Trick Or Treat!

"Road to World Cup 2006," a video clip of a group of Iranians in Europe who travelled to Germany to see the games. One of the directors is M. R. Heydari, who lives in Sweden. This clip really moved me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Happy Halloween and Happy Friday! I spent a solitary Halloween back at my house. My older son stayed in Santa Cruz to join the other 30,000 young people partying in Santa Cruz tonight. My younger son and Iden have gone to San Francisco to party at a friend's house. Did I tell you Iden is our house guest again for a couple of weeks? I am glad they are celebrating their youth, and I pray that they are safe. I had many trick or treaters at the door again this year. Treats were the order of the evening, so no tricks at this house! By now all is quiet in my neighborhood again and I get a chance to do some work.

Tomorrow evening I will go to UC Berkeley to see two of Dariush Mehrjui's films and attend a Q/A session where he will answer questions about his films. Here's the information in case you live in these parts and are interested to attend the program:

Berkeley Lecture Series Presents: An evening with Dariush Mehrjui; showing of “Derakht-e Golabi”, The Pear Tree, and “Dokhtar Dayi-e Gomshodeh”, The Lost Cousin (with Khosrow Shakibayie), followed by Q & A with Mr. Mehrjui; Saturday, November 1, 2008, 6:00 p.m.; 100 GPB (Genetics & Plant Biology), University of California, Berkeley, map.

I hope you all have a very good weekend ahead of you, full of joy, relaxation, and love. Remember to hold those who are dear to you tightly, kissing them often, and confessing your love to them! You have nothing to lose and something to gain when you pay close attention to those who are in your lives for a reason. Never take them for granted and in doing so, they will also take note not to take you for granted. So, fess up and be good y'all!


Three Weeks in October (I)

My friends were going to Japan for three weeks. They asked me to look after their house and their cat, Ray. I had been feeling tired and stressed out, needing to take a break without having to get too far from my life. I agreed. I figured since I really love cats and miss my cat, Asghar, whom I had left behind when I moved from Tehran three years ago, I would have a good chance to bond with a furry feline and re-energize.
I have known Kerry for more than twenty years and was fortunate enough to attend Kerry and Mark’s wedding many years ago. Kerry, is the epitome of an organized individual. Her beautiful house perfectly clean and tidy, her house cat, Ray, a dream of a cat, and her binder full of typed instructions on EVERYTHING about her house and her cat, were welcoming and encouraging signs that I was about to arrive at my oasis of sanity and peace for three weeks. I went to get introduced and oriented to the cat and Kerry and Mark’s house three times prior to their departure. I learned the elaborate lighting, sound, and alarm systems of their gorgeous house near Berkeley. Ray seemed shy but he did warm up to me some during my visits. Kerry even took me and introduced me to a few of her neighbors who had all been informed about a woman who would be living at her house for a few weeks.
I told Kerry I had prior plans to have dear guests on the first Sunday they were gone and whether it was alright with her if I entertained my friends at her house. The sweet woman was happy at the prospect of a party at her house, even if she wasn’t in it! I had invited my friends to our usual monthly get-together which I regularly host, except this time a dear friend of mine, Jahanshah, who was planning to leave the area was our low-key “guest of honor.” I call it low-key because he had made it clear he didn’t want a farewell party. I knew and everybody else knew that this would be the last time we would get together like this for a while.
Kerry and Mark left on a Thursday and I moved in and became house-mate with Ray, the cat. Everything went very well, including our bedtimes, when Ray would sleep at the bottom of my bed, just like Kerry had said he would. Things were going on really well with the two of us.
I returned to my house on that first Saturday night, cooked up a storm, and the next day, on Sunday, I took all the food and a lot of other things with me to my friends’ house where I expected my friends. A couple of days before the party, I had received emails and phone calls from a couple of my friends whom I hadn’t invited to the party. They said they had heard about the party and wanted to come, too. This is not unusual among my friends. I have many many friends and it is not possible to invite all of them to my house at the same time, so I take turns on whom to invite. All through my life, though, it has happened that I would get calls from people just before a party, inviting themselves over. It gives me great joy to accept and welcome my friends when they really want to come.
(To Be Continued...)


