Friday, April 30, 2010

Caution: Jaws Dropping....

All images courtesy From Me To You (A Photography Blog). I love to see elegance in fashion.

These photos hearken to a time before people grossly misunderstood irony. [By which I mean tights are not pants and etc.] a time when people cared to look nice and dressed with dignity - for themselves, the occasion, and their company.

I love it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I have always admired Annie Lennox... but when I heard this song, it pretty much sealed the deal. I have a soft spot in my heart for sarcasm. Enjoy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

On You Can't See Me...

...Circa 1980
...Circa 2010

Do you remember when you were a kid - and you thought that if you covered your eyes that you were magically invisible...?

There are large chunks of my day where I operate as though I'm completely invisible - we're talking ninja on super-duper stealth mode in the dead of night invisible - all because I'm sporting my iPod. Maybe I'm like a stealth ninja masquerading as a rock star....

What's that you say? Invisible fail?!

How about all y'all? I know I can't be the only one... right?

Images via here and here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shouts and Murmurs...

Video head's up courtesy Pirate D'Amour ...whose music I love - and therefore I pay attention when she recommends things for my listening enjoyment. Yes. I mean me.

Speaking of shout outs... I'd like to dedicate this song (or maybe just the video) to the guys over at Dog House Diaries. If you're not a fan, you should be.

Title credit here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Just The Thing I Needed...

Image credit.
Cheers to Tralalere for the head's up.

So we lost our game tonight. It was pretty ugly, and since I'm a fan of all things lovely and wonderful, I won't go too much into the deets. But even though I had an amazing day today - all things considered - I was still feeling just a little bit low.

But then I saw this picture. She is the kind of grown-up woman I want to be. Swinging on the swings is one of my favorite things to do. I don't know her, but I think I just might have a girl-crush on her.

Mind Blowing...

The following presentation on the necessity of creativity in education from Sir Ken Robinson is truly amazing. Head's up courtesy Nazy.

It is obvious that there is something amiss in the ways in which education and information are viewed, understood and applied - in its Riḍván Message of 2010, the Universal House of Justice says "Passivity is bred by the forces of society today. A desire to be entertained is nurtured from childhood, with increasing efficiency, cultivating generations willing to be led by whoever proves skillful at appealing to superficial emotions. Even in many educational systems students are treated as though they were receptacles designed to receive information. [...]the Bahá'í world has succeeded in developing a culture which promotes a way of thinking, studying, and acting, in which all consider themselves as treading a common path of service -- supporting one another and advancing together, respectful of the knowledge that each one possesses at any given moment...."

They further point to the need for "an environment conducive to the spiritual empowerment of individuals, who will come to see themselves as active agents of their own learning, as protagonists of a constant effort to apply knowledge to effect individual and collective transformation."

The success of our future as a society (and I mean global society) hinges on rethinking information and education - there are people in the world... people all around you who are doing just that. Creatively. Fearlessly. Purposefully. Join them.

On the Horizon...

Mazra'ih, Israel

I will be visiting this lovely place - Mazra'ih - in a few short hours. This picture was taken on my visit last year - and I'm hoping to see what magic comes out of the good old camera this year. Mazra'ih is truly one of my favorite places - not least because it brought Bahá'u'lláh so much joy....

I also have a water polo game tonight - this time in Tel Aviv proper. As last week's game was so close, I really think that we have a chance of winning this time! I'll keep y'all posted - even if it's not the news we were hoping for (I mean me?).

Also... I thought that since I talk about reading so much (Bayan loves his new books so far!), I'd share with you all something I read yesterday that really excited and inspired me. The Universal House of Justice, as recently as April 2010, addresses (among a myriad other things) some fundamental concepts of social action.

"The perpetuation of ignorance is a most grievous form of oppression; it reinforces the many walls of prejudice that stand as barriers to the realization of the oneness of humankind [...]. Access to knowledge is the right of every human being, and participation in its generation, application and diffusion a responsibility that all must shoulder in the great enterprise of building a prosperous world civilization - each individual according to his or her talents and abilities."

Thanks for indulging my excitement!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Fra. Pacino? Check.
Hater blockers? Check.
Military jacket artfully disguised as cape? Check.

That's all. As you were. which I mean happy Friday.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Care Packages...!

