Friday, June 30, 2006

never know in nevada

last day of conference - co-chaired a session on cryptography, walked down "the strip", caught another show, made the red eye flight, got the middle seat at the back of the plane - oh the life! ;-)




No! It's all at the Las Vegas Strip!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


after the presentation - nothing in my way - what a beautiful day

what a beautiful night - glittering lights - though I even say a star shining bright

Mystere took my breath away!

the pirates are no match for the sirens singing might

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Day 2: moonlander

8-10 am: co-chaired the networks session of the conference. It ran 2 minutes beyond schedule and the dagger looks we received from the chair of the next session led me to believe that perhaps we had made him miss his landing on the moon. So on our way out, I winked and flashed him a dazzling smile while my co-chair more appropriately ignored him

In Progress:
11 am - 10 pm : preparing for my presentation for tomorrow

All Work No Play? No Way!:-)
10:00 pm: show

Day 1: what plan?

My Grand Plan:
7-11: work by the pool
11-12: have brunch
12-2: work on my presentation
2-5: chair a session
6-9: do something fun
9-12: dinner with collegues at conference

How the Day Actually Unfolded:
7-11: work in room (the smoking room with horrible view)
11-1:30: remembered the pool plan - so rushed downstairs and worked by the pool
2-6: chaired a lively session. fantastic time! used up all my business cards (no I was not just giving them away ;-))
7-9: came back to my new upgraded non-smoking room with a gorgeous view and fell asleep immediately
9-12: finally my first and only meal of the day. Just to challenge myself socially, I sat at a random table and laughed with people I did not know as though they were old friends - liveliest table - had a great time - and people were wanting whatever we were drinking (just perrier for me, thank you ;-)

Am saving myself the trouble of making a plan for tomorrow!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Life is A Highway

A women at the airport with a straw hat was going around to people at the boarding gate saying, "why you looking at me, yo? I have the right to be here, have the same ticket you do, yo?" Nobody was looking at her.

The flight was delayed for 1 hour due to "technical concerns" then another 2 hours on the runway due to the rain. The pilot said every half hours, "we will be delayed for another 20 minutes, the controllers are messing things up"

I was at the emergency exit row between the flight attendant and an excitable young man who said, "halleluyah, life is good, I made my flight and I have two beautiful women next to me." I continued to read my James Lee Burke book while he sang along on his iPod to "life is a highway ...". At some point he said to me, "you know this is the 2 month anniversay since I have been sober". "That's wonderful, you should be proud," I said sincerely. It was cold on the flight and he offered me his new long sleeved Harley Davidson shirt. But the flight attendant had given me the only blanket on the flight. Such nice people one meets.

Landed late at 3:00 AM. The cab driver looked like Jon Voight. His name was, "Jon". On the way he discussed the psychology of travlers who are out of their element when they are on the road. His analysis: they do not have their wives and children and collegues to take out their inadequacies, so they take it out on the cab driver, and he added, "they better not start with me, 'cause I'll be finishing it".

The hotel was fully booked and I was asked to stay in a smoking room for the night and a "special" non-smoking room would be provided after that to make up for the trouble ... whoa ... we shall see :-)

Ciao for now, have to "conference"

Friday, June 23, 2006

Fearless Friday

Some days I just don’t understand

It can’t be, but it’s out of my hand

Yet the alternative is like quick sand

No other way – but to take own stand

If you live by the terms of others

Bosses, religion, society, fathers

It’s not your own life you live

It erases the meaning of joie de vivre

What is the point of being alive

If on our own terms we cannot thrive?

So perhaps we do already understand

It’s just that we have to take that stand

~ Nazli

Thursday, June 22, 2006

nearly round 2!!

  • Ghana goes through to round 2 - controversial (por supuesto) penalty against USA
  • Czechoslovakia (the 2nd ranked team in the world) is out after losing to Italy
  • Australia (Socceroos) pulled through in the last minutes to tie against Croatia to go through to the next round. The Socceroos face the Italians next
  • Switzerland is doing remarkably well, por eso, France's fate is sketchy - but we shall know for sure tomorrow - zz zz zz

Brasil, England, Argentina, Germany - and the other teams that are already through from each group - are predictably so, porque they are the stronger teams. Voy a compare my initial predictions with the final tally tomorrow.

As for the broken ingles - tengo que practicar espanol porque tengo un examen manana. A mi me gusta escribir en espanol pero ne se que I say.

In case you are not familiar with football yet and are trying to keep score of the mighty Brasilian squad:
Nazario de Lima is actually Ronaldo
Ronaldinho's real name is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Ronaldo Gaucho) - to differentiate him from Ronaldo. "Dinho" implicative of "little Ronaldo"
Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite is actually Kaka
y it does not do to not mention that Pele's real nombre is Edson Arantes do Nascimento :-)

y si, yo se que los brasilenos hablan portugues. Obrigado

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Wanderings ... on Yellow

Woke up and decided to wear a colour I rarely do: yelllow.

