Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Until Tomorrow

It was a rainy weeknight. A quite Indian restaurant, not busy at all, her, and a few friends. Indian food, jokes and laughter, music and pictures, good wishes and hugs and tears...

She always liked her job and her company, she was one of the best resources in her department, and one of the best girls to hang out with, and above all, to befriend with. However, lately she was not satisfied with her job any more. She was growing and the work shell she had could not acceptably house her talent any longer. She deserved a better bigger shell. She needed new challenges, new responsibilities, new leadership, newer management. Circumstances just helped push her out of her familiar but uncomfortable shell. And she finally was found by this great opportunity. She was certain the new job was going to provide her with growth, exactly what she deserved. Alas the job was in San Diego. She shipped her stuff down south. Even her car was going to be shipped the next day. And she is flying to San Diego on Friday. A one-way ticket... She said her goodbyes to the company, coworker and colleagues today and her exit interview escorted her towards her new horizon to be discovered.

She will head to explore this new beach city, find herself new friends, and enjoy the strolls in downtown SD. I bet there is a Starbucks there to provide her with Dark Cherry Mocha samples sprinkled with shredded chocolate. From now on she will be my excuse for my short weekend getaways. Considering that all the last thing I wanted to say in this perfect rainy night was to say goodbye. I am going to see her soon.

She and her delightful spirit will be missed here though!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Daddy Long-Legs

"A classic you can read in a day" is the title of a review on Amazon. And so true to my own experience...

It is a Friday in summer of 1993. We are invited to my paternal grandparents'. We arrive around 10 am right after breakfast and are supposed to stay for the whole day, a long day as it usually is at their place. My youngest and fun aunt who still lives at home has just gotten engaged and is all lovey dovey with her fiance all the time, they either vanish outside or in her room not visible most of the day so it is really no more fun to spend a whole day there. But the new uncle-to-be, Mr Mohandes, arrives that day with a book: "Daddy Long-Legs" and is so positively advertising the book. Z, S, and I are fishy (he is always boastful about every thing that gets him engaged) but excited about this book which looks pretty old, from his library for sure. So the three of us sit in the living room by ourselves and start reading.
It is lunch time, as late as 2PM, which is used to be the case in their home. We are still reading. I suppose each is reading a chapter out loud and the other two are bent over the book on either side of the reader. We don't care about the lunch and just continue reading. And for sure we finish it in half a day.

Soon that year they started broadcasting the animation series with the same name and I remember it affected the whole high school girls. I guess everyone wished to have a daddy-long-legs!

Here is a short plot from Wikipedia:
"Jerusha Abbott was brought up at the John Grier Home, an old-fashioned orphanage. The children were wholly dependent on charity and had to wear other people's cast-off clothes. Jerusha's unusual first name was selected by the matron off a grave stone, while her surname was selected out of the phone book. At the age of 18, she has finished her education and is at loose ends, still working in the dormitories at the institution where she was brought up.

One day, after the asylum's trustees have made their monthly visit, Jerusha is informed by the asylum's dour matron that one of the trustees has offered to pay her way through college. He has spoken to her former teachers and thinks she has potential to become an excellent writer. He will pay her tuition and also give her a generous monthly allowance. Jerusha must write him a monthly letter, because he believes that letter-writing is important to the development of a writer. However, she will never know his identity; she must address the letters to Mr. John Smith, and he will never reply.

Jerusha catches a glimpse of the shadow of her benefactor from the back, and knows he is a tall long-legged man. Because of this, she jokingly calls him "Daddy Long-Legs." She attends a women's college, but the name and location are never identified; however, men from Princeton University are frequently mentioned as dates, so it is certainly on the East Coast. The college is almost certainly based on the author's alma mater, Vassar College, judging from college traditions mentioned. She illustrates her letters with childlike line drawings, also created by Jean Webster."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

