17 December 2013

The Christmas Experiments: the countdown began


Listening Disney Playlist from Davedonuts on Vimeo.

Also for more, visit http://christmasexperiments.com

Facebook craving

Today, for the first time, after being away from Facebook for over a year, I was craving to look at some familiar photos, or to learn what people [my friends] were up to.  It was one of those days that FB could actually help to relax by wondering around. I am not saying I will go back to FB or I regret quitting it. All I am saying is that I just felt it was missing. 
I can't wait for the holidays to begin!

9 December 2013

Feeling Empowered

"Too bad there is no on/off switch for how we feel, what is in our heart, and for what goes in our mind. I have been really miserable for sometimes now. I have handed in the worst final project of my life two weeks ago because I was simply incapable of focusing. The final grade that could have been +A will be +B if my prof shows some mercy on me.

But then what about my dreams. When did I stop dreaming or better yet when did I stop to put my 100% effort? What did really happen to that ambitious person?" from April 2009

I am back. I want to write again. I was going through old posts that never made it to publications and I came cross this one. I can't even remember what paper I was talking about but I know the feeling of needing to be empowered.

I haven't written here for god knows how long,  haven't exercise, or read a good book. I want to feel empowered again. I need to work on it again.  


23 September 2013

Self-censorship

Tomorrow night, I will be teaching a class about censorship in libraries. I am not an expert in this field. However, I might know a thing or two about censorship since my entire childhood and young adult life was surrounded by censorship, consideration for not upsetting or offending anyone, and information must be categories into two acceptable or not acceptable groups. There is nothing in gray area; everything is either black or white.

Maybe this is the reason that I self-censor a lot of things. Even this poor blog is not safe from my touch of self-censorship. In preparation for this class, I am reading a lot on the harms of censorship, intellectual freedom, and access to information. I recommend reading "Places I Never Meant to Be: A Personal View. by Judy Blume,. " American Libraries 30.6 (1999): 62-67

Happy Banned Books Week:  http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek

22 September 2013

- I learned you were not using your car regularly when I saw that giant spider web behind the window in the back seat!

-- or you learned that I don't clean regularly!

20 September 2013

and on Sept 14, 2013, on a beautiful sunny Saturday, this is what they shared with everyone:


گـل در بر و می در کف و معشوق به کام است
سلـطان جهانـم بـه چـنین روز غلام است

گو شـمـع میارید در این جمع که امـشـب
در مـجـلـس ما ماه رخ دوست تمام اسـت

در مذهـب ما باده حـلال اسـت ولیکـن
بی روی تو ای سرو گـل اندام حرام اسـت

گوشـم هـمـه بر قول نی و نغمه چنگ است
چشمـم همـه بر لعل لب و گردش جام است

در مـجـلـس ما عـطر میامیز کـه ما را
هر لحظه ز گیسوی تو خوش بوی مشام اسـت

از چاشـنی قـند مـگو هیچ و ز شـکر
زان رو کـه مرا از لـب شیرین تو کام اسـت

تا گـنـج غـمـت در دل ویرانه مقیم اسـت
هـمواره مرا کوی خرابات مـقام اسـت

از نـنـگ چـه گویی که مرا نام ز ننگ اسـت
وز نام چـه پرسی که مرا ننـگ ز نام اسـت

میخواره و سرگـشـتـه و رندیم و نـظرباز
وان کس که چو ما نیست در این شهر کدام است

با محـتـسـبـم عیب مـگویید کـه او نیز
پیوسـتـه چو ما در طلب عیش مدام اسـت

حافـظ مـنـشین بی می و معشوق زمانی
کایام گـل و یاسـمـن و عید صیام اسـت

English translation: 

(Hafez Ghazal 01 Section 46)

Amidst flowers, wine in hand, my lover I embrace
King of the world is my slave on such a day in such a place.

Bring no candles to this, our festive feast, tonight
Full moon is pale beside the light of my lover's face.

Drinking of wine, our creed has sanctified
Yet without you, drinking wine is disgrace.

My ears only hear the song of the harp and the reed
My eyes see your ruby lips, and the cup chase.

Keep perfumes away from our feast tonight
The fragrance of your hair, our feast will grace.

