Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Animation FTW...

The Beauty of Pixar from Leandro Copperfield on Vimeo.


This video, originally spotted on Tralalere!, is dedicated to my brother-in-law John. Someday we'll be watching his rad movies, but until that time comes... the beauty of Pixar.


And yes, I know that I'm a sucker for mash-ups. And for cartoons ...errr, animated films.

You Can Call Me Poppy... If You Want To

via Bitte Ein Kuss

Another day in my better late than never blooming life.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Glad Tidings...

Courtesy Bitte Ein Kuss.

I know that, ironically, the holiday season can be really stressful for people. I hope that you're able to find a moment to be this happy at least a few times....

In related joyous news!

Yesterday, on my walk home from a lovely lunch out with my dear friends Lydia and MaSovaida, I saw something that totally blew my mind. So much so that it gripped my heart and burst it wide open.

I saw parrots in the trees just in front of my house! Actual live parrots - wild parrots! This is so amazing! And they were so beautiful... and free.

Sigh... I'm probably using too many exclamation points - but the only time I see parrots at home is in a pet store or in my grandfather's aviary. I guess I just didn't know that they could be wild ...and somehow more pure and essential for it.

As you were.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Portable...

Cheers.

This kind of makes me wish that my primary mode of transportation was a bicycle. For one or two, I'm flexible. But yeah... if my bike were this tricked out, I don't think I'd have ever given it up.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

April Revisited...

In April some very dear friends of mine :: Jean-Pierre and Bahiyyih :: got married here in Haifa. He's from France, she's from South Africa - such a lovely and international celebration! Anyhow, since I suck at taking pictures... better late than never?
Nava and I - up to our usual shenanigans, I'm sure.
Neda and I - just after the ceremony, if memory serves...
Cool and the gang...
aka Jubin, Nava, Will Y yo.

On a totally vain side note... I kind of miss the darker hair. What do you guys think? Keep it light, or back to dark? ...it's also cool if you don't care. It's not like the color of my hair will solve world hunger, or anything. As you were. [Insert sheepish grin - slash - wry wink here.]

Addendum...

Further to my earlier thoughts on dance and body image... how awesome is this?!


Further proof that it is possible to be an amazing dancer and not look like a prepubescent boy in tights and a tutu.

What Is Correct...

Nazy on Aussie Graffiti...
Naussie? No... too much.

Anyhow, photo credit goes to Yvan Rodic. I haven't explored all of the ins and outs of his sweet blog yet, but he's got mad photo skillz. Yes. With a z.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hablas Espanol...?



This is so incredible! Last night Abi, Nava and I were discussing the awesome potential and reality of technology. This fun little iPhone application (World Lens) almost makes me want to get one... a phone of i, that is.

...if only it translated Hebrew!

Friday, December 17, 2010

From One Athlete to Another...

*Disclaimer: I l.o.v.e. to dance... shake what my mama gave me, close my eyes and let the rhythm move me - and I have a soft spot in my heart for tango and ballroom dancing. I'm talking about the weird world of competitive ballet....*

So you may know that I play water polo. But I am, like, surrounded by dancers. My sister is an amazing dancer; my mom loves dance so much that she even tried to get me (the tomboy) to take introductory ballet classes when I was 15. Yes... this was too late, in my humble opinion - never mind what my mom thought of my arch or my turnout.

And I don't know if it's luck, or the sheer fact that I may be the rare little girl who didn't dance as a child - but most of my friends have a considerable history with dance. Specifically with ballet.

Every single one has a similar story: there came a point in her young lovely life where she began to look less like little girl and more like (gasp!) a woman. You know this as puberty - likely the most fragile period of any person's life - and these girls are routinely shunned and turned away from activities in which they excel. Activities that should fill them with a sense of personal pride and grace, dignity and composure, instead begin to make them hate themselves and what they are becoming. Women. Beautiful, athletic women.

Because, make no mistake, while I'm considered to be the 'athlete' of the family - water polo goalie, hello! - my sister the dancer is infinitely stronger than I'll ever be.

