30 December 2009

Cinque Terre


Vernazza, the photo from here.

I need the distraction. I need a dream again. I am longing for a place where I have the view of mountains, ocean, and greens... where I can breathe and relax. It is  nearly the last day of the month and I have to pick another destination for my travel journal. This month, the last month of the year, I am going with "the Five Lands", the five delightful villages in Italy, along the cost, and part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It seems a good idea to dream of a sunny and warm place for your next trip when you are cold.

I close my eyes and  I pray. I pray for a better and happier year for my family, for my siblings, and a blissful 2010 for everyone. May peace reach your hearts and your minds and stay there.

29 December 2009

Chanel



Coco before Chanel is such a wonderful movie featuring Audrey Tautou, the talented French actress. Gabrielle Chanel had a very interesting personality. With a blend of elegance, talent, and very headstrong personality, she established a business and a legacy of her own. You might need some Kleenex as you are watching this movie.

"The best thing about love is making love. Too bad you need a man for that." by Gabrielle Chanel

p.s. No offense to anyone, but I just thought that was really funny.

28 December 2009

Use it or lose it!

21 December 2009

He might think of himself as a man but he has no worthiness as a person.

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas by Hawksley Workman

If god takes you he leaves
each footprint of love
and kindness behind
which is where you once stood

 

and I know you're afraid
to get on the plane
after what happened that day
and selfishly i want you here in my way


but animals come
and animals go
but love is just a laundry line
we hang on onto


we're dried out by the sun
and when you think your turn is done
you end up getting dirty
and its all again begun


now words i think are just
a noisy dirty wind
makes the trouble we get in
so why do we speak


now we made another war
that's what men are good for
men with stupid insecurities
not a lot more


and satisfied they try
its written about a gun
but who the hell reads history?
apparently not men


cause nothings guarenteed
except the politics of need
did the romans see the ship go down
were they asleep?


I shouldnt expect to live
and I shouldnt expect to die
but I wouldnt mind being beside you, dear
on that laundry line to dry


and for my grandma and brother
my father and my mother
and you my sweetest lover
to you all I will say


Merry Christmas I love you
and god is above you
Merry Christmas I love you
and god is above you


Merry Christmas I love you.

17 December 2009

Joyeux Noël!

It is the best time of the year. Beautiful Christmas decorations can be seen everywhere. You can hear Christmas songs from every corner. Red, green, and gold with the pinch of snow makes a prefect picture for this season. You can feel the energy in the air. It is hard to describe the feelings that sometimes can get to you in this season.

Then, there are the Christmas movies that add to this joyful and sometimes touchy time. Joyeux Noël has been one of my favourite movies. I had to go back to my older posts to make sure that I haven’t written about this movie before. I surprised myself for being quiet about this movie till now. This movie is about World War I  but if you are pacifist, you will enjoy watching this movie. For the first time, I saw someone actually value humanity above the idea of being patriotic. This movie lays out the reality, the power of politicians over nations. If you do watch it, I hope you enjoy it.

Be happy and jolly!
Why bad things have to happen to good people! My thoughts and prayers are with Sarah and her partner. God! I believe in you. Please bless them with your mercy and help them to get through this. He is everything to her.

14 December 2009

Tonight I can write

Tonight I can write..
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

by Pablo Neruda translated by W.S. Merwin

12 December 2009

Research idea!

I'm not sure if this study has been done but it would be a nice idea to do a cultural study based on people's status updates on facebook. If we considered normal circumstance (e.g. without any political movement), so far what I have been seeing from my Iranian and non-Iranian friends is a bit different. While Iranians talk more about love and provide pieces of advice (mostly in the form of poetry), non-Iranians write more about their current life situations. I know it is not correct to generalize but this was the feeling I got.

10 December 2009

Compassionateness

What does it take to be truly, selflessly, and genuinely compassion? In my life, I have had the privilege of knowing only a handful of people with this type of trait. They exactly say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time to make them feel better when they are down. They are generous with their time and anything they own. They give you energy and the emotional support you need. Your problem is not just your problem. They will try to help you anyway they can. They value friendship the way friendship should  be valued. Could it be because they have a great heart; they are strong people and they can afford to support others anytime; they are bright individuals and can identify other people’s need; or all of the above? When it comes to that level of humanity, does it really important to be intellectual, have an open mind, or be involve in different charities and thousands community activities but ignore those people who you know.

