Friday, June 20, 2008


When I was a little girl, my mom and I came to America to visit my sister and brother, and our trip lasted for an entire year. The year was 1983, the year of Cabbage Patch dolls, My Little Pony, Scratch & Sniff stickers, head bands, Break Dancing, and of course Michael Jackson. In 1983 Michael Jackson had a great year as he released Billie Jean, Beat It and yes, Thriller. And here is my memory of this brilliant song and video.
My memory starts exactly as we were arriving home from a party one night, my mom, my sister, my brother and myself. I remember that my sister and brother were in such a rush to get home all night because "the show" was going to start at a certain time. Hurriedly they unlocked the door and ran inside the house, me following them, very curious to see what this thing was that they were so excited to watch. I remember hearing them say that this is the premiere of "the video", the first time that it will be aired on television and such an important event which cannot be missed. So I followed them and watched as my sister ran to the TV and pressed the power button.
What I saw next was far from what I had expected and what glued this memory to my brain. As the image came on the screen my eyes widened, my mouth opened and I froze. The video had started a few minutes before, and where we came in was precisely at the moment when Michael suddenly raises his head and looks up towards the camera, his eyes are yellow with a black line in the middle and wide open, his teeth are large, pointy and sharp, and with a monstrous voice he screams "GO AWAAAAAAAAY"! My heart jumped into my mouth as I screamed and ran to the bedroom, jumped in the bed, hid under the covers and started shivering/crying/moaning. This definitely was not how I had imagined my night would turn out. I can not recall what happened next, I certainly do not remember any one coming to my rescue as they were engrossed in the hot new Michael Jackson video, Thriller.
The next few days I vaguely remember holding my ears with my little hands and hiding in the kitchen with my mom as she was cooking, while my sister and brother watched the video on MTV over and over and over. I would complain to my mom that I am scared and she would ask them to turn down the volume to spare me (and herself). They would yell back angrily that they want to listen to the song and that I'm ruining this for them. I especially hated the ending where the continuous monstrous laugh echoed in the entire house. Maybe if I had a little warning and the image had not appeared to me in such a sudden form, my reaction would not have been so intense. Who knows?
Years have passed, my sister has not watched MTV in over a decade, my brother does not know who Jessica Simpson is, and I am not that little girl any more. But the funny thing is that to this day, when I hear the song Thriller, shivers run through my back as I become that little scared girl under the covers, waiting for the video to end.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cell Phone Etiquette

