Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

On Afternoon Delight

pic: annabel mehran

1. Come home completely spent.
2. Unpack groceries.
3. Assess the now semi-thawed frozen berries - freezer or fridge? Decide on deciding later, and leave them on the counter.
4. Resume unpacking groceries, whilst marvelling at the oddity of your newly acquired taste for soy milk.
5. Eye recently purchsed secondhand blender.
6. Empty most of the berries - boysen, black, blue, rasp, and ch - into awesome space age jug component of (Kent's old) blender.
7. Conclude that the likelihood he originally purchased the blender cos it looks like something out of The Bauhaus is moderately high to very high.
8. Discover half a carton of soy milk you forgot about in the fridge, and pour it over berries.
9. Revel in your luck that it was previously chilled. Warm soy milk is probably utterly disgusting. Using the new carton probably wouldve destroyed the new obsession forever.
10. Turn blender on medium blenderingness.
11. Check email.
12. Turn blender off.
13. Pour the custard-consistency contents into a tall glass.
14. Almost die at how insanely beautiful its shade of purple is.
15. Drink. DE. LICIOUS.
16. Repeat steps 6-15 for a friend named Shadi that drops in and is hungry for a snack.
*Hot chocolate tea party not included.

bul·wark (bo̵ol′wərk, bul′-)


  1. an earthwork or defensive wall; fortified rampart
  2. a person or thing serving as a strong defense or protection
  3. the part of a ship's side above the deck

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On Little Joy II

On Field of Lilies

She does cool prints.
She's from Lilyfield, Sydney.
I used to live there.
We called it Field of Lilies.

On December: The Boiling Hot/Freezing Cold Month

Fig 1.

Being in Israel during "the holiday season" is both refreshing and kind of sad. Refreshing because im not drowning in material excess/Christmas jingles on the TV and radio/tacky decorations. Sad because, even though I dont even celebrate Christmas back home, things are always warm and fuzzy around this time. There is kind of this buzz. I guess it has alot to do with the fact that by December, uni is well and truly done for the semester, its summer holidays until the end of February, and there is so much to look forward to. It really feels like the end of the year, and the beginning of the next.

It doesnt feel like that here. Its just another month. Its not warm, like back home. But its not freezing either, like in Europe, where i spent last Christmas and a couple before that. I've only ever really had hot Decembers or sub-zero ones. Haifa is dis-orientingly moderately temperatured. Its chillier than usual, but nothing to write home about.

Speaking of chillier, a bunch of my friends are in Europe right now, and i kind of really wish i was with them. I know its not even snowing in any of the places they're in at the moment, but these winter pictures are dedicated to them.

Fig 1. Arezo. Paris.
Fig 2. Vafa. Vienna.
Fig 3. Ray. London.
Fig 4. Shervs. Vienna.
Fig 2.

Fig 3.

Fig 4.

On Little Joy

Mellow and kind of beachy. But less so when she sings.
When she sings, they could be a quaint little euro band.
One of the he's is the drummer from The Strokes.
But they are more hippy than hipster.
Pitchfork review: ^^^

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

Nazy had this children's book sitting on her dining table next to her computer and some pens.

I recognised the front cover of the book. It might have been because the kid on the front resembled Max from Where The Wild Things Are. Then i realised it was written by the same author.

Nazy and i looked up Maurice Sendak. We found out that when he was 12, he watched Walt Disney's Fantasia and decided he wanted to be an illustrator.

So then we read through the book together, with Nazy's new found obsession with Joy Division as the soundtrack.

The story began normal enough. Mickey, the protagonist, wakes up to a loud racket.

Then things got weird. Acid trip weird.

Mickey proceedes to randomly "fall through the dark", lose his clothes, and fly to the moon, landing in a cake mix (??). Three fat Hitler-ish men with little moustaches, double chins and red noses stir Mickey through the batter.

Mickey jumps out the batter, protesting, "I'm not the milk and the milk's not me! I'm MICKEY!" At this point, Mickey is sporting a cake-batter onesie.

Mickey kneads, punches, pounds and pulls a clump of residue cake batter into the form of some sort of one-seater plane, which he flies "the Mickey way" (to where we're not sure, but we assume its some sort of play on the "Milkway").