7 December 2009

It's not that simple

A take-off of John Dupuis's blog post that looks at Thomson's Nobel Prize predictions (which are based on citation counts) and how often they are wrong:
While citation frequency could be very important when it comes to applying for grants and tenure-track positions, some people might also claim that it has a direct effect on Noble Prize eligibility. Thomson Reuters, an information company created by Thomson Corporation, attempts to predict the Nobel Prize winners annually. Interesting enough, this goes back to 1989. Every year, they develop the list of Citation Laureates for sciences and economics winners. According to Thomson Reuters, there is a strong correlation between citations in the literature and the receipt of prestigious awards, such as the Nobel Prize. Based on this hypothesis, their success rate has been approximately 20% since 2002. It is noteworthy that this success rate is not based on each given year. What basically they have done is to predict who would win the prize someday. The successful prediction table is available here.
They claim that they own their success to the methodology they apply to develop Citation Laureates. This method is based on citation frequency (derived from Web of Science, a brand of Thompson Corporation) and Pedlebury's methodology. Based on Pendlebury's method, the top 0.1% papers of each scientific field are being selected. Then, using quantitative data analysis the annual predictions of the most influential researchers in each field will be identified. Unfortunately, this methodology is not transparent enough to be reproducible by others (1). In addition, one could argue that a strong correlation that they have been referring to is not convincing unless they present statistical analysis and numbers. Also, it is obvious that being in the top 0.1% in a scientific field is significant and it is a given for almost anyone who could win any prize. The pool that they are selecting their candidates from is large specially when they rate their success based not on each given year but all years since 2002. This approach increases the probability of being right even if the success is purely random.
John Dupuis has been trying to convince Thomson Reuters to admit to the fallacy of their predictions. He very well argues that when measuring the true impact of a person’s career, citation is only a small factor. Citation counts and the bar by which a researcher is measured is a wrong practice and it should not be advertised. This is a poor marketing strategy by Thomson and they will only damage their own credibility.
 In order to identify individual merits, citation count does not suffice nor does the Journal Citation Reports and the Impact Factor. Multiple metrics and other ranking algorithms, such as Faculty of 1000, Mendeley, and eigenfactor, should be considered specially by someone who is new and not familiar with the field. While each system has its own strengths and limitation, the combination of all might (only might) help to provide a better evaluation method. As some people say religious and politics do not make a good mix, I believe neither do science and business.

6 December 2009

Texts with smiley faces, talk for hours, leaving comments and messages... For now, my main social activities include FB and Skype! But I'm still greatful to have some firends (although far from me) who care enough to keep in touch.

1 December 2009

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
                                                                                Helen Keller

30 November 2009

Hallstatt

Traveling has always been a passion of mine. Starting today, the last day of each month, I'm going to post a picture of a place that I want to visit someday. It will be sort of my travel wish list. For the month of November, it will be Hallstatt, Austria.


Photo by Nick Csakany

29 November 2009

While my mom is a casual user of facebook, my dad has never used it .We always encouraged him to try it out. He had a user account that my sister set it up for him but he never used it and as a result he couldn't remember his password either. Now he thinks he should learn how to use it, specially the thought of finding old university friends seems to be a good incentive. Anyway, now he has a new account and last night I heard my parents talking about facebook. 
mom to dad: "You used to be my friend".

26 November 2009

"The Poot"


Trailer of "The Poot"; a 2009 documentary about Persian handmade carpet by Elham Asadi.
Selected and screened at Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festivals (IDFA).
Something that I must see.

25 November 2009



Originally uploaded by bcaptured

When a picture speaks for itself.

24 November 2009

The sign says: Science in the City
I say: Seriously! Couldn’t you come up with a catchier title?

23 November 2009

At the Concert


November 2009

On Saturday night, in celebration of historical performances at the university, the music alumni group presented a classical music concert. The music was uplifting and heart-warming. Also, I couldn’t help noticing the elderly gentleman sitting at the far end of the stage, playing the violin. His calm manner and grey hair made me wanted to play too. Sure enough, he was a retired prof.
It was a good night. 

20 November 2009

It takes two to tango.

16 November 2009

How can I escape? How can I be free from my thoughts? Where can I be free from myself?
Why some people lay a guilt trip on others. I think that is the sleaziest strategy out there. I meddled again, somewhere that was not my place but I couldn’t help myself.

15 November 2009

Deadlines

I am so grateful to people who came up with the notion of  'deadline'. Today, it was my deadline for one project which I have started working on (on and off) for over a month. But it was always there, in my mind, bugging me. I am so relieved that is all done now. I am even pleased to see how it turned out. Although my whole weekend was about work (like old times when I was a student) but I have a feeling of satisfaction. Another very busy week a head of me but I am content at this present moment and do not want any negative thoughts spoil that for me.

12 November 2009

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

I grew up hating my curly hair. Now I have become to realize that the first thing people notice about me when they first meet me is my hair and oftentimes this is what they compliment me on because they do not like their own straight hair.

7 November 2009

Poets and Pahlevans

I know I already talked about Poets and Pahlevans: A Journey Into the Heart of Iran, the book, in another post but I'd like to share this too.

6 November 2009

Cultures

"Cultures need outlaws to challenge, and push, and prod them into defining and redefining themselves ... ." (Molnar, 1991)

4 November 2009

My day!


This is how I'm feeling right now. I don't know how El Greco felt when he was painting this. But I know exactly how I feel; annoyed, irritated, and upset. Upset with myself and with all those who try to take advantage of me in one way or the other. It has been a while since I have lost focus. I realize that the time is passing me by and I need to be more proactive in every aspect of my life. I have to watch out for myself. If I don't, no one else does. grrr.... 

1 November 2009



Count your age with friends but not with years - Anonymous
and I think whoever said this was referring to the more traditional definition of friends not Facebook friends.

