Friday, December 22, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

And more sun ...


Sun is fantastically beautiful these days and is brilliant in the clear winter sky... it also creats interesting light settings.


PS: It was quite a challenge to put this post up , I have technical difficulty posting on the blog site these days. As if my browser is going out of date but I keep trying.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Todays dose of sun.


In case you have not looked into the Sun!
I just did that today, it wasn't that bad!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I am not a narcissist...

They say, "Thanksgiving is time to reflect on our past year and be thankful of what we had and cherish, life etc, which we were given".
I have recently come to believe that: in life "Goes around Comes around", so would that mean: what life gives us, is in fact, what we already put into it?!
Does it mean we should be thanking ourselves then? I am not being a narcissist, just puzzled?!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

what do you think?

I say this is a mutant phalaenopsis! What do you think?!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lian Records...

It has been a few days now...
It feel as if I have been very lazy but it was not the case...
So I am writing a few words tonight.

Last weekend we had the privilege of seeing a mystic concert performed by Lian records in LA. It is an eclectic band that plays traditional Persian and Sufi music...
On their program card, they had this poem from Rumi that sounded familiar to me ...
I thought of sharing parts of it with you:

"I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature's mint, nor of the circling' heaven.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of Saqsin
I am not of the kingdom of 'Iraqian, nor of the country of Khorasan
I am not of the this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan. My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless ..."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

LA'ers...


LA is an interesting city and when it comes to Halloween parties, LA'ers can are really fun and wacky.
Here is one of the coolest costumes I have seen in a party so far.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

What were their dreams?! ...

To my dear blogger

Dreams
We live for them...
and when they are lost, we keep looking,
sometimes they never exist but we keep looking,
sometimes they are in front of us yet we keep looking .... and looking and looking and our hands search for them, for that we don't know what,
and we keep looking in dispair so we judge and we blame and we keep envying and looking and looking , pondering why our life is gone and we have not found them?
and it sits there in front of us, and smiles.
Then leaves, and we keep looking...
we keep looking ...
A.

wind

A small canvas and a palette of confused colors … not knowing where to go
Aimless storks of brush.
In my solitude,
“Sittin my chair, sitting and stare”
Memories and dreams …
Hoping for this day
“I sit in my chair”.
Dim lights and damp heavy air,
Thinking of the forks on the road and how many they were.
Forks on the road and yet another one. Every day every day repeating.
Thinking and not knowing where to go
Then comes
“wild is the wind”
...
“Let me fly away with you”
“For my love is like the wind”
Then the wind blows to the heart and takes them all away again …
And Nina Simone keeps singing …

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Into the ocean...

It looked as if she was sinking into the ocean.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Golden Cross

Greek orthodox church , Santa Barbara CA.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Daily dose of Clouds..

San Ynez, wine country.
This is where some of the best Californian Pino Noirs come from.
I am sure that golden eagle had a better view than I. But oh well, I didn't have wings...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere


If you enjoy works of art by Gustav Klimt and Renior like me, you should plan to see this museum/ palace, it is fantastic...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pain of migration…

Sometimes I do feel nostalgia when I think about what I have missed in life… like:
Never seeing the wedding of the only brother nor any of the cousins nor all the best friends in Iran. And those are the people we shared our dreams and young hood with.
Never being there for their first baby, never attending their birth days and never seeing their first day of the schools!
When calling them, their kids don’t recognize me, and pass the phone to their dads.
Never seeing the passing of grand parents or dad… and that’s painful.

Sometimes I wonder if pursuit of my dream… was worth it!? Or was it just a mirage that mesmerized me away from what was real around me.
These days, as I drift in the sea of life events, in my wrecked boat. I wonder some times, if I were more content and not a dreamer, I would not miss all those events!

