Friday, December 29, 2006

Never gonna stop the rain by complaining!

I very much like this song. I remember when I was a kid watching "Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid" and my mom singing along with the song.

Does anybody know what he means by "sleeping on the job"?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Five things you didn't know about me...

There is this game that started among some blogger friends on the Yalda night, as an after-shake of an older game here. The rules are -if you get tagged- you have to say five things about yourself, and tag 5 other people to continue the game. And my dear magician has tagged me. So here we go.

Five things you didn't know about me:

1. One of my dreams was to be a choir singer, and tonight I actually sang with one :-)
2. When 8 years old, I was involved in a serious rebel against the teacher in our after school day care who didn't let us play more. We successfully put her into tears and escaped to the playground!
3. I used to wear men's perfume when in 10th grade. It was a segregated school, and no, I'm not gay.
4. The cold weather gives me an uncontrollable shiver. Funny enough that I have to live my days in Midwest.
5. I have a uni-brow! (well, some of you knew this one)

Five bloggers I tag:
1- A primary school friend whom I met virtually after 15 years.
2- A old schoolmate who flies on the wall.
3- The best bro ever. The smarter side of me.
4- A great master in the west coast.
5- I still read here.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This Year On

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
This year on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ms Dewey

What do you think about this search engine?

I guess it is supposed to be funny, but I couldn't relate with the idea at all. I found Ms Dewey discourteous and annoying but perhaps men find her sexy. If besides her there was another receptionist at the desk I would walk to that other one.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hello holidays

I graded nonstop for hours today and I am DONE. All Exams, homeworks, computer assignments, all are DEAD. I dare any Stats assignment to show up here and I'll kill it with my red pen that btw deserves a graceful retirement too. I'm now officially done, and the nice lazy winter break is here at last. Isn't it great? :-)

Monday, December 18, 2006


Ding, ding, ding, ... , it strikes December 18th and I'm thinking of exactly this moment last year. You don't necessarily remember all your history, but for some reason I remeber this one.

Will I take the same risk today? I think I will. Did i learn anything from the loss then? I did, but if you don't bet, you don't win. I'm happy that I didn't lose my ability to risk.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The American Dream

The American Dream. The commonly used phrase was first used by James Truslow Adams in his book "The Epic of America", 1931.

"It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


It may be raining, but there's a rainbow above you...


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Amazing and Beautiful Mime

jerome murat
Video sent by segalier

(Thanks to Gelareh for sharing. )

Sometimes don't you just feel like you want to get rid of your own head and get a merrier one instead?

Monday, December 04, 2006

I miss my mom

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I am a number.
To the market, I am a credit card number.
On the internet, I am an IP number.
To my friends, I am a telephone number.
Somewhere along the way, I forgot my name;
I respond to my social security number.

Monday, November 27, 2006

"Hard for me to say I'm sorry"

These days Michael Richards is the hot topic in the media here. He is a comedian and has insulted some african americans in a comedy club. The video of the incidence is in youtube. I just watched his apology statement. He looked embarrassed and nervous. I think that nervousness is necessary to make the apology more meant. And don't forget that he is an actor.

Apologies; sometimes they are necessary, like in Richards' case. But many times, especially here in US, they seem unnecessary to me, for instance when I ask a grocery store worker if they sell staplers, he or she apologizes to me that they don't carry one. That seems weird to me. It's not the worker's or even the store's fault. But this apparently is a culture much different that mine. And also this is a consumer-based economy, much different than what i was used to. Or maybe it's just the way to be polite.

Or look at this one: a few months back in our university, when some undergrads had a costume party in a fraternity or sorority house (can't remember which) and for some reason some Latino students were offended. That time, not only those kids apologized but also Mr. Herman, our university chancellor sent out a mass apology letter.