And this is where the heart of my confusion (concern?) lies. There are times when I am swimming and my muscles literally give my brain an ultimatum. Eat something - preferably concentrated protein - in the next ten minutes or we're going to refuse to work. I've actually been so hungry, mid-workout, that I've gotten out of the pool and eaten something, only to jump back in... all so I can keep swimming.

How is it that people dance and leap and generally kick ass for multiple hours a day (I'm talking about dancers who go pro - or whatever) starve themselves into these tiny tiny molds? Of course when you see a ballet, you want to be able to see the movement - and I truly believe that the human body is a beautiful, extraordinary thing - but maybe we could start to accept that people come in different shapes and sizes.

I know I'm 5'9" (175 cm) - but I think that my skeleton weighs more than the target most dancers aim for.... But what if I were really talented? Would I have been turned away in my formative years? Sigh... I know. I'm in 'thinking out loud mode', again. But why are women continually subjected to this mind games?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This Place of Transition...

Bayan and I - first seen here.

You may have heard me wax... well, a myriad of emotions about Bayan. You've known him as my reading buddy, KISS' biggest smallest fan, the polyglot wunderkid, my partner in fieldtrip crime.... But he's really just my friend.

And I've just learned that he and his family are moving back to Australia. And since the school year begins in January down there, they're leaving in 3 weeks.

So if I seem a little mope-y or morose, you can guess why. Also, if you want to cheer me up by letting me read Harry Potter (and the Chamber of Secrets) with you, I'm your girl. I even do different voices for the different characters. All in a charming "British" accent.

But I tell you truly, full disclosure moment, learning that Bayan and his family are leaving? The saddest news I've had, yet. And people leave the Baha'i World Centre to embark in new fields of service and undertake new adventures all.of.the.time! *Sigh.*
In the slightly more than 3 years that I've been aware of the blogosphere, November-January have always been some really interesting months. By which I mean it's a pretty mixed bag of not caring about your holiday gift guide brought to me by some random sponsor [or worse yet the endless DIY calendars] OR really awesome end of year musical mashups and top songs of the millenia playlists.


In that vein, I give to you this gem (head's up courtesy Tralalere!).

The author - creative director? - has this to say about the project: "this year's movies have legit (sic) transformed my idea of what is creatively possible. To celebrate that, I've remixed 270 of them into this giant ass video. Just watch it."

Enjoy. It's pretty badass.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mazel Tov!

Image via Classic Bride.

One of my nearest and dearests is getting married! Congratulations, Kadria!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

...A Few of My Favorite Things

Courtesy the Interwebs.
...knowing me, it's likely from Bitte Ein Kuss.

Lightening and thunder and rainstorms - oh my! The weather most conducive to cozy, curl up on your couch with a good book and a cuppa has finally hit Israel - and what with last week's fires, not a moment too soon!

Some of the rain clouds today were shedding rain in whole sheets - it looked like the ballroom dancing scene from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland (my favorite ride). There were moments today where I just had to go on pause and watch the storm; it was so lovely and awesome. **Yes. This is not-so-code for "guess who gets to work double-time tomorrow for the slack-fest you enjoyed today".

Also? I love this picture. I feel like there's a whole story wrapped in this little image. Who knew that one little glorified stick figure could pack such a poignant, poetic punch?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

...(Un)Comfortably Numb



My friend David recommended this particular TED Talk to me this evening when the topic of community building and integration of diversity came up. We were thinking of ways to encourage activities that contribute to the positive discourse of society, but that arise from individual initiative at the grassroots level - but that are still inclusive and diverse. And he said that we need to learn to be a little more vulnerable.

I think that vulnerability is definitely something I struggle with [particularly as I'm a clinical diagnosis away from OCD]. When she got to the part about our (MY) obsession with perfection, I really had to stop and reconsider my initial reaction; which was to think "um... yes. It's totally possible to do everything. Watch me."

You should know that the times throughout the year that I get sick, run down, or just completely lose my shhhhhh are as a direct result of trying to do too much and spreading myself too thin. And I know this. And I still caught myself thinking that I could do everything. By myself. And be strong and independent.