I often ask myself. What would be better? Living for our dreams or for our memories and heritage?! If I had stayed, for sure, I would not have experience the world and reach my dreams …
They say “every one to reach his own”…Mine changes all the time like a schizophrenic mania I don’t know what is it and where is it anymore?…
What if we want both?

Unfortunately, life does not give the chance of having both to just about everyone, particularly to those who happen to be part of the “Lost generations”. (Ex: in current Iranian history consists of those who are between 25-55 years of age)

Then I keep telling myself, at least let’s conquer one of them in life… and give our children the opportunity to have both…

Friday, September 15, 2006

I wonder...

I keep wondering;
How many sunny summer days this face had seen?! How many winter storms it has survived. How much sand and dust brushed off this face?
In that moment when his creator was pounding the hammer on that cold stone; what was he thinking about?! Did he think that some day two and half millennia ahead thousand and thousands of people will come to seen this face? And someday I would take a picture of it to post on the web?!

Whose face was that anyway? Was it depiction of someone real, like you and me, in his own time?
How many faces have seen this face, then passed on and were forgotten? How many more will have the same fate, while he will still be there…
I wonder and I wonder...

Perspeolis, 2002

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Golden Roof

Innsbruck, Austria built in 1500.
It was decorated with almost 3000 gold -plated copper tiles for Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.
October 2003

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

fascination,

Seaport Village San Diego, CA
And my usual fascination with the clouds...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

First grade...

Khair Al-nesa Ranjbari had never seen snow or a window, or an almond, running water etc. She was oblivious about many other things in her first grade book.
Her weak little hands would shake when she had to write a few words, and would fall into tears when her pencil would break!
I used to hold her weak hand and help her copy

BUT, She was full of grace with a charming smile…


Village of Ashkan, Bashagard 21/2/1371 10:20 am. (1991)

Monday, August 28, 2006

A poem...


If I were the moon wherever I were,
I would ask my way to you from heavens,

If I were a pebble, wherever I were,
I would sit on your path.

If you were the flirting moon,
One night maybe, you would sit on my roof

If you were a pebble, wherever I were,
You would break me… you would break me.

My translation of a poem I found in diaries I wrote while in military service,
“ I can’t recall the poet's name!”


Thursday, August 24, 2006

2 seconds...















...before sun sits on Pacific.

Monday, August 21, 2006

About this Cross

View of Santa Cruz island from Ventura hills.
Public complained about having a religious symbol above their head on the public lands, where it overlooks the city on a prime spot.
So the city of Ventura decided to turn the lights off on this cross... After some disputes, a church stepped in and bought just the little spot where the cross was placed and kept the cross in its place and lights on...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Cloudy day, but not so gray...

Low altitude clouds. A rare occasion of having an overcast day in Santa Barbara.
Bringing the grimes a bit closer?! Or giving more dramatic effect to the city.

Some places are privileged to have “pleasant cloudy days”… That takes the Gray out of the day, does not it?!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Red Flowers on the rocks,

Grand Canyon.
The first impression I got from seeing the Canyon was “How bigger than my imagination it was!"
Then "how could these small eyes see such enormous things?!…”
No picture can depict that feeling.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Her Job!

Place de la Riponne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Lausanne, August 1993, It was a round 4:30 pm near Palais de Rumine in place de la Riponne. I was keeping my mind busy taking snapshots of different monuments and buildings. That was my escape from Blue-Gray moods that were hunting me almost every day.
I had my camera on the tripod and looking for a good angle to take shot of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Then, I noticed a middle aged woman “running” toward me!
She stopped and asked while smiling:
“What are you doing?”
“Just taking a picture of this church. I think this is a nice angel” I said, in my heavily accented French.
“I have taken a picture from exact same angel as you are and it turned out very well”, she said.
“By the way what are you doing here in Lausanne?” She asked.
“Studying French”, I replied
“What do you want to study after?”
“Genetics… if I can”, I said
“Nice, you will…”she smiled
“But it is not easy”, I said.
“S'il y a volonté d'a il y a une manière” she said (If there is a will there is a way).
I said, "that is right….but…”
She interrupted me … "No, you need to say it ...Vouloir, c'est pouvoir”.
So I said “Vouloir, c'est pouvoir”.
She said “No! Say it so everyone in the square can hear you….!”
I was shy and thought what the bleep!!!!!….
But, she insisted.
Finally I shouted out “Vouloir, c'est pouvoir”.
She smiled and said “My job is done here, good bye and good luck now …”
Then she ran away and disappeared in the crowd and the place de la Riponne.
The whole thing took 5 minutes or less. I stood there in the state of confusion then took some photos and left.
This memory stayed with me to this day. She did her job well whoever she was!?

