I heard Del Close today on stage… It was amazing to do the Harold for the first time on stage in front of an audience. And I heard that little voice at the end who said “you just found the connection, make it happen, NOW” - that was Del Close calling. It what such an experience!
Bernard Giraudeau was one of the most popular actors when I was growing up in France, especially among teenagers. I saw him once Boulevard Saint Germain - just imagine a teenager meeting her favorite actor on the street! I was just mesmerized! He was so handsome! He was a great stage actor too and theater was his first passion - something that does not come through on the Wikipedia page. The news of his passing makes me really sad. He was only 63.
I’ve been on the internet since 93. I grew up on it.
Things were weird and fucked up for kids online in the 90s, and they’re so much worse now. And so, I write the following. If you have a younger brother or sister, if you have friends who do, if you’re a kid who finds this… please read it.
Read this to your kids/teenagers - faut lire ca aux enfants/ados…
I’d like to believe that 30 years from now, we will have forgotten that this was even an issue anywhere in the world. This just means that all the citizens of a country has the same rights. It’s about freedom and democracy.
Will Hines just posted something about Loving EVERYTHING! Reminded me of this video - it popped randomly on French TV when I was growing up, to fill in the blanks… so I grew up with this video and this song! It’s so nice to be able to listen to it and watch it again after all these years!
Also under the new plan the single ride cards will be good for 0 rides.
Oh. Hell. No.
Kiddin’me?? How do they manage in other cities/countries? What is it that MTA CANNOT do that others CAN do?? I say fire their execs and replace them with COMPETENT people. Plenty of talented unemployed managers out there.
Today is the first anniversary of my father’s passing. So it’s that time again when I will go on my probably annoying and really intense “Think, don’t smoke” campaign. My father was an amazing person. He was a Pediatrician and an Epidemiologist, he was a father and a husband, he was a philanthropist and an idealist. He gave. He loved. He dreamed. He was loved. He will be missed.
He passed of Cancer.
95% of the people who smoke will develop a cancer. 50% of those will die of it. It is not limited to lungs, throat, tongue, or jaw cancer. Smoking causes every sort of cancer, and stimulates cancer causing cells that someone might have, that we ALL have. My grandmother and aunt also passed of cancer because my grandfather smoked. Second hand smoking. My grandfather lived until his early 100’s. His family died of his smoking four packs a day. I consulted with a Genetics Specialist recently because I wanted to find our why everybody is my family passed from a different type of cancer. He said: all caused by smoking/second hand smoking. Those cancers were: Leukemia (My grandmother at the age of 54), colon cancer (my aunt at the age of 70), prostate cancer - bones cancer (my father at the age of 80).
Let me tell you what cancer does to you.
The science of it is cancerous cells develop and attack healthy cells. The reality of it is pain, suffering, insufferable. Pain that will not let go until you scream uncontrollably. You lose your dignity. You lose yourself. You lose everything. There’s a very specific type of screaming associated with cancer pain. When it happens, you know that it’s the end. Except that it’s not. You still have to live through palliative care.
Of course there’s chemo. Chemo makes you tired, you lose your hair, your memory. You are in pain for days. You lose sleep. You can’t eat. You are basically injected with poison to fight the disease. You can’t do anything except be tired and extremely depressed. You are a burden to yourself, feel like a burden to your family and your loved ones who go through the same pain. They scream when you scream. They cry when you cry… But they can’t show anything. They have to keep it inside to help you keep your spirits up.
And then of course there’s palliative care at the end. High doses of morphine and other medication that make you sleep and lose your mind. They make you constipated. You still can’t eat. You start hallucinating. Horrible nightmares. And your family and loved ones still have to live through this with you.
And in between all of this there is surgery, often some sort of amputation. Your body will not be whole at the end.
If you’re lucky, your smoking will only affect you. But you might have killed someone else in your family. Some of your friends. Your children. Your brothers and sisters.
There are other causes of cancer of course, and some we can’t even identify yet. But there is one that can be easily avoided.
What have I been up to these past 44 years (and Two Weeks)?
I don’t know for you people, but I can tell you that a LOT can happen in a year… so imagine how much can happen in 44 years! Born on a beautiful, sunny, and hot summer day. In Tehran, it’s easily 40 degrees C in June… I heard that kids born on a hot day love heat… true.