Where I Belong

Kayvan Saket leads a musical and choral ensemble in a live performance in Tehran.  I have posted this before, so forgive the repetition and the fact that I still don't know the musical piece's name, the other artists' names, and where and when this is happening.  Enjoy it just the same as I do quite frequently!
I am at my friends' house, cleaning up and packing my stuff to leave tomorrow after they return.  I will write a better post tomorrow night when I'm back where I belong!  Have a fabulous Thursday everybody.  (I am listening to this music, also by people to whom I belong as I'm working, loving it!)


Writing Blues

Initial Love by Aida Foroutan, from Book of Dreams on Iranian.com, October 28, 2008.
Some of my writing has been pouring out of me in the form of poetry, even though I had never written poetry before.  I don't know how this all got started, but all of a sudden, words jump out of my head with almost volcanic force and hop onto the keyboard and the result looks like poetry.  This has been a scary and at the same time exciting thing for me.  This last Sunday, I read a poem I had written to a group of writers, my friends.  There was discussion of my poem after the reading.  As I was carefully listening to the other poets and writers talk about my poem, taking notes on how to make it better, one of them whose opinion I really respect said:  "That was a very devastating poem.  It conveyed devastating thoughts and feelings."  Heeh!  I had conveyed "very devastating thoughts and feelings?!"  I must have, for my kind and sensitive friend, a published author himself, wouldn't have said so if I hadn't!  I thought I had just written about some memories and of some feelings, albeit sad feelings.  I was actually amused until he said:  "How do women do that?  How can they be so kind and generous to men who have hurt them and why do women remember those men with love even after they have left them?"  All of a sudden, I wasn't amused anymore.  I was sad.


Filed Under "Love"

Jaleh Etemad's "Girl Sobs," from the Spark of Life series, Iranian.com, September 27, 2008.
My little sister laughed. Her lips and her tongue were purple with the stain of the mulberries (toot), picked fresh from the towering trees in our front yard. The sun's reflection on her auburn hair created the image of her beautiful hair in flames of changing colors as her small frame kept moving, bending and shifting. She was laughing and telling me something, when time stopped long enough to file her image in my head among other images there, filed under "Love," and then catapulting us forward by several decades, landing us in October 2008. I watched her now from across the room, as her face lit up in a big smile and her auburn hair caught the reflections of light from the window, seeing the purple lips in my mind.


You Can Take A Chance

One day last week I had Chinese takeout at my desk for lunch.  I found a fortune cookie in the plastic bag containing my food.  This is what it said:  "The next few days are a lucky time for you.  You can take a chance."  Though not terribly superstitious, something about this unsolicited advice and message of hope really touched me.  I felt energized to do something about a few things in my life which have not been going really well.  I used the energy to do things  I had been putting off for a while.  Now I wait to see whether "luck" would come my way as a result of the chances I took last week!  I'll let you know if the hopeful prediction comes through.  In the meantime, I think the best way to approach life's challenges is through optimism and hope and hard work.  Of course any good vibes and idea you could send my way are most welcome as usual!  Have a good Monday everybody!


Ray The Cat, Saturday, October 25, 2008.
As promised, here is a picture of the creature I have been spending time with over the past 2.5 weeks. My work with him will be finished on Thursday, when my friends return from their trip. I was thinking yesterday that I will miss him so much. I'm not ready to adopt another pet, though. I will do it when my current responsibilities subside and I have less to worry about. Just the same, it has been great spending time with this sweet cat. I hope you all are enjoying your Sunday.


A Chance To Love

A traditional coffee shop, ghahveh khooneh, in Karaj. Photo by Faranak Ravon, Iranian.com. A salute to my memories!
I took off my shoes and climbed on top of the wooden bed covered with rugs. I sat in the corner, where a huge carpet pillow, Mokhaddeh, was invitingly waiting for me. I couldn't fold my feet under, something I never learned to do. So I sat with my legs pointing forward. We asked for the village breakfast of fresh eggs, bread, cheese, and hot tea served in transparent short cups, estekan. The clean plastic spread, Sofreh, held the most delicious feast on the earth for me. The two of us sat there, under those shady trees in the summer's early morning breeze, listenning to the river beneath go by, having our breakfast and talking, laughing, and talking some more. Today, if anyone asks me where I think is the most romantic place in the world, I would say a small coffeeshop just outside of Tehran on Chaloos Road, where they served a delicious breakfast and a chance to love.


