Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Barely a Metric for Pressure

The good news is that I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to make the Davidoff Magnum cigarettes I got in Dubai last for almost 10 days. Ignore the fact that I’m still smoking way too much these days, and that I had to intersperse one of the most pristine cigarettes manufactured with crap Swedish Marlboros, likely manufactured in Korea. Davidoff Magnums are heavenly. I dare say, even better than Camel Wides. So I swing, sometimes within the hour from some of the best tobacco one can smoke to some of the worst.

And that is the general mood too. Around February, spring was knocking on the door, we got our first extension and a few big projects were rolling around and I was transitioning into my current role. Then it was July...all of the sudden it seems. The current role has the ups and downs I was warned, and prepared for. I can normally handle such well, with my stoic and annoying abstraction of everything. But now I’m seeing it reflected in my mood day to day.

My usual barometer for my mood is the music I’m listening to. Back in February, I got the Stone Jack Jones album "Bluefolk,” but as good as it was, its bluesy, Armageddon drenched, Appalachian flavored country wasn’t what the jet streams were calling for. Now they are. But my stoicism is still there.

Today at the dinner table while talking about what the lot of the world is talking about, and how it may affect us here, we had trouble recalling the last time there was an incident in Kabul. (For Kabul, it’s been nearly two weeks, though the South, by some measures is getting better (less total killing/fighting reported), and others, getting worse (Taliban took over two small towns).) I’m not sure if that is stoicism, on the part of all four of us sitting at the table, or just simple desensitization, on the part of all four of us sitting at the table. Either way, we quickly started talking about how the chicken that night was particularly good.

So back to the barometer, as the other end of it is that the summer crop of songs is coming out. It looks like it will be a good season. So when I get tired of the foreboding (with odd tinges of hope though...go check out ‘Vivid’) Stone Jack Jones, I’m all about Lily Allen and her new single “Smile.” Via p-fork, I found out about it a few weeks ago. And they put up a full album review, which paints a good picture. Sadly, iTunes only has the above-mentioned single's EP.

So I’m down to only one more pack of Magnums, and I’m probably wearing out 'Smile' and 'Vivid'. Maybe whats going on proximately and distantly will settle down too. Though there seems to be no causation between my smoking habits, the music I listen too and/or life outside Kabul, there may be a correlation.

I’ll have to keep an eye on those barometers.


Yore Friend said...

I’m still smoking way too much these days

Still smoking too much? Listen, stupid motherfucker, you’re not a student no more. Quit killing yourself.**


Also, you’re busting out of there in September, no? That’ll be fun. In the meantime, you should totally slack off as to the whole “Afghanistan” thing. I’d totally be swiveling back and forth in my chair and like, “whatever Afghanistan. It’s time for nachos.”

**Permitted if you’re scholastically enrolled.

mivpiv said...

I am a firm believer that smoking cigarettet (ith filter) is healthier than breathing the "fresh" air of Kabul... 26% of what you actually breathe here is well yes... SHIT!
Keep on smoking:)

Q. A. Shah said...

Myne Friend,
I think any place that has 'danger pay' attached to employment contracts gets an exception as does scholastic enrollment. Slow deaths aren't really high on the worry list here. And also Paris. I need to get a job in Paris.

And though we no longer get desi-nachos in the house (that cook has moved on), I think I may take your suggestion and start referring to all those that work for me simply as "Afghanistan" when talking to/with them. That will push the slow death worry even further down the list.

I can only agree. The fecal content of the air seems to be constantly changing. I've heard 15%-35%. Though the air of late (summer I guess) has been better, no? In the least, now the deisel genset fumes get filtered with the tar.

Don't worry, I'll be puffing away.

NegativeMode said...

The fecal content of the air has to rise to at least 60-80% when you speak, no?


Anonymous said...

While I have to agree with most of the sentiments above, I did want to note that I think this is the best written post on Kabulog.

- Yes Man.

Q. A. Shah said...

I learned it from your....I learned it from you!!!

Anonymous said...

I won't even bother to comment on the cigarettes (she says, while shaking her head)..but what's the story on the return date? you were missed at Jashley's annual fun...KW

NegativeMode said...

I've recently realized that you haven't talked about the pooing situation in Afghanistan. Perhaps you could elaborate. Pooing there has to be different there. If not physically, emotionally I'd imagine. Pooing in the United States is a singularly unique experience.

There you have it, a topic for your next blog post.

Q. A. Shah said...

Yeah, Jad, in his ever sporadic emailing told me about their shindig. I assume it was a good time. Of note, I've never been in town for one, I believe. And cigarettes, well you defend an evil industry too. So remember that I keep your ilk employed.

Return is still not set, but I still plan on being back in time...q

It's a fair topic, but one that I don't think I want on the front page. So to appease your inquiry--some days I'm happy some days I'm not. I've only been hit by stomach bugs 3 times (to my recollection) while here, and all for just 24 hours or so. Other than that, the usual ups and downs, the occasionally violent illness, and hyper-fast digestive tracts, it's all pretty much the same.


Bookyards said...

Could not find your email, so I am making a post here.

Bookyards ( http://www.bookyards.com ) is an online library, as well as a directory/portal site for news, magazines, blogs, etc.

I was looking at your site "Kabulog”, located at

I have included your website in our library directory for Blogs – Asian – Afghanistan.....located at.... http://www.bookyards.com/search_results.html?type=blogs&category_id=1053

If you can put a reciprocal link to our site, it will be appreciated.

Thanking you in advance,
Victor Lamp

For additional information on Bookyards,

We have put together a directory of free online libraries …located at ….

As well as a News & Blog Aggregator (updated daily) located at …

Afghan LORD said...

Good blog you have

Q. A. Shah said...

Thanks A.L...I'm going to add a link to your blog, if you don't mind.

NegativeMode said...

Well, I would like to see a bit of a deeper discourse, but I suppose that will have to do. You really could explore the psychology and physiology of pooing in a somewhat beseiged country. I mean, what effect does it have on the psyche to have bombs exploding nearby while you drop bombs of your own? Surely this requires a small essay.

Anonymous said...

To sum up what I learned:
Lily Allen is my new favorite, but that tel # she gave me will not work.
Stoned Jack Jones takes forever to tune up; -he may have a song on his next album.
Q will need to purchase a ducati sidecar to mount his oxygen tank.
Q, the number one cause of bladder cancer is smoking; -don’t burn the bag open on the exhaust!

You’re cool enough not to smoke. Try leaving Kabul without the nasty habit. You could download music with that cig money! Vivid = Living Colour.
C’mon Q!
Your not some glamour boy - YOUR FIERCE

Q. A. Shah said...

I'm gonna leave your comment alone. A bit over the top, and at times blatent, but overall, I appreciate your word choice. You left the back door wide open for me to come in and make some crass comments. I shall refrain.

You need to pick some name to sign of with. I'm thinking Aquaman. But yeah, the digits Lily gave me did work, it's just that all there was on the other end was a recording of a woman cackling.

Nasty habit? Honestly, it's keeping me alive/sane these days. It's a fierce habit. Fierce I tell you.

NegativeMode said...

Maybe you should start a new blog discussing the crasser side of life in Kabul since, apparently, you keep chosing the "high" road here at Kabulog.