Speak not to me of sweetness of candy and sugar;
Since my lips, sweetness of your lips, did once trace.

Your treasures are hidden in the ruins of my heart
And my path to the tavern has now become sacred space.

Speak not of disgrace; that's my fame and my base
And fame and high place, I despise and debase.

Drunk and disconcerted and demented and deceived
Show me one who's not, within our town and our race.

Fault not the pious one, because he, also, like us,
Is seeking love and grace, in his own way, at his own pace.

Hafiz, wine in hand, always your lover embrace
'Cause flowers and joy fill this festive time and space.

6 September 2013

Politics!

I mean office politics and how naive I am not knowing how to navigate it all. Why people can't be just who they are or can't show who they are.
If you are pushing an agenda because you think that is the most important thing in the world, just be frank about it....so many phone calls and emails...so many talking to this person and that person.

10 August 2013



A warm welcome to the new members of Daisy's tea house.

Estée Lauder poor attempt at promotion




This is how Estée Lauder's catalogue looks like in Farsi. You would think the marketing department at such an expensive and high profile cosmetic company would do their due diligence to avoid embarrassment like this.

7 August 2013

The birth house

“He has left me with a quiet, sure happiness that will not go away, and I don’t think it matters if he ever says he loves me. I know him, have always known him. Same as I know he doesn’t like too much sugar, not in his coffee, not in a girl. Same as I know he’s never has patience for lies. Sin has many tools, but a lie has a handle to fit them all. Same as I know that tonight at midnight, or half past one, or whenever he sees that the rest of the Bay is asleep, Hart Bigelow will make his way up to the road to Spider Hill and lay his body next to mine, again.” The birth house, p. 353

I loved this book. The author, Ami McKay is a talented writer.

29 July 2013

Greens in a vase




Either, it is depression or I don't know what that I am not myself these days. Just to make myself feel better, I got this bouquet of basil and coriander from farmers market over the weekend to lift up my spirit and give some colour to my living room.

28 July 2013

a sweet discovery

I still remember when my grandmother used to tell "The Lion and the Hare" story to me and my sister at our bedtime. It is nice to stumble across this post to find out that I can still listen to this story.

Personal dilemma

It was all talk! Dream big and all that crap I posted couple of days ago!

I found out that Master Chef Canada is auditioning for new competition series in Canada. I read the application form and FAQ section. They mentioned that successful candidates must be available for filming in Sept and October. The first thing I thought to myself was that I can’t just not go to work. I have commitments and other sort of stuff I need to take care of. The truth is I like to keep my certain life style and not risk it for something that may or may not change my professional life. Also, I don't want to put up with annoying stuff I have to deal with in a reality TV show. Maybe being a professional chef is not [after all] my passion.

23 July 2013

Random acts of kindness

Sometimes ago, I attended a talk by Dr. John Izzo. He was talking about how to live a more fulfilling life. I remember the last slide in his presentation listed some practical suggestions. One of them was to practice a random act of kindness at least once a day for couple of months. He was saying that helping random people even if in something small can make you a happier person. I didn't quite understand that claim since I figured we all would help people if we could (specially for something very small) and since I am practicing more selfishness in my life these days, I didn't really consider doing that.

Several months later, I was in the gym doing cycling with a class. Everyone is encouraged to wipe their bike after they are done to have a better hygiene around the gym. The wiping tissue stations are all around the gym makes it convenient for even the laziest person to get as many tissues as they need. The class ended; I was still stretching when a young woman got close to me and tried to hand me a tissue to wipe my bike. I was very touched by her kindness. I put my hand forward to take the tissue as I was smiling. I was about to say thank you that she realized I was not her friend. It turned out that they were several of them and she brought a wiping tissue for each of them. As soon as she realized that I was not one of them, she turned around and gave the tissue to the person (her friend) next to me. I was standing there with my hand stretched out and kind of frozen by her reaction. I thought if it was me, I would have gave the tissue anyway and would have got another one. Then I realized why Dr. Izzo was talking about random acts of kindness; because it does not come natural to everyone.

