well now.. its 10:38 pm. and thats pretty much all that comes to mind!!!



my brain is floating in dopamine.



its a strange feeling. the more u want something, and the more you realize everything is within reach, the more u feel everything. EVERYTHING. anxiety is more intense, laughing is louder, conversations seem more important, people seem more important, music is more penetrating, dancing is less restricted, food tastes better, moments stretch out longer... baaboom baaboom, baaboom baaboom... let it expand!!!! lets c if it bursts...



my hands are shaking...




and i stir. with anxiety, anticipation, fear, excitment, this hollow feeling of not being able to share all this with someone special, catching glimpse of the failure and the success in the future but not fully seeing it. it all stirs like a bowl of soup slowly simmering and evaporating away inside. is the world realy the way I see it? or is it something else all together!? I have never been so certain about what i know and yet have never been as doubtfull as I am now. i invested too much, not time or money but me. i invested too much of me. its an all new territory. raised my head up and its ready to get chopped off. is that our sanity!? our check on reality?! being able to see things and recognize them as what they are!? a sense of existance, understanding, relating, belonging, acceptance? acting or reacting to reality and what it brings!? evolving?! facing our fears and conquering them!? a heart attack?!? coffee coffee coffee...



the ocean shipment is not getting here til after xmas so had to fly out to hong kong and bring some of the toys back. with sweaty palms i get off the plane this morning with 12 boxes in tow not knowing what would happen at customs. an iranian passport holder, with a green card, importing toys mocking the u.s. president??!?! forget about it. through in 3 minutes. they didn't open a single box. we stash the boxes in the house and i take a sample to one of the stores in the afternoon. she wants to start with 24/units. i walk back to the car and i swear with every step i felt the earth shake under my feet. yet i felt as light as a feather. tomorrow is another day!!!!



past year in fast forward (I'll cut out the dramatics. Just the Facts FF)

january: got so sick of talking about the great ideas we have that decided to put my money were my mouth is!! see chand marde halaajam, walk the walk, talk the talk, step up to the plate, roll the dice was it?

feburary: took the craziest idea i had, toys, and started developing the idea while starting a new job.

may: 3 months and a whole lot of market research later decided to move on it. found a guy in so cal to make the prototype. did I mention how crippling the fear of being ripped off is? in an industry u know nothing about? at every step?.. heartbeat; boom boom boom... go with it.

july: after a billion emails, whole bunch of money and way behind schedule the prototypes were done. they fucking looked awesome!!!! worth the money even if i was to set them on the counter and do nothing else with them. it would have been the most expensive piece of art/thing i would have ever own. ever. ever. ever. and the most precious. should I preach? thats why we are here; to create.

august: got in touch with a few manufactures in china. what the fuck, right? this part was by far the hardest.

october: with the prototypes under my arm flew to mainland china to meet with the companies. the great vast land of china? new industry? different language? different culture? all the nightmare stories I've read? the handmade noodles in the street stalls were great!!

nov: well, the boys are on the assembly line (I hope). expected delivery time? dec 25th!!!(I hope) frustrated doesn't describe it. after all the effort to make it on time for x-mas market. but realy doesn't matter. I'll be happy if I just get them and not a container full of newspaper. its been known to happen. but there is always something: the heads dont fit right, the colors are not standard, the lables are too big, the bottle's curve is too much. packaging is the most recent screw up, mostly theirs. communication sucks, hong kong work day starts 6pm pacific time... but it doesn't matter. I'll be happy if I just get them. truck them to the storage space of the newly rented house. take all 8000 of them out of the cartons, put them around the room and sit in the middle. 16000 pair of eyes staring at me, with their little devilish smiles. I'll smile back giving all their due attention, i'll promise to make eye contact with each and every single one.