25 October 2009


Another way of saying 'Do Not Enter' - Oct 2009
 
Fall is settling gracefully on the city but I can’t enjoy it as much as I would like. I always detested when others would talk or decide for me. To me being part of a union is a similar experience. I know there are advantageous in being part of the union. It provides certain job security but does it really useful for all type of professions at any different levels.

If you are highly specialized in the line of work you are doing and you are also good at it, there is no reason for you to be dependent on your union. And if your employer doesn’t value you and your job, it is even better for you to leave. I am too cynical to view the unionized environment as a system that makes my life easier. The only thing they do is to attract more slackers. Then, there will be only those who work hard no matter what have to pay the price. We should let people to shape their own future. 

22 October 2009

Frasier

I'm watching a lot of Frasier lately. It's been one of my favourite shows but I never watch the whole thing. Now I have started from season one. These two brothers with their snobby attitude really crack me up. And then, there is their down to earth father.

Frasier got ride of his father chair because it was old, ugly and it didn't match his apartment decor. Now, he is trying to replace it with something that his father likes. 
Martin Crane (the father): "Okay, I'll tell you what chair I want. I want the chair I was sitting in when I watched Neil Armstrong take his first step on the Moon. And when the US hockey team beat the Russians in the '80 Olympics. I want the chair I was sitting in the night you called me to tell me I had a grandson. I want the chair I was in all those nights, when your mother used to wake me up with a kiss after I'd fallen asleep in front of the television. Y'know I still fall asleep in it. And every once in a while, when I wake up, I still expect your mother to be there, ready to lead me off to bed... Oh, never mind. It's only a chair".

19 October 2009

When he emailed me to tell me that he would be flying to East Coast to attend a conference, the only thing I did was to invite him to come over. I didn’t consider driving for 2hrs to go see him. It has been a while since I am over that painful crush. As I didn’t think anything would ever happen between us, I decided to settle for just a friendship. So we became friends and we are still friends. It has been more than 3 months since I haven’t seen him. I didn’t really miss him the why I missed other friends. However, when I saw his phone number on the caller display before I listen to his message I knew it was him. It is ironic that out of all my friends, his phone number is the only one that I know by heart.

18 October 2009

The Picture of Love

This is a very cute animated film, produced by number of students in France. What stood out to me was the beautiful scenery. I think the story is happening in Santorini. If you like calamari, you shouldn't watch it because next time you want to eat it, you would have a hard time.




The Oktapodi official website is here.

9 October 2009

WOW!

If everyone’s reaction to Obama winning the Noble Peace prize is WOW!, what that really means?!
It makes me sad to think that even the Nobel Committee is corrupted. If Obama attempted for a world free of nuclear weapons rather than a middle east free of nuclear weapons, I would never ever question his right to receive this prize.
Or talking about a premature decision, how is that possible that you are a president of a country and your country, your army troops are still in war and you are considered for the Noble Peace prize. If the war was ended this year, I would have no complains that he was awarded in 2010.
There will be a lot of "waiting and seeing"*. I want to see what the consequences of this award are internationally. I still hope for a better and safer future worldwide. If that happens (if this prize leads to peace) I will write a letter of apology to the the Nobel Committee.


*From The Cider House Rules.


Happy 10th Anniversary to me

Now I know where my home is. Anywhere that I am surrounded with my family is called home. I will be home soon.

2 October 2009

Dealing with flu season

It was a busy week at work. There were too many people calling in sick. On Tuesday ,I was asked to replace a colleague and teach two of her back to back classes. I only had 15 min to get ready. The preparation included my colleague showing me her ppt presentation and going over what she wanted her students to know. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all. The first class didn't go as smooth as I hoped but then I was fully ready to tackle the second one since the content was the same.
Another colleague was away on a conference and he missed all the fun that rest of us had. Today, this was what he wrote on his facebook status. I found it hilarious. 
"Note to co-workers: in case of staffing shortage resulting from H1N1 or zombie outbreak, the bottles of gin in my desk can be used for disinfectant or Molatov cocktails."

29 September 2009

WolframAlpha

Now that I am on the topic of search engines, I'd like to mention a new generation of search engines which are more sophisticate than a tool finder. They are called computational knowledge engine or as I would like to call them, they are search engines which are using semantic web algorithm to locate information. WolframAlpha is one of them and I believe it will have a lot to offer. One important aspect of these search engines are their capabilty to undrestant natural language. For example, go to WolframAlpha and type this question - Where am I.

Google

Google has been the most brilliant multi-faceted tool of our century. It acts as a powerful search engine to locate webpages, it has useful special features, collaboration tools, Google Books, and many more added value features. Now, one of the latest impressive tools added to this collection are transliteration labs. Today, I learned about Google Persian Transliteration lab. Although I was happy with Behnevis.com, it is good to see Google also got involved with Persian language.

28 September 2009

A time for reflection

I should think of myself as a work-in-progress. I'm learning new things everyday and still a long way to go to get to the place I wish to be. There are many advices that have been carved in my brain by those who I can truly call my mentors. And then, there are other stuff... It is scary when I see poor social behaviour in others and realize that I did that one time! There are those things that no one would ever point them out to you but you have to figure them out by yourself. I regret doing those (unconsciously) and I hope I don't repeat them ever again.