Any ways, what did I do during the first 44 years of my life? Well, I’ve been busy, let me tell ya! Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, I went to school there and foiled the Shah’s evil plans. Not really, but I like to imagine that any ways. When I was growing up in Tehran’s schools, under the dictatorship of the Shah, we had visitors who came into our classrooms asking us to denounce our parent if they talked shit behind the Shah’s back. Lots of shit was talked about in MY family, behind the Shah, against the totalitarian regime of the Shah. Kids were always part of the conversation. I remember political conversations we had when I was three. THREE! Yessir. How do I know I was three? Well, the man who was like my uncle died when I was three and a half and I remember him like it was yesterday. His brown suit. His kind face. His intelligence. My love for him. His love for me. When they came into our schools, I was praying to the God I didn’t believe in that they couldn’t read our minds (I was already into sci fi then - having seen men walk on the moon and all). They never read into my mind and my parents didn’t get arrested. So I foiled the Shah’s evil plan at the early age of six.
We then migrated to Paris. My most vivid memories are from the travel, of course. I was holding my doll. The guy at the security check jokingly tried to take her away from me. Are you kiddin’? It was me staying in Iran with my doll, or both of us would go! We both left. And we both arrived to Paris where we both fell in love with the Eiffel Tower and pistachio ice cream. Yes, the first letter I wrote to my sister was about the colors of the ice cream and the flavor of the pistachio one. My sister’s reply: “I am happy your stomach is satisfied.”
Grew up a Muslim/atheist in a catholic, supposedly “secular” country. At that time, you weren’t considered Axis of Evil if you were Muslim. But we were non-believers - it was a family thing. Going back many many year. So when, for the first time, I saw a Nativity at my school that first Christmas, I was fascinated. I was familiar with Christmas. I had seen “Miracle on 34th street” (we saw all American movies in Iran, in English). I knew about Santa, who is the fat version of our Baba Norouz. But Jesus? Mary? A barn? IMMACULATE CONCEPTION????? Don’t people in this country know how babies were made? Ha! Due to my parents very liberal education, even I KNEW where babies came from and I was only like what, 10? I had also read War and Peace and I want to Live at that point. Nothing was off limits. So why would ANYBODY believe that some chick would give birth to a child without, you know, fornication?
I started reading up on Catholicism. Watched all the religious mocumentaries broadcast on French TV every Christmas and every Easter. Learned about Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism. And got over it. So I went to school in France. Got my Bac (High School degree) in Math and Sciences with honors. Went to the university. Worked in a night club, at a restaurant; managed a restaurant, went back to school, worked in TV production, as a journalist, on a daily live show as the head writer, segment producer, special events… created the first news segment ever broadcast on the internet in France… went back to school.
I love France. I became French by choice. I admired the French spirit during WWII. I don’t understand Americans who don’t understand what happened in France at that time. We were invaded. We were outnumbered. We were betrayed by our own government. We were exterminated. Yet, we had the Resistance. We rebelled. We faced the enemy and fought with our bare hands. We stood in front of German tanks with nothing more than our own bodies. We protected Jewish kids when we could. We fought for freedom. France is a country where people don’t accept the status quo. Yes, maybe they push it a little too far sometimes. Maybe we are paradoxical. We want the government to be in our lives and we want the government to recognize people’s individuality and self reliance. We undermine people who are too successful and/or too popular, but we crave idols and accept treachery from presidents who have two families and children out of wedlock. But this contradiction makes the richness of the country. I heard racist remarks. Yes. I saw racism. I saw stupidity. But I also saw generosity, love. Unconditional. Yet, I am a nomad. So I needed something new. A new horizon.
Came to NY. NYU. First apartment on August 11, 2001.
September 11, 2001.
MBA in Finance and Management and Entrepreneurship. Graduated in my favorite color: Purple. Dressed as a giant Barney. At Madison Square. More best friends.
London. I do not like London. I said it (and I am being PC). It’s dirty. It’s overpopulated. It’s drunk at 9 am. It’s drunk at 11 am. People are pink because they drink so much. People are blue because by 36 degree weather, they insist on wearing a T-Shirt that is 3 sizes too small, and the shortest skirts EVER. It’s drunk ALL THE TIME. It’s violent. It’s segregated. It’s fundamentalist. But I love, love, LOVE Hyde Park and Saint James Park. I love London Parks. I love Notting Hill where I lived. Top of the Hill. Views. Light despite the lack of. And I loved being able to going back to Paris on the Eurostar as many times as I wanted.
Then Boston. Quiet. Segregated. Beautiful. Best apartment I have EVER lived in - 200 square feet balcony overlooking the Boston skyline. Love. Friends. Skiing for the first time at the age of 40. Wicked cold.
