Friday, July 29, 2005
I explain I have a nose ring that is complicated. I arrive. They tell me my nose ring is complicated must see the dermatologist. Two hours later... she glances at it for approximately two seconds and says "yeah it's complicated, don't know what to do"
I get up in the wee hours of the morning (okay 8am- but its summer!) drive 30 miles IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC, get to the doctors office and find out there was a mixup and I was supposed to go to their other branch but they gave me the wrong directions
Kaiser Permanente- you stink.
(photo courtesy of The Sane One )
Thursday, July 28, 2005
And other happy thoughts....
This morning I interviewed with the ACLU .... Do you get to say you've been hired even if its unpaid? Do you say "I got hired" or do you say "they agreed to let me come and help them" hmm.... the latter makes me sound like I have self esteem issues.... but in any case I get to do real life lawyer stuff and help with projects particularly dealing with equality in the public school system. This makes it easier for me to not teach this year because somehow or other I'm still helping......
Mansoor showed me this article about the way people see Muslims. According to the article, tolerance has increased. They point to the fact that Americans did not retaliate by behaving in a vigilante manner towards American-Muslims in the USA after the London bombings. I dont know if thats a case of "if it didnt happen here we don't care" or if it really is that people are realizing their next door neighbor who works at the bank and whose kid is in national honor society is not someone to take their anger out on. I sincerely hope it's the latter.
I'm publishing a few articles. Some are on fine tuning's website, but I'll share this article from Happy News that just got published today. They got my name wrong, hopefully they'll fix it soon, but it's a story that you won't be surprised I wrote about!
And finally I know the baby Panda was born a while ago but I had to share a picture of him because he's just too cute for words..... I think a baby panda would make a great pet.... how can anyone be mean or evil if you bust out with your baby panda and put it in their lap... now there's the key to world peace I tell you!
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
The utter sadness of the situation is no matter how much I give, it will never be enough. I can give to Niger but there will still be people in need there, not to mention the Tsunami struck regions, Pakistan, Iraq, India, and all the world over where people are starving, living in mud huts, and eating rats. Rats.
All this fills me with overwhelming guilt. How dare I look longingly at the houses at Ansley Park, or get frustrated when I experience writer's block? I have food, a roof over my head, live a better life than most of the world's population. So how dare I be anything but happy and grateful every moment of every day?
The closest explanation to resolve my cognitive dissonance is to turn to Maslow's hierarchy of needs who says that by our very nature we strive to grow.
The people of Niger are at the most basic level of need, survival. They need food. Some people in other countries are at the safety level. But no matter which stage you are in you want to eventually move to the next level.
Being higher up on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I naturally want to improve and not be completely satisfied at where I am. I should still be grateful for the good in my life, but it's okay to want more.
Life isn't fair.... I hope that the pain and suffering that the poor of Niger, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Ethiopia. etc. etc. etc. will mean that God will have mercy upon them and forgive their sins.
I dont know if this entire post is a fancy way to explain away well placed guilt.... but hopefully it will resolve the cognitive dissonance I'm experiencing.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
I realized I havent linked for a while to my 101 in 1001... I'm actually getting stuff done... who'd have thunk it!
Monday, July 18, 2005
Didn't watch Batman Begins, nor War of the Worlds (just couldnt let Katie and Tom win, just couldnt do it!) but at last my summer movie has arrived: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Loved loved loved the book. I watched the movie starring Gene Wilder with my students... wow was it demented. If you saw this movie many years ago, you may not recall but there are some very disturbing scenes including one where you watch a chicken get beheaded....... BUT now Johnny Depp will be playing the lead role and the trailers look so enticing. Have been waiting for this movie since March when I found out it was coming out. Was not able to watch it opening weekend so the suspense is just killing me. I'm waiting to watch it in Atlanta so I can watch it with Kashif on Imax in all its glory.
**The Charlie Update****: Keep in mind this is the ONLY movie I had ever so anxiously anticipated... I expected to be kinda let down.... but Charlie was everything I hoped it would be and more. Kashif said the Oompa Loompa's turned him off, but frankly, I thought they were a highlight of the movie. I loved the interpretation of the songs except I wish they were more articulate so children could understand the lyrics, particulary the song about how Television destroys all creativity. I didn't even mind Tim Burton adding the storyline about the father/son issues of Willy Wonka.... the scene where his dad had his news clippings all over his wall made me posotively weepy. One side note, Johnny Depp was good.... however... Jim Carrey, in my humble opinion, would have done a job truer to the Wonka portrayed in the book. But still, this movie is one I want to see again on Imax. Anyone down? Kashif isn't. :(
The One I Broke Down and Purchased:
First off, thank you Ali for accompanying me on the trip to find Office Space. Hope the butterfinger was sufficient compensation. Two words- comic genius. This movie is the best statement of modern office life that I am aware of. The reason this movie works: (On Peter's view on his job) Joanna: You're just not gonna go? Won't you get fired? Peter: I don't know, but I really don't like it, and, uh, I'm not gonna go. Joanna: So you're gonna quit? Peter: Nuh-uh. Not really. Uh... I'm just gonna stop going. Joanna: so you're gonna get another job? Peter: I don't think I'd like another job. Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and... Peter: You know, I've never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either. And I must include Best authentic desi moment: Peter: What if we're still doin' this when we're 50??? Samir: (big dreamy smile) It would be nice to have that kind of job security.
