Friday, November 30, 2007

Bewilderings to Behold

There are some events in the world that leave ordinary people numb (and enraged) in astonishment. It makes you wonder about the inhumanity of cultures, religions, and ultimately the capacity of humans to deceive themselves - possibly for some promise of heaven. And it makes you glad to be "ordinary"

Saudi Arabia

Sudan

Supremacists

Spears media core

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Surfin' on a Rocket



Here is a piece of art. Certainly knowing English is empowering; enabling one to communicate and integrate into a "new" world. But to insist that English is the language of the US is Cherokee to me. So much for Geno's Steak in Philly; “This is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING ’PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH.”’

The Democratic Debate has just taken place on MSNBC. Kucinich says he has seen UFOs - people laughed. Yet when satellites "see" weapons of mass destruction we go to war and kill countless people.

According to the viewer polls, Obama did well. By the way, Barak Obama is equally white as he is black.
Evolution is just a theory ... so is the theory based on which we surf on rockets; gravity ... I don't know where I stand without gravity

Faith is no theory ... it's sheer hope ... I don't know what I am without hope

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Sunderings ... on "the pile"

It's the weekend, and I am sitting at the office with a pile of work that I must do - my dismissive stares and eye-rolling sighs do not magically diminish the pile. In fact, lest my eyes deceive me, it is growing taller. I've put them in neat folders so as to create some order in the pollution of lists and notes and agendas. There is even a folder that reads, "SCMA"; I cannot recall what that stands for ...

In any case, I come upon my much neglected blog, only to find some bloody comment spamming. I was momentarily orange with indignance (partially because I am wearing an orange colored jacket), but my "pile" distracted me and left me kinda blue ...

This is hardly what I would call my normal level of "Sunday Sundering" ... but forgive my self-indulgence for one more paragraph before I light up in brilliance and tell you my stance on Iran and Turkey and the state of Democratic Congress. It's the end of October, the leaves leave me breathless in their colorful wonder ... we went to a breathtaking canyon that overlooked paradise
The rapid drop in temperature, along with a desperately busy week, the absolute need to drop off to bed; the eyes, heavier than clamps; and that fevered feeling, has left me with that foreboding feeling that I am about to be sick ... very sick (but that could just be "the pile").

Iran sits itself betwixt Afghanistan and Iraq and Turkey; Turkey borders Iraq and Iran. So in the current state of world affairs all I can say is, "I ran away from the turkey, which had been caught in a rack; this year there's beef for Thanksgiving." Now if you did not find that funny - blame it on "the pile".

Friday, July 13, 2007

... precarious ...

... my drink of choice is diet coke with lime ... thus I was carrying one into the office in preparation for a long day of paper writing. The can fell and the bottom bulged out. It will not stand, so the open can is perched against the wall and speaker, ready to fall and soak my desk of papers any moment! ... precarious ...

... chocolate covered orange peel sets my blood on fire ... that is precarious for the blood, wouldn't you say? There is a love poem in every packet - if you ask me, it's a bit off - even precarious to one who is reciting it
...
... went running yesterday, 5 miles on trail, along a lake, through fields of wild flowers and steep hills - nothing precarious about that - however, afterwards, due to lack of cool water in the vicinty, I indulged in 2 sips of non-alchoholic beer ... now that was bloody precarious! ... the Beckhams are in town. David was dead to me when he left Manchester United. And apparantly Victoria is a load of laughs ... perhaps not quite precarious, but certainly hilarious ...

... media mogul Conrad Black convicted ... whoa ... notorious ...!

... North Korea wants to talk to "belligerent US" ... yikes ... egregious ...?

... bangawoyo! That's the friendly greeting in Korean. Talking of which, did you know that "mung mung" is the Korean equivalent to "woof woof"? .. curious ...

... and OH! Friday the 13th! ... my how nefarious! ...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

This is Zimbabwe

Have you heard of the phrase - TIA - This is Africa?