A Cat In My Lap

Fresh barberries, zereshk, in Karaj, Iran. Photo by Faranak Ravon, Iranian.com, October 22, 2008.
Ray the cat, and I are getting along well. I think he has come to like me! I am looking for a chance to photograph him during the day and show you his picture. He is a sweet cat, a lap cat, which means he loves hanging out on my lap! This could be a challenge as I work on the computer a lot, and his sitting on my lap means that my access to the keyboard gets somewhat restricted! Sometimes he touches the keyboard, too, typing something! All things considered, we are doing well together. Today I completed my second week living with him. With just one more week to go, I was thinking how I might miss having a cat around when I'm back at my house again! I miss my cat, Asghar. He lives in Karaj now, where the above photograph was taken by Farah.
I could use your good vibes for a professional project I am undertaking. I really need this project to go well. Please send good thoughts my way you guys! I'll give you a good shirini if it goes well! Have a good Friday you all!


Mi Gilan

Mastan Ensemble perform a Gilaki song, Leili, at a 2007 concert.  I played this music to cheer myself up tonight.  I then decided to post it here, hoping that it would do the same thing for you!  Though I'm not a Gilak (or a "Gilandokht"), I love Gilaki music, and my many happy memories of beautiful Gilan are all intertwined with this uplifting music.  As Master Hossein Alizadeh explained to us one time, Iranian folkloric music is upbeat and uplifting because people used to sing these songs to themselves while performing agricultural work on their farms and rice paddies, so this is "movement music."  Of course, there is also a melancholic side to Iranian folk music which signifies the farmers' "rest music," he explained, when people returned home and played a Ney (Persian flute) to relax and regroup for another day of work.  Enjoy the uplifting music and "move" to it if you want!  Have a happy Wednesday y'all!   



I watched the horse
Dressed in travel gear
Impatient to take off
The nomad ready
To begin his journey
He needs nothing
No one to bid farewell
No worries about a home
Which was but a tent
Already waiting on the horse
No fears
No worries
No love left behind
And what there was
He didn’t claim
The horse shifts
Impatient for greener turfs
The nomad jumps on his horse
Waiving goodbye
Greeting the road ahead
Looking forward
And never back
And I think
I could be a nomad, no?
The nomad says I’m free
I could be free, no?
The nomad says I want nothing
I could want nothing, no?
The nomad says I love none
And I bid him Godspeed
For I love much and many
Even the nomad, but
A horse,
A road,
A tent,
Could take me far not
For I am anchored by love.
Kooch is the seasonal travels of a nomadic tribe to areas with better climate.
Photo from Getty Images by AFP.

Me, Hafez, and A Wish

So, I woke up early this morning, missing my Hafez books. Was it the way yesterday had ended? Or did I have a dream I couldn't remember, but which was weighing on my mind? All I know is that I really needed some solace and comfort, the kind only prayers and my Khajeh can give me. As you may know by now, I have not been living in my house these days while I take care of my friends' house and cat. I didn't have access to any of my Hafez books, so I went back to the site that I had first shared with you last December, to do a fa'al*-e-Hafez. The picture above shows what I got.
Can any of you help with an interpretation? I'm a little stumped myself today. Any help will be appreciated!
Have a good Monday and a good week you guys!
fa'al means bibliomancy in Farsi.


Blissful Saturday

My older son is visiting from Santa Cruz this weekend. He took me out to lunch for my birthday today. We talked about food, music, politics, and relationships. It is really an amazing feeling to talk to my son as an adult. He is brilliant, funny, and full of optimism. Too bad my younger son was at work and couldn't join us. It was a beautiful day. We drove around our neighborhood, spotting signs of autumn on trees and shrubberies nearby, listening to music.
It was even fun getting my car, Golgoon washed! My poor car really needed the attention and it was so good to finally have it washed on a warm October Saturday afternoon, as my son and I were chatting away. A lovely day, indeed.
I will go to Sacramento tomorrow to visit with family and to say goodbye to my sister who was visiting from Tehran. Here's a wonderful videoclip of a very uplifting Kurdish piece of music performed by my beautiful and very good friend, Rojan, and the Tahmoures Pournazeri group. I hope you enjoy it. Have a good Sunday everybody!

In The Dark

And I looked up into the blinding sunshine,
Shielding my eyes
Smiling at you,
Turning my face just in time
To hide the contortions
Giving way
to tears held back
for days
And I looked brave
And I sounded complete
And I smiled again
And I blew you a kiss
Turning around,
Waiving goodbye
Fearing your absence
Suffering your loss
Remembering your touch
Until you were gone
And I was inside
In the dark
Me and my tears
Drowning each other.