In a warm summer day :)


July 2013

19 July 2013

a job ad and a job ad

I came across this job ad and I wish I could work at goodreads. As you can tell a lot about a person just by reading their cover letter, I think you can tell a lot about the company just by reading their job ads. In one section of this ad, it says "Several of our team – including our CEO – bike to work." That might not be that important to many people but it was so refreshing for me to see. I usually walk to work and one of my colleagues finds that absurd (not that I care what she thinks but it is nice to hang out with people who have the same life style as you do).

17 July 2013

Mirza Ghasemi and homemade bread



This is a very simple dish to make. You can find the recipe here. I didn't add the eggs though. I like it better without eggs.
For the flat bread, this is my recipe (modified from an Indian flat bread recipe): 

4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
6 tablespoon yogurt
3 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup warm milk

Mix the dry ingredients together and wet ingredients together. Then, mix them together and leave it for 15 minutes. Take half of the dough and rolled it out. Brush it with some oil and bake it in the oven at 350C for 15-20 minutes.

16 July 2013

I dare to dream

I dream; I dare to dream for something better and bigger.
I dream of a place that I feel walking on the clouds again.
I dream of a place that I can enjoy the colour of the city again.
I dream of a place the keeps me dreaming again.
I dream; I dare to dream.

15 July 2013

Writing class

I finished my writing class couple of weeks ago. Whether my writing is any better, that is a different story, but I enjoyed reading the textbook, The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication. It is a real page turner. I didn't even feel I was reading this book as course work. This is not a grammar book. It provides you with some tips on how to mange your writing rather than how to write. The author discuss many issues about writing.  According to him, writing like other skills can be learned. You just need to know how to approach it. One of the suggestion is to separate your 'internal editor' while you are writing your first draft. You need to write. So stop multitasking and going back and forth trying to fix and edit anything.

from Today's Letters

It is such a nice feeling when you come across a good read like,{10 things} That Have Made All the Difference, serendipitously. 

13 July 2013

Fitness Blender


This is a great video for workout!

16 June 2013

HEART AND SOUL

My crush

She is sitting across the table in front of me playing with a big piece of meat. I think she is my age. She is charming with blond hair which has not seen a comb for a while.  She has bushy eyebrows. I can help her to shape them; this is coming from an Iranian woman who has obsession with eyebrows. They might totally look fine to others but they are not up to my standard and I think it will change her look dramatically.

I am enjoying her company. She is easy to talk to, funny, and she is a good story teller. She said it was Monday because these things only happen on Mondays. My crush who was the nicest and most handsome guy ever came to our office areas with a cart. You know! Something like those wine carts. There was a huge piece of cake on the cart. We curiously asked him what the cake was for. He cheerfully said. Last weekend was his wedding. This was the leftover cake and he thought he should share it with some colleagues that probably he didn’t even know their names. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe he was married. Last time and the only time we talked (which by the way was great), we talked about the weather for 2 minutes.  He never mentioned anything about being engaged. How could he do this to me? How my perfect guy could be married. Then, I picked the biggest piece of the cake, sat in the corner, and thought to myself: I am eating the 2 days old leftover wedding cake of my crush. My love life couldn’t get any more pathetic than this.

Then, she laughed at her story and we laughed with her.

30 May 2013

Q: The Podcast from CBC Radio

This is my favourite podcast nowadays. I like that Jian invites two guests with opposite perspectives to debate and talk about their point of views.   

29 May 2013

Addiction

She quit smoking 8 years ago, but she has been chewing those nicotine gums for the past 8 years.

23 April 2013

Things people don’t talk about!

Sometimes you think you know a lot of things about people you see every day but that is not the case. I was talking to colleagues about delivering a presentation; as part of the interview, delivering lectures, or workshops. We talked about how your nerves might get better of you and how to manage it. One of them practices Kung Fu (martial art) in his office before giving a presentation. The other one said she is taking Prozac. It helps her with mood disorder (which I didn't know she had) and managing her nerves. One of the described conducting a workshop as going to a war and the other one said she feels as nervous as the first time she did a presentation.

15 April 2013




My new obsession with Dowager Countess of Grantham ;)

14 April 2013

Maggie Smith


Quartet (2012) - IMDb

"Quartet" Premiere - Arrivals - 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

25 March 2013

Sometimes, I realize that it is me surrounded by walls.

