Archive | April 2008

Jack Handey Quotes

On my old blog, I used to regularly publish quotes I liked. And since tonight, well heck I bored, I thought I’ll reinitiate that tradition. Here are a couple of quotes from Jack Handey:

“When you die, if you go somewhere where they ask you a bunch of questions about your life and what you learned and all, I think a good way to get out of it is just to say, ‘No speaka English.'”

“Whenever you read a good book, it’s like the author is right there, in the room, talking to you, which is why I don’t like to read good books.”

“I wish I would have a real tragic love affair, and get so bummed out that I just quit my job, and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.

“One day one of my little nephews came up to me and asked me if the equator was a real line that went around the Earth, or just an imaginary one. I had to laugh. Laugh and laugh. Because I didn’t know, and I thought that maybe by laughing he would forget what he asked me.”

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is, “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is, “Probably because of something you did.”

“Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant, and she fell on me. Then it wouldn’t seem quite so funny.”

“To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.”

“I think a pillow should be the peace symbol, not the dove. The pillow has more feathers than the dove, and it doesn’t have a beak to peck you with.

“I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it.”

“If you’re in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at some guys, throw one of those little baby-type pumpkins. Maybe it’ll make everyone think of how crazy war is, and while they’re thinking, you can throw a real grenade.”

“Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.”

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Man Carves Wife a 6,000 Stair Path in Mountain

I just stumbled on this story and all i can say is aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh, sniff, sniff, sniff:

A weird love story has come out of China recently and managed to touch the world. It is a story of a man and an older woman who ran off to live and love each other in peace for over half century.

Over 50 years ago, Liu, was a 19 years-old boy, fell in love with a 29 year-old widowed mother named Xu. At the time, it was unacceptable and immoral for a young man to love an older woman.

To avoid the market gossips, the couple decided to elope and lived in a cave in Jiangjin County in Southern ChongQing area.

love-ladder01.jpg

In the beginning, they had nothing, no electricity or even food. They had to eat grass and roots they found in the mountain, and Liu made a kerosene lamp that they used to lighten up their lives.

Started the second year of living in the mountain, Liu began, and continue for over 50 years, to hand carve the steps so that his wife could get down the mountain easily.

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A half century later in 2001, a group of adventures were exploring the forest, they surprisingly found the elderly couple and the over 6,000 stairs of hand carved ladder.

“My parents loved each other so much, they have lived in seclusion for over 50 years and never been apart a single day.” Liu MingSheng, one of their seven children said, “He hand carved more than 6,000 steps over the years for my mother’s convenience, although she doesn’t go down the mountain that much.”

love-ladder02.jpg

The couple had lived in peace for over 50 years until last week. Liu, now 72 years-old, returned from his daily farm work and collapsed. Xu sat and prayed with her husband as he passed away in her arms.

So in love with Xu, was Liu, that no one was able to release the grip he had on his wife’s hand even after he had passed away.

“You promised me you’ll take care of me, you’ll always be with me until the day I died, now you left before me, how am I going to live without you?” … …

Xu spent days softly repeating this sentence and touching her husband’s black coffin with tears rolling down her cheeks.

In 2006, their story had became one of the top 10 love stories from China, collected by the Chinese Women Weekly. The local government has decided to preserve the “love ladder” and the place they lived as a museum, so this love story can live forever.

Video showing the real couple:

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More Pictures:

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(QQ)

Shoo, shoo be gone you pesky conscience!!

I need a new conscience; I’m fed up with the one I currently have; it’s way too loud, obnoxious and never ever shuts up…oh and the stupid thing never takes my side!!! Seriously, anyone knows where I can get a new ‘inner voice’ or better yet interested in exchanging yours with mine 😀

[Background to my plea]

So around 7:00 pm I logged onto Facebook and I see that there’s a lecture by DADI JANKI on “Secrets For True Wealth” at Salwa Al Sabah Hall at 8:00.

Me: Mom get dressed; we’re going go to a lecture on spirituality

Mom: Ahhhhh what’s the point? They don’t say anything I don’t already know. If you are in the mood to be lectured I can go on the mambar for ya. Here we go: Be good, be nice, be honest, let go of the past, be forgiving, be satisfied, be…

Me: Hahahaha very funny…come on… it starts in an hour.