Happy Friday!

I am running late to visit with my family.  I thought I would leave a happy video clip for you guys!  Miss Mina dances "Gher" in Irvine this past spring.  I hope you enjoy it.  Remember to dance along if you can!  I am going to spend the evening with four of my sisters and their families.  My son is coming home from Santa Cruz, joining the family.  If the opportunity presents itself, I will dance to my heart's content, too!  Have a great Friday and a good start to your weekend you guys!


Wrapped in Love

My friends surprised me with an early birthday celebration this year.  I learned at the implementation stages, that Leva and Jahanshah had coordinated everyone else in a plan to "surprise" me!  The poor guy who gave away the surprise, His Majesty, got an earful from me, that is before I got into the swing of things and started enjoying myself!  This cake was quite possibly the biggest and most delicious chocolate cake I had ever seen and tasted!  The blue butterfly on top, a design my friend Jahanshah had picked, resembles the blue butterfly which is my avatar when I write on Iranian.com.  I was touched by my friends' kindness and generosity one more time.  And so, my week-long birthday celebrations continue!  Well, since it's inevitable to grow old, perhaps it's better to do it with the help of our friends, wrapped in love (you know the Molana poem which says "I am wrapped in love," or dar asheghi pichideh-am?)
The best part of my life has always been the part in which I have been wrapped in love, surrounded by loving friends and family, and people who would give me a chance to love them.  Do you realize what a great gift people give us when they let us love them?  It has happened very infrequently, but the few times in my life when I loved someone who didn't let me show that love, my life has been poorer and bereft of joy and light for it.  Am I making sense to you?  Let people love you.  Let them show you their love.  You are giving a great gift to them and to yourself at the same time.
Anyhow, I would much rather celebrate every day of life as opposed to making a big deal out of just one day, birthdays.  But the spontaneous separate birthday celebrations continue all the way through next Monday, immersing  me in kindness and generosity, wrapping me in love.
I know what true bliss in life is--it is a life full of friendships and love, and a home filled with peace and joy of life.  I have it all, I'll have you know.  I do. 



"Darvish Joe," an American, sings Gol-e-Goldoon-e-Man, a song originally performed by Simin Ghanem on Farhad Sheibani lyrics and Fereidoon Shahbazian's composition.  This is one of my most favorite songs in the world, full of memories and joy.  He does such a good job of the song, too, don't you think?
Something had been happening around me over the past three days which had me really worried.  Thank God the problem has been resolved in a good way and I'm really, really happy again!  I try to stay true in what I write in my blogs, for I write to please no one but myself and the urge in me to express myself.  When I have fears and worries and pains, and for whatever reason I am unable to share them, I can't pretend to be happy and write as if nothing is wrong.  This is my little home in which I am myself, free and true.  I'm so glad I don't have to stare at the keyboard anymore, unable to write.  I am relieved and free.  I will write a good blog tomorrow.  In November, I will also write the story of what was bothering me this week.  Happy Thursday everybody!


The Sun Rises

Nadja, an Iranian dancer in Sweden, performs a dance tribute to Forough Farrokhzad on a song by Jahan based on the poem "The Sun Rises," Aftab Mishavad.
This is one of Forough's most beautiful love poems.  I put a full English translation of that poem by Sholeh Wolpe here last January.  
Seeing this video has had me reading that poem to myself all day.  Here are the first few verses.  You can go here to read the whole beautiful poem in English.  Have a good Tuesday everybody!
Look how sorrow in my eyes
melts to water drop by drop,
how my rebellious shadow falls
captive to the sun.
Look. Sparks ignite me,
flames engulf me,
carry me high,
trap me in the sky.
Look how my universe
now streams with shooting stars.


