2014 – revisited

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year everyone! Hope you ring in the year on a positive note. Just do me a favor and be safe!

I wanted to take this opportunity and look at what we talked about here in 2014. But unlike the standard-issue photo collage that Facebook randomly generates, I wanted it to be more reflective. More meaningful. So… for that purpose, I picked a post from each month, and put it here for you (There are more, don’t believe me? look for yourself!). I hope you enjoyed reading almost as much as I did writing it 🙂 So with no further delay, here we go: (Each photo is a link to a post)

January:

I started this year with a few words about my second Novel. Words that would echo in one of the final posts of this current year (last one in this post). Talking about the Novel I wanted to write and the one I needed to write.

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February:

In February, among other posts, I made a short comparison between “Dexter” and “Breaking bad“. Fun and games folks, not to be taken too seriously.

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March:

In this post I talked about what bores me and what will always pique my interest, regardless of the media. Be it Facebook, face to face conversation or a work of literature.

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April:

April marked the induction of Nirvana into the Rock n Roll hall of fame, and being a huge fan of Nirvana I took a break to pay honors to this awesome band.

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May:

Here I listed 15 reasons NOT to write. Are they enough to stop you from writing? You be the judge.

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June:

I shared a nice Q&A I had with an Iranian friend I made over the interweb. Peace!

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July:

Sometimes you stumble on greatness. This is what happened to me with the band Muse. And some of their materials I found, are very important, beyond the music.

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August:

Having finished watching “The Wire” I found a few parallels with another great series…

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September:

A post about the woes of a writer whose English is a second language.

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October:

Oh the things we can eat, Oh the things we can do, your mother will not mind at all if you do! 🙂

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November:

In November, as public service (You’re welcome), I finally defined “Love” for you. Don’t mention it.

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December:

In December, 2014 came full circle and I went back to discussing my second Novel, its completed first draft and the advantages of writing a novel before writing a novel…

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T-t-that’s all folks! Come back next year for more, and in the meanwhile, let me know what you think right here below.

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Finally. Love. Defined.

Hello boys and girls, Ladies and Gentlemen.

How many times did you think about that question – what is love? What does it mean? How do I know she loves me? Well, fret not. Dr. Gil’s here to answer this question once and for all. And I’m not even going to give you a long-winded, vague, new age explanation that would leave you feeling like an idiot at the end.

No. I intend to answer this question in the most practical, tangible and demonstrable way possible. I guess you can say that this here explanation is scientific. Yay Science!

Listen up boys. Love is not a vague idea. I know that poets across the earth bled onto miles and miles of paper, trying to find the best way to define love. But it’s very easily explained. And I’m not talking about having a crush either. Nor do I refer to longing, or affection, but love, Long lasting. That thing that keeps two people together.

I will use men and women, and talk about this from the man’s perspective, but it obviously applies to so many relationships.

Enough preamble. Here are the 3 surefire indications that she loves you. Not like, or tolerate. Not having a crush nor an attraction, but the kind of love that means you’ve found your real partner. your true love! The keeper. The one who will stay for the long haul. The one.

She doesn’t ask you “What are you thinking about?”

Because she loves you, she knows that whatever the hell you’re thinking about, be it the situation in the middles east, the bastard who stole your lunch at the office, or that super model – what’s her face – with them big boobs. No matter what. It is no threat to her. She has no reason to feel insecure, Because she knows you love her too (You probably make a point of reminding her of that). and she trusts you.

She believably fakes interest in your interest

Say you come home from some place. You were busy doing that thing you like most. You’re all excited and the moment you walk in the door you go “Honey, you got to hear this. I blah blah blah” etc. Or you’re watching some sport on TV and turn around to your partner and say “Did you hear that? that’s incredible!” And guess what… she smiles and manages to hold a conversation of varying length. 2 minutes, an hour. Doesn’t matter, because you turn back to that TV feeling great. You just shared Lebron James’ point per game over his career so far with your partner who has never shown any real interest in basketball. If that happens to you, you’ve got to know she loves you. I mean, take baseball. Even I couldn’t fake interest in that bore-fest…
But above all…

She offers to pop your zits for you…

You can tell me about the oral sex first thing in the morning, the breakfasts in bed and all that romantic, sexy crap all day. But there’s nothing, and I do mean nothing. That shows real, absolute and ever lasting love, more than someone who’s willingly taking the time to mess with what can only be described as the most disgusting product of the human body. Yes, it’s worst than shit… Now women, they love to change us. They’ll use their full arsenal of charms, deception and if needed, persistence and reverse psychology (Oh, I love that mullet honey…). But that’s superficial. If that person puts her fingers on your skin and squeezes these nasty little volcanic insults… This is love, my friend. This is true love.
Now folks, I hope you see that I kept my promise. No mumbo-jumbo. This is the real deal. Love. Defined, and in no clearer terms. With examples.

Do try this at home people.

And then come and tell me what you think!

And until next time we meet, May you all find that special person who’d be willing to squeeze the heck out of those… bleh…

When the cannons roar some people aren’t silenced

Welcome all.

Today, a midst the darkness that descends on the middle east yet again, while the spirits are low and the nerves are irritated, I wanted to share a few small, but significant rays of light.

It’s very easy to despair. It’s very cozy when you’re entrenched in traditional paradigms.

But even when the cannons roar, one must remember that one is never alone. Even when it seems from one’s small corner of the globe that everyone hates the other, this is not the case. Even when the bombs are falling, it’s important to remember Martin Luther King’s simple, but so true quote:

We must learn to live together like brothers, or perish together as fools.

In the past few days and weeks, every facebook account in Israel and Gazza is filled with anger, hate, despair.

But I wanted to show that there are those who still believe that war is not the answer. People who refuse to view their neighbors as enemies. People who will not surrender to hate and despair, and are looking to reach out and touch people “on the other side”.