... And Running Is Resumed

I ran today. What has always been appealing to me about running is its liberating sensation. It feels like an accomplishment to resume it. I chose the late afternoon for my endeavor, it was light enough but the moon was also shining brightly. I was running by a creek, there were other runners on the path. I am sure I will miss this creek if one day I move out of this neighborhood. It was all freshly green, youthful, hopeful. I love this Spring in California. It is much greener than the previous years. The green hills are inviting to a long hike, to conquer them to the top and then just to spread a blanket for yourself and may be your companion to sit on and just be, to be with the green hills and the sky and the chirping birds...
I am not sure how far I ran today, I know it took me about 40 minutes including a short but sweet phone call interruption and a few walking intermissions. It was a fulfilling exercise.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It was a long and stressful week at work and today was the most stressful day of all with a couple very important meetings I had to prepare for. It was at the end of this very long day that I got a call from M, warning me that A's preschool had contacted him to inform that A had a bruise on his nose due to and earlier accident. I am not sure how I felt about that, I know I was very concerned and worried. Driving the rest of the way there I truly wished there was no speed limit in the highway or any car on the road any more. I flew to preschool I think, ran to his class, and I found A all in smiles and at ease telling me how he fell down in the playground. His nose was bruised but also his left cheek and forehead. My heart ached seeing him like that but it was a relief seeing him so, well, happy! I think he had received lots of hugs and attention after the accident.
I feel drained from it all. But what keeps coming back to my mind is my mother; how many times she got called to school because of me alone, and I was not a busy girl at all! I remember once in high school I had an accident in which my head bumped into a classmates face during an sport activity. I remember how after the impact I was thrown back in a reflective response. I was transported to the principle's office, my friend to a hospital. My mom got called and shortly she was with me in the office. I could tell how traumatized she herself was, although she seemed calm. She later told me when the office had called her, the more they insistent that I was doing fine after the accident the more she felt something was seriously wrong. She wanted all the details I think to feel she was properly and honestly informed... Ah kids, their adventures, and moms and dads!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


A's preschool haft seen show was a success. M and I took A to preschool on Friday and showed off the haft seen we had prepared for him, children were mostly excited about the gold fish and their gifts. A was proud, I could tell. Walking into the building he kept looking back at me, smiling, leading the way. I was so excited for him. I remember the days either of my parents came to school, those were prideful days!
People at work like the haft seen I had spread over there too.
And finally I got lots of nice comments about my haft seen at home. The theme of my haft seen was khatam this year, well fit I think.
Happy Spring, Happy Nowruz, and Happy New Year to all! I wish for peace and love for the world! I am hopeful for a New Beginning!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There is a lot I want to say but I hardly find the time to write lately. To begin with the announcement of my promotion was posted today and I am getting congratulatory words from colleagues across the company and I am so grateful for the joy of it all!
We had a nice chaarshanbe suri last night! I enjoyed the crowd and the music and the fire.
I have a haft seen at work, and I am taking one to A's preschool on Friday. I have been thinking what to do for the children and have been brainstorming about it. And today got a great idea from my dear EE that I am excited to execute it tonight with A himself. Will let you know about the outcome later.
I have new ideas, daring ideas! So excited about them. Will share them later too, if they manifest, and I hope they do!
I am happy the year is changing again! Happy Spring and Nowruz in advance!
And finally, here is a very beautiful lyrics a especially dear friend shared with me today, made me smile reading it over and over... Enjoy!

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

'Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
'Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep
(Please take me away from here)
When I'm far too tired to fall asleep

To ten million fireflies
I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell

But I'll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
Because my dreams are bursting at the seams

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Princess Midnight

Until two nights ago playing "head to toe" with A, when the card instructed to "name a friend" he named Amogh, his classmate who is a boy a few months younger than him. I was not very thrilled about this friendship for a few reasons. But since Friday he names Kayla as his friend. I am impressed for a few reasons and to name only one: it is a more challenging relationship for him with a talkative girl who is a few months older than him.

Today in the mall I was trying a few dresses. I liked one and I tried it again. A was with me in the fitting room attempting to angle the mirrors for me; not very helpful to me I must say as he did that based on his own point of view. Trying the dress I twirled in front of the mirror and my dress just rose a bit in my spin, a childish thrill. A immediately claimed: "Mommy! You are my princess!" Ah! My heart just melted hearing that from him, especially now despite Kayla! Well, joking aside I had read once that a dad is a girl's first hero/love and I agreed with it; I think now it is true about moms and sons as well. Wont last too long I know, but I am enjoying my new title as long as it lasts!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Joueuse (France - 2009)

Yesterday, on my plane ride home, I found this amazing French movie. "Joueuse" which was translated as "Queen to Play". When it was over, I watched it again! But couldn't finish watching it the second round.

Change can happen and will happen, in many different ways. Chess is only one means.