It started only a little over a decade ago but it has spread like wild fire, the Cell Phone. It used to be only for the Very Important People (a.k.a. VIP), but now every living and breathing individual owns one. From the homeless person sitting under the bridge talking on her cell phone to the 11 year old boy holding the shiny hand held devise while he is riding the yellow school bus, they all have one. It took us such a short amount of time to go from not having this luxury to becoming completely hooked on it, and that is the miracle of technology. The cell phone is a great invention, from being able to call for help in case of an emergency, to being able to find our passengers from the baggage claim curb of the airport, to giving each other a heads up on where the cop on the motorcycle is hiding to get the bad drivers. We often wonder about how we were ever able to find each other before? How did we ever manage to set up meetings, cancel appointments, find out what size our friends are while shopping for them at the mall or oh my god tell each other that we are going to be late? Could it be that we actually used our ever so capable brains and planned ahead? Damn, how hard we must have worked back in the stone ages (80's and early 90's)!
Yes, we have become lazy, spoiled and stupid with this invention. We continue to gradually lose the powers of our natural senses as well as our intelligence with the improvement of this devise. But what we have become most of all is Rude!
I am amazed at how the simple rules of common courtesy just fly out of the window when one has a cell phone in hand. There are some appalling acts related to the cell phone that are committed by people, which I find completely offensive. When people answer their cell phone and start a completely non-emergency conversation with the person on the other end, while they are spending time with you. Think about it, you are riding in a car, sitting in a coffee shop or at home or shopping at the store with a friend who you have decided to spend your precious time with. Yet they not only answer their cell phone but have the audacity to just chit chat and shoot the breeze with the person on the other end, while you wait for them to get off. What the hell? Are they that blind to not notice that that is completely rude? Some times they say "oh it's my sister" or "oh it's my boyfriend" like that makes it OK. Is your sister on her way to the hospital and needs you to go turn off the oven in her kitchen? Is your boyfriend experiencing a drug overdose? If the answers to these questions are "no" then hang the damn phone up and have some respect for my damn time! Also, if you are the person who is calling, when you realize that the intended receiver is with another person or in the middle of a transaction, do not just say "so what els is new", hang up the damn phone and let them call you back at a more appropriate time!
How about when people go up to the register to pay for an item in the store and they are talking on their cell phone? This way they are blatantly telling the clerk "Not only you are not important to me at all, I do not give a shit about what you say. My conversation with my buddy about my baby's diaper size is so urgent right now that I am willing to treat you like crap". Hang the damn phone up for freaking 5 minutes and treat the other person like a damn human being!
And what is up with people's volumes going up 7 notches when they are on their cell phones? OK, maybe not every one minds people on their cell phones every where like I do, but I am sure you all become extremely annoyed when they are loud. I do not want to hear about your freaking drunken night or the way you celebrated your stupid child's birthday or what color your new curtains are when I am shopping. Either shut the hell up or bring down your volume or hang up the damn phone and save your annoying conversation for when you are in your damn house!
And do not even get me started on people talking on their cell phones while driving (oh I'm starting). For god's sake how stupid can you be? Read my lips people: You cannot talk on the phone and drive like a human being at the same time. It is so common now that I can easily tell when people are talking on their cell phones while driving, even if I do not see their ugly faces. The freaking car is going all over the place while driving below the speed limit. And I bet that the conversation is far from any thing urgent, emergency or a crisis. I bet that they are talking about how they are on their way to see their stupid child's teacher to discuss his retarded drawing, or how they are so bummed out because the guy from the club has not called yet. Hang up the damn phone and drive you stupid bitch!
I understand that the cell phone has taken over our lives, people are addicted to it and cannot live with out it. But please people have some freaking courtesy! I understand that setting some time aside at home to make a nice phone call to your mother or friend does not happen any more. These days people run around and chit chat their stupid chatter on the road, in the grocery store and at the hair salon like headless chickens. At least keep it to your damn selves and understand that even though you may be the center of your own universe you are not other people's. I also understand that 2008 is not the age of etiquette and class, but the last time I checked having respect for your fellow human beings was still expected.
When you are interacting with some one, even if they are the coffee shop cashier, give them your attention and do not order your damn latte between your stupid cell phone conversations. When you are spending time with a friend, a neighbor or your brother give them your time and full attention and save your meaningless cell phone conversations for another time.
The rise of technology and the growth of our conveniences are great, believe me I am a fan myself, however I think that each one of these new gadgets should come with an etiquette guide to remind us about common courtesy. Lets not forget about respect and other human beings who still exist in the world around us, Please!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Master Piece

Lyrics assembled with a team effort by a group of talented and drunk individuals inside of a Jacuzzi in Tahoe. Music borrowed from the song "Goleh Goldoon".

All rights reserved. TM.


Manzur az goozidan
Fargh dareh ba ridan
Ke daram high misham to in Jacuzzi

Vali in ghofleh dar
Andazeh kooneh khar
Shodeh moshgeleh man
Amaan az in dar

Koone khar pareh misheh
Ba goozeh se picheh
Miram pishe Sepideh
Behem mirineh

To ke be hameh midi
Kooneto tekoon midi
Chera be man nemidi
Too in Jacuzzi

Vaghti koonet ham miad
Aabe Jacuzzi kam miad
Midi be olaghe dar Aab.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Tree in the Forest