25 September 2009

Here is an idea for those fantastic storytellers out there; there is a Postcard Story Contest announcement by GEIST Magazine. I am thinking of entering the contest too. I don’t have any story or a postcard in mind yet but I think it would be fun thing to do.

22 September 2009

Some friends are like sunshine

Dear S,

Today, I found the sweetest surprise in my mail box. As I was reading your gold/green handmade card, I was overwhelmed with joy. Yes, you got the colour right and may I ask how you do remember these things? Thank you so much for the CDs. I loved the pictures. It reminded me of all those good memories. … And I’m going to listen to all the music you sent me and I am sure I will love them all because they are you favourites.
… I know that I am very fortunate to have some people like you as my friends even thought we are miles away from each other but I know we will see each other soon.

miss you,

Daisy

p.s. This is just part of an email I sent to a friend. I wanted to post it here because it meant a lot to me.

20 September 2009

one more...

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. - by Allan K. Chalmers

p.s. I don't really want for my blog to be only a collection of inspiring quotes. I want it to me something more. I must come back and write more often.

17 September 2009

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.
it's about learning to dance in the rain!" – maybe by Mac Anderson

9 September 2009

For a better life

Do whatever makes you feel better about you. Hang out with those who bring out the best in you.

25 August 2009

Last days of summer

Have you ever heard the saying "you can’t buy love"? Well! apparently that is a lie. It seems that the cat and I are getting along pretty well. I give her treats every time I feel she is out of control. Now she loves me and I don’t have to worry about any cat hissing which could be really frightening.

On a different note, I heard some outrageous remarks from some people. They believe that a university is a better place when they are no students around. How can you work in a place and not liking the people you work with and still enjoy your job?

Our beautiful campus seems like a ghost town now. It is too quiet. I can’t wait for the first day of classes when all those students march into the campus. Some of them excited and some of them confused but one thing is for sure and that is they will bring energy with themselves. I need some fresh and young energy to surround me. I need to recharge my expired batteries. I need the distraction. I never thought I would say that one day but the last days of summer are approaching and I am happy about it.

22 August 2009


White Cliff Park, March 2009

20 August 2009

Thinking of Sohrab

Wherever I am, let me be!
The sky is mine.
The windows, the mind, the air, love, earth, are all mine.
What does it matter
if mushrooms of nostalgia (the leaves of solitude)
grow from time to time? *

The sound of water by Sohrab Sepehri

May he rest in peace because his poetry brings peace to my mind and soul. Please share with me anything interesting that you know about him or his poetry. I try to learn more about him.

19 August 2009

17 August 2009

"Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep." --Albert Camus

16 August 2009

One day, in the near future, my next destination will be Toronto or Vancouver.

13 August 2009

The Best Moments

I received a silly email today from a good friend. I toyed with the translation a little bit and add some notes [in square brackets] just to be sarcasm since not all applies. According to Charles Chaplin the best moments of one’s life are the following:
  • To laugh your head off [I agree]
  • To see thousands letters after coming back from a vacation [and probably half of them are the bills you have to pay]
  • To go on a vacation to a beautiful place [ I would be happy to go on vacation anytime, anywhere]
  • To listen to your favourite song on the radio [or iPod, TV, computer nowadays]
  • To fall asleep by the sound of the rain [totally agree]
  • To submit your last exam [it depends on how well did you do your exam]
  • To get a phone call from someone you don’t see often but you would like to [or an email or a text] ... I just got a phone call :)
  • To wear the pants that you don’t wear often and find some money in your pocket [ I love when this happens]
  • To laugh for no reason [?]
  • To overhear someone says something nice about you [that probably shows how insecure you are but I am sure everyone is insecure at some level]
  • To wake up and realize you still have a couple of hours to sleep
  • To hear a song that reminds you of someone special
  • To be part of a team [ if you like your teammates]
  • To watch the sunset
  • To make new friends
  • To feel butterflies around someone
  • To spend times with your best friends
  • To see people you love are happy
  • To run into an old friend and see nothing has change between you two [impossible]
  • To take a walk on the beach
  • To fall in love [I can’t argue with that]
  • To hear that someone loves you [to hear that someone misses you]
  • To think of silly/funny things done by your good friends

Well! as I was formatting this post to publish, I got a phone call from 3 friends in Vancouver. It totally changed my mood. Life can be good. I wish everyone all the things listed above.

12 August 2009

I told her there would be other times and opportunities to go shopping for clothes because you know where to find them. I asked her where could I fine a peace of mind to buy. I was in desperate need of one. She said if I found out I should tell her know too.

10 August 2009

Nostalgic

The smell of my sleeping bag reminds me of Shomal.

I looked calm and I acted cool but deep down I wasn’t okay. No matter how much I would tell myself, it was not a big deal it didn’t work. Finally I stuffed myself with chocolate. Chocolate does work!

6 August 2009

I am building a heart of laughter from here.

5 August 2009


Peaceful

2 August 2009

I have to live with a very annoying cat for one month. I think it is safe to say that I am NOT a cat person.

31 July 2009

I have heard that we do not retain memories associated with pain. We only remember them as unpleasant feelings but not the actual pain. Maybe that is the reason that women go through multiple childbirths although they are painful.

