Monday, January 31, 2011

Scattered Political Thoughts

Once upon a time in a far far away land there was a king who had become a king after his father.  It was a monarchy.  He was governing the nation but  people realized they didn't want that leader, may be because he was too arrogant and yet too ignorant? He also was overlooking all the guns and that was deemed as too much power.  So they decided to overthrow him by any means what so ever.  And they did.  By protesting and finally making allies with the military.

Now the king was gone.  They had gotten rid of what they didn't want.  But, what now?

Oh, they knew what they didn't want but did they know what they wanted instead?

The joy of the achieved victory kept the nation together, satisfied, united.  They assumed they all wanted this.  After all, they had prepared the land for planting, planting a new government, a kind that was not monarchy... But somehow it did not stay like that.  There came the time for the differences to surface.  The differences in what they really wanted.  It was not the same thing any more!  At that moment whomever got to tether the military got to win the country.  It provided the power of demolishing the oppositions, those that their wanting were not in line with the newly appointed government's wantings; with the power of gun...

Now, in that far far away land, there is still the gun that rules.  The nature of the ruling power had not changed much actually:  Arrogance and ignorance plus power.

George Orwell has been a genius.  His 'Animal Farm' to me is indeed the psychology of a revolution, although he wrote it as a critic to Stalin's politics in Soviet Union.  I attest to it because I experienced it; in fact, I am experiencing it still.  All are "equal" at first, they all want that but then over the years some become  "more equal"!  I see the Napoleon and his 10 puppies who grew to defend him by all means when the need came up.  And Snowball, one of the first leaders who stayed committed to the nation, the one who wanted good for all at the beginning, was completely repressed.

Another note: I wont assume democracy will happen to a nation when there is no woman to be found in their vocalized demonstrations.  Not any time soon at least even if the current leader/president leaves.

Democracy is not transportable; it is not to be taught, it is not to be ruled.  Democracy blooms from the democrats.  As long as there are people who are "more equal" to the rest because of their gender I don't think it will happen.  As long as there are fathers who choose for their children, there are husbands who repress their wives, there are teachers who say and act as if the boys are always smarter and more successful than the girls, there are men who always blame the woman in any wrong done relationship, democracy is no where to be found!

Don't get me wrong.  I don't think democracy is the best way to govern a nation, not in all times at least.  But once I was told about Socrates believes about the philosophy behind different governing options in a society and based on that it was explained how in this time and era democracy is the best of the worst governing options.  I totally believe in it now.

I am sorry to repeat the famous quotation my dear readers but those who forget the past are damned to repeat it.
And the history repeats...

Once upon a time ...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My A Lately

Really, this post is not intended for all readers as it might sound boring but mainly for A himself. I have been meaning to right some about my experiences with my A lately and now that I have time in the sky I'm going to phrase my thoughts.