We read on to find out he actually IS flying to the Milkyway, which happens to be a gigantic old-fashioned milk bottle like in the movies. He falls into the bottle, wherein his batter onesie begins to disintergrate off his body, leaving him essentially stark naked.
The rest of the story is pretty much ridiculous, especially the part where he stands on the edge of the bottle with a jug on his head, shouting (in pretty coral curvy font) "Cock.a.Doodle Doo!". Loud and proud in his birthday suit.

The last 2 pages show him falling back into his bed, fully clothed, "carefree and dried."

Ummmm, yeah.

I turned to Nazy and said, "this isnt how i remembered this book". Then i realised that i think i had possibly read it before. Nazy exclaimed that she had seen my mother's name in the book somewhere.

We flicked to the back cover to find that vintage envelope thing with the cardboard slip in it that they used to use to lend out library books. People had written their names, and stamped the date, the earliest being "Vick 8 April 1988".

I followed the names down the lines to find "Shidan 1/1/97" in my mother's handwriting.

Dictated to Nazy by Shadi T.W. (more or less).
Proofread by Nazy.

On Wombats

Me: Are they aussies?
Shadi: No.
Me: But why are they called "The Wombats"?
Shadi: Its irony. Hipsters love irony.

On You Need To Listen To This

From: Dion Azordegan
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 4:28 PM
To: Nazanin Forghani
Subject: RE:

You need to listen to this

It’s literally the only recording of this song in existence. It’s awful quality, the mic is broken in the first verse, and there are more than a few bum notes. But it still sends shivers up my spine. New Order eventually recorded the song in a studio, but it didn’t have the same heart as this version.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On The Journey To Joy (Division)

*****Preamble: So i know im late to the party, but I just finished watching the mesmerising film Control. It completely drew me into some sort of late 70's British rock vortex. Joy Division made some insanely good music. Im not sure how true to life the story itself was, but the characters were magnetic, and their sad plights somehow hypnotic. Ian Curtis seemed a beautifully intense person, unable to replenish what he felt the world drained from him in the name of art. The susceptibility of youth to the paralysis that is hopelessness made for a moving theme. Cinematically, the scenes were like stunningly compositioned photographs, yet the film remained unsentimental and raw despite being in black and white (which can sometimes be corny). Audibly, im completely besotted with the soundtrack. I.e., with the music of Joy Division.*****

Back sometime in 2007, Giancarlo accidentally left some newly purchased Joy Divison and New Order CDs at my house. I remember he had had a sudden urge to thoroughly educate himself in their music. So we went out and bought all 5 or 6 they had at the record store. I, to his horror, confessed i didnt know 'em. He assured me that wasnt possible, in the same tone of genuine disbelief one uses when someone between the ages of 20 and 28 claims to never have seen the film Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.

Every day that i babysat the CDs, i eyed them scattered across my desk. I didnt know much about the bands or their music, but i had gathered, from GC's enthusiasm and that of the sales assistant at the record store, that they were worth knowing. And thats all i needed to know to know that i needed to know them.

Everyday, i contemplated listening to them, but didnt. I knew i needed to seize the opportunity to do my own educating before GC arranged for their collection, but there was something about their physical aesthetic, all 5 or 6 of them scattered across my desk, that mildly repelled me.

Their covers, even now thinking back, seemed eerie. Maybe not all their covers, but the one that seemed to stand out, and became the others' ambassador for me, was this one cover-- its colours were white, black, and traffic-light green. No illustration. Just text and solid colour. It was strangely lifeless, clinical, depressing. I hadnt even realised i was shallow enough to judge music by its cover. But i apparently i was (intentionally a statement of past tense).

I concluded i wouldnt force myself to like them just cos GC did and cos i had felt somehow culturally obliged. But then i realised i didnt even know if i really didnt or did, cos i hadnt ever listened.

Then one day, GC came back to recall the CDs as their rightful owner, and the whole drama that was (and wasnt) Joy Division, ended.

I figured, if they were THAT good and im meant to hear and know them, then i will.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On Death By Indie Art

I had these pics on my computer. Yawn. Im in an artrut [sic]. Why is the line between cool/interesting and meaningless/utterly boring so incredibly fine?