Sunday Reflections

I now routinely carry my camera everywhere. I am constantly snapping pictures of anything and everything that makes me think. Some days I wonder what I would ever do with the hundreds of pictures I have which I will probably never use and no one will ever see! But pictures of my friends and of any and all interesting people I meet are always fun to re-visit. Let me show you what I downloaded from my camera today. These two are Alireza Eshraghi and Nasim, my friends in Berkeley. Though very young, Alireza is an accomplished journalist who has been an analyst and chief editor to important Tehran newspapers over the past decade. He is a visiting scholar at Berkeley's School of Journalism this year. Most of you who visit here already know Nasim. Nasim is a reader-turned-good-friend. She and her wonderful husband, Jay, live in Berkeley and work at the University. Nasim and I had a lunch date on Wednesday and I asked Alireza to come along, too, to meet another wonderful Iranian in Berkeley. We had an enjoyable time chatting and eating salad and taftoon bread!
Folks, meet Ray. He is the cat I'm watching for the next few weeks, while my friends Kerry and Mark are away. He is a very sweet cat with an excellent disposition. He and I are getting along famously! He is a talker, too! Have you ever seen a cat that talks?
This is Shahram. I met him at a party on Friday night. Actually, in this photograph he is sitting next to an Iranian celebrity. I cut out the celebrity's photo, because to me the celebrity in this photograph was Shahram. I'll tell you why!
Shahram told me he is 55 years old. Can you believe it?! Mashallah! When he faced our surprise he said the key to his staying young is that that he has been able to love. He has loved life and people and family and friends and even awkward situations, he said.
As for real love, he had a great story to share. He said when he was younger he loved a woman named Asieh, who moved away and became lost to him. Ten years later he was at a friend's house when his friend told him her friend, Asieh, was arriving from London that evening! Shahram didn't waste any more time! He married Asieh soon thereafter. He said he loves Asieh all the more for how long it took for the two of them to finally get together. Isn't that a wonderful story?
Shahram and Asieh were so lucky, because they had ten years to wait for love. Not everybody is that lucky. If you love somebody, please don't lose them! Do what you have to do to keep them from slipping away and disappearing on you! Hold on to those who matter to you and confess your love to them. Happy Sunday you all!


Waiting For My Friends

Happy Saturday!  I'm running around, getting ready to receive dear friends again this weekend.  I love having guests!  Since I insist on cooking for my guests myself, the day before a party is always very hectic for me.  This is also one of the few times in the lifestyle I have these days when I really miss having help with throwing parties.  The best kind of help to have for a party is not domestic help, in my opinion.  It is a partner who likes to entertain as much as you do, sharing the enjoyment of preparing for and delivering a successful party.  Absent that, I do my best by myself!  Say, I want to show you a video clip I found last night.  Turn up your speakers and watch this:   "There" is a contemporary choreography infused with Asian dance movements.  It was developed from Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Persian, and Armenian dance elements.  The piece was choreographed by Wan-Chao Chang for Ballet Afsaneh in 2008. Dancers are Miriam Peretz, Hannah Romanowsky, Kris Sague, and Wan-Chao Chang herself. It's based on "Form 3", a piece of music by Greg Ellis from "Kala Rupa." This dance piece was presented in Ballet Afsaneh's home season show, Safar-e Bienteha, Eternal Journey , on July 2008 in San Jose, California.    It's simple and yet sophisticated, beautiful to follow and a joy to watch.  This is awesome!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Have a good day!


The Wish

When I was a little girl, my family and I were visiting some relatives somewhere for the first time. I was apprehensive about sleeping in a house I had never visited. As our hosts kindly made everyone's bed, as is customary of Iranian homes and their generosity to their guests, lying in the bed next to my cousin, I told her about my fear of sleeping in new places. She told me about the "wish." She told me that whenever you sleep anywhere for the first time, you are entitled to making a wish that will come true. I am convinced I have been motivated to travel the world and go to different places all my life, because of learning about "the wish!"
I slept at my friends' house for the first time last night. Just before I fell asleep, I made a big wish with all my heart. For the moments it took me to concentrate on that wish, I was the little girl in that pristine bedding at my relative's house again. I wasn't thinking about what is possible, what is feasible, what is practical, and what makes sense! I was making a wish and it wouldn't have been a wish if it weren't big, impossible, irrational, and grandiose! Heeh, now I will have to worry all day, wondering what if my wish does come true?!!! What would I do then?!! I'm laughing like a madwoman right about now!
P.S. My adventures with Ray-the-Cat have already begun. I'll tell you about Ray when I am able to upload his picture here. Also, I am typing this blog on my friend's Mac and I'm having difficulties with some of the features. Forgive the appearance if this doesn't come out well. Have a nice Friday everyone!


Love, Olive Trees, and Me

Olive Harvest, Tarom, Zanjan Province. Photo by Morteza Elyassi, Fars, October 8, 2008.