Author's Site: Here

I got a package of care this morning! So nice and glorious! My mom sent books for Bayan to read all by himself!

As you may know, I've been having a hard time finding things at his reading level that are engaging and interesting - so when I asked my mom for help in finding books, I was pretty specific. And boy did she deliver! ...literally.

She sent along several books for Bayan; I'm sure that anecdotal evidence of how he likes them will trickle out to the blogosphere.... Stay tuned!

Thanks, mom!

...In The Garden of Good

Aimee, MaSovaida, Lydia
The Divine Springtime is come! Now is the time of the festival of Riḍván - 12 days of joyous celebration for Bahá'ís in honor of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh.

The picture above, however, was taken on the night celebrating the Declaration of His Holiness the Báb. Certain of the Bahá'í Holy Days are commemorated according to the lunar calendar here in the Holy Land, the Declaration of the Báb happens to be one of them. This means that the Declaration of the Twin Manifestions of God for today were celebrated back to back - happy times, indeed!

Photo courtesy Major Chad. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The headbands discussed below -

I'm having a hard time picking a favorite - even though they're all decidedly out of my price range. But a girl can dream, right?
Also... how lovely is red hair? I've always had a soft spot in my heart for red hair.

A Fine Frenzy
I like this song. I wish I could be more specific - alas it is long past my bed time.... Basically she (not really sure of her name - except to say that I truly doubt her birth certificate says 'A Fine Frenzy') was modeling some headbands I saw and the person blogging about the lovely headbands - you'll see, they're perfect - name dropped her like I should know.... And there you go. Bob's your uncle.

Joe vs. The Volcano...

Originally spotted on Tralalere! - via Information Is Beautiful.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

...It's What's For Dinner

Remember our little chat about fostering a greener kitchen (in nearly every sense of the word) and my ecstatic waxing about Jamie Oliver? Well there's a blogger in New York (big shout out to Whats Up Stairs?) who does a fantastic job of balancing life in a clearly urban setting but still eating (and cooking) in a fresh farm to table style.

Friends, he's upped the ante, so to speak. From what I can tell - he's turning his balcony into a supplementary (not exactly sure that we can qualify it 'subsistence' after all) herb & vegetable garden.

Needless to say, I'm immensely impressed! Sometimes I really miss my peppers! Alas, my new flat doesn't get the right light.... I'm really inspired by the creative recycling we see here - ps.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I read an article recently - maybe the NYT, maybe WIRED... I don't remember now - about how humans reach a sort of saturation point with their tools (for lack of a better ie. "the correct" term). The article posits that we become so accustomed to a tool that we don't even realize that we're using it - this tool has become an extension of our brain, for all intents and purposes. ...we don't realize that we're using it until it fails to work in the way we expect, that is.

My thumb has become a tool that I definitely notice, now. By which I mean that I smashed the heck out of it (not apurpose, I'm not completely crazy!) in warm up for tonight's game. Sigh.

We didn't win the game - but we played very well. The game wound up being a very tight match - by the last couple of minutes it was really anyone's game. As for the scones, it turns out that 2 batches were too much. Live and learn, huh?!

On Goings...

Scones via Simmer Till Done.

So I made 3 batches of scones this morning. The first I made were my trademark cranberry/almond scones for a devotional gathering (people coming together to pray and worship God) I hosted with a friend of mine, Jason. Jason and some other friends and I recently studied the first book in the Ruhi series of courses titled Reflections On the Life of the Spirit. Each book in the Ruhi series has a service component that can also be viewed as 'practical applications'. guessed it! Hosting a devotional gathering is the service for the first book. We had such a nice time this morning that we've decided to make it a regular thing.

I decided to make 2 more batches of scones for my water polo game tonight. I made another batch of the cranberry/almond - and a batch of blueberry with a simple blueberry glaze. The blueberry are quickly emerging as a crowd favorite! They're also really pretty because I use thawed frozen blueberries and the whole scone becomes a sort of periwinkle color.

Our game is in the greater Tel Aviv area tonight - in Petah Tiqva. Wish us luck, friends!