When a tree falls in the forest where no one can hear the thump, does it make a sound? When two people fall in love and that love does not last, does it remain? What happens to that love, does it merely disappear or does it stay with them? The love was real, strong and true, but somehow did not make it to eternity. Where does the love go?
When I was in High School I knew a couple who were madly in love, to me they were the vision of real love and the essence of what it should look like . Their love was so strong that even though I had never felt the feeling myself in my heart I could feel it between the two of them. I remember that I used to think to myself that if their love does not last I will never believe in love again. I thought that if they do not make or keep the love eternal between one another no one will. Their love did not last, they traveled onto different roads and the love was "lost". Being angry, hurt and disappointed I then believed that their time together was a "waste", because of their lost battle. Was their time really a waste? Does "real" love necessarily have to last?
I think that it is commonly agreed that when two people fall in love and experience the magnificence of this majestic feeling, but fail to keep that bond, the special time together was not a waste. Because true love, real love, passionate love is a rare gem that is a blessing in one's life. One should treasure and savor it, not take it for granted and know that it is not awarded to every one who walks on this earth. So even 4 days of true love is a gift from the Universe. I am sure that it is also commonly agreed that for a love to be considered real and true, it does not have to necessarily last. We have proof such as "Bridges of Madison County" and "Casablanca" showing us that love is love, even if we lose the battle to keep it. Undoubtedly the precious and beautiful feelings are there at that moment, however due to many many different causes the love spills over. But my question is where does that love go?
Some say that the love that was felt so deeply and wholeheartedly will continue to remain in a special place in the heart that was created in. They say that the love for the other will be with you forever. Some say that the love will end and cease from existing. They say that it will be nothing but sheer memory. And finally some say that the love will become dispersed and returned to the Universe (recycled).
My personal belief is that the love that was shared between the couple who introduced me to this concept continues to remain, however it exists in a different time and space. The two individuals are completely different people now, having nothing in common any longer. They are merely strangers to each other as they own none of the same feelings from the past. The current characters do not love one another at this time, however the old love remains. Her old self still loves his old version, the one from the time when she used to be in love with. He does not love the person who she is now, but his old self loves the person she used to be to him and for him. The old feelings still exist, but they are in another time and another parallel Universe. If they could go back in time and look each other in the eyes as who they were then, they would still be in love. They would still be the same two people who lived and breathed for one another and their old selves would still contain the heart warming tenderness as they once did. So no, I do not think that the love is lost, it continues to remain, but not in the same way, shape or form. Not even in our current hearts, not even in our current minds, but some where out there in the world it remains. It would be such a damn shame for a concept so special and beautiful to cease from existence. I believe that when a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear the thump, it still makes a sound.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Education or Wealth

In elementary school we had an "essay" class where we learned about the art of writing. The way it worked was that each week the teacher would provide us with an interesting subject to write about and the final draft had to be ready by the next class. Some times we would get lucky and turn our work in to the teacher for her to read in private, and at other dreaded times we were picked out to recite our master piece for the entire class. One of the most popular subjects that teachers picked for us to write about every single year was "Which is better, Education or Wealth?". And every single year one after the other all of the students wrote their essays stating that education is better than wealth. Their reasoning was that education has a higher value than wealth as well as with education you can attain wealth and with wealth you cannot attain education. I do not remember one single student who wrote otherwise and designed their essay pro wealth as the answer was a given.
This is an interesting question which we still ponder about at times and continue to contemplate it (especially single girls out in the dating world who are looking for a life partner). When we were children sitting in a classroom we knew what was expected from us, we knew which answer we had to pick, not giving it much thought. Picking wealth would have landed us on the hot seat across the scolding words of the teacher and the rest of the students. We knew that the point of this assignment was to teach us the value of education over wealth, so we complied. Also, we did not have the life experiences which could help with exploring the topic and making a decision. But now we have both, the freedom of our own choice, decision and answer as well as the extra dash of life experience to go with it. Would we still choose the same answer if the question was presented to us now?
I have learned that education has nothing to do with wealth as we see filthy rich Entrepreneurs who have acquired a High School Diploma as their highest level of education and Master's level Social Workers who are broke as a joke. We see daddy's boys who run their father's stores or businesses and earn as much or more money than a hard working Engineer who received a College Degree. We see spoiled daddy's girls who drive Porches and Bentleys with out a Bachelor's Degree and we see good hearted Lawyers who work in Public Law and are trying hard to pay all of their bills. It is obvious that you can have wealth with out education, but can you have education with out wealth? No. Between $15,000 to $30,000 per year is the price for higher education in this country. Medical Doctors and Lawyers are deep in debt between $150,000 to $300,000 by the time they leave school. Does this mean that with wealth we can attain eduction and with education we can not attain wealth? Could we have been wrong all along? The two things, education and wealth, are so separate yet so intertwined. But when it comes down to it and the drum is beating which one do you chose? Do you marry the guy with a Doctoral degree in Rock Analysis or the guy who is running a successful Bowl Shop? Do you apply to college, work hard to pay a tuition and go to classes or do you accept the bad ass position at Vogue? I am so confused!
Which is better, education or wealth? As a free adult with a mind of my own and a dash of life experience I refuse to choose one and would like to take both. I do not understand why we have to chose one as they are completely unrelated and can both be attained separately. Yet, you can not have one with out the other. Yes, we would not have had a nice topic to write about in the "essay" class in elementary school if it was not for this fascinating choice, but if you ask me it is a no brainer. Yet no one even thought about choosing both from the presented tray in their essays. I guess that is when the dash of experience comes in, grab both when presented to you I have learned, grab it all for that matter.
In conclusion I would like to purpose a new topic for the elementary school teachers to give to their students to write about, "Which is better, Wealth or Class?".