Friday, October 30, 2009

Party Edition...

So my sister's name is Merilee. Eventually she became Myrtle - and then Myrtle the Love Turtle. I thought it was a Dr. Seuss shout out... alas, it's been Yertle all these years!
Anyhow, Mer: Happy Birthday! I love you!

Thunder and Lightening and Rain... O My!

I love the rain - and Israel really needs it. It's a win/win situation!

...And That Means Fall Is Finally Here!

D A C E: Excerpted from the Fall 2009 Look Book

More from the man who shot said book:
André Paul Pinces

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New and (Not So) Different...

Image credit
Head's up: courtesy Naysan
So I've been getting hate mail that rhymes with 'why don't you love us anymore' from the family. ...okay, I'm being superlative - relax! But I have been a little lax with the ongoings here in the land o' aimee piper.
This is mostly because I don't think that anything I do is that extraordinary - but I also realize that somehow curating the world-wide-interweb is insufficient to keeping the family posted.
*Sidenote to Will, Ray & Raf (you may also know them as the genius behind DogHouseDiaries - yes, I'm name dropping... but I'm proud of my uber-talented friends, and I'm wont to digress): pun very much intended.
I've joined a water polo team here in H-Town. It's good to get back in the water and do something besides chase a line (much as I do like to swim, it can be boring).
I tutor a little boy whose parents also serve at the Bahá'í World Centre in English - specifically reading English. I'm really proud of Bayan; English is his fourth language, and he's only 8 years old!
I've recently begun taking painting lessons here - this is fun and therapuetic - and I find that it's helping with my photography. All good things!
It's still in the 80s here - starting to think longingly of cooler weather... to that end, I'm in the beginning stages of planning another trip to London. This time I plan to join the local Bahá'í community in its efforts to share the message and teachings of Bahá'u'lláh.
Okay, so that's what I'm about - sorry for the 'massness', I love you all!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reunited... And It Feels So Good

New Kings of Convenience single: Boat Behind

I can't wait to get my hands on the album - sounds so good!

p.s. I love the video - film makes everything seem so much warmer.

Loaves and Fishes...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ticky Tacky Little Boxes...

My name is Aimee Piper, and I am addicted to pop culture. Living in Israel, this sort of manifests itself bulimically - when it's available, I binge.

I've recently started watching the show referenced in the title of this post. I'm in season 3 already. I'm a little concerned why, when I look at imdb(dot)com Conrad & Miss Mahailia are no longer with us. ...Conrad is my favorite.

I've also recently got my hands on the British equivalent of USWeekly, People, and etc. I so far only recognize 3 of the people they're even talking about - but I'm going full emersion with British culture, and you can't do that without learning who their celebutantes are, can you?

Lastly, I am obsessed with this show (Glee!) ...that I can only watch in youtube clips so far. Sigh. It's kind of like having a crush on someone you've never actually met.
Enjoy the clip - it's hilarious!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up: 6 Days Later...

So as you know, I've got 2 rolls of film back - these are some pictures I took from my field trip to the Sea of Galilee last weekend. If you ever get to Israel, I highly suggest that you make a trip up there - the history and the scenary are - literally and figuratively - awesome.
Sunset: as seen from the Bahá’í cemetary in the northern Galilee.
Vantage of the sea from the Church of the Beatitudes
The church where the Disciples witnessed Christ with Moses and Elijah.
I hope you're not bored with my looting of the film vault - I'm really pleased with the way things turned out! *by which I mean: I will be posting more pictures...*
yea boi!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Room With a View...

Below are some pictures I took from my balcony of the bay between Haifa and ‘Akká, Israel. I've also put them up on my flickr page - the links are below. Enjoy!
1. sunrise balcony, 2. flock, 3. flock 2, 4. color, 5. balcony view, 6. balcony sunrise

P.S. I'll be putting more pictures up as the week progresses.

In Due Course...

So I finally finished and developed 2 rolls of film - and I got my pictures back last night!
This is the first of many to come... taken from the sea wall in ‘Akká. ...I'm never exactly sure how they get out there with all of their bait and tackle - but those people are fishing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

On the Bright Side...

My friend Monica Schulman of Ciao, Chessa! fame shared some pictures from FutureAncient - a London based photographer. I love what he (she?) does with light - truly amazing.
Both photos excerpted from flickr - link above.
...take heed lest ye confuse the dawn for dusk.


The seven Bahá’ís I mentioned yesterday? Who have been held for over 18 months in Tehran's infamous Evin prison simply because they are Bahá’í?
Their trial was postponed again yesterday. Bahá’í World News Service gives more information here. I truly appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts. Please continue to remember them in your prayers.

Please Please Please...

I truly hope this comes to Israel.

Bright Star.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Call to Prayer: A Call to Action...