Now my own experience. Last semester I was one of the several TAs for a big undergraduate class, and once when posting a file to class discussion board, I accidentally posted some grades. It was there for a very short time, but one student noticed it. It was an honest mistake, but talk about undergrads and grades, he made a big deal out of it. The course instructor made me write an apology letter and send it not only to that student, but to post it on the board. O' it was PAINFUL. I found it quite unfair at the time, but now i think it's just how it works.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A dressed up post

It's a good change in the casual grad student life to dress up and go to a formal reception, every once in a while. Given while>=6 months ;-)

Another interesting thing was that I met the person whoes blog inspired me to start one of my own. Well said "it's a small world after all."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

America, mixed-flavored

Americans are fond of mixed flavors. Just step in a grocery store and you see what I mean. Cinnamon popcorn, Pumpkin marshmellow, Vanilla coke, 3-4-flavor icecreams. Even things that does not at all go with each other: like sweet pickles.
The other day, I picked up a box of dried cranberries from Meijer. I usually read the labels carefully, but I was in a rush that day. And see what I got: orange flavored cranberries! Cranberries by themselves are quite flavorful, I don't at all understand why they are needed to be orange-flavored.

Anyway, enjoy your thanksgiving dinner anyway you like it, and don't eat too much :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bill Withers: Ain't No Sunshine

I heard this song for the first time in an American Airline flight. It's a nice song by itself, but definitly a bad choice to be played in an airplane. Don't you think?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This time last year I was looking for a laptop carry-on to give out as a present. I looked into many stores but couldn't find one that I like, so I had to buy something else instead. Now that I don't need it anymore, it's all around. Even Sam's grocery store have a nice one.
It makes you wonder if somebody up there is pulling your leg sometimes.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Man and Tree

Flying low in an airplane, what usually captures my eye is the peaceful harmony between the man and the tree in our cities. A harmony you can't easily find between man and other living creatures.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


When I'm up late in the night, and receive an email, I have a sense of emphaty with the sender, knowing that he or she is also up and running. A few minutes ago, our university chancellor sent out a massmail, and it's 2 a.m.!
It's late Mr. Chancellor, you gotta get some sleep:-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

All about grrrrrrrading

I'm TAing for a class of fifty grad students. Every other week they have to turn in a long homework (long as in 20 math question and a computer assignment long), plus they have a written quiz once in a while. I've spent hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of grading this semster.
I'm tired.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Laugh, at any cost?

I saw the movie Borat today. I'm not a big fan of sex humor, so I didn't enjoy the movie in general. But aside from that, I found it extremely unfair. Not all the people in the world are as privileged as say Americans. Many developing countries are still struggling with basic socio-economic problems and are far behind their path to catch up with the developed world standards. Yes, there are cultural differences. Somethings that we laugh at are quite normal in those countries, but so are we, and our customs in their view. I believe it is immoral to exploit these differences to laugh at a nation.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Kind people

I saw this shawl in a store a while ago. It was pretty and I wanted it. But it was kinda expensive for my poor grad student budget. So I was hoping for a day that it goes on sale. Yesterday I went to the mall, and there was none left. I went to the dressing room to try on some other garment and there it was, on hold for another costumer, and half prize. I asked the sales woman and she said that was the last one they had. Oh, I couldn't be more disappointed. I took the store's number to call tomorrow to see if that costomer had come to take her holds or not. I was about to leave the store when store manager came after me and said, if you want it this badly, you can have it. I did want it badly, and it was very kind of her to notice.

Friday, November 03, 2006


It's pomegranate season again. My favorite fruit. Its skin leaves black marks on my fingertips, which I carry till the end of the season. It might be a lame example but I can't help but wondering: why is it that for every pleasure, you have to go through some sort of pain?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ankh : Life

The book "Sinouhé l'Égyptien" by Mika Waltari was a big hit when I was a teenager in Iran. This weekend we went to Chicago and visited the Tutankhamun exhibition. It was like that story was live in front of your eyes. The whole experience was just magnificent.