We attended his Kindergarten Orientation this past Tuesday. I must admit, I was/am a bit anxious about his kindergarten, more than how I was about my own kindergarten. Actually, I was not anxious about mine at all. After much debates an research and mainly per my own strong suggestion we had decided to put him in the very high ranked public school close to home; one major reason we bought this house at all. But now I'm debating again. Not much though, only 20% may be? To put him in a private school. I'm planning to attend their orientation too. Although will register him in the public enshala but we can still decide later. At the same time I still think with the money we won't spend on the private we can tailor his extra curricular activities
which is much more exciting and I think appropriate and effective. I had a mid year evaluation meeting with his PreK teacher earlier. She was very happy with him and his performance and his potentials. She said he was particularly polite and attentive to other kid, always shared and never left any kid behind. I felt like the proudest mother! He is going to play in a Haft Seen Play in a Persian New Year ceremony conducted by his Persian School. I am so excited about it. He still pronounces "gh" like "g" though and one word in the poem he has to recite in the play is "ghermez", meaning red, so fun when he says it!
He was sniffing me the other day! He said "mommy! you smell good! I think it's because of the corn you had last weekend"! Ah made me laugh so hard!
He pretend-played my grandpa several times lately. He was taking me to school but attempting to pick me up early to take me to Red Robins. My lunch box had a princess pattern on it. And the other day M informed me that A had explained that at school he had pretended to be the father, Corrine, his new favorite friend, the mother, and Haley the daughter. He talks and he talks and he talks even more.
Doesn't eat much lately.
Thanks to my M the grass in the backyard looks very nice and green now. It's so beautiful and inviting. I'm thinking to grow some herbs and tomato and strawberries at a section of the backyard. I think A is going to love observing the plants grow.
I told him on Monday that in two weeks we would go to Disney Land. He said it was too far away!
I'm going to take him to his Farsi class tomorrow enshala and I'm excited to take him for breakfast first. He loved it last week. We simply went to Starbucks but it seemed like an event to him. I'm so looking forward to it again.
He loves to be tickled and I love listening to his giggles.
He still remembers all about his recent trip to Iran and particularly his grandparents. I'm so happy about that.
He wants to buy his house in Texas.
So admire it. He has become much more relaxed and confident with his abilities and disabilities and mistakes. He is practicing with his bike without it's training wheels under daddy's supervision. Last week though on the way to the park he wanted the trainers back on as daddy was not coming. He said "don't worry, it takes time mommy but I'll get there".
Now that I am working for a new company he claimed my last company as his working place in his pretend plays.  I offered him my old business cards.
He's growing more confident in his swimming class. I love to go swimming with him one day.
I so wish for him to pursue a sport professionally.
He claims he likes Baseball and Basketball. After the Farsi class last week we stopped by the gym and  watched older children playing basketball. He said he wanted to have a shirt like theirs with a number on its back. I wonder if that is the reason for his admiration for these sports.
Although so far he does not show any particular interest in drawing or coloring I have a sense he likes to play keyboard or piano. We hope to provide him the opportunity to get to test his talent with musical instruments.
The main reason I wrote these here is for him to read it later and get to see his 4.5 year old age through my eyes. He is my sunny son.

PS: M informed me last night that our elementary school, Carlton, has been scored 930 this past year, the year before their score was 913. I am thinking there is no need to visit the private school any more. We will experiment with the public this year.

A Totally Different Experience

 In the air
Flying from Newark back to San Francisco - on seat 12A by the window.
Seat B is empty which is quite surprising as the flight two hours before ours had gotten cancelled. As soon as I turned to put my coat on the empty seat in the middle the tall guy sitting on the isle seat (let's call him Tom the Engineer as I know now that his name was Tom and he was a Mechanical Engineer) said he was  hocked to find empty seats on this flight as his flight from earlier this morning had gotten cancelled. I told him I was thinking about the same thing especially since the 3:30 pm flight had also gotten cancelled. I explained how I felt lucky to be able to get here on Wed night while so many flights had gotten cancelled right before the snow storm that night and mentioned that although the traffic was heavy yesterday morning for my colleague to get to us in a hotel by the airport from Short Hills NJ, we could make it to all of our meetings. He said he lived here but was travelling to meet her daughter in Berkeley before he went to a conference in Vegas. He said his time with his daughter was going to get shorter now with the delay as he was going to meet her and soon leave for Vegas the following night. I asked if his daughter studied there and he explained that she actually taught in Richmond Hill CA in Teaching for America. He explained that these were classes for under privileged kids where class sizes were 35 students or more in high school. Right after he proposed that this should have sounded like normal to ME but it was quite unusual in US. I was astound!!! How could he judge my background so easily and so confidently after 2 minutes into the conversation? What did he know about me? Where did he think I was from? Did I look under privileged to him?  I corrected him quickly that all of my classes had had 25 students at most. I didn't tell him though that because of the unexpected obsession of my high school classmates with math & physics my last two years in high school were pretty crowded with 33 students, the school anticipated less than 20 students in math & physics and 40 in bio sciences which would be devided in two classes.  But we chose differently, unexpectedly so. I didn't tell him that out of those 33 all-girl students a couple pursued pure math at university, a couple pure physics, one pure  chemistry, a couple mechanical engineering, a couple civil engineering, a handful computer engineering and the rest electrical engineering and all in very high ranked schools. Didn't tell him either that almost 90% continued to graduate studies and may be half have gotten their PhDs and from very good schools around the world. Oh am I not proud of my "under privileged" 33-student high school class! Well done girls!
And now there is this Tom the Engineer guy judging me based on what? How I look? And what does he know about the people with my ethnic background any way? Assuming he had guessed correctly!
When he finished talking after that I just turned toward the window and watched the snow covered run ways. Didn't feel like wanting to talk to him any more. Felt sad a bit actually.