This picture has had my mind engaged since yesterday. I have so many memories of olive trees, Northern Iran where they grow, and other small but important milestones and events in my life, somehow related to olives and olive trees. Take the following clip, for example. It is of Abbas Kiarostami's "Through Olive Trees." It is a movie first and foremost about love, if you ask me. I happened to be seriously in love (of the head over heels variety!) the first time I saw this movie. Forever in my mind, love and olive trees sit somewhere close to one another!

Have a good Thursday you all!



A Pleasant Start!

My younger son woke up uncharacteristically chipper and cheerful this morning, wanting to talk! Well, he didn't say much, but he was different than his usual reflective (and grouchy!) self in the mornings. Anyhow, to further surprise me, he played some music for me. This is what he played for me. I share it with all of you, wishing you all a great day. Happy Libra to all!
Manfred Mann's Do Wah Diddy!


Fun with The Funnies!

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, full of activities and events, wonderful artists, people and friends. For those of you who missed these events, I would like to share three separate reports about what's been happening in my vicinity. On Friday night, as a part of Beyond Persia's Fall for Iran week, Iranian American stand-up comics came to San Francisco to perform. I was sitting next to His Majesty, Mehran, who was a perfect companion and a gentleman (he walked me from and to my car, now you know how important that is!). We laughed so hard listening to these brilliant young performers. Picture above shows comedian Max Amini in the middle of Lale Welsh and Bruce Bahmani, founders of Beyond Persia.
This good-looking guy is K-Von, who has an American mother and an Iranian father. He was fabulous!
Max Amini, 100% Persian, and K-Von posed for me. These two and Elham Jazab had me in stiches for an hour! When they come to a venue near you, don't miss the chance to listen to them talk about their Iranian families. K-Von told me after the show that when he had "volunteered" to appear on a cooking show, he had no idea how to make zereshk polo, and when he called his Ammeh Shirin, she told him to put "one finger of water over the rice," and he was confused about whose finger size his aunt was talking about! When you watch his video clip you will see that she taught him well! And here's a clip of one of Max Amini's shows.
There was also an art gallery during the week-long event. These are Amir Salamat's paintings, and the man in the middle is ghebleh-ye alam, Ala Hazrat Hajiagha himself!
And here he is posing with Queen Lale. Mehran is a volunteer with many Beyond Persia events. My friends Mehran, Jahanshah, and Enayat posing with funny girl Elham Jazab. She is sooo funny you guys! She did a skit about Iranians and sex. It was hillarious! Watch her in an interview.

Coming Soon!

I'm working on this interview for Peyk in Farsi and Iranian.com in English. He is brilliant!


In A Police Car

It was a beautiful and warm night, well, as warm as a San Francisco night can get. I had just been to a wonderful event, and my friends and I were hanging out outside the venue in San Francisco’s Mission District, chatting, telling jokes, and laughing.
It was 11:30 and the event was winding down quickly. I asked my friends for directions to the freeway and said goodbye.
I was walking quickly and confidently, the way a woman has to walk alone late at night in an unknown area of a metropolitan city. There had been no parking spaces close to the venue when I had arrived, so I had ended up parking my little gold car, Nilgoon, on the next block. I got to the street and saw a gold car, but it wasn’t mine. I moved up the street and saw another gold car, not mine, then another, and this one wasn’t it either, darn it! What the heck?!! Where was my car?!!
As the panic started to hit home, I returned to the main street, walking down another long block, thinking maybe I had parked the car two blocks down and couldn’t remember it, walking faster and faster as the adrenaline started kicking in, but I already knew my car wouldn’t be on the next block because I knew I hadn’t walked this patch of the sidewalk before.
I thought of calling my friends whom I had left outside the venue when I left, but then I thought, nah, they didn’t offer to walk me to my car in the first place, so I shouldn’t trouble them with the process of looking for my car and waiting by my side for the police to arrive.
I turned on the next block and sure enough, my car wasn’t there, either. I pulled my cell phone out to call 911 when I saw a police car stop at the corner. Quickly, I walked over, waved at the officers, and explained to them that I couldn’t find my car and I wasn’t sure whether I should be reporting it as stolen. They were very nice. They asked me what make and color my car was and where I thought I had parked it. I must have sounded really distraught, because I could see the two of them taking pity on me, all the while talking to me, probably to ascertain whether I was drunk or not. Thank God I wasn’t! So they told me to get in the car and let them drive me around the few blocks to see if I could locate my car. I got in the back of the police car, you know, the criminals’ compartment, complete with that transparent (bullet proof?) divider in the middle! Heeh! That was a brand new experience!
We drove around for a while and finally found my little car on the street where I thought I had parked it, only one block over. I was ecstatic! The door handle in the back of a police car doesn’t work from the inside, did you know?!! Well, for obvious reasons, I guess (Duh!). The officers had to get out of the car to let me out into the balmy night.
I wonder if anyone has ever seen someone crawl out of the back seat of a police car, jump to her feet, hug and kiss the police officers and run away!