They also had a side exhibition where they displayed the field museum's collection of mummies. Spooky, ha? Well it is Halloween after all !

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Simple pleasures of life

Walking across the campus in a chilly morning to get to your early class. You push the heavy door of the building, and enter the Hall. Those first 5 seconds when the warm air caresses your cold cheeks are...

Saturday, October 21, 2006


One of the new things for me in America that I fell in love with immediately was Buttermilk! If i want to describe it to someone that has not had it before, i'd say it tastes somewhat like 'doogh', a drink made by mixing yogurt nd water. But buttermilk is far better! It has this mild sour bite and light creamy texture, and not high in fat. You can easily substitute it with your soda for dinner. Moreover it has calcium and other goodies of milk, so it's good for you too.

Real Buttermilk is the liquid left over after producing butter. But the ones you find in supermarkets are "cultured" buttermilk, that is milk to which some bacteria have been added that turn lactose into lactic acid.

Hah, too much Ado about a dairy, but it deserves some attention!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A completely irrelavent BLUE

Blue Music Video

I went to The Blue Men concert tonight, which was fun. I was youtubing to see if I can find one of the songs they performed and I ran into THIS! This used to be in my top10 list when I was in highschool. It was pleasantly nostalgic to hear it again.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

In America


There's some things you should wish for and some things you shouldn't. That's what my little brother Frankie told me. He told me I only had three wishes, and I looked into his eyes, and I don't know why I believed him.

It was as hard for Frankie to smile when the tumor was malignant as it was for my dad to cry after. But they both managed it. I'm going to switch this off now. It's not the way I want to see Frankie any more. Do you still have a picture of me in your head? Well, that's like the picture I want to have of Frankie. One that you can keep in your head forever. So when you go back to reality, I'll ask Frankie to please, please let me go.

- In America, Jim Sheridan

Friday, October 13, 2006

Good hair day

It may sound ridiculous, but it does work! Today I had a good hair afternoon and I believe if you ran a Dif-in-Dif analysis on me (morning vs evening, today vs yesterday), you would have found a significant beta.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The most beautiful colors on earth

I love trees in the Fall. They dress in their most gorgeous gold and red gowns to face the merciless cold with a high spirit.


Today I woke up for an early morning class. I was packing my bag, taking my cellphone, grabbing a pen, tearing a few pages of the notepad to take to class. Looking at the notepad, I froze. Why on earth it has punch holes on the left, I wondered. After a few seconds it came to me: English is written from left to right. I've been here for quite a few years. I guess my subconscience still refuse to adapt to the new environment.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK

A friend sent this to me

These people administer the Ig Nobel Prizes, given each year for achievements that make people laugh, and then make them think. Look through their webpage and you sure will find many interesting topics of reasearch. Look at this one for example:
What is the number of photographs you must take to (almost) ensure that
nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed?

Dedicated to all the bored people out there.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Free Hugs

Free Hugs Campaign. Inspiring Story! (music by sick puppies)

Once in a while, you can see Free Hugs guys on the quad of our campus offering to give you a hug.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fasting and Love

I've always thought that fasting is very romantic. At least there is a great deal of analogy between fasting and Love. When you're in love, you're willing to do anything to show your devotion to your lover. Even some things that doesn't make sense to you. You don't reason with your lover on whether or not what he/she wants is reasonable. You just do it because you want to see her happy, and that gives you even greater happiness.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Certified to heavens

Dear God,

Are you sending me a message?
Would you mind being a tiny bit clearer, cause I don't get it...

Respectfully yours,

Sunday, October 01, 2006

When is an email conversation over?

This is a serious question. I wanna know.

So you email somebody and ask some question. They reply you back. You send a thank you note. What if they send out a you're-welcome. What then? I guess that;s the endline there.

For this one it was kinda straight forward. But imagin this one: You send an Happy-Birthday email. They send a Thank-you-What's-up. You send a you're-welcome-such-ad-such. They send a keep-in-touch. Do you need to reply to that?