Later, when they brought the snack cart he was shocked that they wanted to charge him for the meal. He asked me if it was the routine lately for the coast to coast flights! I didn't ruin his honest curiosity by telling him this had been the case for most longer flights for the past 6 or more years. I comforted him by telling him
that in my opinion the meal quality was not very good although Continental was one of the better ones in that regard. I couldn't think about enjoying my meal by myself after that. I thought his flight had gotten cancelled from this morning and he was under the impression that he'd eat something in the airplane and he didn't. So I
opened my bag and offered him one of the half turkey sandwiches I had bought from the airport earlier. He thanked me for the offer but said he was a vegetarian. Then he asked what kind of business I was in and
chatted a bit but I answered with short sentences and didn't ask follow up questions of him while explaining his work in energy industry. No curiosity what so ever.

I cannot stop but thinking, what two so very opposite companions in my last two flights!
Ah and there remains 3.5 hours of flight...

... 2 hours later
He started chatting again. I suppose he was bored. Figured out at last that I was Iranian blessed with  Canadian citizenship. I couldn't refrain from asking, so I challenged him where he thought I was from
initially when he didn't know. He hesitated much and said he was not good with accent; although per my previous plane companion, Dr A.A., my accent doesn't sound too Iranian any way, he said he thought I was
from Spain. Hmm. Dr A.A. thought I was from Costa Rica! I guess Spanish and Costa Ricans look more alike than either of them and Iranians?
Any way, good thing is that I'm not mad at him any more. I think the main reason why is because through a couple more q and a from his side he concluded that compared to other Muslim countries Iranian women didn't seem to have problem to study or work. I'm glad I could persuade him this much. I bet he learned something new. I offered my salad to him too and he accepted one tomato wedge. So, friends ;)

... An hour later
We chat some more, he was less prejudice now. Told me about his wife who was a Chemical Engineer and took her years to finish her masters with kids and all. About her sister who was a biomaterial scientist. And a bit more about his daughters. He thought it was very ambitious of me to emigrate from Iran to Canada and then to Bay Area. I never thought of it this way but now that I think about it I think he is correct.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Sitting in a super crowded star bucks sharing the tiny table with another lady, in the heart of the New York City.
Just arrived last night. It was snowing and lots of flights had gotten delayed or cancelled. It was so strange being in the hotel room last night. Reminded me of the cold snowy days in Toronto. It was amazing, the snow, for the first couple of snow falls but a couple months into it it just got too bounding.
I missed A badly last night I am not sure why. May be because his voice on the phone was too sweet it was heartbreaking!
It's quite strange to be in the city by myself today, adventurous may be, intimidating too. Just got separated from my colleagues. We had a couple very good meetings at Cornell this morning. Then had sushi at a Japanese place close to the hospital. The Starbucks I am in now is pretty close to the union square where I'm going to meet my cousin in half an hour.
There are piles of snow every where! And snow trapped cars and SUVs all around.
My flight yesterday went was ok after about an hour delay on the runway. I got to know a physician in the plane, Dr A.A. who was also an Interventionalist and knew many of our main customers. What was pretty strange and interesting about him was that he knew much about Iran so much so his character name in a game on his iPhone was Mossaddegh!
I'm excited to reunite with my cousin shortly. It's going to be her birthday in s couple weeks and I hope to be able to spot a gift for her on my 5 block walk I'm going to venture.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The first step

Took the first step and got myself Sal, the personal trainer, at ABS Club in Los Gatos. Feel fit already!

PS: confession: I never ran the 10K I thought I would last year. There were many reasons for that but the most important one was the fact that I started to gain weight as soon as I started running and you know? I really don't like to gain weight. So I pursued alternatives. No athletic competition for now. Will keep you posted with my progress with Sal though, he thought "I was easy" and by that he meant since I have already been in competitions before and an active athlete I can achieve my goals. Amen!