Later that morning I was on my way to the Spanish exam. I chose one of the unmarked cds from the set of about 20 in my car that have random songs: 99% English and the other 1% Spanish, Turkish, and Greek. There is no way of knowing what songs are in what cds. Between home and la universidad there is time for only 2 songs

Of the 15!*20! choices, the first song that played randomly was "Yellow" by Coldplay: "look at the stars, look how they shine for you ... "

The second song that played on the way to my Spanish exam was one of the 3 Spanish songs, "Regresa Mi" by Thalia

And later on in the day - I had a yellow sweet bay magnolia flower in my hand

Entonces, I was exhilarated :-) I did not care if it was kismet or misket, or fate or coincidence - just felt within that the day belonged to me and that indeed, the stars, they do shine for me ...

Hope you can feel that too - because the stars they do shine for you ;-) :-)

So for the Fearless Music Recommendations this week:

"Yellow" - Coldplay - the stars shine for you!:-)

"Beautiful Day Without You" - Royksopp - lovely unusual beat and the words are empowering:
"When I'm alone, And all are gone, The painted leaves, Onto the sun, In the light of god, I see myself, Improving things, Oh every day, The open sky, The breathing stars ... Wind is on my neck (fateless), Sun is on my face (have courage), Beautiful day without you"

For the Fearless Movies I am recommending what is sounding true to me this week; the balance of being fearless

"Mostly Martha": a brilliant chef is hardly alive to Life - until her orphaned niece, Lina comes to stay - and a passionate carefree Italian chef walks into her life and reminds her that life is about taking chances and having faith and being happy and loving fearlessly

"Mrs. Henderson Presents": set in the pre World War II about a elderly widow who embodies the notion of "living" to the fullest, without bowing to convention or heartbreak

Both are heart-warming and uplifting and celebrate joie de vivre!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Sunderings ... made in India

In much of the world, US citizens are referred to as "Americans". However, it is impoprtant to recognize that Latin Americans, and the rest of the American continents for that matter, consider themselves Americans too. And rightly so. In Latin America, the the "native" Americans are referred to as "indigeno". It is sometimes considered derogatory to call them "indio/a".

Talking of indios - oh, Santa Maria, what a far-reaching misunderstanding of race when dear old Cristobal Colon decided he had landed in India!
Talking of Indians! Like it or not - their influence on the world is unfolding yet. After Mandarin Chinese (14.8%), Bengali & Hindi (the 2 most prominent languges in the Indian subcontinent) combined is most spoken in the world (6.2 %). Spanish (5.5%) is more widely spoken than English (5.4%). The economic power and the man power of India & China are undeniable and unstoppable.

This is beyond out sourcing! In London, New York, and other metroplitan cities, there is a generation of cab drivers and 7-11s and grocery stores run by Indians - good for them! It's a hard-earned living and nothing to be ashamed of. At the same time, there are very few institutions of higher learning and corporations that do not sport brainy superstars of Indian origin. They are all contributing gainfully to the economy of the foreign land. Same goes for the Chinese.

Here is an article from TIME/CNN - almost arguing that being India's friend is a good idea beacause it is the "un-China". At one time India (the world's largest democracy) had aligned with the former Soviet Union - while the communist China was hardly in the good graces of the western world. Now, there is a new world order developing (excuse the pun). Good for some people, threatening for others.

In the end, it does not do to underestimate or undermine people - the world belongs to all.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Celebrating the World Cup 2006

Here is the fixtures timetable for Round 1!

source of images: Fifa World Cup

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday Wanderings

Fearless contributions from Fearless Bloggers ...
(for our very first Wednesday Wanderings)

While Sipping Tea in the Garden

Dear fellow bloggers, I guess you must be enjoying this pleasant garden – beware of the gnome – while sipping your tea (our hostess is mostly gentle). As you come from different corners of the blogsphere, I truly wonder what is your approach to things which could be essential in life. What is essential in life for you?

The imagery here could be related to films such as Capra’s ‘It's A Wonderful Life’, Clooney’s‘Good Night
and Good Luck’ and Jeunet’s ‘Amélie’. What kind of feeling did you have after experiencing these movie pictures?

It seems to me that this world could benefit hugely from outright optimistic individuals. They move on despite the difficulties and are quite sure that lack of honesty does not pay in reality – let alone in fiction. To some extent, this may make you feel like Pollyanna however: can’t we bring this to reality?

Some time ago, I was impressed by a Jeff’s post calling us to take our stand against censorship (please read it – visit him via Doc’s Fearless Links). He disregarded the fact he could be a single voice and actually found readers who could listen to him and spread the news. Things are right or wrong irrespective of which side we are on – could it be called ethics? As an extension of this thought, I wondered if we would be able to let go of our personal benefits or our comfortable opinions so that the group as a whole would be benefitted. Would you call it weakness? Would you be ashamed/afraid of being called ‘weak’?