I'm trying to understand. Are there any keywords, hidden signals, in an email saying that it is the endline, and you would look silly if you continue replying to that one?

Natural Highs

Think about them one at a time before going on to the next one . . .
It Does Make You Feel Good

1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket.
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail.
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Chocolate milkshake (vanilla or strawberry).
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling
14. A good conversation.
15. The beach
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
18. Looking into their eyes and knowing they Love you
19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke
24. Friends.
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you!
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29. Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams.
32. Hot chocolate.
33. Road trips with friends.
34. Swinging on swings.
35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger
36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38 Holding hands with someone you care about.
39. Running into an old friend and realizing
that some things (good or bad) never change.
40. Watching the _expression on someone's ! face
as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the sunrise.
42. Getting out of bed every morning and
being grateful for another beautiful day.
43 Knowing that somebody misses you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Andrew Beckett: Do you like opera?

Joe Miller: I'm not that familiar with opera.

Andrew Beckett: This is my favorite aria. This is Maria Callas. This is "Andrea Chenier", Umberto Giordano. This is Madeleine. She's saying how during the French Revolution, a mob set fire to her house, and her mother died... saving her. "Look, the place that cradled me is burning." Can you hear the heartache in her voice? Can you feel it, Joe? In come the strings, and it changes everything. The music fills with a hope, and that'll change again. Listen... listen..."I bring sorrow to those who love me." Oh, that single cello! "It was during this sorrow that love came to me." A voice filled with harmony. It says, "Live still, I am life. Heaven is in your eyes. Is everything around you just the blood and mud? I am divine. I am oblivion. I am the god... that comes down from the heavens, and makes of the Earth a heaven. I am love!... I am love."

-Quote from the movie Philadelphia, 1993.

Friday, September 29, 2006

good enough

"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's content."

Wise word of Abraham Lincoln, carved high on the wall of the Lincoln Hall in our campus. This sentence by itself rules out the religion-based states.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Completely L.O.S.T.

I don't know if you follow the TV serials here. There is this I-guess-popular one called "Lost" on ABC. It's the story of a group of people whoes plane crashes over ocean and they survive into an island. So, I saw a couple of episodes quite a while ago and as I don't have a good signal reception on ABC, I didn't follow the story since then. Now apparently it is close to its season premier and today they had a crash course on what had happened in previous episodes. I watched it. And you can't belive it, out of the theme of some cast-aways in an island, the story has developed into the outer-space powers, cospiract theory, and those nonesense. It was as if they had given it ot a 10 year old boy to write up the story. It was like watching the "x-files" or something.

Apparently you can no longer sell a simple story to American couch-potatos. Have to have some conspiracy involved in any story these days.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Vasvaas is the farsi word for being over-obssesed with something. Some people have vasvas for cleaning, they overclean everything in their home over and over again. I have vasvas in writing emails. It may take me the whole morning to write an email to my boss, my adviser, even a friend. I read through it over and over again, change the words, the structure of the sentences, read it again, change again,... eekh. Even when finally i decide to hit the send botton, I immediatlt go to the sent folder and read what i sent. And God forbids when i find something i don't like about it. It kills my spirit for the rest of day.

Do you think I need therapy?;)

Ha! I just found myself re-reading this post before publishing. No! I'm not doing that. 3-2-1 publish!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sometimes you do

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.

~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird,

Friday, September 22, 2006


My business suit, and the memory.
Banging my head.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


How I used to love this song. I still do.

In the moonlight and everything shatters
You feel as if you’ve known her all your life
The world’s oldest lesson in history

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Best Friends are old ones

Why are your best friends often the ones you made when you were a kid/adolesent? Sometimes I wonder, as adults we give, in the expectation to take back. Most our relationships are based on this solemn fact. Which, as somebody that was facinated by economic moddeling of human tranasctions, I find this quit good. In a sense that it consits perfectly with the 'rationality' assumption of people.