4 hours of sleep and coffee has served me well. the whole thing is a blur in my head. get up every morning and think 'what the fuck are you doing agha mohandes? what about the degrees? passing up good paying jobs with stock options and the whole nine yards, investing all this time, empty the savings, ...' questions and answers. questions and answers. why toys? because they are interesting, they'r fun, they'r tangible, they'r not software, they're expressive. what do you know about the industry? nothing. but I'll learn. it will take time but I'll learn. I can do that!! we have to believe that!! the heart stops once we stop, not the other way around. what if they dont sell? what if they do!? what if they dont sell? WHAT IF THEY DO!!! its past reasoning. its like crossing the street in tehran. trust yourself, trust the chaos. its either squashed by a taxi or snake through to the other side, safe and sound, with a stride... fuck it. this phrase has served me well in the past year. well, we'll find out how well in a few months, might be fuck me!!!
to be continued...



this thing is still here?

lets see, it was Mani's birthday last thursday 4/14. Happy birthday man(i). you still d man. today I heard a program regarding paper/plastic at the grocery store and the choice was 'neither'. I made that choice a few months back. to be honest I was just sick and tired of all the plastic bags at home that I didn't know what to do with. they give a plastic bag for even one item; sign of respect or status I guess, 'we can do it so we will' sort of thing. the situation is even worst in iran. the entire country is covered by them from the mountains to the beaches. they'r like tumble weed in the deserts. the funny thing is the traditional hand held bags 'zanbil' were actualy hard to find. I finaly found one near south of the city by shaabdolazim. the grocer (sabzee fooroosh) got a kick out of it. he says no one uses them anymore. now I just say no bag please or get a paper to put the recycle stuff in. amazing how the clutter has died down. Ikea has a realy cool plastic bag holder though, other purposes too. gotta pick one up next time. they also talked about warm/cold disposable cups in US. some scary number like 6 billion pieces a year get tossed in the trash and cant be recycled due to the coating. I glanced at my commuter cup, it even traveled to europe and iran with me. these things take so little effort but in the grand scale make such a difference. good luck convicing people that it does. I was in the pits before the war in iraq. didn't realy see any effects of what ever I was doing. protest, recycle, buy a diesel car, ... was realy having a hard time making sense of things and going into a realy bad place, completely hopeless and helpless. from somewhere I heard something of the effect 'you dont have to change anything by yourself. just anticipate the movement and be a part of it'. so right on. catch up movement :)



this is cool.



This other day a friend showed me her broken cel phone screen asking me what I thought the pattern formed by the liquid gel looked like? Without thinking I immediately said a feather. I think she said it resembled a leaf. You get the picture. If it were after my little body surfing mishap in Africa I probably would've said a surfboard.