22 July 2009


"We are all prefect, the way God has made us".
Mia Michaels

10 July 2009

Farewell Vancouver


Some notes from July 06

Saying goodbye to this beautiful city is hard. I had the time of my life here. No matter what time of the year; when I would look out of my bedroom window, I could see green trees. I never got tired of this view or the view of downtown Vancouver from one of the bridges. I always admired the cherry blossoms on the Lower Mall and always held my breath when I was looking at the water and mountains from the Rose Garden.

I have met some of the most interesting and not so interesting people here. I found friendship in people I least expected. I also got to know myself better. I never thought I would attach to a place again. You would think when you move a lot and leave your friends behind for couple of times, you get use to it. But that hasn’t happened to me yet. I guess it never will. I got emotional as I said goodbye to some of my friends.

I want to be excited for the start of a new chapter in my life but it seems more that I’m living in a denial. I don’t even feel anxious. I feel empty. I have cut all the wires from my brain to my heart. Every time I feel sad, I block all those thoughts. I have even stopped dreaming. I know I should be proud of myself to have the courage to make another move, another change yet the truth is I’m taking it one day at a time. I have stopped doing long term planning because that is the only way I can keep going. Every time I’ve taken a risk (not that many), it turned out to be in my advantage. I hope this time is the case as well. I hope the universe nudges me toward new adventures beyond my imagination. I must start dreaming again...

2 July 2009

Fotovat

It is an eye-opening experience to see your own culture through someone else’s eyes. I mean a non-Iranian; someone who has a fresh perspective about the traditions and culture that I am so accustomed to. I had this chance when I read Poets & Pahlevans : a journey into the heart of Iran by Marcello Di Cintio. I am reading it again. I would like to share one paragraph from this amazing book. It seems to be appropriate for these days.

"The Persians have a word for this: fotovat. It is the combination of unabashed masculinity with chivalry and kindness. The word is old-fashioned and is rarely used any more, but lingers in the memories of men like the prefect world of poetry and the skills of old wrestlers. I learned much from the Persians, and could strive for fotovat, but I would never have what they had. Through war and sorrow, revolution and oppression, crown and turban, through all that Iranians have lost and may yet lose, they will never lose this. Civility is their birthright, the gift of their culture, and the inheritance of poets and pahlevans."

From Poets & Pahlevans : a journey into the heart of Iran (p. 289) by Marcello Di Cintio 2006

1st of July

My blog is calling me ....

I thought I would never felt how it would be like to celebrate 1st of July till I left Quebec and lived somewhere that actually care about their Independence Day. I was partially right; while I still really don’t know how I should feel, I know how it is like and I am part of the crowd celebrating this day. I try to enjoy a day off. Life is too short to miss out on celebrations and moments like this.

Happy Canada Day!

22 June 2009

Silent Scream

The first night that I attended the Silent Scream for Iran, I wondered why they were holding this campaign for ten consecutive nights. Of course, I recognized the impact of this event in respond to the current situation in Iran but I was worried that people would not show up after two or three nights. It was not easy for everyone to commute a long distance to be at the Vancouver Art Gallery for 30 mins.

But very quickly I realized I was wrong. Two nights ago, not more people showed up, there were some people who distributed dates and halva among the crowd. Then last night, there were even more people gathered and you could see more candle lights. It was then that I heard not only the silence but some people crying quietly. I have never been so proud to be an Iranian that I am these days.

18 June 2009

Dark days

It is heartbreaking to see people around the world are involved in wars and they hurt each other but it is devastating to see your own fellow countrymen attack one another. I believe these past few days I have seen enough blood and violence for my lifetime but I am scared by the thought of seeing more. It has been a very distressing week so far. I have never followed the news so closely. Since the war between Iraq and US started, I was worried for a sudden attack of US or other countries to Iran. I never thought this would happen. I never thought my people would be beaten and shot in Iran by their own compatriots, at least not this way. We deserve better than this…

10 June 2009

Look back on...

How often do you go back and read your own blog?
I just did that because I was looking for a post that I never actually wrote but I thought I did! Finally, when I couldn't find it, I gave up and instead I started reading some of my old posts and the comments. It was fun.

6 June 2009

Asking for a sign

I never asked for a sign before because first I don’t really believe in one and second if there is one I won’t be able to recognize it. Here it comes that moment that I was avoiding. I might need to face a situation that requires me to make an important decision. This time I asked for a sign ahead of time because I was in a disparate need for a direction. But I never saw one. I'm just gonna go with my gut feeling. That’s what I am gonna do and pray that it's the right one.

2 June 2009

"Need some control over myself"

My morning ritual gets longer every day. It doesn't matter that I'm up at 5:30 in the morning because the seagulls and crows make so much noise that makes it impossible for me to get a decent sleep. Anyway, my ritual starts with checking all 4 email accounts and replaying to those emails that I can't possibly postpone. Then, I have to check the Facebook, leave comments, click on 'like', or etc. Then it comes to reading the blogs. Although, I have finally organized my Google Reader to speed up the process, it takes me a while to go through everything. Then, I have to check some of the job sites for new postings. By the time I'm done, I have to check my emails again...
Then, I look at my watch and a moment of panic strikes.

