November 1, 2004
In those days past
when summer was the overriding season
our smiles were open
the cynical twists of the mouth didn’t exist.
There was no pain behind those eyes.
It was the Sobes and the Guccis and the core Chicago youth.
It was frisbee and cooking together,
moving in and out of dorms
and driving Lake Shore Drive at 2 am.
It was trips from the suburbs to the city
with analyzing and thought.
It was singing and praying and fixing the Center
It was CCA and UIC, trips to Louhelen in February
(lets spend Valentines day talking about college).
It was sisters and brothers, blood-bound or not,
and finding the people you didn’t know existed.
It was outward-looking orientation, before we ever heard that word.
It was service without asking “What’s in it for me?”.
It was volunteering at the House of Worship.
It was the beginning of the Chicago Youth Desk and the interns.
It was beaches and Ruhi book 7.
It was when the word “relationship” didn’t matter
and “crushes” were silent, beautiful things,
when Shakespearean love brought nothing but smiles.
It was dancing and late night calls to say “I’m sorry, did I offend you?”
It was mutual support and realizing it was ok to say
“I love you” without it meaning anything more than that.
It was the “one girl with all the guys” or
the “one guy with all the girls” but no one noticed.
It was all of the Chicago youth BLAZONING the name of Baha’u'llah,
and singing to the National Spiritual Assembly.
It was nearly drowning in the river and 24 hour diners.
It was Persian Conference and Greenlake,
and ninja videos shot in a Japanese garden.
It was jam sessions and crazy guitar serenades.
It was the Taste of Chicago and Erykah Badu,
the 3rd of July with fireworks on the beach.
It was the UofC and The Pit,
and all night talks about deep subjects.
It was dinner and movies and an intense lack of sleep.
It was when goals and dreams seemed realistic.
It was true friendship with that honesty and laughter…real connections.
It was joy and discovery, freedom from judgement and drama.
It was 2003.
And it made us what we are today.
(Neda & Sholeh collaborated to write this memory collection)
October 27, 2004
Our house is having a Halloween Party on Friday at 8 pm. If you don’t know where we live…ask someone who does, or email me. Costumes required! (why do some people even question having to dress up for a Hallween Party?)
Pumpkin Patch in Chicago (The sign reads: ATTENTION Pumpkin Shoppers. If you happen to break the stem its yours. Parents Watch Your Children.)
October 25, 2004
The prairie is now a nice light brown, dried up, fall color. And home is always changing…the construction out there has nearly reached a feverish pitch.
“Why I love the suburbs”
Reason #1: Wide open spaces & plenty of parking.
Reason #2: To go shopping, one does not have to drive all over the city to go to 3 stores. They’re all on one long street with 500 stores.
Reason #3: People are much better drivers, although there is an overabundance of SUVs and minivans (hey, I drive a van, and its great. I’m just saying…)
I made stir fry chicken in one pot, and tumeric/lemon/garlic chicken in another. Simmer on the stove for 1 1/2 hours each. yum.
One of my roommates asked me why I didn’t go to culinary school instead of business school. My first response: “I really don’t know.” But then I thought about it…and honestly, I cook for fun, and I cook for people I love. I have trouble learning a “certain way” of cooking…I just get frustrated. Also, with a business degree, I can open my own restaurant if I want.
October 23, 2004
Goya Flan is the best stuff in the world. You can buy it at the local grocery store for about a dollar, boil 4 cups of milk, and voila! You’ve got flan. I’m such a flan…I mean, fan….obviously.
(I ate that in about…5 minutes flat.)
I walked into the kitchen tonight and a large chicken said, “what up” from the counter. He was chillin by the stove. He said it was ok for me to take a picture, as long as he got 50% of the profits. He drives a hard bargain. The flan merely sniffed and rolled its eyes.
October 20, 2004
This is what has had me knocking my head against a wall for the last 2 months. (well, this and other similar problems)
yikes! Truth tables!