As many of you may know, I am a Bahá’í. These people, my brothers and sisters - my coreligionists in Iran - have been imprisoned since March and May 2008.
Their case has received world-wide attention with passionate pleas for their release made by scholars, politicians, comedians, actors... and everyday kind of people like you and me. If you've been following their case, you'll know that - as Diane Ala'i, the Bahá’í International Community representative to the United Nations in Geneva says, "They are completely innocent of the accusations against them and should not have been imprisoned in the first place".
You will also know that they were finally scheduled for trial today. 18 October 2009. And that the trial has already been postponed from 18 August 2009.
In case this is news to you... you can read this article in the Bahá’í World News Service. You can also do a simple google search.

My dear friends and family... I am asking that you please remember these 7 people - and the greater Bahá’í community of Iran - in your prayers and positive thoughts today.
I appreciate you.

From the Bahá’í Writings:
"Lauded by Thy name, O Lord my God! I entreat Thee by Thy Name through which the Hour hath struck, and the Resurrection came to pass, and fear and trembling seized all that are in heaven and all that are on earth, to rain down, out of the heaven of Thy mercy and the clouds of Thy tender compassion, what will gladden the hearts of Thy servants, who have turned towards Thee and helped Thy Cause.
Keep safe Thy servants and Thy handmaidens, O my Lord, from the darts of idle fancy and vain imaginings, and give them from the hands of Thy grace a draught of the soft-flowing waters of Thy knowledge.
Thou, truly, art the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous.
- Bahá'u'lláh


Excercising my vanity factor today... there's no use in my pretending that it's not inconsiderable.
To quote myself at circa 1:05 p.m. this afternoon... "gasp! That hair! Those eyes! ...swoon! That dress!"
Above and Below...
Both images courtesy {this is glamorous}
I'll soon be getting back to my new-found free-Friday service project cum burgeoning hobby: book binding. It's the business, kids.
In other creative news... I'm taking a painting class - holler at the beginner in the house!
I also managed to sneak not 1 but 2 (ha.ha.ha.) rolls of film out for developing this morning. I'm so proud of myself! This time I'll hold back the deets until the photos are in my proverbial hot little hands. *but my weekend was r.a.d!*

Sunday, October 11, 2009

With Love From...

I seem to be having a love affair with music lately. ...well, that's not entirely true. I feel like I've always had a passion for music - it's just been bleeding out of my consciousness lately. This weekend I had the most the opportunity to attend an in-home orchestra performance! It was amazing! 30 people, 5-6 violins, a few people rotating through on piano, a flutist, 3 cello players, maybe some violas (I'll get the deets and some photos up soon).

In the meantime, Beirut.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Would Like to Thank...

I remember watching award shows when I was a little girl - the Emmys and Grammys. And then MTV put one together, but that was cool because there was finally one targeted at my age group - and the nominees didn't (at least in the beginning) have to take themselves so seriously and it was fun and etc.

Now I think that there's an award show for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

And it's boring. Generally. Particularly when the awards seem to no longer be celebrating good creative thought. To clarify: I realize that these shows recognize and showcase the talent of a myriad professionals - it's just that only the tabloid darlings make it to the primetime broadcast.....

Like even the red carpet just isn't exciting or special or glamorous when everyone and their mom seems to have one.... But I digress.

An award show that praises and celebrates innovation of all kinds - with a special prize for PEACE work? That my president, Mr. Barack Obama, just won for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples"? Hecks yes.

Naturally it's a classy affair - no paparazzi and the typical accoutrements associated therewith - but I sure would have liked to see that!

I am positive that to even be nominated and considered for such a presitigious award as the Nobel Peace Prize is an honor to be cherished for a lifetime. And I don't mean to make this into a blog of one-upmanship - but friends, I tell you truly, I am so happy and proud right now.
Addendum: NYT Editorial. Pretty much sums things up.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

More From My Talented Friends....

New album: Spirit of Life
Available on iTunes and Amazon.
Check it out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

...In No Particular Order

I just ate the perfect banana... probably because it's 8:30 and I'm still in the office and was hungry - but I always forget how well I like them.
Persimmons are back! Breakfast, snack (elevenses, anyone?), quinoa salad - everything's looking brighter, kids!
Dear FB... what the deuce is up with 5 bajillion applications. I don't check it so often (sorry to all of the far-flung friends who rely on it for updates and the like) and am pretty 'meh' about it - but I feel like everytime I peep it I've got to clean house. No, gracias.
Dear Apple... my ipod is down to about 3 hours of reliable battery life - and the computer with my iTunes stored on it? Kaput. Solutions?
hmmmm. Sounds like it's time for another banana!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Crisis and Victory...

"Marek Edelman, [...] the last surviving commander of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising against the Germans, died Friday in Warsaw. He was 90." I saw this article today in the New York Times and was almost moved to tears by the story of this man's life. The choices he had to make, the way that he never abandoned his people, the life long persecution he endured... truly inspirational.

