Sunday, April 29, 2007

Luckiest day of my life !

You are not gonna believe what I'm about to say...
Just in my last post I said how much I like musicals, and before I had told you how I long to see Wicked in Chicago. And how the tickets are above my budget. Now guess what? :)

I WON the 25$ lottery for first row Wicked tickets! Yeah baby, isn't that ...well, i can't find a word for it :D

Okay, so the story from the beginning:
Yesterday my friend and I had a girls day out in Chicago. These days are the tulip festival in Michigan Avenue and I'm a sucker for colors and tulips. Also in Chicago there is shopping, and there is chelokabab and we spotted a middle-eastern party also for our late evening adventure. So we hopped in our brand new rental toyota, and headed north. We were in H&M's fitting room, when I looked at my watch and it was 5:50. The lottery happens at 6. So I grabbed my friend's ID, and made a run for it to the Borders store 2 blocks away. I put 2 entries in my name and hers, and a couple of minutes later she came just in time for the drawing. There were more than a 100 people there, and they call 10 names. Just two weeks ago when I was in chicago on a school trip I entered into the draw but didn't win. So this time I didn't have my hopes up that much, i thought we would just try our chances one more time. They started to call the names. I was looking at the cards the woman was pulling out of the witch hat. The ones she was taking out were all folded ones. I was thinking to myself that I should have folded the entry cards, when she draw a new one and read "from Urbana, Illinois, a name she can't pronounce! My friend's name. I think I screamed before she did! And started jumping up and down. Wow, what a moment. What a moment. Your heartbeat will reach to 200 in a matter of a second, and all your blood will rush to your face. I'll write more about the Wicked in another post. It was a GREAT show. But the story didn't finish here. Luck was with us all the time yesterday. Did i mention that earlier we got a free off street parking spot right next to sears towers? We did. We also could get our cover money back from that mideastern party we didn't like (well, poor grad students!). Then we got into our favorite "Howl at the moon", without cover and lines, courtesy of a guy who offered us his Chicago's W card! We got back in town by dawn. April 28th, you were such a lucky day, please come back and see us again soon!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Every story is a love story

Aida, the musical was on our campus tonight. I enjoyed it much. Boy, I'm so much into musicals! This was my third, and I still long to see one on a real theater. (The ones on campus don't count, they are simplified versions!) Anyway, you could really hear Elton John in the solos, even his voice's ups and downs. My favorite song was "Fortune favors the brave". Here's a version on youtube. And the dances were good too.

Now the funny thing about the show was that the Radames that came down to Champaign was too blond for an egyption warrior, i couldn't stop smiling even in the most tragic scenes whenever i looked at his cotten blond hair!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Celestine Prophecy

I watched this movies a friend recommended. Celestine Prophecy. It was a good one. It is based on a bestseller book by James Redfield. I'm not gonna talk about the story not to make any spoilers, but i found some similarities between its plot and that of Paolo Coelho's Alchemist. Apparently this idea of life flow and mystical coincidences is strong in Latin America.

Side note, the story takes place in Peru. The movie is filled with the amazing scenes of Peru's wild nature. Beautiful country indeed. I was doing a research on some Latin American countries last year and Peru was among the ones that gave me such hard time finding data for. Celestine prophecy, changed my perception of the word Peru!

Friday, April 20, 2007

My new top

Can one fall in love with a piece of apparel? I can:-) Today I've bought the most gourgous brown satin top one can ever imagine. It has this beautiful pleeted v-neck colar. It's tight around the waist and the shoulders are made just to fit mine. And it's sleeves, oh my goodness, the 3/4 beautiful puffy ones. Recall the 19th century men's puffy sleeves, this is twice as pretty. If you have read "Anne of Green Gables" you'd understand when i say right now I feel like Anne when she got her puffy sleeves dress.

And you guys out there, don't you dare thinking what a vein vanity, cause you can't imagine what you're missing!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just like that

It could have been me, teaching an early morning class, being shut in face by a mad man carrying a gun, raging into my classroom. I could criticize the law that legalizes firearms in US, but I don't feel like arguing right now. Today's incident in Virginia Tech campus awoke some old feeling in me. What I thoughts I had overcame for quite some years now. Feeling insecure. Knowing that your life or your loved ones' life could come to an end at any second. The insecurity that roots from growing up as a kid in mid 80's under the terror of Iraqis bombardments of Iranian cities.

AP photo : As light fades behind Norris Hall where much of the shootings took place, Virginia Tech students gather in front of the War Memorial Chapel to mourn their fellow students.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's not all your attitude

What makes a day happy or sad? I believe it's mainly your attitude. Most of the times, if you we wake up in the morning with a happy spirit, the day turns to be smiling back at you as well. But not always. Some days seems destined to be "sad" no matter how happy you started them.

It was a shinny day today, the weather had warmed up a bit, and I was almost recovered from my cold. Then I went to campus and BAM the first news, our 5 month pregnant secretary has lost her baby. BAM, a friend's folks are denied a US visa to come visit their kid. BAM, another friend has lost an uncle back home without getting a chance to say goodbye to him.

Turned out to be not a smiling day after all.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Today I went to a student's home to proctor an exam. The poor girl has fractured her spine while ice-skating. She has to be immobile in a cast for 6 months. Just imagine they force you to lie in bed wearing a plastic cast and stare into the ceiling for 6 hours, let alone months; unbearable. She can move her limbs, so she had a special table with some hangers that would fix the paper up above her face so that she can write the answers to the test. Yet she was in good spirit and was trying to graduate in May.

It's just a matter of seconds to have an accident, and it could happen to anybody. The next time that I begin feeling low, I'm gonna remember today and remind myself that I'm blessed with many many good things that I often take for granted.

P.S.1. Her mother had come from Taiwan to take care of her, so she was in good hands.
P.S.2. The mother kept serving me tea and fruits and goodies. It seems Taiwanese have the same hospitality codes as Iranians.
P.S.3. (back to the title) She offered me such a magnificent chocolate. It is a Japanese Chocolate called Meltyblend. Truly good. A soft bitter-sweet melty cube chocolate covered in cocoa dust. Yummmy. I totally recommend it. If you found a store that carries it, let me know too!