The Music of Life

Tehran, July 2007, photo by Parviz Forghani from Iranian.com. Where in Tehran is this, Parviz?
And so, it felt strange all evening to be here by myself! It didn't feel bad or lonely because I was engrossed in work, but it felt strange just the same. My sons are celebrating their youth together and it was a good opportunity for me to celebrate something, too! Some of my time this evening was spent researching some videos for a project I'm doing. Once that piece was done, I got to the quiet part.
Going through my tasks, without a sound in the house except for the clicks of the keyboard, I could hear so much of the life going on outside my windows. Passing cars, an airplane preparing to land in the small nearby airport, people talking to their dogs as they walked them, couples chatting companionably as they took an evening stroll, and the sprinklers going off at midnight to water the grounds outside. Blissful silence interspersed with sounds of life. Can it get any better than this? Quiet enough to think, but not isolated at all.
I'm exhausted now. My mind is full of sweet noises as I go to hit the sack. I'll go to a function after work tomorrow, so I doubt I'll be able to write anything until really late. I wish you all a good Friday and the beginning of a great weekend. Enjoy yourselves and those you love and confess your love to them every chance you get! Remember, the best things in life are free. No bank balance and no assets can buy true love and trust and respect. You have all that you need inside of you, share it and you will receive back in abundance, I guarantee it! That's what I think anyway. Money never brought me happiness. Love did. Be good y'all!


Me, Joe, and Sarah

In just under an hour, a debate between two Vice-Pesidential candidates, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, will take place. My younger son will be spending the night with his older brother down in Santa Cruz tonight. I'll have the whole house, and the TV set, all to myself to watch the debate! I hope I can figure out how to turn it on using the cable remote control! One thing is certain--this is one of the most exciting events of this year's Presidential elections in the US. Don't you agree? When the debate is over, I'll come back to write a proper post.


Colors of My Rainbow

Downtown Oakland, today at 4:30 p.m. I'm so proud of this photograph! The reflection of buildings facing the one ahead made beautiful art on a balmy autumn afternoon. I thought I would share. Click on the photo to see the detail.
My colleagues and I went to a business meeting this afternoon. It was a refreshing change to be in a meeting where all the people in the room knew what they were talking about! Nobody was showing off and nobody was trying to protect a turf. There were no politics in operation. It was the most peaceful meeting I had attended in ages!
Naturally, when I am peaceful, my mind starts relaxing and my imagination takes over. I can't explain how this happens, but as I am actively listening or participating in the discussions, my mind is writing things, visiting people and places, and organizing itself! I was thinking about the range of emotions I have been experiencing recently, feelings of loss, longing, joy, worry, relief, love, and yes, anger. It seems every single color of the rainbow has had a place on my heart of late. There are people I miss and I think that is the darkest of the sad colors weighing on my heart these days. There are people I love and they represent the brightest colors of my mind. I have little worries which when added together, turn me into a ball of nerves sometimes. There are hopes I enjoy these days which give me so much to look forward to, to await. Anyhow, rainbows of bursting colors were my mind's agenda during the meeting this afternoon!
For three weeks in October, I will go to look after my friends' house and cat, Ray, in Albany. I am looking forward to changing my environment and to having a pet nearby. I miss my cat, Oskie (Asghar is his Iranian name). I'm not ready to adopt another pet yet, so I continue to enjoy my friends' pets! Ray-the-Cat and I will be hanging out together soon!
I have been working on an exciting project for a few weeks now. Just as soon as I have it ready, I'll tell you all about it! I am really excited about this interview. More later. I wish you all a very good day/night wherever on this planet you happen to be right now. Think good thoughts and let your minds be painted with the bright color of love.