31 May 2009

Forever Autumn

"The summer sun is fading as the year grows old
And darker days are drawing near
The winter winds will be much colder
Now you're not here

I watch the birds fly south across the Autumn sky
And one by one they disappear
I wish that I was flying with them
Now you're not here

Like the sun through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on the breeze you blew away

Through Autumn's golden gown we used to kick our way
You always loved this time of year
Those fallen leaves lie undisturbed now
Cause you're not here

Like the sun through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on the breeze you blew away

A gentle rain falls softly on my weary eyes
As if to hide a lonely tear
My life will be forever Autumn
Cause you're not here, Cause you're not here, Cause you're not here...."

It's the last day of May, I felt I needed to write something here. Click on the title if you want to watch the youtube video.

30 May 2009

Lesson learned #1

If someone doesn't have close friends, oftentimes there is a reason for that.

p.s. I'll come back soon to replay to your comments.

29 May 2009

Fear of ageing

Why do most women avoid telling their real age and most men don’t? I am a woman but I can’t figure out the answer to this question. Not telling your real age doesn't make you any younger. I am sure not everyone really enjoy getting old but why are women so sensitive about their age??

28 May 2009

World Digital Library


It’s all about knowledge sharing. We are getting there.

27 May 2009

One more list

If you visit Vancouver and you want to do something fun these are the things you should be thinking of doing. I haven't done most of them yet. I have to give Lisa the credit for coming up with such a comprehensive list.

The Great Outdoors:
  • Queen Elizabeth Park & the Bloedel Conservatory
  • Walking trails in Pacific Spirit Park
  • Wandering around Stanley Park and/or the seawall
  • The beach(es)
  • Nitobe Gardens
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens
  • Grouse Mountain
  • Butchart Gardens on the Island
  • Whale watching
Indoor Things:
  • Museum of Anthropology
  • The Vancouver Aquarium
  • Movies (if it is rainy)
Places to Eat:
  • Aphrodite's Pies
  • Cocoa Nymph
  • Go Fish
  • Naam (vegetarian restaurant)
  • Saravanaa Bhavan (South Indian)

21 May 2009

Some of my favourite smells:

  • Tuberose flower
  • Clean laundry
  • Burning Wild rue seeds (esfand) &
  • Coffee

10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day♥


My mother is a poem
I'll never be able to write,
though everything I write
is a poem to my mother.
Sharon Doubiago

1 May 2009

Happiness: a familiar term with an undefined definition

"It's good to be just plain happy; it's a little better to know that you're happy; but to understand that you're happy and to know why and how and still be happy, be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss."
Henry Miller


They have put me on hold for the past 20 min to extend my health insurance. Patiently waiting to see when that next available agent they keep promising, will be with me, makes me think about these past two weeks with all its moments. It feels like I am always waiting for something, for tomorrow, for next weekend, for next month, for … . I’m tried of waiting for that bright future, for the day that I have it all. What if happiness is so vague and fuzzy that passes me by without I know it.

28 April 2009

BC Cancer Agency



Persian American Cancer Institution song by several Iranian singers and artists

It has been over 6 months that my grandmother has been diagnosed with cancer. Hearing the news was like a nightmare. You never want to accept that cancer, with all its prevalence, can happen to you or one of your love ones. We are grateful that it has not metastasized and her doctor assured us that there was no reason for us to be worried. However, she still has to go through 5 dreadful cycles of chemotherapy to make sure that it doesn't relapse.

It was a coincident that I ended up doing some work at BC Cancer Agency Library for my program. This place is the Canadian source of information related to cancer. It is the library mandate to support the information needs of oncologists, surgeons, researchers, and the staff at the BC Cancer Agency. However, the previous head librarian, the late David Nobel, initiated informational services for patients as well. I was amazed by the number of in-person and email questions the library receives daily from cancer patients or their relatives across the province and Canada. Interestingly, there are so many patients who do not speak English well. Communicating with someone who only speaks Chinese is not easy. You have to make sure that the message is clear and eliminate any possible misunderstandings when it comes to information related to health. Even the Canadian Cancer Society provides information in different languages and thankfully Farsi is one of them. I hope no one finds the need to look at these websites but it is always good to know about their existence and pass the information along.

It is crucial to get help from somewhere, from someone, to get through cancer. It is truly a battle. Although in Iran you might not get the same support from the government but we are lucky enough to have stronger family structure and get that love and support from our family and close relatives. So this post is for my grandma in hope that she stays as strong as ever.

7 April 2009

I have no control over my mood swings. Lack of sleep and listening to Ebi doesn't make it any better either.

3 April 2009

Life is a million times better when you are surrounded by good people.

2 April 2009

Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti




The Sound of Music is one of my all time favourite classical/musical movie. It‘s cheerful and makes me smile every time I watch it or listen to one of the Julie Andrews songs. Who couldn’t fall in love with her voice, her peaceful manner, and magnificent view of the Alps, all featured in this movie. The translated version of this movie in Farsi, ashkeha va labkhandha, was very well done too. This video clip shows a wonderful dance of 200 something dancers in one of the main central stations in Belgium. They are dancing with the Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti song.