[Blank look from my mom]

Me: Well, Dadi kinda looks like Lata Mangeshkar

So 30 minutes later we walk into the Hall, and who do I see sitting right on a couch as I enter—the only person I have ever treated not so nicely in my whole life and never apologized to. The same dude I was talking about in this post.

Me: Why, oh why God? Why do I have to see him here..and tonight of all nights.? Is this a sign?

Inner Voice: Yep, come on, this is your chance to be good again.

Me: I ain’t walking over to him…no way!!…and you have been seeing “The Kite Runner” way too many times!! WTH is with “you can be good again”?!!

Inner Voice: Fine, have it your way.

[A few minutes later]

Dadi: Honesty…I myself have never lied…why should I? What’s the point of lying? What are you afraid of?

Inner Voice: See? What are you afraid of?

Me: Shh…I’m trying to listen…hey hold on. I NEVER lied to him.

Inner Voice: Nope you didn’t lie; but you weren’t completely honest with him either.

Me: Huh? Look what I did wasn’t all that bad. Besides I don’t owe him any explanation for my action.

Dadi: Parents have to spend time with their kids to teach them morals

Inner Voice: See, your parents taught you better than this.

Me: Would you please Shhhhhhh. Seriously get off my back. Look this story goes back to my ‘dark’ days, and anything I did during those months cannot be held against me now.

Inner Voice: Do you think you ran into him here by accident? Why of all the nights, do you think you saw him tonight?

Me: Seriously, bug off….I’m trying to listen…ok fine…I’ll talk to him later.

Inner Voice: No you are not. At least be honest with your own inner voice. You never do the things you say you will do later.

Dadi: We have 3 enemies: carelessness, procrastination, and…

Me: ok, that’s it. I am out of here.

Inner Voice: Hehehehe…see I told ya so.

Here a video clip of Dadi…not the lecture she gave in Kuwait though

UPDATE: Thank you Grey for pointing out that I misspelled “conscience” 😀 😀 …opps

Review of 21 films

Bootlegged films are VERY cheap in Iran—about 300 fils—so I brought smuggled in about 70 to Kuwait, hehehehehehehe….Here’s a one line review of 21 films

Non-English Films

Hindi:

  1. Jodha Akbar: Recommended by Amu. Great cinematography. Loved the sword fighing scene between Ash and Hrithik 😀 The film got me to google Akbar the Great. Found out there were some historical inaccuracies but not enought to distort the truth too much. BTW, did you know that Akbar was the grandfather of Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal?


French:

  1. Persepolis: This film could be a page out the book of ANY Iranian who lived in Iran during the 80s and early 90s

Iranian Films

  1. Ali Santuri (English title: The Musician): Only reason I watched it is coz it’s banned in Iran. If you wanna put yourself through more than an hour of torture then watch this film.
  2. Nesf Maleh Maan, Nesf Maleh Tow (English title: Half mine, Half yours): A fun family film.

Half English/Half Farsi film

  1. The Kite Runner: The book was MUCH more poignant.

English Films

  1. Rendition: Thought pace was too slow but liked the way the two timelines interlocked. Reese Witherspoon’s role was way too trivial.
  2. A Might Heart: Pace too slow, film a bit weak, could have focused more on the emotional side of it; liked Jolie’s new hairdo though.
  3. The Night Listener: not a lot of suspense for a suspenseful film
  4. The Kingdom: Got to see it again to comment
  5. The Bourne Ultimatum: Matt Damon was HOT 😛
  6. National Treasure 2: Liked part 1 much better; learned some interesting tidbits, like there are two Eiffel Towers 😀
  7. No Country for Old Man: I am now convinced that members of the Oscars academy are officially blind, deaf and with no sense of artistic taste!!
  8. Lions for Lambs: A loooooooooong lecture. You might as well just watch a political debate on CNN. Tom Cruise was his annoying self.
  9. Jesse James: Was never a fan of Brad Pitt; this film proved why.
  10. I am Legend: Will Smith is HOT!!
  11. The Golden Compass: Nicole Kidman is forcing me to cross her off my list of fav actresses
  12. Atonement: The only reason I watched it till the end was coz I was too lazy to reach for the remote to switch off the TV.
  13. Juno: Loved her character, especially her wit. Screenplay was excellent. Though I did think they toned down the trials of teenage pregnancy.
  14. Meet the Spartans: LOL..much more realistic than 300
  15. Elizabeth: Made me google it; the film has some historical inaccuracies. Thought the real Queen Elizabeth would have been much more interesting than the one depicted in this film.