I wrote this, to her memory.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Head up...



Santa Barbara Beach.
Calm, and cool in a Saturday evening.
Reminded me of many meditative sunsets I've spent there, soul searching and thinking " why life is important, and what I want from it".

I came to conclusion that, my life would not be about "what I have" and "who I think I am".
It should be about how many lives I have touched and how those lives are going to remember me after my sun had set!
Will I hold my head up high, like those palm trees?
I am still trying ...

Wharf Musician

Boat

Yesterday...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Think...

Think Flower, and your mind will be a flower garden... "Rumi"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Comment

I wrote this as a comment to a post, and then, I thought I share it with my visitors as well…

There is a theory between some psychoanalysts that human tend to forget the pain; and bad events for that matter. Unpleasant events are often physical rather that mental, therefore we generally have good memories from past events, and that is probably a very good thing… (For example, this forgetfulness may be a reason for women to consider having more that one child! Imagine if they would not forget the pain they endure during the first pregnancy…)
We forget the pain and unpleasant events of the past so we feel nostalgia for the nice things… if we would remember the unpleasants, we would all be depressed about our past, and post-traumatic syndromes would be more prevalent for just about every little thing.
From time to time I need to remind myself of the unpleasant things that I left behind…so I don’t forget why I left them behind…
Then my life comes to a more realistic perspective.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Karlskirche

Karlsplatz, Vienna.
During the Black Plague, emperor Carl VI chose to build this massive church in honor of Borromäus, the plague's patron saint. Fischer von Erlach, the best of the time, designed this Barque church in 1714.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A drive worth taking...

A typical dawn at pacific coast Highway.
5 am leaving Monterey just to see the sunrise and it did worth... This road is about 4 hours of drive but often one cannot drive through it without stopping every 10 minutes. It generally takes a round 6 hours....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Schmetterlinghaus


"Vienna's Butterfly House"

One of these days, after coming home at 7:30pm, I will have chance to fix my scanner. Then I happily digitize some of those older photos that I don't have in the computer and share them with you...
Until then, please bear with me...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

which one?
























Farmers Market,
Santa Barbara CA

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

PCH



Off Pacific Coast Highway...

...Patio...

The Patio in the photo was on the main canal in Venice. But your dream Patio can be anywhere you want it to be... if not already, you will have one some day...

Dream Patio

Monday, July 24, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006

A poem by Sohrab Sepehri

Unfortunately I was never good at memorizing poems.
However, there was one poem which had stayed in my mind for a very long time. And I kept reciting it to myself for years.
Today, I found a fair translation of it from Persian and would like to share it with you.
Hope you enjoy…


The Foot Steps Of Water

Life's a pleasant tradition.
Life's wing is as vast as death.
Life's a jump the size of love.
Life's not something,
we put on the mantel of habit
and forget.



It does not matter where I am.
The sky is always mine.
Windows, ideas, air, love,
earth, all mine.
Why does it matter if sometimes,
the mushrooms of nostalgia grow?

Let's take off our clothes.
Water is just a foot away.
Let's have a basket and
fill it up with all the greens
and all the reds.

We are not to comprehend;
the secret of roses, but maybe
swimming in the incantation of roses.
Or may be looking for
the song of truth
between the morning glory,
and the century.