From the age of 5 to 17, I grew up in Zimbabwe. It was beautiful (it still is), prosperous, vibrant – a heaven on earth. Zimbabwe is a former British colony which gained its independence in 1980 and at that time the gallant freedom fighter and new leader, Comrade Mugabe, inspired its people to live together, black and white and brown, as one people. And then after a decade of paradise (incidentally just as I left to study abroad) power and greed seeped into every core of Mugabe. He, along with his blood thirsty inhumane cronies, destroyed the country by falsely promoting the notion of “land redistribution”. They practised racism, inhumanity, and injustice at their heights. And the world watched – but let’s not blame the West only. How about other African countries? They gave Mugabe their silent support. In particular, the South African premier, Mbeki, he who does not believe in AIDS, seems to empathize with Mugabe. (cartooon from: www.sokwanele.com)

The group Dispatch is holding a 3 day concert at Madison Square Garden this weekend for Zimbabwe. Here is a 4 minute documentary on the current state of Zimbabwe. It is worth watching – heartbreaking and breathtaking.

On Tuesday I went running with the running club. There was a 3 mile and 7 mile run; naturally I went with the 3 mile route. I thought I was doing just fine until a lady with a limp and a 67 year old man overtook me. Here is a picture of part of the route - hey at least I kept under the sped limit.

In humanity and humilty,

Nazli

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Deficiencies of I …

My deficiencies are considerable – I could state at least one for every day I have lived. The major one is my ego – the part of me which needs and feeds to no end. And ironically for no purpose. It just needs to need. I can look back at many entries on this blog and clearly see my ego at work. I needed to regroup my Being.

Some years ago, when I was working on my doctorate and trying to make ends meet, I felt so stressed that one day I had enough. I read of books by sages of the world. It was a miracle for me. I surrendered to the universe and nature – if the universe can run in perfect order, there is reason for me to worry. I became so humble and so centered and so happy. I stopped worrying – and I won scholarships, and my world just fell into place. I don’t how – but it is true.

Then I became absorbed again. In finding the right job, in trying to assert my own independence, in trying to prove myself right. Humility and surrender were replaced by my impatience at wanting everything my way at my time. I do not think I was a bad person – but I was hardly fearless, hardly ambitious (at least not for the right things), hardly bold. I was unaware.

But the universe reminded me with ferocity - so after many moons here I am – a work in progress – in absolute humility, with total faith in love, such awe of the universe, unrelenting hope that I live the fearlessness of my fantasies.

Oh, how have you been fearless bloggers? It's been awhile - but I am excited be back in the blog mix with my bloggers! Did you know there is a place called “Truth or Consequnces” in New Mexico? Isn’t that grand? This summer I am teaching one class and working with some students. And this summer is going to be the best summer of my life – because whatever happens, my ego is denied. I am alive – and oh so grateful. "Dear Ego - you are hereby relieved, love Nazli."

Caco and Maliha have written some beauteous things to me in their comments - I don’t know what they see in me – but in reading them, I can only strive to be. Thank you!

See you tomorrow.

With much warmth,

Nazli

This is a picture of Chickies Rock (click to enlarge) - I love the stars and the moons and skies - but the beauty this earth leaves me breathless!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How TSA is keeping America safe ... and other stories!

There is a reason why some animals hibernate. The weather should not affect my mood, but there is some chemical reaction to the sun and warm breezes that exhilarates me. Currently we are on Spring Break and yesterday I went for a drive along a stream. The sun was shining, the sky clear blue, the air nonchalant. I stopped at a bank to survey the land and to breathe. There was a bevy of cows and a flock of birds (homage to my English teachers in Zimbabwe) who ignored me as I almost burst into tears in gratitude for being alive (cry baby).

Last week I was at the SIGCSE conference in sunny Kentucky. The conference focused on Computer Science education; I participated in panels and sessions focusing on computer security, programming discrete mathematics and other applications. I left the conference feeling absolutely rejuvenated and excited about being a Computer Scientist.

Minus the option of purchasing a horse or carrying KFC, I bought some coffee beans in a whiskey bottle (Kentucky is known for their bourbon), along with their famous sauce and bottled cherries. I check in, take off my boots, jacket, laptop, go through that "air-emitting device" that magically checks the body for who knows what. I exit to retrieve my belongings, when a burly grey haired TSA agent stops me and says with grave importance, “ma’am we have a problem.”