Also... I'm blonde again. Not as light as before - we're transitioning, so to speak. But (sigh) the really really pale gray is getting out of hand and the blonde hides it better than the brown. So much as I love being a brunette (and I really do...) it'll have to wait until I'm a baller. related news? I've been a blonde exactly 24 hours (again) and I'm already not getting jokes (...again). Sigh.

p.s. Meaning no disrespect to the person who baked the scones pictured (found via a random perusal of the world wide interwebs), mine look way (and I mean waaaaaaaay) better. I'm just not that proficient at taking pictures of the things I cook.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Walk It Fine...

Janelle Monae.
Head's up courtesy Tralalere!

Freudian Slips...

The picture below is courtesy a random go.og.le search for "best falafel" + Haifa. Now... pay close attention. The place on the right is known to be the best falafel place (not exactly a restaurant, not exactly a stand) in Haifa. Some argue that it's the best falafel in Israel. All I can say is forget what you thought you knew about falafel. This stuff will blow your mind - or at least your taste buds. And the brothers who run the place [I know. Family run places really are the best!] are just so sweet - they make everyone feel like family!

So funny little story from reading times tonight.... Bayan and I had less time together tonight than usual because I had a special practice for water polo tonight on account of our game this Saturday (more on that later). BUT! We are making really excellent progress with Harry Potter! My favorite part is that he's so excited by the story that he literally can't wait to find out what happens next.

Like tonight.

Bayan wanted to know when Harry Potter was going to find the Falafel Stone....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Public Service Announcement...

The folks at the Keep Calm Gallery really know how to keep it real, you know?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All In...

When I was getting ready to move to Israel, I had a talk with a friend of mine who had done some study abroad. She told me that when you live abroad the funniest (by which I mean odd or quirky) things about American pop (or otherwise) culture start to become really appealing to you. For example, my friend told me that she developed - almost out of the blue - an intense love of hip hop and rap when she was living in Panama.

Wouldn't you know that I'm finally appreciating country music? Not broadly - but I'll go so far as to say that I like country music in the general sense... even beyond the Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, and Charlie Daniels Band tracks so favored by my parents (and therefore a part of my childhood).

So... lessons from a country song - episode 1: “your cards aren’t worth anything if you don’t lay them down”. Ha! I will see your sidelong glance and raise you a wink…….

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One Hand Makes No Sound...

That saying, 'one hand makes no sound', is actually a Persian proverb poetically demonstrating the power of teamwork. [my transliteration skills aren't what they used to be, but call me sometime - I'll walk you through it.]

Via I *Heart* You.

Anyhow, I don't know why, but I feel like 'high fives' are somehow an American thing. Almost every American baby I know can give a high five. The satisfying kind. [Check the sound effects at the end of the clip for a demonstration.] People who aren't from the States always seem a little... um... taken aback when go up top for a high five.
But I think we need to go global with this. We (I mean me) have been talking about unity a lot today... did you see the faces of the people who were even just watching the high five goodness, much less those who got in on the exchange?
Think about it, it's like a vintage fist bump (do people really call it that?), or an uber-modern handshake. It's glorious.

A Prayer For Unity...

"The first utterance of Him Who is the All-Wise is this: O children of dust! Turn your faces from the darkness of estrangement to the effulgent light of the daystar of unity. This is that which above all else will benefit the peoples of the earth. O friend! Upon the tree of utterance there hath never been, nor shall there ever be, a fairer leaf, and beneath the ocean of knowledge no pearl more wonderous can ever be found."

— Bahá'u'lláh

Let Us Consider...

Living in Israel, I sometimes feel as though there's at least 1 holiday or national observance a week. But when your religion and culture spans thousands of years, there is much to remember....

Tomorrow (12 April) is the national Holocaust Memorial Day - known here as 'Yom HaShoah'.

Tomorrow also marks the third trial of those Bahá’ís currently being held in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

I'm going to be bold here, friends. Now is the time for peace - there can be no room in our lives for "that is the way things have always been done". No more enabling of violence, not even the violence of hatred in your heart.

Remember the past... Change the present... Enjoy the future.

Thought For The Day...

Let's get with the program, huh?
Head's up courtesy my friend Kimia.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekend Plans Include, But Are Not Limited To...


Project "pimp my balcony" is in full effect - I've finally scored some rad cushions for the futon frame on my patio (I think the poor thing was starting to get a 'plant-stand complex'). My balcony is shaded by a really lovely tree (known during the rainy season as 'the whomping willow') - necessary for mediterranean summers.