Enjoy! p.s. sorry for those who can't access YouTube. If I find an alternative site, I'll post it here.

Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow Sew
Tea, a drink with jam and bread

1 April 2009

My dream

I had the strangest dream a couple of days ago and I’m not saying this because today is April 1st. I dreamt that the Iranian leader (I don’t really want to name him in my blog), had a plastic surgery. He looked 20 years younger but hideous. And here I was going around pointing this out to everyone and no one believed me.

The highlight of my week

The highlight of my week so far was meeting Adrienne Clarkson in person. She is still one of my favourite Canadian. She is a true advocate for immigration and a supporter of multiculturalism or even better than that, the Interculturalism. She defines that as interpenetration of cultures in order to develop a more competent and a richer society. At the end of her talk, she said in Canada the rate of intermarriage is approximately 30% and she would like to see this number to rise to 70% in the near future.

Other lessens learned:
1) She has always said YES to life.
2) She never wanted to be famous or rich but she always prayed to have an interesting life.

I really needed something inspiring and something to boost my energy and that was it. Now I'm looking forward to the next highlight of this week.

30 March 2009

Adrienne Clarkson Again!

Adrienne Clarkson, the former Governor-General of Canada will be at UBC this Tuesday. This summer I spend some time reading her book, Heart Matters. While I think she is clueless when it comes to Iran and Iranian, I admire her accomplishment, success, and for the woman she is. I'm really excited to visit her in person and listen to her talk. Apparently, her public speaking is as good as her writing.

27 March 2009

There is so much going on in my life right now that I know I shouldn’t be thinking about this. I know I have to focus more than ever and not let anything to distract me specially now... But, what should I do [sigh]. After so many many years I have met someone that I really like but he isn’t interested. He doesn’t even look my way. I hate to act like a vulnerable teenage girl. This is noting like me. It's very hurtful at so many levels.

25 March 2009

Anything

I would like to hear some good news!

Memorable New Year

What are the chances that when 6 people are coming back from a party two of them realize that they have lost their keys in the party. Apparently, it is fairly high because that was what happened to me and my friends. We were walking for about 10min when one of my friends realized that he left his jacket in the party with his keys to his home in his pocket. Two seconds later another friend found out that she has lost her keys too. We had to go back to the scene knowing that everyone else has already left. We ended up calling the security to come and open the doors for us. Luckily one of them found his jacket but the other one had to wait until the next day to find her keys. It didn’t go as smooth as it sounds but it was a night to remember. We had good laughs.

19 March 2009

Last post for this year

- Happy New Year to those who celebrate this day and happy the first day of spring to those who don’t. Anyhow, it is a good occasion to celebrate.

- Iranian student at UBC set up a table with Haft-seen at the main library on campus. It was nice to see how they advocate for Nowruz.

- Last year was a tough year for me and my family. I hope this year be better, healthier, happier, and brighter for everyone.

Happy Nowruz

14 March 2009

Spread the word

I think it is safe to say that I am a technology junky. I love blogging, social software, wikis, blackberry (which I don’t own yet), and overall anything that has to do with web2.0 applications. In addition, I love collaboration. It provides you with the sense of unitary. It gives you the opportunity to learn from each others, and improve intellectually as well as socially. Besides, the overall outcomes will be better if it manage correctly.

I have read this article today in Iranian.com that they have started a partnership with kodoom.com for calendar-based Event section. What a good idea to spread the word much faster. It can’t get better than this, the combination of collaboration and use of technology.

9 March 2009

Snow!

Almost spring, 2009

I think the last post was only an illusion because it's snowing now!

4 March 2009

Swans are coming back

Almost spring, 2009

It feels like spring is finally here. I started this week by spending some me-time on Monday morning. After the exhausting workshop I had to go through all Saturday and Sunday, I knew I deserved to relax and not think about anything else. I took a long walk and enjoyed the weather; I breathed; I closed my eyes; I could imagine that all the flowers would be in full bloom in a couple of weeks. No wonder my ancestors celebrated the first day of spring every year and there is no surprise that this old tradition is still alive to this day.

20 February 2009

Any idea??

It will be my sister's birthday very soon and I feel poetic. I really want to write a poem on her birthday card but I can't think of anything. This time my beloved friend, Google, wasn't that helpful either. After 1hr search, I gave up. My knowledge of poetry has been always insufficient (that being said I always enjoy reading poems). I thought to myself there are some people out there who can help me by providing good suggestions. It will be somehow cheating but I'm sure my sister wouldn't mind. I prefer writing something in Farsi.

Many thanks in advance

p.s. this is the 100th post of this blog (including my unpublished posts). I wanted to be a special post and now I'm glad it turned out to be about my sister and poetry.

11 February 2009

reading break

I'm looking forward to next week because there are only 3 days left to my reading break. YES!

Couples of weeks ago, I checked out a book from the library called "tired of being tired". I didn't have the chance to open it. It is sitting by my chair underneath more books and papers. I just need a short break to recharge my batteries.

8 February 2009

I was just thinking...

You get to meet some people whom you are intimidated by for some reasons or the other or you admire their confidence. You think they have every thing figured out. Then you get to hang out with them more and get to know them better, and then you realize they are just like you are. Everyone can be insecure at one point in his/her life. We are all growing up; no matter how old we are.
So the question is why should we let them influence us?