Poem by: Sohrab Sepehri
Translated by: Mahvash Shahegh

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Woman and the Newborn.



Ashkan, Bashagqards,Iran 1371/2/15
It was not common for people of that region to pose for photos.
So I feel lucky to be allowed...
I very much liked their colorful cloths.
Her baby must be 14 years old now. I hope she is!

Pic of the day



Salzburg, View from of the Fortress.

"Some like it Hot"

It was funny. A few weeks ago we were in San Diego and visited Hotel Del Coronado where I saw some shots of Marilyn on the walls of the hotel. Chakameh thought she has seen this place in a movie… possibly “Some Like it Hot”
Last night we watched the movie, playing: Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. That was right,a B&W old movie that we enjoyed watching, it was one of Chakameh’s favorites that I had not seen.
It was very funny and I think it was ahead of its own time,(1959).
The odd part of the movie was that it was supposed to be a hotel in Florida!
If you happen to visit San Diego, make sure to visit that place it is very enchanting even at night.
I also remembered to share this with you, that there is an interesting place in LA to visit as well! It is the one and only remaining “Silent Movie Theater” in the US. It is on, 611 North Fairfax Ave. in Hollywood. It is remodeled and trendy, with live music…
I look forward to seeing a show in there!
Cheers
PS: Yesterday’s photo was a repeat, sorry about that.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dose of picture for today...


Salzburg Austria,
A city full of character, art and history...Where CAT and I love to explore more.
As a friendly note, if you go there, don't ask locals anything about the movie "Sound of Music..."! More likely they have never seen it and they don't like it!
However, there are tours for silly (Americans) tourists who are in love with the movie!.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The name

The name for previous photo is " A gray day."
The photo is dated but I can still remember seeing this view in my viewfinder.
Few weeks later, there was a massive snow storm and everything in this picture was under 2 meters of snow...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec Canada


Fall 1993

From a Technophobe to a Gadget-man...

I resisted the frenzy of having DSL for years, like many other modern things such as cell phone, electric coffee maker, computers, palm pilots digital cameras etc.

And keep telling myself, what were people doing 40 years ago?!

I am not a Technophobe and in fact use hi-tech equipment all the time at work and consider myself savvy with them. Just did not want them in my home…. always looked for simplicity and practicality… even thou today’s practicality does not go well all the way with the simplicity.

Six years ago I gave in to buying a cell phone after every one was complaining that I am not accessible at all them!

All the time?! That was exactly my argument too, I don’t want to be accessible “At all times”… family would call me sometimes and say “where have you been? You don’t answer your cell phone? And I had to put aside my mild accommodating manners and say that “there are times in the day that I may be in the washroom or shower or sleep or in a meeting etc… please don’t ask me that question any more!… and that was that…

I had to buy a computer because my wife, (my fiancée at that time) wanted to chat with me…

I got an electric coffee maker because French Press was not convenient for everyone!

Got s digital camera because my SLR camera was too big and complicated for people etc,

Back to the DSL story. Finally with a great push from my wife I gave in last week and ordered it.

Last night I plugged in all the wires and restarted my iMac. I was not surprised to see that my Mac automatically recognized the new signal and connected to the net…. Could not be easier than that!...

Too proud of my easy accomplishment came an urge in me to see what the CD that came with the modem is?! Maybe it has something extra in it… so I installed that and as soon as it happened my computer went wacko… make the long story short, lots the connections….

Early this morning I called the Tec support and after bunch of selections on the automated phone options found a live tech to help me, but here comes the interesting part.

He sounded very strange, as if I was talking to a robot, but with personality! And there were these short gaps in his talks too.

After talking for 30min he could not still help me and I had to leave so we postpone the help session. All this time I was having this distracting thought, wondering “where is he from?!”

I even asked him but he went silent!

