19 October 2014

Happiness Booster

According to this article in The Huffington Post, keeping a gratitude journal and performing an act of kindness are the two most effective and efficient ways for having a happier life.

9 October 2014

welcome fall

For the past two weeks, my primary task was to clear my stuffy nose and try all sort of remedies to get ride of this cold. I am really tired of being sick. I can't even enjoy the fall and all its beautiful colour. However, I managed to finish The Girl Who was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neil. What a strange, amazing, and wired book.

“They say in Quebec that if you are conceived on a night when your parents are drinking, then you are going to be melancholic your whole life. If your parents conceived you the first time they ever had sex, then you will be lucky your whole life, and everyone you meet will fall madly in love with you.” P. 103

 “There was no difference between the expressions I like you and I love you in French. You could never declare love like that in English. We loved in a self-destructive, over the top way. A way that was popular in sixties experimental theatre and certain Shakespeare plays. P.280

From the girl who was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neil

2 September 2014

Wedding's memories

June 2014, Toronto

After a very hectic weekend and two moves later, I am sitting in my new living room, surrounded by boxes, smelling the rain and enjoying the breeze. I am looking at the wedding pictures my friend sent me today. It was absolutely lovely ceremony and I enjoyed my role as the made of houner. Basically I was just holding a beautiful bouquet of lilies and orchids next to the bride. This is another advantage of having a small wedding. No one gets stressed out over the details. All the guests get to know each others. Everyone will have fun. I just wish that my plus one came with me that night. I miss him now.

The life, faith, destiny or whatever you want to call it is very peculiar. You never know what might come up and in what sort of situation you might find yourself. The only think you can hope for is that the good things come before you and you meet good people who are generous with their hearts.

Enjoy this song by Jill Barber, http://youtu.be/ntvEgliyQXM . I just discovered her recently through her last album, Chansons.

6 July 2014

breathtaking sceneries

I went for my first canoe camping this weekend and it was amazing. I really enjoyed the canoeing and the sceneries. No wonder the aboriginal people were using canoes to travel around this vast country. There are so many lakes, rivers, and waterfalls and I have only seen a little bit of it so far.

I was away from internet and phone for the past two days. The only sound I heard was the bullfrog, our neighbour in the camp site, and the loon. My back and arms are sore because of paddling, I have thousands of mosquito bits, and a little bit of sunburn. When you are a novice camper, these things happen; you just need to do it more often.

4 July 2014

BookBenchs in London

I think this is a very interesting and creative idea; benches, in the form of books, around the city are designed and painted by local artists. What a great way to encourage kids to get interested in reading. I remember I became a reader when my mom bought me a copy of The School for Robinsons by Jules Verne. I read that book and more books by Jules Verne. So if you are in London, take your kids and visit all the benches.

3 July 2014


My colleague calls Prezi “a motion-sickness inducing recipe for instructional disasters”. I have not used Prezi for a while because it takes a lot of time to design a good presentation. There are advantages and disadvantages with Prezi.

Prezi is great if you know how to use it right. The approach for designing a presentation in Prezi should be very different than in using PowerPoint. You should not just take your slides from a PowerPoint presentation and convert them to Prezi. It requires great amount of storytelling skills and creativity to come up with an excellent Prezi presentation. So I think a well done presentation using Prezi is more powerful than a well done presentation using PowerPoint. Also a bad presentation in Prezi is worse than a bad presentation in PowerPoint for the same reason.

I think Prezi works better for global learner audience. I am a global learner myself and I need to always have a bigger picture. So I enjoy watching a good Prezi presentation. I think Prezi is great for e-Posters. It is static. You use all features but the motion and pathways.

Anyway, I am not in love with Prezi but I think it has a lot of potential to turn your presentation to something fantastic if you know what you are doing.

29 June 2014

Doors of Toronto

This is another set of photos for The Doors Project.

12 June 2014

I have not watched soccer (football) for a very long time. I should do it this year and cheer for those two teams.  