It was about a middle aged lady, Hélène, living a simple and quite routine and boring life in a very beautiful village in France. She works as a maid in a hotel and at Dr Kroger's, has a nice husband it seems, and a teenage daughter. It seems all is calm in her life and in her relationships; every one takes her and her actions as granted: a timely maid, trustworthy with her job, available to her family, attentive to her guests, ... Suddenly she finds a newly discovered passion in herself: to play chess. She decides to not only learn the game but become good at it, and Dr Kroger gets to coach her. I liked him very much, played by Kevin Kline. His wife was passed away as an undiscovered artist, "her doubt was stronger than her painting". Another quote from him that I liked "having a lousy plan is better than having no plan at all".
She discovers herself in a new way and let her family and friends and enemies also find that aspired and free lady in her. All the granted behaviors change after that. Oh and she dances a very authentic dance with her daughter in the middle of the movie, when she encountered her doubts. I loved that!
"La dame est la pièce la plus forte... c'est fou hein?" : "The queen is the strongest piece ... it's crazy, eh?"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Still in Toronto

I received my Iron Ring. Such a nice ceremony I had last night, very well thought and organized. And the fact that DD, my friend from grad school, presented me the ring made it even more special to me.
I had a nice chat with RD in the morning over the breakfast. Later I headed down town to meet with an old high school friend, LSh, and then went to Eaton Center. I was late for my meeting with GT but we had a nice strange lunch together: Grapefruit Juice and Creme Caramel. Finally I headed to campus to meet with SB and AZ and eventually Prof Zu, my master's supervisor. She is the chair of the department now but still had blocked 90 minutes in her busy schedule to just meet with me; it was an honor. I found that she still trusted me deeply. She saw in me what I think many cannot see, I think she is a very kind, wise, and observant lady. She conveyed very impressive remarks about life I cannot stop reviewing them. She said passion was a very strong drive in life that could be directed in so many different ways but if neglected lead to disappointment. She said immigrant ladies had a strong passion in them for a huge change, and those who survived thrived. Also that what was not reachable was the most attractive. And that there were so many times one just could surrender to fate in order to find the right way. I think I knew it all but it was very nice and reassuring to be heard again in such a venue.
I rode the subway to and from down town again, and then walked a lot in the cold but lovely weather here. I found myself enjoying the sunny side of the side walks better and found myself writing in the subway with a great passion.
My dear RD had invited a few other couple friends for dinner so we could all meet up and chat. It was so nice to be with them and so strange not to have M and A with me in such a gathering.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On UofT Campus

I am in Toronto.
Arrived last night while my dear AF was waiting for me and later her whole family were waiting for me to arrive. It was great spending last night and today with her. It was amazing how the passage of time had not blurred our friendship. We could talk about any thing and laugh about any thing. We called NA to congratulate her with her new born baby boy, Mani. Such a nice name! She was totally surprised, such a fun.
I took the subway to the campus. Did not read or write on my ride, did not listen to music on my IPod, but instead read all the adds and listened to so many languages and dialects flying all around me. How wonderfully welcoming this city is! One never has to make any effort to fit in! I think that is one reason I love this city so much. I love the winter "fashion" here, if you can call it fashion. As colorful as the languages around you.
The subway has gotten older, visibly older, has still the old smell it had. And the fair is now $3 to go any where in the city.
I walked to campus, saying hi to Mount Sinai hospital, A's birthplace, from afar. And then entering the Mech Eng Building. Oh all the same clipboards and classrooms I was taught in and taught at. There was no student walking by that I could recognize. Climbed to the second floor and walked by profs' offices, smiling in my heart, knowing them most except for a few newer ones.
It is cold, not too cold but still piercing through your skin. Then the buildings are warm, way too warm if you ask me.
It was easy to get access to internet as an alumni, felt great to be entitled for that so welcoming and easily.
Tonight is my Iron Ring Ceremony at University College. I am going to meet DH who is now DD in between the East and West wings from where we will find our way to the ceremony. I am excited about it all and grateful to be here one more time. It is a grand city to me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Going to Toronto

I packed.
I baked A his favorite muffin tonight and M a full dish of brownies to have with his favorite vanilla ice cream every night until I come back. I am going to Toronto. And I am so happy for that. I have missed that city so much. I have missed all my friends there. And I am thrilled to have the chance to meet them all again.
Tomorrow night I will be at AF's. I used to go to her house back in college. She was my only married friend when I was still pursuing my bachelors, she is a few years older than I am but still she married much younger than I did. She had a baby girl then who is thirteen now, officially a teenager, and I am awful in knowing what to buy for a teenager. I am so excited to go to her new place now in Toronto.
I am also going to RD's place for the rest of my stay. I have lots of beautiful memories with her, I have learned a lot from her and still I am grateful for her friendship. Such a pity that A cannot come with me as he could very well enjoy the time with RN's son. But I am still very excited to be with lovely RD and her beautiful family. I know they have renovated their house now and I am excited to see how it looks. I liked their house before and I am sure it is even more likable.
I am going to accept my Iron Ring at the Campus 1 ceremony on Thursday night. Spending the evening with DH, how happy I am to meet her again!
I hope to meet so many other friends. I am also going to stroll around in down town I hope.
I have missed that city and I am glad to go back enshaalaa.