4 February 2009

The way to start a day

The way to start a day is this-

Go outside and face the east
and greet the sun with some kind of blessing
or chant
or song
that you made yourself
and keep for
early morning.

The way to make the song is this-
Don’t try to think
what words to use
until you’re standing there alone.

When you feel the sun,
you’ll feel the song too.
Just sing it.

But don’t think you’re
the only one
who ever worked that magic.

Your caveman brothers
knew what to do.
Your caveman sisters
knew too.
They sang to help the sun
come up
and lifted their hands to its power.

A morning needs
to be sung to.
A new day needs
to be honoured.

People have always known that.

Didn’t they chant
at dawn
in the sun temples
of Peru?

And leap and sway
to Aztec flutes
in Mexico?

And drum
sunrise songs
in the Congo?

And ring a thousand
small gold bells
in China?

Didn’t the pharaohs of Egypt
say the only sound
at dawn
should be the sound of songs
that please the morning sun?

They knew what songs to sing.

People always seemed to know.

And everywhere they knew
what gifts the sun wanted.

In some places
they gave gold.
In some places
they gave
flowers.
In some places,
sacred smoke blown to the four directions.
Some places feathers and good thoughts.
Some places fire.

But

everywhere they knew
to give something.

And everywhere
they knew to turn
their faces
eastward
as the sun came up.

Some people still know.

When the first
pale streak of light
cuts through the
darkness,
wherever they are,
those people
make offerings and send
strong mysterious songs
to the sun.

They knew exactly how to start a day.

Their blessings float
on the wind over
Pueblo cornfields in New Mexico,

and
you hear their morning songs
in villages in Africa,

and
they salute the sunrise ceremonially
in the high cold mountains of Peru.


Today
long before dawn
they were already waiting
in Japan
with prayers and they were
gathering at little shrines
in India
with marigolds in their hands.

They were
bathing in the sacred
Ganges River as the sun came up.


And high on a mesa edge
in Arizona
they were holding a baby
toward the sun.

They were speaking
the child’s new name
so the sun would hear
and know that child.

It had to be
sunrise.
and it had to be that first
sudden moment.
That’s when all
the power life
is in the sky.


Some people
say
there is a new sun
every day,
that it begins
its life at dawn
and lives for one day only.

They say you have to welcome it.

You have to make the sun happy.

You have to make a good day for it.

You have to make
a good world for it to live its
one-day life in.

And the way to start,
they say, in just by
looking east at dawn.

When they look
east tomorrow,
you can too.

Your song will be an offering-

And you’ll be one more person
in one more place
at one more time
in the world
saying
hello to the sun,
letting it know
you are there.

If the sky turns a colour
sky never was before

Just watch it.

That’s part of the magic.

That’s the way to start a day.

By Byrd Baylor and illustrated by Peter Parnall

17 January 2009

More blah blah

Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 2008- A true calm peaceful place

Today my boss told me that I look calm all the time. I think she meant that as a complement because she added that it was very good to work with people who are calm. I told her that I did not usually show what was going on with me (which is true). Then I said that I did not have any reason to be stressed out (which was not entirely true).

Anyway, this conversation made me wonder about what people may think about other people’s lives and circumstances just by the way they react daily. Life has ups and downs and all of us are going through the same thing at some level / at some point. No one has the prefect life. I always pity jealous people. Not only they think superficially but they self-pity themselves for not having the life of others. It seems that they are in a bubble. Completely absorbed in their own lives that blinded them to see beyond what is really there. Jealousy will also lead to miss any good thins that happens with them. We should hold on to what we have now at this moment and do not take our fortune for granted.

I am not talking about my boss. She was only the one who made me start thinking. I do not know her well to really know what type of person she is.

15 January 2009

Systems

I was always impressed with the way Japan and Japanese people have advanced in different aspects of science and technology. I have always justified their success by hard work, successful management, and calculated planning. Above all, I have considered them as the intelligent nation. These factors are all important and somewhat accurate. They follow well designed, efficient systems in any sector and at any level they work. These systems have already laid out for them by people who knew what they were doing.

Recently, I have learned something knew about following systems. They prevent you from thinking and kill your creativity. A friend who used to work in Japan a while ago told me a story. He said when you ask a Japanese person how to make a hard-boiled egg, s/he might say “bring 2 cups of water to a full boil for 10min; add 1 tea spoon salt; add the egg; and ...” now if you ask s/he if you have boiled water how do you make a hard boiled egg, s/he might say “you leave the water to get cold, then bring 2 cups of it to a boil for 10min and...”.

7 January 2009

The 2009 list

I was debating with myself on what to write as my first post in 2009. If I wanted to write about my current mood and what was exactly going on with me, it would have been too depressing. Since I am not intended to depress anyone and I am hopeful that everything will be okay in the near future, I have decided to share something about my 2009 list that I finally finished writing it last night.

Number 18 in my list is “to go scuba-diving and snorkelling at least once in my life” and number 19 is “to write my blog more regularly”. The rest of it is more personal or about all the places I want to travel one day which I won’t bored you with details.