Picture it: warm off-shore breezes, comfy seating arrangements, a charming xylophone, chirping birds, iced tea.... Heaven.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting With The Program(me)

Have you ever heard the best way to cook a frog? Personally, while I know one should 'never say never', I am never going to eat a frog... but the analogy is good.

Basically you place a frog in a pot with frog temperature water. Place the pot on the stove, fire it up & wait it out. The frog (or lobster, I suppose) just sort of hangs out in the pot [yes... I'm taking a little in the way of artistic license, having never actually cooked a frog] until (!!) presto-chango: dinner is served!
The frog doesn't realize that it's being boiled because the change is so gradual. BUT! Were a person (or an Indiana Jones-type frog) to 'flick the pot', the frog would recognize the hot water he was in for what it was and attempt to escape.

Jamie Oliver has come to (ahem) 'flick America's pot'....

Eating better is not all about getting off the obesity train, either. I've been thinking recently about consumer habits - mostly mine. I'd like to get away from eating food with wrappers and lean more towards a 'green kitchen'. My friend Nava is taking strides to go green, and I'd like to try, too. I think that those things that are good for the earth might just be good for the body, too.
I'm not saying you should watch the Jamie Oliver show - even though I'm totally going to try - but I think that he may have some good ideas on how to be healthy and how to eat the foods that nature provides!
Jamie Oliver head's up courtesy Gwennyth Paltrow at GOOP and Joanna Goddard at A Cup of Jo.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

When I was a kid we moved around a lot (no... seriously. A lot). So it was always exciting to me when I got to see my cousins. I remember the first Easter Sunday that my cousin Jessica and I were at together - I was 5 and she was 4.

Image credit.

It was a glorious time! I actually still remember it - we were at our grandparent's house in San Clemente (CA)... all dressed up, masquerading for the day like proper little girls out of a fairy tale and not the fun tomboy-facade we usually presented to the world. That magical Sunday (playing in the backyard that still felt huge - aviary & coi fish pond, orange trees & tomato plants props for a world only accessed through the wild imagination of little girls) probably marks the first time I took a real interest in fashion - or at least the outfit I was wearing.

I felt so pretty in my little dress, shoes, gloves, hat and Easter basket... except that I preferred Jessica's hat. Luckily she felt the same.

So we swapped.

Oh friends! Our Grandma Connie had such a fit when she learned that we'd switched hats (conveniently just before it was time to take pictures)! Naturally, messing up the family pictures for Grandma Connie became a bit of a tradition with we grandkids after that!

Thanks for indulging my childhood memories - I hope all of your family holidays and together times can be as magical..... Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy... Happy!

Image credit.
Today was actually really amazing. ...I know, this probably all feels very "dear Diary", but I can't help it - I actually had a really glorious day. Mind you, it could have gone to pieces - I'm still not 100%, but today showed definite improvement in my health (nasty business, colds...). I finally feel like I got the sleep I needed, I made a surprisingly delicious couscous salad with grilled vegetables & a small side of caramelized beet root. All so that some friends and I could head out to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh for a potluck dinner.

Dusk has always been my favorite time of day - and today was just perfect! The sunset was perfect and lovely, the weather was gorgeous! [trust me when I say that it's about time!] Everything was peaceful and serene - just what a person needs for contemplation and prayer....

Icing on the so-called cake? Got to catch up with my dear friend Sanaz tonight.

So yeah... rad weekend.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I Think I'm In Love...?

So last summer my beach book of choice was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Basically, some guy - Seth Grahame-Smith, specifically - thought to himself... what could make this book better? A zombie sub-plot! Voila! a book was born.
It goes without saying that zombies do wonders for a persons street cred (there was a poll, I was there).

So you can well imagine my delight (!!!) when I found this little bog (literally 2.5 seconds ago) called If Zombies Were Supermodels, We'd Be Them. Amazing. Glorious. ...about time!

...I Like To Call It Fate

The hotness (as only a dragon can be)
Courtesy Nazy

Home Entertainment System...

So I found a xylophone today! It's hanging out on my balcony. Oh! And I also found a really cool beach/picnic blanket! This is code for "Dear summer - we're going to have so much fun, you and I!"
Right... so if you ever find yourself in Haifa - you can expect picnics and slightly tuneless (I mean charming) musical offerings from yours truly!
[This is code for "come visit - we'll have so much fun, you and I!"]
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