But I've been thinking lately that what I need is help. Like I need people to accompany on my journey of life, in my myriad activities. Not because I, Aimee Piper, suck at life... but because I think that all of us - as humans - have been designed to need help. Which forces us to create community, unity and harmony.

So yeah. I'm still sort of thinking out loud about life... this time a little more specifically about being a grown-up woman/positive, contributing member of society. But I think that I'd like to explore the strength in being vulnerable. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TechPeriments...

My Pummelvision from Aimee Piper on Vimeo.

So I was checking my goo.gle rea.der today... well, I was really just checking my absolute favorites because I'm sort of on vacation - it being a Holy Day, and all (check below). And as per usual, I had to see what my homegirl (who has NO idea who I am) Tralalere! was up to. And she had made one of these really cool videos of her pictures - all old-school slide show style... sans the really boring voice over, a la "and this is us in Borneo. Oh, that's Bob's foot." You get me.

She did hers using her FB photos (that I admittedly have way more of), but the rules and regs made me kind of nervous. I mean, I'm clearly not opposed to having a web presence (hello!), but the inbuilt access they wanted to have to your profile and friends' profiles... just creepy. So I opted for the flickr version. I haven't really uploaded any photos to my flickr (non-profesh) account in, like, a year - hence the 30 second video. Sorry about that. But you know I don't take pictures, right?

Anyhowzers - I just thought this was SO cool! Technology can be really awesome, right?! Annnnd... if you wind up making one of these, lemme know - I'd like to see. Cheers m'dears!

My Mind's Eye...



Image courtesy Le Love.

As you may know by now, I'm a not-so-closet romantic. I love love, it's as simple as that. This quote (image?), for me however, has nothing to do with the weak in the knees kind of love that you see in movies or teenage diaries... it's about my love for the Baha'i Shrines.

I regularly pray that I am somehow able to burn the image of those Holy Spots, the sensation of being able to pray in such a Place, what it feels like to walk and meditate in those beautiful and peaceful gardens, into my heart. So that, when I have to finally leave Israel, that I'll be able to return there... at least in my heart, or maybe my mind. And to remember and reconnect with that tranquility and love.

Yesterday and today marked a great period of celebration for Baha'is. These were the Twin Holy Days: the celebrations of the Birth of the Bab and the Birth of Baha'u'llah, respectively. It was also my last opportunity to celebrate these very special Holy Days while serving and living in the Holy Land.... Kind of bitter-sweet, but remarkably lovely - as per usual.

Do you all have a place that you "go"... when you pray, meditate, connect with the universe?

Here's The Situation...


If you follow this blog, you know that I think that girls are important. That access to education, proper nutrition, love, respect, opportunity is just as important for girls as it is for boys.

In July 2008, I stumbled across "The Girl Effect". I hope that you enjoy the latest iteration of their project as much as I do. I also hope that, should you find yourself in a position to take a chance on a girl - to make a difference in her life, you take it. I'll go so far as to suggest that you could even consider creating said opportunities.

Head's up credit on this one goes to Kimia Kline. Cheers!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simmer Down...

Thanksgiving in Israel

There comes a point in every Thanksgiving celebration (0r other such GI Olympic Competitions) where you need to just lie back and let all of the goodness soak in. The good company (as evidenced above), the good movie/game (in our case, "Coming to America") and the good food.

A week later and I'm still thankful!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Look Alive...



This is Adele. Most of you probably already love her - she DID get 2 grammy's last year for her beautiful song "Chasing Pavement". This rocking jam, "Rolling in the Deep", is off her new album 21 - set to drop in 'early 2011. ...whatever that means.

In completely other news, Mt. Carmel is on fire. This is the worst fire in at least 10 years (per the BBC). The international community has been really amazing in their offer of aid - fire fighting planes from Greece, Russia, Jordan, Turkey. The problem is that Israel is in a serious drought and the weather today reached a high of 84F. Worse still is that the winds are really starting to pick up.... Your prayers and positive thoughts are welcome; even on the other side of the mountain from the fire, the smoke is a tangible thing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

 
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