October 19, 2004
Ok so about 4 people will get the title of this entry. Its all good. It took me a really long time to figure out why all the skyscrapers were lit up pink for the last week. (for Breast Cancer Awareness month, apparently, but I’d like to think it would be for Sweetest day, too…)
(The Art Institute of Chicago)
October 13, 2004
I live where new townhomes are side by side with 100 year old rowhouses.
I saw two firetrucks drive up quickly to the hot dog stand on the corner while I waited for the bus this morning. Turns out they were just getting breakfast.
There are always 1 or 2 police cars parked outside the pizza place down the street. They like to eat there.
The street near my house seemed perfectly fine, but the city decided to tear it up for no apparent reason. There are tar footprints on the sidewalk.
My bicycle had vines growing on it when I rode it to work today. Literally wrapped around the spokes.
I was in heaven when I went to Vogue Fabrics tonight, especially when I discovered the 50% off sale. Good thing they closed within 5 minutes of my arrival. I would have spent money, and that would have been bad.
I rock at cornbread-making, even when I have to substitute some ingredients (ie rice flour for regular flour). mmm.
I filled out 2 forms and went to 2 different offices to organize a Bake Sale in the Union for the Baha’i Association. I was a bit baffled.
I sprained one ankle over a month ago, but now both ankles are hurting. Again, I am baffled.
We haven’t turned on the heat yet.
October 12, 2004
If I was able to paint in dreams
I would put on a canvas every fascinating nonexistent color.
If I was a singer in dreams
I could put pure joy to music,
I could express impossible things with one note.
If I was a writer in dreams
I could think my thoughts onto the paper
And whole books would be written
In the blink of a mind’s eye.
But oh, if I was a dreamer in dreams…
October 5, 2004
I once saw the deconstruction of the spirits of some friends
Pieces pulled out one by one
Each contained in a teardrop
Absorbed by sweaters and t-shirts
And the occasional torn and rumpled tissue
October 3, 2004
1) Omid (Allen Eghrari) has a blog. We grew up together, so it is fun to have this window into his life at med school. yay!
2) Group projects should be outlawed. I have 5 of them this semester. Yes, one in EVERY class except Logic. And some of my groups are extremely lazy…which affects my grade.
3) Parties are awesome. Thanks to everyone who came out tonight!
4) I have a list of books to read that is so long it hurts to think about it. This is outside of my school reading, mind you. The first on the list is The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. (Read it online here) I started it a few days ago.
4) I vote in a Baha’i election tomorrow for the first time. How cool is that? Such a responsibility, I’m excited!!
Speaking of tomorrow, I need sleep so that I can function like a normal human being.
September 30, 2004
It is interesting to see how one question is answered
Only to have another spring up.
One task completed, and another come undone.
As I write the words
The ink disappears from the page.
My sentences are muted, unraveled at the source
And though my eyes are open, no light reaches my face.
September 28, 2004
Chewy the caterpillar died. He had formed a chrysalis, but then…death. We’re sad.
Luckily, our fish are still alive. Hmm…perhaps we need more pets?
Neda and I were eating tacos for lunch at my house today, and she made a fun creation (with my help) that I thought I’d share.
Ground beef with taco seasoning
shredded cheddar cheese
Fry beef with taco seasoning. Sprinkle cheese over hot beef, then put tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream on top after the cheese has melted a bit.
yum…and so easy. Yeah, its basically nachos, but we mixed it all together and didn’t use chips.
Anyone out there have a favorite, easy recipe that doesn’t have bread, pasta, or flour in it that they would like to share? Please leave it in a comment, or email it to me. I am always looking for fun things to experiment with!
Also, my dinner two nights ago was heavenly: 2 eggs with cheddar melted on top, 3 slices of bacon, and tater tots. I was very full and happy after that meal!
September 26, 2004
My housemate Angela brought home a caterpillar from work a few days ago. He lives in a container on our kitchen table and his name is Chewy…because he chews on things.
He is dark grey with black spots, and watching him eat a piece of spinach was one of the most fascinating things I’ve seen in a long time. It is nice having a pet, even if he is only a bug.