22 March 2013

Marcello Di Cintio writing about Nowruz

I couldn't help not writing about this. I have read Poets and Pahlevans years ago but the memory of how enjoyable that was is still fresh. If you are interested to know more about Persian New Year check out this blog post.

21 March 2013

خاينة




In order to enjoy a song, I need to understand the lyrics. There have been only a few occasions that I didn't understand the lyrics at all but I enjoyed the songs. On of those times was when I went to a live perforce by Ana Moura, a Portuguese singer. She was amazing. Another song that I become overly emotional when I listen to is this song. It is a sad song talking about heart break but I always found it beautiful.  I will try to find the translation for this but it might take a while.

She/he

A blog friend was kind enough to share this information with me. I found it to be very informative and since I am always interested to know about differences in languages, I thought of posting this here:

In English poetry the objects do have specific genders.." if you choose male or female, however depends not simply on the context, but on the "character" that this item carries. So I guess if the poem is about a gently blowing summer wind, this will be a SHE, but if it is about a horrible thunderstorm, this must be a HE. A nice, colourful, delicate and well-smelling flower will most likely be assigned a female gender. But if the poem is about a carnovourous plant, ugly looking and nastly smelling, it would be more appropriate to assigned it a male gender". 

"... There are some fixed cases of assigned gender: The Sea is always male, whereas ships are always female. In contrast to German, where the Sea is female (but the Ocean is male (?), and ships are neutral. So british poetry, like the british character in general, takes a very pragmatic position, in contrast to German, which you have to follow the rules of grammar, and where it does not matter whether you write a sonett or a car damage report."   by Michael

In Farsi, there is no female or male.

20 March 2013

Happy New Year! Happy Spring!






I wish you Health ,Happiness, Joy and Peace. Happy Nowruz! Happy Spring!

p.s. It was snowing the entire night . But the sun is shining this morning and birds are singing from naked branches. I take that as the spring! :) 

16 March 2013

Google Reader

If I say it is devastating that Google Reader is being discontinued, I am not exaggerating.

10 March 2013

I'm writing your name



"I'm writing your name my darling
On the old poplar
You're writing my name my darling
On the sand of the path

Tomorrow it will rain
On the wounded stories
Your name will remain my darling
And my name will be erased

I talk about you my darling
To the people of the neighbourhood
You talk about me my darling
To the spring water
And when they burn the midnight oil
Beneath the lamps of the evening
They talk about you my darling
And I am forgotten

You gave me a flower
I showed it to my friends
I put it in my book
I planted it on my pillow
I gave you a vase
You didn't take care of it you weren't concerned with it
So the gift went to waste

You tell me you love me
You don't know how much
If you really love me
Then tell me why you did that?
Please .. Why.. Why?"

translation: from youtube

it is here because it is one of your favourite songs!

20 February 2013

Meditation

"Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." ~ Rumi ~ 
I went to a meditation session. I will write more about my experince soon.
 

18 February 2013

Rick Mercer on Annoying Canadian Stereotypes



"You can't be too polite!" This is so true.

Ithaca

Ithaka by Constantine P. Cavafy 


When you start on your journey to Ithaca,
then pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
Do no fear the Lestrygonians
and the Cyclops and the angry Poesidon.

...

Then pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many,
that you will enter ports seen for the first time
with such pleasure, with such joy!


Stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and corals, amber and ebony,
and pleasurable perfumes of all kind,
buy as many pleasurable perfumes as you can;
visit host of Egyptian cities,
to learn, and learn from those who have knowledge.


Always keep 
Ithaca fixed in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for long years;
and even to anchor at the isle when you are old,
rich with all that you have gained on the way,
not expecting that 
Ithaca will offer you riches.Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage
Without her you would have never taken the road.
But she has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, 
Ithaca has not defrauded you.
With the great wisdom you have gained,
with so much experience, you must surely
have understood by then what Ithaca means.


"بسیار سفر باید تا پخته شود خامی"

28 January 2013

Advice to take to Heart!

Last week, I ran into an acquaintance in the bus. The bus was very crowded and she could tell from my face that I was not doing very well. I was standing in front of her and when I told her about my back pain, she offered to hold my purse. Then she went on and on about things I shouldn’t do and thing I should do. She was talking from experience apparently. She mentioned that I should not stand on my feet. Did she offer me her seat? No.