The Tour Guide

This post was written a week ago when I was still in Iran

Ever had a feeling like…well like…like you are walking with…yourself. Several times during this trip to Iran I felt this way. Those times that I floated through familiar streets, streets whose walls were like a photo album …with each brick bringing back memories…memories that though you created no longer feel like yours…not the new you anyway. Ever heard your old self talking to you while going down these streets?

Today I went to Payetakht—a mall in northern Tehran that is the center of computers. I used to come here at least twice a week years ago. It had somehow changed now. Those days it was mostly bootlegged CDs, now it’s laptops, digital cameras, plasma TVs, iphones, mobiles, macs, etc. Just like those days I stopped at each shop studying the variety of models. Before I knew it I slipped into a conversation with myself.

“Now that’s a beautiful Sony Vaio…hey I haven’t seen that model in Kuwait…why do some companies export certain models to only certain countries…oh look there is the official agency of Panasonic…let me check out their camera….”

“Hey remember this shop? This was the shop that you got that SPSS CD, remember? Remember you needed that statistics application CD for your thesis but it was difficult to get hold of the latest version? This shop promised to bring it for you? Remember?”

The memory was mine, but this wasn’t me talking to myself anymore… I almost felt her presence walking next to me…like a guide, a tour guide, guiding me through ‘my’ memories…distance memories. She also stopped with me at each shop, with each shop she painted a vision in me of the shop as it was years ago…just like a tour guide.

Ever felt this way?

More random pictures from Tehran

1. Picture of two mosques in Tehran for Intlxpatr


2. Is it too polluted for ya? 😀 Keep track of the amount of gases in the air in Shahrakeh Ghaarb

3. Love this idea. Tehran’s city Hall has placed book baskets on buses. This particular book is called, “Short stories from Pakistan”

4. Wall painting in Vanak Square

Close up of the same house

5. My ice cream 😀

I FEEL ALIVE

Ahhhh my good old friend has wrapped itself around me again. This time though it doesn’t come alone, Who are these friends? If I remember correctly that’s the sweet smell of a wild berry tree drenched in spring rain, and aahh there’s the cool air that’s bouncing off that brick wall, just listen to that music our pure stream is playing…yeah of course a canary has to be whistling amidst this ‘earthy’ aroma. Thank you dear breeze, thanks my old friend for bringing new friends with you this time.

I FEEL ALIVE

Ahhhh yeah, today (Tuesday) was Sizeh Bedar (Thirteen gone out); it’s basically the last day of Norooz and as part of our tradition, it’s a day where THE WHOLE nation goes out to have a picnic. In every single park, river bank, meadow, gardens, or anywhere there’s a patch of greenery you would see families barbequing, playing badminton or volleyball, swinging on makeshift swings, smoking hookah, and dancing…yes even dancing but not in parks (too many prying eyes there :D)

I FEEL ALIVE

So mom and I are back in Tehran. During the past two weeks we went to Masouleh, Shomal (northern cirites of Iran near the Caspian sea), Abyaneh and Kashan. We still have to go to Isfahan, possibly next week. During this trip I have come to understand that:

1. Iranians are very sociable/talkative 😀

2. Iranians favorite past time seems to be fighting and dancing 😀 😀

3. Iranians are neither leaders nor blind followers.

4. Iranians don’t appreciate their cultural heritage or historical sites

In separate posts I would elaborate on each. Till then here are some pix from around Tehran and places we visited.

Swing in Abasabad Jungle (shomal)

Historical House in Kashan (Borejerdi House)

Pic taken from a moving vehicle enroute to Masouleh (shomal)

A window in a Tradtional House in Kashan (Tabatabaee House)

Shop in Tajresh-Tehran selling Nowrooz stuff

Melat Park-Tehran

Abasabad Jungle-shomal

Ceiling in Tabatabee House-Kashan

Abyaneh woman wearing tradtional clothes (will post more details about Abyaneh soon)

Abasabad Jungle–shomal