The Ones I've Seen Courtesy of Netflix:
Hitch: Maybe I'd have liked this when I was 12 and this formula was still unpredictable but at 25 all I can say is: Predictable, cheesy, awful. I love Kevin James but he could not save this movie.
Finding Neverland: Really wasn't excited about this one but it was amazing. The tears started about forty minutes into it, and didn't end. It's one those movies you feel like you've learned a life lesson from watching. Really Really good acting but you can expect no less from Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp.
Rushmore: Aamir you were on the mark on this one. It was so good I forgive you for recommending Napolean Dynamite. If you like quirky independent films you will like this. (Think a long lost relative of the Royal Tenenbaums).
Da Ali G Show: An English TV show featured on HBO. Like the Chappelle Show it can offend the unaware- but it's funny! "Ali G" interviews unsuspecting guests and regardless of his method of how he gets the actual interview, the outcome is usually the same—he sits down with his guests, and then asks a string of loaded questions devised to goad them into replying with something equally ridiculous. One republican senate hopeful admitted to some very controversial stuff on the show: http://www.webgeordie.co.uk/borat/broadwater.htm costing him his public image.
So that's what I've seen so far ... any recomendations? Still got one more month of summer to fit it in!
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The Journalist told him no lies: I think if people see this footage, they'll say Oh, my God, that's horrible. And then they'll go on eating their dinners.
Over one million corpses of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters were found in Rwanda when the World decided it was time to send help. It is referred to as a "kind of a genocide." One of the little children cried as a man with a machete approached her "Don't hurt me, I promise I won't be Tutsi anymore."
I'm shaken. I taught refugee children from Bosnia, Kurdish Iraqis, Bantu Somalians, Afghanis. I remember one afghan refugee, 7 years old. Her 12 year old brother watched his father get murdered in his bed by the Taliban. They had a television. Their radio would play music that the neighbors overheard. For this, the death penalty. They took the clothes on their backs and fled to Pakistan for refuge. I remember one child told me that her mother locks herself in her bedroom and muffles screams for hours. These were the lucky children. They didn't die. They still have one parent. They have a chance for a new beginning.
I cannot understand. I want to understand. How can a human being rationalize to themselves as they hover over a baby with a machete that what they are doing is okay? How do you kill a father in his bed knowing that his son is huddled in a corner weeping? I hate thinking of things in black and white but these people are evil and the devil owns their souls. There must be a day that they will pay for what they have done. That they will stand before someone mightier than themselves. There must be justice.
We must help. There are countless people helping, giving of themselves for no other purpose than to try and restore humanity in the world. There are so many but there needs to be more. I too will be asked, did I do enough to help the people with humanity in their hearts like me?
Every little bit helps. My mom says she does something that I am going to start. Anytime something good happens. Good report card, a promotion, a safe arrival off of an airplane or a long trip, she puts a little bit of money aside for charity. Maybe 2 dollars here, five dollars here. Once she has a sizable amount she donates it to a charity. This is something very very small. But it is something. Imagine if everyone put aside the change in their drawers every day and set aside. Could it feed one child, could it give medicine for one mother to live a little longer to care for her children.
Mahatma Gandhi said it best: You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
I look at the pictures. I see their world. I see my own.
And I can help them.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Baby Hippo gets seperated from his mommy b/c of the Tsunami, lost and frightened he finds an ancient tortoise who at first begrudgingly tolerates him and then ultimately adopts him as his own. Both protect each other, play together, sleep together, and eat together. Little Hippo (Owen) even understands that the Tortoise, (being a male, and NOT a hippo) will kind of ignore him when his fellow tortoise buddies come by to visit (gotta maintain an image after all!)
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Tell me after reading this story that you do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart? Hope it lifted your spirits if they needed lifting!
Owen the baby Hippo and his mama the tortoise
PS: And the furniture, it arrives tommorow!!! (Swivel mirror!)