23 January 2013

Taste of Esfahan



Kohlrabi and Mung beans haleem
If you have no idea what Kohlrabi is, see this article.



Haleem is a category of dishes that is popular in Iran. The recipe I am about to share can only be found in Esfahan and this particular recipe is a family recipe. The original recipe has meat and apparently different herbs. 

2 medium Kohlrabi
1 cup Mung beans
0.5 cup rice
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
Salt and black pepper
~0.5 table spoon turmeric
2 table spoon dried tarragon 

Boil Kohlrabi, Mung beans, and rice for couple of hours until everything cooks very well and become mushy and thick (i.e. it might take 2 to 3 hours and you might need to add more water). Then fry the onion and garlic. Add turmeric, salt and pepper and tarragon and fry for couple of minutes. Add the onion mix to Kohlrabi, Mung beans, and rice. Let it cook for a little bit longer. You need to stir it frequently at this point otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pot and it will burn. Becareful not to burn yourself either. Thick liquid dose boil hard.
Serve with flat bread.
Enjoy!
 


 


21 January 2013

Turn off the left speaker!

I read Bird by Bird over holidays. It was a great book; not only about creative writing but about life in general. What was particularly amazing about the book was the writing style and how effective the writer as narrative was. Anna Lamott by far is one of the greatest writers I have ever read. I felt I knew her forever. She makes connection with her readers. Her writing reminded me of Nazy Kaviani’s blog. I felt as if these two women are sisters. Anna is the naughty sister and Nazy is the sweet one. Both of them share their own life experience through writing. I felt happy reading this book as much as reading Nazy's blog made me happy.

I meant to write about this book since I finished it but I forgot. I just remembered it because as I was knitting, my thoughts travelled thousands miles away and took me some places I didn’t want to go (i.e. I am trying to be a more positive/ optimistic person).

Anyway, it reminded me of this part of her book “…out of the right speaker in your inner ear will come the endless stream of self-aggrandizement, the recitation of one’s specialness, of how much more open and gifted and brilliant and knowing and misunderstood and humble one is. Out of the left speaker will be the rap songs of self-loathing, the list of all the things one doesn’t do well, of all the mistakes one has made today and over an entire lifetime, the doubt, the assertion that everything that one touches turns to shit, that one doesn’t do relationships well, that one has no talent or insight, and on and on and on.”
By Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird

TED talk : Jarrett J. Krosoczka



Let your kids know they can draw a Nice Cat! 

18 January 2013

Creepy laugh!



Did you know if you send a text message to a landline phone, the content of the text will be converted to audio and the person receives the message by hearing some sort of a robot voice? Try texting someone :) on landline phone.  

15 January 2013

e-everything!

What did happen to the simple, good, old days? When you are travelling  pick-pocketers should be your least worries. Now that people can scan your information from a couple meters distance, you need something else to protect yourself while travelling. Today, I went to buy a passport cover and the sale person mentioned that they had the RFID protection one as well and if I wanted to take one.

4 January 2013

Time management & productivity

I am giving an one hour training session to our staff about time management and productivity next week. If you know me personally, you might laugh at this! ;)

Anyway, I did this half a day workshop on productivity last September and I have started practicing some of the tips I learned and have been trying to change some habits, etc. It is a slow and gradual process but I think I am improving. In preparation for this session, I came across this website that I found very useful. One of my colleagues is using it already and she is a very productive and successful person.

3 January 2013

four cardinal virtues

"...Help us to be humble when we receive and joyful when we give.....Help us never to be imprisoned by the things we think we know, because we know so little about Fate, and may this lead us to behave impeccably, making use of the four cardinal virtues: boldness, elegance, love and friendship."

from Paulo Coelho's Blog 

I tghought that was beautiful but I don't really understand the meaning of last phrase. Does it mean by being imprisoned by the things we think we know, we will use the four cardinal virtues? That doesn't make sense to me!

2 January 2013

definition

i·ro·ny 
/ˈīrənē/

Noun
when your gym clothes are too tight on you.

1 January 2013


“May you hold
...calm when the world is full of sound and fury,
...love when the world seems cruel and heartless” in this year.

Happy New Year! 

from happy day! by Pam Brown