30 December 2012

Intro to Isfahan 101

Charbagh Ave1.JPG

Source: here 

There was a time that Iranian believed you are not supposed to eat even a grain of wheat that doesn't belong to you. If you eat at some one’s table, you own them for life! A legend says that once people of Isfahan were all great people known for their good deeds and there were no offender among them. As a result all their prayers to God were answered. Since they were free spirited people, anytime a new ruler was appointed to the city, people would pray to get rid of him. This went on and on for a few years and no ruler could last long in Isfahan. Until one ruler who knew the reason for that ordered all people to bring an egg to the main square of the city and leave it there. When a pile of egg was collected, he ordered everyone to take one egg home. Since no one knew which egg was belonged to them, they just took one egg, any egg. After that because people’s belongings were mixed together, their prayers were never answered again and that ruler controlled Isfahan for many years. That square is now known as Toghchi (طوقچی ).

Holidays are the best time to catch up with things you always wondered about but they don't really seem a priority. I realized that it was time to learn about the city that I was born in and I spent the first 5 years of my life in. I needed to learn about those neighborhoods that we traveled once every summer to visit relatives; I needed to have a better picture of the city in my head and a visual description of the streets (I am a visual learner) such as Chahar Bagh Boulevard, Ferdosi, Hasht Behesht etc. I needed to know where was that Sa'adi High School my dad used to study in; or the neighborhood that my grandfather was born and raised in. Thanks to Google Map, we review different parts of Isfahan with my dad. We took a look at the streets I heard their names so many times in conversations. We talked about some of the buildings that have some sort of significance to my family. Now I know how close the house my dad grew up in was from Naghshe Jahan Squre . In addition, I learned some stories (like the one above) about Isfahan as well. Stories are great because you get to learn a lot about the culture.

28 December 2012

Life is like the game of poker.

27 December 2012

"If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans." By Anne Lamott, bird by bird

20 December 2012

زندگی - Life

زندگی یعنی چه ؟

روزی از گلی پرسیدم : زندگی یعنی چه ؟

گفت زندگی چیزنیست جز بوی خوش و عطر من

از سنگی پرسیدم زندگی یعنی چه ؟

گفت : زندگی چیزی نیست جز استواری و قدرت من

از رودخانه ای پرسیدم زندگی یعنی چه ؟

گفت زندگی چیزی نیست جز طراوت و پاکی من

از انسانی پرسیدم زندگی یعنی چه؟

گفت زندگی چیزی نیست جز مهر و محبت درون من.

زندگی هنر بافتن پارچه زیبایی است

- زندگی دوختن شا دیهاست

و به تن کردن پیراهن گلدار امید.

مجتبی کاشانی

I had this post written on May 2010 but I never clicked publish!
and this is a sort of translation of this poem:

What is life?

Once a flower was asked: What is life?

She said: life is nothing but my fragrances and perfumes

A stone was asked: what is life?

He said: life is nothing but my solidity and strength

A river was asked: what is life?

He said: life is nothing but my freshness and purity

A human was asked: What is Life?

He said: life is nothing but the love and kindness in me.

Life is a beautiful art of weaving a cloth
Life is sewing the happiness scarf
And wearing the floral shirt of  hope

Mojtaba Kashani



Program of events:
05:00 Wake world population with air raid alarm
06:00 Entry of the Mayans
07:00 Entry of the aliens
08:00 Entry of the leaders of the G8 countries
09:00 Entry of the holy, martyrs, etc.
10:00 Hymn for the end of the world: "Highway to Hell"
10:30 Welcome speech by the Pope
11:45 Break for lunch
13:00 Meeting of the UN concerning the end of the world
15:00 Moment of silence
15:05 Start of the public ceremony
17:00 Buffet
18:00 Departure of the Mayans
19:00 Fireworks and soccer game - Brazil vs. the World
21:00 Ascension of Archangels and Angels
22:00 Closing ceremony, bar opens - FREE BEER
23:30 Distribution of 3D glasses
24:00 END OF THE WORLD (incl. "The Final Countdown")
Later - Aftershow Party

Source: I don't know!

14 December 2012

It seems that I am 'technologically challenged'!!!