I was walking towards the stables from the main house to check up on a horse as I noticed something moving in the trees. After a second look saw a pigeon hanging from a branch flapping helplessly. One of the local boys climbed the tree in a matter of seconds and brought the injured bird down. It was explained to us that trappers place the pigeons inside a trapping device and let them loose to catch falcons. The device had a central mesh that fit under the bird’s wings such that it wont prevent the bird from flying. But once a bird of prey; eagles/falcons, attack them their legs get caught in one of the many extended loops and are trapped forcing them to land wherever they are. We cut the wires and removed the trap, a deep cut was visible on her back. It seemed that she was already attacked and possibly escaped to the safety of the tree only for the wires to get caught in the branches. She was shaken but ok. Holding her you could feel her little heart beating a million times a second. The local vet sprayed some pink liquid on her wound to disinfect it. One of the horse keepers suggested to put the bird in one of the stable rooms for it to recover, the vet instead decided to put her behind a wire fence right next to the house so she could check up on her. As we started walking towards the stables someone attracted our attention back to the house. One of the dogs had sneaked under the fence and had her in his jaws. We ran back and the owner started yelling as the dog released her. It was too late. Her wing was busted and her neck broken. Her head was tilted to the left resting on her wing. She was still alive and breathing, eyes open. I really could see the fear and confusion in her eyes. To us; the ones that came from the city, it was a horrific scene, to the locals it was another day living in the country. We bought our meat, they killed it. One of them said 'bokoshidesh, daare zajr mikeshe' as he was walking away. We asked him to do it but he didn't stop and said he had things to do. The three of us stood there, city folks; cocky, educated and proud, looking at each other like helpless children. One of us filled up half the previous day with his hunt stories so we immediately turned to him. 'No, no, I can only hit them from far' he said and walked away. The two of us remained with our thin hearts in our throat, looking at her. It seemed as the entire misery of the planet has somehow concentrated and zoomed in on this poor bird, and we could feel it. 'I cant do it. no way. It’s you man.' I can’t quite describe my friends tone, a hint of desperation maybe, but I didn’t argue, there was no doubt in his voice. I was so mad at everyone for walking away leaving me by myself. Unlike so many other times I had no other choice. So what? Smash her with a rock? Throw her to the dogs? What would you have done? My friend finally took out his pocketknife and put it on the fence. I opened it and looked at her, beautiful tiny yellow eyes lost in a sea of gray feathers, her sight shifting from left to right, back and forth, her chest rising with rapid breaths. She was lying there, waiting. I realized my breathing was quite heavy by now. 'Walk away, walk away' I kept telling myself, ‘it’s only a bird’. There been few other occasions when I knew the right thing to do but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Like other times I came to these last words: just do it. I took a deep breath and placed the blade on her neck. It’s like picking up a bucket you think is full only to yank it up because it’s empty. If you've never cut over feathers you wont know how much pressure to apply. I thought I'll just place the blade over her neck and it will cut through like butter and be quickly over. Not so. The blade on the feathers was no more effective than a stick, so I applied more pressure getting more upset by the second. It was not working. I was breathing harder with every passing moment as I realized that I was not prepared for what was happening; the look on her face, the red blood trickling on smooth gray feathers in a time span which seemed like for ever. Anger and frustration mixed as I threw the ineffective knife aside and pulled on her soft-feathered head with all the force I could muster. The fibers tore between my grip and her head separated from her body. I dropped them on the ground without looking at her and walked away. 'savaab daasht. damet garm. no way I could do it'. I wanted to yell 'FUCK OFF' but just kept walking. Walked away angry, as angry I've been in a long time. Angry of the arabs that were going to buy the falcon, angry of the trappers, angry of the fucking dog, angry of my chicken friends, angry of myself, angry of god, angry of the damn bird. I tried to rationalize; it’s only a bird, thousands of people die every day, blah blah blah, but it was the weight of the moment that seemed to stretch through an eternity, that’s how it always is!!

A week after I came back from iran I was walking up Cole Valley and saw a pigeon in the street towing a plastic bag. She would try to fly but fail and land a few feet further. I chased her and after a few attempts and with the help of another pedestrian cornered her. I stepped on the plastic bag and finally got a hold of her. All the memory from iran rushed back as I held her soft-feathered body in my grip. 'I killed your cousin only about a month ago!! Can you smell it on my hands? ' Her wing has gone through the handle of the bag and was firmly caught. The bag was removed with a bend of the wing and she was flying. The other person told me how his friend worked in the wildlife society and they see many cases every year where seals are caught in plastic bags and are either cut up badly or end up drowning. What else is new I thought!!! We are a fucking ignorant bunch!!



14000, 18000, 25000, 32000, 56000, 84000, 100000, 118000?!?!?!?!?! what the fuck is that? number of match sticks? socks? sand pebbles? cd's? apples? what is that!?!!?!!!!



pics from the trip




catching up:

sept 4/04

First time had a chance to sit and write something. Thoughts dont require staying still but recording them does; it has more staying power if it's mulled over. Athens is getting further and further away as the ferry sails towards the island of Paros; one of many in the series that constitute the greek islands. its been an interesting week. 12 days ago completely un-inspired and idle I received an approval for a visitors visa from the greek embassy in san francisco. looking at the olympics schedule I realized that wrestling and takewondo competitions took place in the last few days of the games, that meant I had to leave immediately. It all clicked into place and I kicked myself for not thinking/planning it sooner. TIME OFF, OLYMPICS, IN GREECE, WHERE I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO VISIT, WITH A PLACE TO STAY, CLOSE TO IRAN FOR THE FOLLOW UP TRIP, ROOTING FOR MY COUNTRY MAN IN THE OLDEST INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION IN THE WORLD... I bought an airline ticket at 2:30 pm on the same day while driving around trying to make last minute plans in preparation for the journey, lets just say the dirty dishes were still in the sink when I left. I flew out the following day to arrive in NY and continue on to Athens. The trip to say the least was a nightmare. The SF - > NY part went smoothly but trouble began in JFK where I had a 10 hour layover. had it all worked out; I check in as soon as I get there securing an exit seat with a lot of leg room, then grab a cab into the city for lunch with a few friends and be back with plenty of time on the clock. obviously plans never work out the way we think so not only I was not able to check in in advance, the airline alowed me to board the plane only an hour before the flight after numerous conversations/letters/faxes between me, them and the greek embassy in san francisco. The last words of the super-super-supervisor was 'We will allow you to board the plane but we are warning you that you could be turned back by the immigration in greece'. I thought of cuting my losses and turning back. so there I stood after 36 hours of sleepless chaos through cramped middle seats and long airport corridors looking at the immigration officer thumbing through my passport. 'where you staying?' 'with a friend' 'is he here?' 'yes' he started grumbling 'your passport expires in 2 months'. SHIT. after all this expense/time/effort it would utterly suck for him to send me back. I was so fatigued that would set my bags down in the middle of the airport and go to a long nubming sleep. next time I see someone like that I know exactly what they've been through. 'Yes, but I'm planning to renew it here'. more grumbling. 'How much money do you have?' 'thousand dollars'. he grumbled some more and finaly stamped the passport with an unsatisfied look on his face, like I've come back to avenge the burning of persopolis and he had no other option to let me in. I knew the chances of them turning me away was slim. Thanks to Americans scaring the crap out of everyone and requesting an incredible amount of security the attendance was down and they could use every single euro. I was through with a big sigh of relief. To be honest I thought to turn back at every step through this hasty trip thinking the big guy is trying to tell me something, scheduling conflicts: dont go, issues with the ticket: dont go, passport problems: dont go. When the mind is weak and tired it will start to wonder and grab things out of thin air; it wasn't meant to be, maybe the plane is going to crash? maybe its not worth it? ... But now that I think about it with the sun in my face relaxing on the deck of a ship on the blue waters of meditterane I realize that it was just flawed thinking. most of the problems were either due to unforseen circumstances or lack of planning. we do the best we can and hope for the best. thats as close to a warranty we can get to.



here I am again after 2.5 years. there was some debate about that: 'so I went to the first floor and they put a shot in front of me, then I went to farzaneh's house on the second floor and she put a shot in front of me, by the time I got to the fourth floor I was drunk as a fish'. my daaee: 'no, no, that couldn't be right. they all moved to their new building 2 years ago. must have been more than two years.'
I've been back in tehran for 3 days and it already feels like I never left. it took only one step. I paused for a second standing on the side of the road looking at the speeding cars and motorcycles weaving through each other hurling towards me, then it hit home; fuck it; let your mind go and your body will follow.
the mental stimulation has been susbtantial. everything is a memory. the indent in the living room door, dare paasyo, the curtain line passed through the back porch and secured on the railing, sange taraazoo in the yard, the third step to the basement, the second step on the front entrance, the smell of saalon ... the list goes on and on. I keep walking around the house and everyone think its because I'm already bored. I keep telling them no but they dont believe me.



man its been a while. it has not been a lack of inspiration or things to say, infact new thoughts have been around every corner; just lack of time. guess at some point we must stop and take time to record and re-live our experiences. not at 3 euros for 1/2 hour though.

tonite I sleep in delphi awating tomorrow to meet the oracle.