Pics: Leslie David

On LDN from above


Thursday, December 18, 2008

On I Wish This Was My Uniform




On Treasure Hunts

1. Start at the Pilgrim House at the Shrine of the Bab.
2. Walk down the white pebbled path* until the first step.
3. Go up the step.
4. Turn right.
5. Walk down this path til the step.
6. Do not step down.
7. Do not turn left.
8. Turn your head right instead.
9. Look at the lamp at the corner.
10. Notice the lion crest, similar to this one, on it.
* Bit of trivia: Those white pebbles are from the Sea of Galilee, aka Lake Tiberias. Once a year, the BWC gets permission to collect them from the Sea, and bring them to Haifa to fill the paths with.

On Hairyness


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On Science ist zehr gut, ja?!!!!!!!

Ocean Menagerie, Comet Dust, and Fungal Catapult, respectively.

On Balloons In The Middle East

From the "Aperture 27,000" exhibition of contemporary Palestinian photography, in London from the 15th of Jan @ Le Violon Bleu, 23 Maddox Street , London , W1S 2QN. (info via Naysan R.)

On The Brilliance Of The Handmade

2 nights ago, i made miso soup.
Ok, I know there isnt much to miso soup in terms of ingredients, but there is a particular sort of mysticism associated with it because noone actually knows what it actually is. Its one of those things i would only ever think to eat at a Japanese restaurant. Where else would you find miso soup? And i've never even heard of anyone who isnt japanese and knows how to make it at home, let alone does.
Anyway, from time to time, i figure out how to make foods that i initially presume are un-recreate-able. The satisfaction derived from this discovery of the recreate-ability of my favourite things is (almost) unparalleled--"things" because for at least 24 hours after Kimia showed me how to make a hardcover fabric bound notebook from scratch, i was literally unable to contain my sheer delight for the whole process and my obsession with the exquisite final product.
In the same light, i wish i knew how to carpet weave. Because i would recreate this insanely awesome handwoven wall-hanging. By Paul Smith for The Rug Company.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On 5 Words

I saw Rayhan off today, and he told me this:

"Don't forget where you are"...

On Cycles

I have recently come to realise what i presume is a fairly obvious phenomenon to the rest of the human race:  that without cycles, everything dwells undifferentiated amidst everything else on a plateau-like plain of anarchic craziness. A place sans-cycles is a place of muddled incomprehensibility.
Of course, nature obviates such a realisation by way of binding us to inescapable biological laws. Yet at a microcosmic scale, this understanding of cyclic necessity seems to not have crystallised as organically in my mind for some reason.
The realisation that led me to this realisation of the awesomeness of the cycle is that, daily "to do list"s comprised of all things needing doing in all facets of one's life at any given point in time are physically impossible to execute. When all priorities assume equal roles on paper*, they cease to exists as "priorities" by very definition of the word. The result is a perpetual state of panicked anxiety, gravely taxing of one's faith in one's self, and, eventually, if left unattended, the world at large.
It was somewhere amidst this kerfuffle that i took a minute to reassess matters, and it didnt take long before memories of years of my father's insistent scheduling advice peeped its head and refused to retract it again. The Art Of Compartmentalising isnt something im at all well-versed in, but my father is (i feel it might also be a phenomenon more common among the male species) and it is quite clear to me now that one must practice and perfect it in order to tick off one's "to do"s in any sort of systematic, effective and satisfying fashion.
There are loads of scheduling systems and schemas and schools of thought from which to choose, but one week for each "to do", on cyclic rotation, is the preferred scheme for the time being, the "to do"s in question being those more serious ones, like "finish 3 books half-read on bedside table", rather than, say, "clean room".  
 *as a figure of speech; "to do list"s need not be physically penned pieces of stationery. Indeed, the most notorious are those which float around ominously in one's conscious wakefulness, and subconscious sleep(fulness?) alike.
Figure 1.
A cycle/s that is seriously awesome is the Baha'i Calendar. Here are the names of the months:
Questions   (currently in)

Monday, December 15, 2008

On friends of friends

I have a work friend, Helen
Who has a good friend, Rupert (Truman)
Who made friends with Storm (Thorgerson)
Who fell in love with photography
And together made album covers for great bands
And were brilliant at it
And somewhat genius
And decided to come to Sydney
And hold an exhibition
Which Rupert told Helen about
Which Helen told me about
Which is how i found myself there on Thursday night