love ever since.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Goals Of Abbie


STOP EXISTING: HARDEN MY SHELL, SHED THE LOAD 
I have existed so much in people's lives that I have become a taken for granted convenience. This is not a complain but a stark realization. I used to enjoy my backseat, my niche, my alien existence from behind a pen name. Then I decided to crack my shell and invest emotions into the outside world. After years of living for other people, I have realized that loyalty, sacrifice, selfless love are just make belief goodies from fiction books and movies. In real life they are reciprocated by treachery, selfishness, and general disregard for every little bit that you do. And it could be different for other people, but for me this is the real script of my life. When a ship begins to sink, excess load is shed to help keep it afloat. The baggage I carried corroded my vessel and it is sinking now. I need to shed the load.

It feels like a sad note to start a new year --- but sometimes hurt is necessary to strike a realization of the cold, harsh truth. I have smiled and have been not smiled back at, I have cared and have been not cared for, I have stood up for people and have been walked all over by them, and so I cannot go on living a one sided relationship with this world. I have what I need: a creative space, my machines, money, and prayers - and I can exist in my own happily ever after inside my shell.  
TAKE BETTER CARE OF MYSELF

My heels and palms are so chapped I could play the lead role in a cracked heels/ hands repair cream commercial. The piercings of my ear would seal anytime because it has been since forever that I wore earrings. And sometimes, I end up not shampooing my hair for 4 days because duty calls. I need to focus more on myself, take care of my needs. I absolutely don't know how that will happen but I will have to make time. My body systems are also shutting down (brain fog!) because I am always low on water. I need to drink up!
ROCK THE RADIO TV SHOW
The Radio TV show is finally going. A Pilot and Episode 1 are already uploaded. I need to stay committed and keep it going. It is unbelievable how much I had to kick myself to actually start talking! Special thanks and standing ovation to my sister Sara and my lovely friend Asma who were the two kicks that started the show! I have a strong feeling that I will not be able to continue giving it my voice, but I will definitely keep the videos going. 
TRY A NEW RECIPE EVERY MONTH
That means at the end of 2017 I should have a shining dozen kitchen adventures to share at the very least. I have the Kitchenspiration 2017 planned but then again I planned 2016 as well. My kitchen has always helped to heal me in so many ways. My loss of kitchen inspiration is similar to what Willy Wonka was suffering in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when his chocolate wasn't tasting right.
READ MORE REAL BLOGS
There used to be a very friendly, and very real blogging community called Open Diary that I was a part of. People wrote about real life, and real emotions: hurt, pain, and anger. They bonded with one another over real emotions. Absent from each others lives --- but friends. I miss that so much. Everybody lost each other when the website shutdown. Platforms like Blogger, WordPress, and etc. do not have that sense of community. Besides, bloggers are more about profit earning commodity journaling social moguls now - you cannot connect with them on a human level. I need to find real people, talking about real life. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Abbie's Radio TV Jingle Bell Rock, I Give You My Heart

December Brain Fog


December is usually a beautiful, eventful holiday-feels month for me. I am seen scurrying around picking up beautiful ornaments to my liking, decorating the Abbie Cave to the gold and glittery winter theme. But something was slightly off about 2016 because I couldn't keep track of December - or any month for that matter. I cannot put my finger on as to what caused the irritable brain fog I have been experiencing. It was a complicated mix of work overload, a TMJ flare up due to my NTI bite plate cracking apart, medication, and managing everybody else's affairs.
I came across the term 'brain fog' online and I Googled because the unusual forgetfulness, lack of focus, and blankness was really causing troubles. I figured in my case it is not just plain stress. It is the lack of sleep (because I live like an owl!), lack of multivitamins, dehydration (because I never drink water!), and lack of physical activity (I have been a log, lately! Only my upper body moved because I was driving).
The most difficult challenge for me is to keep my calm through this fog, understand and correct it myself, and keep operating at 99.99% efficiency - business as usual. Imagine a fly buzzing around in your head and somebody asking you to maintain balance on a high wire rope. Good luck with that. 
So I am grabbing the bull by its horns. Since the planet will not slow its pace for my foggy brain, I will have to clear the fog myself. I started by cutting down my muscle relaxant that was supposed to keep my TMJ pain in control. The 'issue' seems to be getting better already. 
This fog has destroyed my creative drive this year. The Abbie HQ is a mess (that is my home office/ Abbie cave). My kitchen inspiration has gone down. I did not work on my art journal, I did not develop a solid blog routine. I am disappointed.
This fog will inshaAllah be lifting in 2017 and my highly motivated self will be indulging in hardcore creativity!
Cheers!