finally some down time relaxing, thumbing through the latest issue of national geographic. everyone in the place was doing something. most were reading, a few writing. one guy was not doing anything, not anything at all. he just sat there with sunglasses looking forward. it seemed kind of odd, out of place, it shouldn't have, it was a nice sunny day above java beach. and it should be perfectly normal for someone to just sit and think. it was curious though! hard to tell a persons state when u cant see their eyes. was he napping? or counting the number of people walking by; 345, 346, ... waiting patiently for the next person to walk by. was he slowly falling in love with the girl with her back to him. she had just the right amount of imperfection to hook a person that sees perfection in average! not too little, not too much. we probably develop feelings for anything if we look at it long enough, specially things that are silent. try it out; stare at a rock for 10 minutes. u start noticing things, beautiful things; curves, dimples, edges, shapes, figures .. the object takes on a character. but what about her? is she gentle? does she purr like a kitten when she sleeps? does she love artichoke hearts? all this stuff could be snailing through his mind. or was it something else all together? was he thinking "this guy to my left is looking at me and I bet he's going to start writing something. he would have to or feel out of place just sitting there, not reading his magazine. he probably has a diary, maybe even a weblog. he might even think that I'm fixated on this girl’s bare shoulder in front of me. does she know he is writing about her through me? should I tell her? 'excuse me, this guy to my left keeps looking at me, and since I'm looking forward he probably thinks that I'm staring at you. how do you feel about that? does that bother u? do u want me to stop? but I wasn't staring, he was thinking that I was. does that matter? weather you are in my mind or in his or anyone else’s in this place? do you feel divided or spread out? being in multiple places at the same time? not being responsible or in control of what you are doing at all these virtual places? god knows what he's thinking in his sick little head! do you want him to stop? 'excuse me, can u stop writing about me? she doesn't like it very much. the fact that you think she is imperfect offends her. she doesn't like people highlighting her flaws, let alone writing about them. she once scorned at someone for opening the door for her and she actually does not like to be called a lady. so could u kindly stop?''"



a lot of thoughts going through my head but dont quite seem to be able to put them in words. time goes on. its august the fucking 6th. I haven't even started with summer and I'm getting catalogues urging me to prepare for fall! had a friend and his girlfriend visiting from italy and had to show them around a few days. what is it about the glitter in america? the sofisticated italians with their great taste in clothes and wine and food went gaga in a stupid ass tacky restaurant with fake trees and rubber animals, rainforest cafe or something. 'there is nothing like this in italy, its great'. they couldn't get enough of the place. they want to move here, get a bigger house, a bigger car.
come one, come all, but please leave your brain at the door!!!



catch 'what the #$&@ do we know?' if you get a chance. no, I dont want to underplay it, watch it, and then watch it again. I think a condense version should be developed and packed into a pill and taken oraly by all on this planet daily as a reminder.



its been 3 weeks and change since I quit work. enough time for the dissapointment to be replaced by optimisim. lots of stuff to do, some that would make me happy, some that would pay the bills, very few that meet a little bit of both. I am searching again, prioritizing, evaluating. should I stay or should I go? not necessarily to iran or spain or even to a bigger apartment, just to take stock (has it been five years?). here, there, less money, a lot more money, more work, less clutter, a new venture, longer trip,  africa or europe?



u ever wonder how someone gets to the extremes of certain behavior? how someone becomes anything that is considered weird by everyone else around them? when is it exactly that they cross that fine line? san francisco is full of them as I imagine any other place. people walking around talking to themselves, shouting at others, making strange faces. you think they woke up one morning and decided to freak out sporadically while walking in the street? imagine the hardship they must have gone through. the systematic torture of being in ones head for whatever reason, the loneliness, day after day, night after night, through months and years that would render and twist your mind in such a fashion in which u dont care what you do or how you behave. u no longer have the ability to connect and interact in anyway with your kind.  the indifference, lack of purpose, life force, will, belonging. how utterly lonely it must feel to stand in the street and scream while everyone walks by you pretending not to hear you. and the louder you scream the  more invisible you become! if u were in a deserted island u would know that u're alone and be ok with it, but to be among thousands of people and declare your existence as loud as you can without a single acknowledgment!!?!! if u ever see me in the street lingering either take me home and care for me or put a bullet through my head, just dont walk by.


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