9 June 2014


"I was teaching myself how to write DOS commands but I didn't have enough money to buy those fancy computer books. Back then in Iran, there wasn't really anything like a library or Internet that you could go to find information. It was not anything like Chapters either. I don’t know if you remember but it is not customary in Iran to just go to a bookstore, read a book as long as you like, and not buy it at the end. If you spend more than a minute with a book, you better buy it; otherwise, you will be on the black list for that store and would be better to never show up there.

So what I used to do was to go to those bookstores on Enghelab St., right in front of Tehran University, find the book, the chapter, and the pages that I needed and read it for couple of minutes, memorized the page number and then went to a different book that I picked randomly. Spent couple of minutes with that book, then went back to the original book and continued reading from where I left off. So any time, I was stuck in a problem and didn't know how to write the commands, that was how I did go about figuring out a solution to it."

2 June 2014

The doors project

I have started taking pictures more these days. I love doors. They can be the most beautiful part of a home. 

1 June 2014

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou passed away recently. I just realized that the most viewed blog post that I have ever had was the one I wrote about her and about being a rainbow in someone's cloud. I went back and read it, I listened to the Q Radio, Remembering Maya Angelou, and I part of me wished I spent more time learning about this lady by listening to her interviews and reading her books. There is so much to say about her and what a strong, positive, and fair women she was.

There are other posts here and here from her quotes.  

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” 
                                                                                                           - Maya Angelou

11 May 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

How better could you celebrate the Mother's Day than by cooking fabulous pancakes for your mom and sister? This has been by far the best recipe for pancakes I have ever tried.    

6 May 2014

Being there for each other

This is a very nice Facebook public page with some many great reads. It is a fantastic place to visit when you are down and just need some pep talk.

17 April 2014

Dealing with difficult people

One month in a new job and I am already so frustrated at a colleague that I want to break stuff! Is it really unprofessional if I tell her to shut her mouth up? This is what I think constantly when we have to talk or when I read her emails. 

She is condescending, arrogant, pushy, negative, and thinks her way is the only best way. Offer advice when, she is not asked. She thinks because she is older, she should not respect younger minds and ideas. She does not understand that if you want to play a role of a mentor for some one, you should practice active listening and you should be respected by your mentee; otherwise, it is not going to work!

3 March 2014

The count down begins

Denying emotions, over thinking, and over planning everything is my motto!! 

However, this is what I have learned; the best thing for doing something is not to plan for it. I applied for a job and went for the interview without thinking about getting it and being emotionally invested in it.

I got it and then I realized I had to move for it. I have been packing, weeding, and organizing .... .

I like my current job and although my living situation has not been ideal in this city, I was okay with it. This is my last week at work and in this city and I can't hide my excitement. Maybe that tells me, I have not really been happy here and I should have done this long time ago.  

21 January 2014

Iranian Studies and Persian Language program at UBC

The Iranian Studies and Persian Language program at UBC is offering various courses related to Iranian culture, language, and history. You can search for list of courses here. None of them are offered online yet!

10 January 2014

A Promise

"Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
― Christian D. Larson, YourForces and How to Use Them

8 January 2014

FB or no FB

For pages like this, I am tempted to go back to Facebook!

TED Open Translation Project

To learn more about TED Open Translation Project visit here. If you are interested in joining this project, sign up HERE.

7 January 2014

Why phones shouldn't have cameras

The ubiquitous access to cameras and Iranian culture don't go very well together since you can't take a decent group photo.  We LOVE our group photos but when everyone is standing, there are several cameras on at every single moment and each person is looking at a different camera.

5 January 2014

When two cultures meet

Well! We made gingerbread this year for Christmas and when you are so blended in with Iranian culture, this is how you decorate it using noting but Noghl :)

3 January 2014

I want to be a hard-ass-career-woman-manager-superstar too!

This is exactly what I want to be and I think these people said it well in this post.

2 January 2014

Happy New Year!

“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.” By Arnold Bennett