12 December 2012

I guess that is it! I can't donate blood again. I passed out yesterday after 2 hours from the time I donated. I am glad I was not driving and I was not alone. But I am not going to take the risk again. It is scary to feel the cold sweat after being light headed. 

10 December 2012

Mirza Ghasemi

This past weeken, I finally made Mirza Ghasemi, a special dish from North of Iran. I don't understand why I didn't make it sooner. It is so easy to make.

8 December 2012

Bird by Bird

"Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well."" from here. 

I thought that was one of the best things I have ever read. It is been sometimes that someone recommended me to read 'Bird by Bird'. It was a rainy night and she was giving me a ride to my place after work's Christmas party. She was the main editor, helping scientists of the group to polish their manuscripts for publication. I might have written about her here...

I only talked to her for 20min or so and I can't even remember her face or her name but I remember that I admired her personality. I haven't read 'Bird by Bird' yet.

7 December 2012



This is what I want to say to some people:
 “How 'bout a shot of truth in that denial cocktail.” ― Jennifer Salaiz

3 December 2012

I deactivated my facebook account. I don’t really use it anymore and I don’t see the point of it either. It is nice to see what people post; stay updated with current events, or the most popular videos / songs but I become very uncomfortable with all sort of privacy issue or lack of privacy associated with my online presence. Maybe I am paranoid, I don’t know, but I will try this and if I pass the trial, I will delete my account once and for all.

28 November 2012

But when your heart is ready you will find 
That spring is just a state of mind.
Some flowers blossom late but they're the kind
That last the longest.

“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”
William Blake

27 November 2012

I really like to live in Europe at some point in my life... just for the experience. 

21 November 2012

Byron Katie

I just heard about ‘The Work of Byron Katie’ through this blog. My curiosity took over me and I wanted to know more about this Byron Katie. It turned out that she is quite famous and successful and I found this book [PDF] on her website. It talks about how to be in charge of your own thoughts. In short, it teaches how to be +. I am thinking of reading it all.

20 November 2012

How to make noon sangak

Like hope : How to make noon sangak

 By Ashpaz BaashiJuly 6, 2001 

"The Iranian Cyrus wrote: My needs are quite limited. I live in Michigan and want to have sangak. what is the best way to go about this? No, Cyrus, you are wrong. Your needs are deep, and their simplicity is as deceptive as a shy glance from under dark lashes. Today you want only sangak, but tomorrow you will want abgusht to dip it in, and the next day kebab to wrap in its folds, and then you will ask for the garden. In Michigan.

So this is what you must do: Take a long walk to a fresh stream of melted snow, where pebbles shine under the rushing water. Find a thousand shattered pieces of the sang-e sabur that have worn smooth with the years of your absence.

Gather the stones and take them into your home. Leave them to soak in oil for a day and a night. Drain them and spread them on an oven tray. Dissolve a teaspoon of yeast in half a cup of warm water and mix this into a cup of wholemeal flour and three cups of white bread flour, with a teaspoon of salt. Add a little warm water, mixing it in spoon by spoon, until the dough is soft enough to work.

Roll up your sleeves and knead the dough until it feels alive, elastic and smooth in your hands. Cover it and leave it to sit in a warm place for a few hours, until it has risen like a full moon. Beat it down and let it rise again, like hope, for all of another hour. 

Heat the stones in the oven to 500 degrees. Divide the dough in two lumps and roll one on a floured board into a large oval, half an inch thick. Use the board to turn the dough onto the hot stones and bake for about 5 minutes, until golden. When the bread is done, it should lift easily off the stones. Do the same with the second lump of dough.

Wrap the warm bread in cloth, and eat it with your eyes closed."

13 November 2012

"Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it." Bernard Meltzer

12 November 2012

The Price of Beauty

The Price of Beauty is the name of a TV show by Jessica Simpson. I don’t really like her but this show is (believe it or not) interesting. She travels to different places and sort of interviewing people (mostly women) to understand what beauty means in that culture. She also investigates the methods being used in the beauty spas, fashion, and anything that has to do with the idea of beauty. I have watched couple of episode that I think I will watch the rest.