I didn’t know we even HAD a pet…I thought the jar was just a nice flower arrangement.
September 21, 2004
There were voices coming out of the ferns! Seriously. Turns out it was some kind of “art”, but I was seriously disturbed for a little while there.
For some reason, this picture looks like something from a sci-fi novel. Florescent fish! (read the dictionary definition, I spelled it wrong on purpose.)
Twilight Zone, yeah.
September 19, 2004
One of my roommates performed at the Lyric Opera’s “Don Giovanni”. She gave me a ticket to see it last week.
The opera house is amazing. I had never been there before.
September 17, 2004
I saw purple shoes walking down the street yesterday
they looked a little sad
plodding along, tongues hanging out wearily
In September 80 degree weather.
I don’t know what style they were
or if they are offended by being labeled in a category
just because they have a logo on their sides.
I couldn’t exactly stop to ask them…
I mean, wouldn’t you be a bit startled
if a stranger came up to you on the street
to ask about your brand loyalties?
And they wonder why there is a shortage of teachers in this country.
September 14, 2004
Classes are canceled!
*does a happy dance*
Some kind of flood that messed with the electricity. I have the whole day to catch up on classes, nap, clean the house, and just relax. YAY!
Yesterday was overwhelming, today is bright, sunny, and happy.
There are general life-moods, and there are everyday emotions that vary according to circumstance. That is my definition, anyways.
Current life-mood: joyful
Current day-mood: peaceful
The Valley of Contentment
In this Valley he feeleth the winds of divine contentment blowing from the plane of the spirit. He burneth away the veils of want, and with inward and outward eye, perceiveth within and without all things the day of: “God will compensate each one out of His abundance.” From sorrow he turneth to bliss, from anguish to joy. His grief and mourning yield to delight and rapture.
…The tongue faileth in describing these three Valleys, and speech falleth short. The pen steppeth not into this region, the ink leaveth only a blot. In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.
-Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys and Four Valleys
September 10, 2004
Thank you for hugs.
Thank you for laughter.
Thank you for the New Food of Life cookbook and necklace. (mom)
Thank you for a gluten-free dessert cookbook.
Thank you for a ticket to a show.
Thank you for such a comfortable hoodie.
Thank you for a wonderful blue scarf.
Thank you for a card that everyone signed.
Thank you for wishing me happy birthday every time you saw me.
Thank you for cute earrings that we can match in.
Thank you for a photo album.
Thank you for phone calls.
Thank you for postcards.
Thank you for candles.
Thank you for money.
Thank you for cards.
Thank you for some really awesome cds.
Thank you for listening and being wise.
Thank you for understanding.
Thank you for rooftop healing.
Thank you, my family and friends. Thank you for being in my life, and showing so much love. I love you!!
September 9, 2004
I wore a white denim jacket today.
Yes, I did. AFTER LABOR DAY.
What are you gonna do about it, huh?
And I will probably continue wearing white articles of clothing. The seasons will not restrict MY style.
A twisted ankle, however, will. I can only wear flip-flops because my foot is swollen and bruised. hmph. Be aware of basement steps.
September 7, 2004
The Persian Conference was…different this year. Some of the same people, and some new ones, and an extraordinary number of Chicago youth (Persian and friends of Persians). I went to as many sessions as I could, and spent the rest of the time laughing with friends.
I had lunch with family on Saturday, which is what usually needs to happen on a birthday. Yay for family! Saturday evening was spent at California Pizza Kitchen with 20 friends, where food was consumed and a brownie with ice cream was brought for me. Jonathan got everyone to sign a birthday card for me, and I nearly started crying because of all of the love. Yay for friends!
The weekend just kept extending itself. There was more birthday goodness for Shannon on Sunday night, which you can read about in his blog.
There is something to be said about living with a large group of Baha’is, and all of us living in the same neighborhood.
Also, life takes strange and wonderful turns sometimes.
I think I have a cold, which means tonight will be spent relaxing and drinking tea, in between studying sessions, hopefully. I’m not terribly witty or funny right now…it seems exhaustion has taken over at this point.