Two weeks ago I met a Holocaust survivor on the bus, here in Haifa. I had to work really hard to remember to keep my mouth shut and not stare – but I was in complete awe.

Actually, I totally stared. He was talking to me. I’m pretty sure that I also said “wow” (hopefully) really softly – the way that it tends to escape your lips as part of a sigh.
Universal House of Justice member Mr. Dunbar says that it used to be pretty common to see survivors around town or even working behind a counter somewhere – but now they’re so rare, it's as though they’ve taken on legendary proportions.

I took this picture of the Prison Cell of Bahá’u’lláh - founder of the Bahá’í Faith - earlier this year in 'Akka. Bahá’u’lláh endured a lifetime of persecution and torture, living the life of a myriad martyrs, never abandoning His people, connecting the world of being to the Word of God....

So much pain seems to hinge on one tiny pocket of earth, on one simple seeming concept: that we exist to know and love God... and yet, from another vantage, so much hope rides on the same patch of earth - on the same knowledge and love for God.


Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get though from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favour upon thee."

From The Hidden Words, Bahá’u’lláh

Friday, October 2, 2009

An Ode to My Favorite Month...

Images courtesy {This Is Glamorous}
I love fall (or autumn) - but I love October the best. Such beautiful color everywhere you look, crispy weather but not too cold... There's a softness and a grace present in this month that I think everyone should tap in to.
And with that, dear friends, I bid you happy weekend!

Summer's Waning...

It was probably April (or there abouts) that I first heard of (500) Days of Summer - a fantastic movie featuring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt - and became completely and overwhelmingly excited.
Of course it never came to Israel... le sigh.
I finally managed to see it last night. This was, depending on how you look at things, more or less difficult than all of the times I wanted to see cool movies when I lived in OC and had to day-trip it up to LA for the privilege....
Anyhow, it's great - you should see it. Naturally, I love (no. seriously. L.O.V.E.) the soundtrack - which I fully intend to get today after work.
The kicker is that it seems as though this movie has done market research inside my brain... I think that Joseph's (I know it seems overly familiar, but your boy has a heck-of long last name) character Tom Hansen is what would happen if my imaginary boyfriend {don't be a hating jerk - you have (had?) one, too} grew legs ... and wooed another girl on the 13" plasma screen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Secret of Life....

I know that when I post these little pictures that strike me as interesting or funny (or both) from A Softer World, that they don't show up very nicely here.... I've tried fixing this, and my only solution is to ask that you click the picture to follow the link for the original on their site.
Anyhow, what it says is this: I found the secret of life, but I haven't looked at it yet. Maybe if I have time next week.
How often do we do that? If you are searching for a truth, don't be afraid of the answer.
...these and other 'notes to self' courtesy the randomness that occurs in a typical day of my life.

Words to Live By...

This morning my friend Nava forwarded to me a lovely passage from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (the son of Bahá'u'lláh) - alternately known as necessary meditation.

It has not only given me pause and encouraged a reflection on what I say, but I feel that it demands a reflection of all means of expression including, in this world of interweb communication, what I put here on my little blog.

"Profitless discussions fatigue and weary a person. People who call on me almost every day carry on a stream of profitless, unspiritual talk and I must listen to them with patience. We are commanded to associate with all the people.

Man's speech is the revealer of his heart. In whatever world the heart travels, man's conversation will revolve around that center. From his words you can understand in what world he is traveling, whether he is looking upward toward the realm of light or downward to the nether world, whether he is mindful or unaware, whether he is awake or asleep, whether he is alive or dead. For this reason his holiness [Imam] Ali says: “Man is hidden behind his tongue. Out of the abundance of his heart does man speak.”

There are persons with whom you associate and converse whose utterances are life-imparting, joy-giving. The withered and faded are refreshed, the joyless become happy, the extinct become enkindled and the lifeless are quickened with the breaths of the Holy Spirit. The one drowned in the sea of hesitation and doubt is saved by the life-boat of certainty and assurance; the one attached to this material world becomes severed and the one steeped in blameworthy deeds is adorned with praiseworthy attributes. On the other hand there are some persons whose very respiration extinguishes the light of faith; whose conversation weakens firmness and steadfastness in the Cause of God; whose company diverts one’s attention from the kingdom of Abha.

The souls who are rejoiced with the glad tidings of God, attracted to the fragrances of holiness, severed from aught else save God, who are commemorating the name of God are withdrawn from the world of darkness, their thought permeated through and through with spiritual vibrations and their messages consisting of divine advices and exhortations; such souls are the manifestors of God's mercy, the educators of nations and the vivifiers of the world of humanity. They are guardian angels, the cause of human progress and the spiritual guides of the wandering children of men. Glory be unto them!"
- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
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