But how come the childhood relationships, that don't have that much of a tarde sense into them, last better than the ones built on the explainable patterns?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

who cares

Who cares?
I try not to ; let it be.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Today one of the blogs i used to check regularly shut down. We're coming back to the question of whether its better to write anonymously or reveal your identity.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some Important Laws Which NEWTON Forgot to State... !!

LAW OF QUEUE: If you change queues, the one you have
left will start to move faster than the one you are in

LAW OF TELEPHONE: When you dial a wrong number, you
never get an engaged one.

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose
will begin to itch.

LAW OF THE WORKSHOP: Any tool, when dropped, will roll
to the least accessible corner.

LAW OF THE ALIBI: If you tell the boss you were late
for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning
you will have a flat tire.

LAW OF BATH ROOM: When the body is immersed in water,
the telephone rings.

LAW OF ENCOUNTERS: The probability of meeting someone
you know increases when you are with someone you don't

LAW OF THE RESULT: When you try to prove to someone
that a machine won't work, it will!

LAW OF BIOMECHANICS: The severity of the itch is
inversely proportional to the reach.

LAW OF THEATRE : People with the seats at the furthest
from the aisle arrive last.

LAW OF COFFEE: As soon as you sit down for a cup of
hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something
which will last until the coffee is cold.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

che ghadr delam gerefte...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The book that is you?

In a literature chatroom, somebody asked me this. A good question. I haven't though about it before.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Art of Losing

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

-- Elizabeth Bishop

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Are you afraid of being critisized?
I think I am... How come? Because I immediately start to hate the person who critisizes me, unfairly. So I guess now again, it's the question of who is "fair" and who is not.

No one will know

I decided something right now. I'm not gonna tell ANYbody that i write here, and then i can write anything i want without the fear of having to explain myself to others at some point of time. without feeling obliged to care about the style i write, with no worries of ever being caught. this is my notebook, just mine. onle mine, and it will remain so.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


It's over. Over.

Friday, June 23, 2006


How would you remind someone of what they used to say, what they used to do, what they used to be?
A sparkle of rememberance.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

meant to be

For me it has happened several times. When you want something, and it doesn't happen. Time passed, and now you're happy that it didn't happen at that time. Maybe now is one of those times. Who knows.

ultimatum game

" What has made me write this today was a post in a weblog about the ultimatum game. When a party put an offer on the table, if the second accept, they will both have something if he rejects, both gain zero. Are we in such a game? One can say so. Look at it this way: I'm making an offer and you get to decide. If you accept we both gain, if you reject none of us gain anything, let alone the losses. Looking at it rationally, you should accept any offer that is bigger than zero. But often the second party would reject. Why? One reason is he thinks he is seing the offer unfair, and would rather not be a medium to facilitate any gain to the unjust party, even this would mean an own loss. But,


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Birth Day

Why should your birthday be a diferent day than all the other days that pass? Well of course there is your family and considerate friends that would take advantage of the timing and show you their love. That's not what i mean.

I guess, i can rephrase my question that why would you feel you're getting "old" in your birthday anniversary. Isn't it that each day that comes to an end, is making you "old"er. Perhaps we just accumulate these small repeated feeling olds and just set them free in our birthdy night.

When i was a kid, at the night before my birthdays, i would go to the balcony, look at the stars and say farewell to my past year 'figure' of age. When your a kid, youre enthusiastic about diing one to your digit. Why is it changed when you grow up?

[Another good thing about having a lone blog is that you can leave the essay right in the middle and go! ]

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

There you go.
I got myself a reader. Somebody left me a comment. Hmm, interesting. I didn't expect it...

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Many people I know have very recently started blogging. Even my kid brother. What's going on?
Tis also raises the question of how eager are you for others to read your blog. For me, this is actaully a disincentive.