Bay Area Events

I promised to write about what's happening in our area. Here are the things I know about. I will try and attend as many of them as I can.
Thursday October 2, 2008 & Friday, October 3, 2008, 6pm-10pm, Beyond Persia's art gallery, featuring artists Amir Salamat, Ahmad Shafai, Shiva Pakdel, and Lila Salamat; Free Admission, Theater Artaud, San Francisco; for more information contact (415) 626-4370.
Thursday, October 2, 2008; Beyond Persia in collaboration with Noor Film Festival present screenings of Iranian films at San Francisco's Theater Artaud; at 4:30 p.m., "The Fighting Cholitas" (20 mins.)"Grenade (10 mins.)"Generation Tehran" (24 mins.); 6:00 PM *Curated by Beyond Persia, "Beyond Words" (50 mins.); 7:30, Bam 6.6" (54 mins.)* Winner Noor Film Festival 2008; 9:00, "Rebirth of Rostam" (50 mins. Animation); Theater Artaud, San Francisco; for more information contact (415) 626-4370.
Friday, October 3, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.; Beyond Persia standup comedy, The Sharp Edge of Iranian Comedy, featuring K-Von, Elham Jazzab, and Max Amini (of Axis of Evil); Theater Artaud, San Francisco; Admission: $45, Students $25, includes Post-Show DJ Dance Party, for more information contact (415) 626-4370.
Friday, October 3, 2008, at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday &Sunday, October 4-5, 2008 at 9:00 p.m., Very funny Iranian standup comedian,Tissa Hami, performs at the Weekend Comedy Marathon in San Francisco, "5 Funny Females, 5 Funny Fags and 5 Funny Friends Live @ Purple Onion;" 140 Colombus Aveue, San Francisco; for more information Phone: (415) 956-1653, Email: reservations@5funnyfemales.com.
Friday, October 3, 2008, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Mahmoud and Christina Moghaddam Program in Iranian Studies of Stanford University presents: "Persian Poetry, Persian Music, the Aesthetic Synergy" with Mohsen Namjoo, Cubberley Auditorium, Stanford University, Palo Alto.
Saturday, October 4, 2008, 8:00 p.m., Special Mohsen Namjoo Farewell Concert with guest musicians Arash Sobhani & Ardalan Payvar of KIOSK; 8p.m., includes VIP Dinner, Admission $100; Theater Artaud, San Francisco; for inclusion email namjoo@beyondpersia.org.
Sunday, October 5, 2008, 7:30 p.m., Persian Center sponsored event: Mystic World Music & Z Venue proudly presents: "The Rumi Songs & Peace Concert", the magical world of Rumi will open up to San Franicsco for one night, through the rhythms, voices, & dance (whirling dervish dancers) of the Shams Ensemble from Tehran (led by Kaykhosro Pournazeri); San Francisco's Herbst's Theater, 401 Van Ness, Tickets from $25 to $75 available at City Box Office 415-392-4400, http://www.cityboxoffice.com/.
Wednesday, October 8th, 2008, Hamid & Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies of Stanford University presents: "Ayatollah Khomeini's theory of government: genesis and evolution" with Professor Arash Naraghi, Pigott Hall, Building 260, Room 113, Stanford University, Palo Alto.
Sunday, October 19, 2008, 4-7 p.m., Lecture by Ahmad Batebi, UC Berkeley, 145 Dwinell Hall, for information call (510) 499-6966.


Ostad Jalal Zolfnoon performs live with Morteza Falahati, Farid-ud-din Attar's poem, Ay del agar asheghi. This song was originally performed by Alireza Eftekhari, in his album Mastaneh, one of my most favorite collections of Persian music. A song full of sweet and sad memories for me.

To those of you who fasted during Ramadan, Happy Eid-e Fetr.

To those of you who are Jewish, Happy Rosh Hashanah.
To all of you who follow the rules of loving hearts, peace, and humanity, Happy Today.
Go love, hold, kiss, and celebrate all those who matter to you in your lives. Learn, teach, motivate, and stay focused on the business of love and respect for human life, for that is the only mission worth pursuing, praying, and sweating over in this world. Our world is threatened by flames of hate, greed, and ignorance, the remedy to which can only be love and understanding and responsibility by each and every citizen of this world, directed at each and every citizen of this world. No one has a right to threaten another's life and to violate another's right to peace. Remember and pray, and most importantly strive for peace. That's all you can do as an individual. That's what we all must do.