I don’t respond because I can’t imagine what the problem could be, other than the book of global warming in my bag.

“You cannot carry liquid; federal regulations”

Still I say nothing, because I remain clueless as to what he is implying.

“You cannot take whiskey onto the flight”, TSA agent repeats.

“Ok,” I offer trying not to appear as uninterested as I actually feel.

TSA agent takes out the whiskey bottle with the coffee beans. It is wrapped in tissue to prevent it from breaking.

“It’s coffee,” I explain, trying to undo the tissue from the bottle to show him

“Ma’am, I know what this is and you cannot take this on the flight. It is illegal,” he pushes my hand away from the bottle.

“It’s coffee,” I am still calm.

“I know exactly what it is and it is illegal because it is liquid.”

“Alright, throw it away, but before you do I want clarification as to how you categorize that as liquid.” I reach out to undo the tissue again.

“Ma’am,” he starts warningly brushing my hands away again.

“I want clarification,” now I am ready to take it on.

He undoes the tissue, sees the "solid" coffee beans and exclaims, “well I’ll be darned.”

Long story short, he still made me check in the bottle of sauce and cherries. So I had to be escorted out, check in a little bag and then go through the whole security process again. When I walked through to the gates to board my flight, I saw bottles of the sauce at the concession stands ready for passengers to purchase and take onto the flight. To make my day, when I landed in Philadelphia, I smelt my little bag before I saw it since the bottle of cherries had smashed into pieces.

Hello Fearless Bloggers! ...How I have missed my blog! See you tomorrow.

Nazli

Thursday, January 18, 2007

This Time This Year

This time last year was undoubtedly the most heart-wrenching time of my life - everything that was comfortable and sacred and safe - everything I counted on unconditionally melted into moments that left me in disbelief. Perhaps in retrospect I shall consider it a part of being born in a culture where choices and freedom are nothing compared to the consensus of a family ruled by the medieval notion of patriarchic power and might. But certainly I had to take my stand against the very person who taught me to be fearless and ambitious and bold. He surely thought I was the Frankenstein monster - his product who rebelled against his absolute control using the tools with which he equipped me.

My dearest friend reminded me that having the courage to be true to myself is true fearlessness. I gleaned through world news to find camaraderie with the world around me.
My heart was filled with empathy for every injustice anywhere – the final transformation to the rest of my life. I realized that my life was indeed beautiful because at least I could exert my right to live on my own terms - while many others have ceased to be alive because they are 'casualties of war'. Blogging engaged my mind and kept my spirit intact because it gave me perspective and forced me to be deeply self-reflective. Also I found that in being sincerely concerned for humanity and being genuine and warm to everyone only lights my heart to heights from which I will not fall. In the end, what I discovered made 2006 the best year of my life – and you the fearless blog list enhanced my understanding and perspective. Thank you.

This time, this year let me say that I am truly grateful and glad to have come across you – Caco, Maliha, Mr. Angry, Tom, Cristiana, Joe, Zee, Jeff, Lo … because even through the coldest medium, your words touched my heart. Wishing you the happiest 2007 ever! How was your Christmas and New Year? Mine was wonderful - in fact the best ever. The Winter break from school was spent working on a grant proposal and then preparing for the new semester. This semester I am teaching computer security and discrete mathematics. In addition, I am going to take on some ambitious projects that I have neglected. It is GREAT to see you again!

Oh – what is with Big Brother UK – Shilpa vs. Jane? Racism or a cultural conflict? Either way – I am happy to see it being addressed. Have you heard of the discovery of a lost civilization in Peru?

Recommended Movies:

Apocalypto – brilliant visuals, gory, underlying love story, hidden messages

Blood Diamond – if there is one movie to watch from 2006, this would be it

Casino Royale – the best James Bond movie ever – and I have watched all of them!

Recommended Music: (on my iTunes, in my car, at the office)

“Say it Right” Nelly Furtado

“Irreplaceable” – Beyonce

“Eurydice” – Sleepthief featuring Jody Quine

"Beds are Burning" - Midnight Oil