Why do I summarize London and Boston? Well, I worked for one of the biggest multinationals in the world when I lived there. I don’t have many good memories from those years. I built my work experience. I made AMAZING friends. I had a LOUSY BF. LOUSY BFF too which I found out just before I left! Emotionally draining. But I still love Boston. I love Bostonians. I am so happy to have wonderful friends there. Those years reminded me that I had lived through immigration, a revolution, ten years of war in my home country, and that I needed to make choices. Which I did.
Back to NYC. Honestly, the past four years have been a daze. For three of those, my father was sick. Very sick. I went to Paris 4 times a year. I talked to my parents every day. Sure, I dated. Sure, I had a life. But work was a hellish 70-90 hours a week, with 75% travel. The other 25% I spent with my dad in Paris. Then he left. He needed to go. I wish he had gone under better conditions. I wish he had lived to 100 like his dad and his sister. But he had to go. Life doesn’t always give you what you want. You can create your own opportunities, and I did. You can be a strong, independent person, and I am. You can help other people grow, find jobs, find love, and I did. Still, life takes things and people away from you.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. Five careers, five big cities, four countries, three continents, three university degrees. Now, a new adventure: Improv. But this is for another post.
I just realized that the beginning was funnier than the end. Sorry for the downer. Just be happy the bottom part is not about you! Ha!
“Turn on the television. We have a wedding channel on cable TV devoted to the behavior of people on the way to the altar. They spend billions of dollars, behave in the most appalling way, all in an effort to be princess for a day. You don’t have cable television? Put on network TV. We’re giving away husbands on a game show. You can watch The Bachelor, where thirty desperate women will compete to marry a 40-year-old man who has never been able to maintain a decent relationship in his life. That’s what we’ve done to marriage in America, where young women are socialized from the time they’re five years old to think of being nothing but a bride. They plan every day what they’ll wear, how they’ll look, the invitations, the whole bit, they don’t spend five minutes thinking about what it means to be a wife. People stand up there before god and man even in Senator Diaz’s church, they swear to love honor and obey, they don’t mean a word of it. So if there’s anything wrong with the sanctity of marriage in America, it comes from those of us who have the privilege and the right and have abused it for decades.”—
“We were just talking about those American Apparel ads. They’re fucking gross, man. Look, I love beautiful girls too. I think everyone should be free to have their knee socks and their sweaty shorts, but I’m over it. I’m over this weird, exhausted girl. I’m over the girl that’s tired and freezing and hungry. I like bossy girls, I always have. I like people filled with life. I’m over this weird media thing with all this, like, hollow-eyed, empty, party crap.”—
I’m late to the game… this is so cute! I love the guy’s reaction and the remix… and the phenomenon that it has become! We sometimes forget to look around and be marveled by the most simple things… this guy has kept his capacity to wonder. Or he’s just high. Who knows.
As a kid we had tons of Peanuts books laying around. I have no idea who they belonged to, I’d guess Will, but maybe they were family communal books?
Either way, I read the shit out of peanuts.
Years later when Schultz had gotten real old and the strip got weird and not very good I was talking to Will and someone we started talking about Peanuts. Will didn’t think it had ever been good, and it only seemed good because we were young. I disagreed. I think they used to be great.
By this point all our Peanuts books were gone. Most likely sold in a tag sale that my Dad held to get rid of stuff. My Dad likes a minimum of stuff in his house.
So Will and I went to a Barnes and Noble (maybe the one that no longer exists on 23rd and 7th?) We stood in the Humor aisle going through Peanuts strips for a long time. They were better then Will remembered. They were better then I remembered. They were amazing.
Then when Fantagraphics started reprinting the old strips Will started collecting the volumes, and I would borrow them to read. A lot of the real old strips I had never read. They didn’t even feel like Peanuts, but I loved them even more. Unseen classic Peanuts strips.
Anyway, lately I followed a link to this site, Peanuts Roasted. He is going through old Peanuts strips and adding his own commentary. Unfortunately he is not doing every single strip.
It’s been added to my google reader list so now I get an old Peanuts strip every now and then. What a treat.
On an unrelated note, this is my favorite un-Charlie-Brown Charlie Brown punchline.
It’s used a lot in those old strips. And it simply makes me smile.
Now. Go read the shit out of Peanuts.
I thought It was weird and childish to like Peanuts… Buy I LOOOOVE them! So happy to read that others do too :) everybody should get some Peanuts in their lives.