Once I crashed my car which led me to an overnight stay in the hospital – the typical chance for a review of a number of my attitudes. Funny how we need such turning points in life, as though there were not any milestones around us every day. While disregarding this, days, months, years pass by and then - out of the blue - voilà: we are in a well-kept fortress. How could we lay the bridge down to access this fortress? That would be a small act of enormous generosity indeed. Have you genuinely paid attention to the ones around you? It is risky and frightening to feel fragile, isn’t it?

C’mon be fearless!

Brought to you by Caco:

PS.: I will be away for a few weeks yet eager to read your thoughts upon return


Movie Recommendations

I’m totally recommending a film that I saw yesterday in Cinemax, called, “Nina’s Tragedies.”

A very nice Jewish film about human relation and love. If this film do not move something on you, you are rock solid...

Brought to you by Fernando:

For the girls, especially, I am recommending “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” – it’s about 4 best friends who find something beautiful and self-affirming in themselves one summer – and there are these magic jeans … I watched it two times in 2 days!

Nazli :-)

Music Recommendation

Black Roses Red: Alana Grace – “can you turn my black roses red …?”

Unwritten: Natasha Bedingfield – “no one else can speak the words on your lips … live your life with your arms wide open. Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten”

You’re Beautiful: James Blunt – “you’re beautiful, it’s true …”

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Sunderings ... on the Butterfly

Years ago, I read the story about a butterfly. Butterflies are not born winged, beautiful, and colorful, you know. They start their lives as caterpillars that people may step on because they look so insignificant. This caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself and over the following weeks, as it starts to transform, it pushes against this cocoon. Eventually after many weeks of struggling against the cocoon, the tip of its wing punches through. Then after some time, the rest of the body bursts through the cocoon – and a beautiful butterfly emerges. BUT, if the butterfly breaks free too early through its cocoon, it is bound to a life without flight. Why? Because it is the delay and struggle against the cocoon that makes the butterfly’s wings strong enough to break through the cocoon.

When I was growing up, my father made me debate world affairs at the dinner table – from both sides. Por ejemplo, I had to debate for Israel and ten minutes later, I had to debate for Palestine. My father shaped me. I earned straight A’s and was a wonder child, a source of great pride to my parents – I thought I had it made. But I lived in a cocoon. When I was 21, I thought I had learnt to stand on my feet and face the world. I had – and in a way I had my first taste of fearlessness and freedom. But I was still in my cocoon, still strengthening my wings … the credit for the strong cocoon and the wings will always belong to my father.

I started blogging at a time when I broke free of the cocoon and began my own “relentless pursuit of being alive”. For me it means being fearless, because that is true freedom. And ambitious, because I feel it burning within me and it fuels me. And bold, because courage is prerequisite to being free.

Here are my honest thoughts in the last hour ... ;-)

  • Saddam was caught, Zarqawi was killed – and the civilian killings have increased to date
  • In this world, people of some nations are branded terrorists, while similar people of other nations are branded heroes
  • Children who are adopted are called “adopted children” – I wish they would be termed only as “children”
  • The Geneva Convention is enforced for some nations with military battles, while ignored for certain nations
  • The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is enforced for some nations with military battles, while ignored for certain nations
  • There are cases of people from Pakistan/ Bangladesh and some Arab countries who immigrate to western countries in search for a better life. Their children do not assimilate to the new environment and they take out their fear, their insecurities, their adequacies by joining radical, destructive Islamic groups where the feel of some use. Credit where it belongs – recently President Bush insisted that all immigrant should assimilate and learn the values of the new country and learn the language. Yes they should.
  • Why should gay people not be allowed to marry? They are living together, they are happy together, they are married by human standards. The society is already changed – the landscape of gayness is drawn. How does denying them a certificate change any moral value?
  • Gay people should be more respectful about showing their "gayness" - good for you that you are gay, but no need to advertise it - because personally I don't care. I don't actively advertise my straightness.
  • Zimbabwe has massive cases of human rights violations under a deranged dictator – but who cares, it’s some strategically unimportant country
  • Senator Chuck Schumer and his fellow Senators claimed that one of the reason the USA cannot do business Dubai World Ports because the UAE does not do business with Israel – what does Israel have to do with all this? Why does the same odd standard not apply to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
  • I want to know why God, the Magnificent Creator of the Universe, values a strip of desert land over the innocent people whose lives have been robbed? I want to know why we all buy this story without question?
  • I want to know what makes the lives of some more valuable than the lives of others?

People may disagree with me – and I seize the opportunity to learn from them. I am opinionated, but thanks to my father, I am open to seeing your side. What frightens me most are fearful people who will blindly believe their governments, this ministers, their elders – just to feel safe. They are not free – they are dangerous!

Wishing you a fearless week! Be Bold, would you! Be Alive! :-)