My speculation is that he could be in a call center in China or India some where and had his voice enhanced with computers so customers would not recognize his accent (Not that I have problem with accents, In fact I may have one too … )

I hoped to talk to him again.

In the evening I called again and talked to someone else but with the same computerized accent!
Now I am using DSL…. inadvertently I am turning into a gadget-man

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Fishes

This is a small ski resort north of Lausanne Switzerland where I used to live.
I spent a weekend in the cabin to the left of the photo and hiked to the top of the mountains on the right of the photo. Behind the summit, there was a small lake... where people could do some fishing!
I wonder how did the fishes got up there?!
This photo is a collage of five 50mm photos, capturing almost 180 Degrees of view...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Film

I always wonder how some women remember the smallest little detail of an event from past. As if “they have photographic memory…”
This is a story about remembering things… I remember long time ago when I was 8 or 10, I used to go to my grandma’s house very frequently, it was not too far, in fact it was side by side our house, I sometimes even snuck in there from the roof!
Mamany, that is what I used to call my grandma, had a very large house with two yards and 3 sets of buildings… One set was occupied by my uncle and his newly formed family … But, they did not last there very long as I drove them away, or at least contributed to their leaving, by parking my ratty bike in their yard and bothering them by making noises every afternoon when I wanted to sneak out to making more noise with the rest of the neighborhood kids racing our bikes… I don’t think they ever forgot that or forgave me for that matter!

Couple of years ago one of my cousins who is about 6 years younger that me wrote me: “Do you know that I saw my very first movie with you when I was 4 years old!?”

I chuckled… no way! Are you out of your mind?! I was not old enough to go to movie by myself… and categorically denied it
Then she gave me the details… how one summer afternoon, I went to my grandma’s yard and saw my cousin. Asked her if she wanted to see a movie with me?! (She is 4, remember) and she says “yes”. Then I took her hand and went to a cinema called “Mahtab”. Two hours later we came back facing all the grownups franticly looking for us… they were all mad at me!!!!! Obviously and I was punished and banned from going there for a while…
I read the story again and again and thought to myself; She is making it up.
Then she wrote “the movie was about a boy running from home and joining a Circus! And movie was call Toby Tyler or something.”
That was when my jaws fell on the ground and remembered the whole story. She was right and that was my favorite childhood movie.

Last week I found that movie in Netflix and ordered it! Can’t wait to watch it again … sometimes I think that was me running away and joining the circus!

So, some women have photographic memory as my wife does too.
I do think I have one too, but mine has no film in it! :0(

Monday, July 10, 2006

Gym...

It is very difficult to go to the gym while one has to go through a big party full of food drink and music! Almost impossible!

It happens almost every day that I think of all the conveniences and prosperity around me and then,... think of hungry people in other places in the world and their pain and suffering witch they go through to look for jobs, feed their family and sustain their lives and deal with the BS from there governments...

It puts life into different perspective for me. I feel more content and in my heart, I thank my dad, and mom...
Then again, when I think of the suffering that they went through, I feel guilty for being here...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The only tape

When I left Iran I took with me only one tape. It was one of Faramarz e Aslani’s his first album from 1978 or so. The tape belonged to my sister who left it home 15 years earlier when she left Iran…
This tape has been a permanent fixture of my car since then.
Last Saturday Chakameh and I had a chance to go to one of Faramarz’s performances in a club down in LA.
Chakameh had won the tickets answering to a tedious question in a contest in KIRN….Long story short, we both were very excited to see this performance and fortunately it was as exciting and beautiful as we expected.
He is still a great singer, song writer and a fantastic artist with a captivating voice. I also heard a few of his newer songs that were as good. There was also another great guitar player in his band named Ardeshir e Farah. He was great too.
I am sharing a couple of picture with you from that night, July 4th 2006, and encourage everyone to buy his new CDs…
I also want to thank my lovely wife for winning those tickets and many others with her wit and intelligent …