I highly recommend visting the links at the bottom of this post. I also wanted to share a few examples (out of many) of people who reach out to their so-called-enemies with love and compassion. I wanted to show that not all hope is lost and that people as opposed to politicians are sick of war, death and suffering.

joujou

 

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Musical

As I wrote above, these are but a few examples.

The people in the middle east, the “silent majority” for the most part, want to live and let live. These folks are not silent. They speak up so Israelis and Palestinians know they are not alone. We all suffer from war and we all could only benefit peace.

Here’s what we are all asking our leaders:

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halas

Some interesting articles about the Peace Factory:

Promote peace:

 

Better than a thousand hollow words

Welcome back folks. It’s nice of you to drop by again.

Today, I want to share a conversation with you. Just a normal Q&A, back and forth, chitchat between two people.

One of them is me. The other one, we will call M.I.F for reasons which will become apparent as you read.

This conversation took place in Facebook, as many these days do. Between two friends who have never met in real life. In light of this, the nature of the conversation is of course, trying to understand who the other person is. What he likes, dislikes and to try and get a peek into his views of the world. Just 2 guys talking here. Also, please excuse some grammar and spelling errors. Both of us speak English as second language.

Here goes:

Gil: Please recommend three places to visit in your country.

M.I.F: To Americans, Israelis and perhaps British, I recommend the following. I said America and Israel cause they have a bad image (perception) of Iran. Not all of them but I know many of them do. These three countries can meet the real Iran. We like guests. We’d especially welcome Israeli people, because in the past, before the Islamic revolution of 1979 many Jews lived in iran and also thousand years ago there was a really good relationship between Persians and Jewish people. Even now in Iran, there are many Jews, Muslims, Christians, many atheists and then Zarathustra live in Iran. We want peace with America and Israel, don’t listen to the media outlets, maybe about 70% Iranians are the friends of peace and they do not agree with this Islamic republic of Iran, and about 70% of Iranians disagree with these Islamic rules and this regime in Iran. They are not happy with that because before 1979 Iran was a free country like the west and we NEVER, EVER had any Islamic rules in Iran and these Islamic rules came to my country from Arabic countries. You can read about this also and make sure my words are correct. Any way, I would welcome all guests to Iran and i hope to see a good relation again between Iran, Israel and America.

Gil: What kind of music do you like? Any favorite artists?

M.I.F: I love sonati (traditional Persian music). I listen to rap, rock, Reggae, and all kinds of music. I don’t hate any kind of music, If that music gives me a good feeling i will listen to it (lol). My favorite artist is Homayoun Shajarian, a Persian singer who sings sonati, and also the Persian rapper (hichkas). I like 50 cent, Bob Marley, Eminem, and many other artists.

Gil: What sports do you like (If you do)? Any favorite teams? Athletes?

M.I.F: I love cycling as I was a cyclist, cars racing, swimming and many kinds of sport, my favorite team is the biking team of Astana, lotto, Columbia htc team etc. My favorite athletes are Marco Pantani, Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish, Lance Armstrong etc.

Gil: What was the last movie you watched? Would you recommend it?

M.I.F: As i love comedies, my favorite movies were Dictator, Ted, The hangover, American pie etc. I recommend these movies if you didn’t see them (lol).

Gil: The lonely island scenario. What book would you take with you?

M.I.F: (lol) Weird question. If i was there, I think i wouldn’t need Quran(koran) or any holy book cause there is no Allah or god in that time to help me or any different god from different religion. This is my belief. I’d want a book about: how can i live in The lonely island and what can I do and what do I need and how can I run away from this hell (lol). Also, to spend my time with other books, I prefer to read the beautiful Persian poems from Maulana Rumi, Saadi, Hafiz, Omar Khayyam, Ferdowsi etc. I love Omar Khayyam and I think his book is good to spend my time. Let me write one of his poems:

 Khayyam, if you are intoxicated with wine, enjoy! If you are seated with a lover of thine, enjoy! In the end, the Void the whole world employ Imagine thou art not, while waiting in line, enjoy!

Meaning: In life devote yourself to joy and love Behold the beauty of the peaceful dove Those who live, in the end must all perish Live as if you are already in heavens above

Gil: Who was (or is) your greatest inspiration?

M.I.F: My inspiration person is Cyrus the great father of Persia (Iran) from 2600 years ago. When he said respect to all people with any beliefs and anyone is free to choose his/her religion or way and many beautiful words he said on his first charter of human rights in the world about 2600 years ago. He was a great man. I also love Maulana Rumi the Persian (Iranian) poet when he said: Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or in the next, did not descend from Adam and Eve or any origin story. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being. or one of other poems of him is:I profess the religion of love, Love is my religion and my faith. My mother is love My father is love My prophet is love My God is love I am a child of love I have come only to speak of love. Etc.

Gil: What did you (or do you still) want to be when you grow up?

M.I.F: Well I am happy with what I have and so it should be. I have my 2 shops as I’m 21 years old. It’s true, we say people have many dreams to have all they want and each one of us has different wishes. Some can and their dreams will come true as they work hard for their wishes and some can’t because they didn’t try, or maybe their life changed by other things and they couldn’t do something to make their dreams come true. This world is too weird. My dream is peace between everyone. Each one of us, different countries, and I’m trying to help this world to be in peace. A big/hard wish but I hope slowly this wish will come true too, and many wishes I have which are not just about myself, but rather about the world or even my land Iran. I’m not selfish so i don’t have too much dreams for myself. I am happy with my life.

Gil: If a movie was made about you, who would be playing your part?

M.I.F: I’d prefer that I act in that movie (lol) because I think I can be a good actor and that movie will be more appealing, as it’s my life and I can act all feeling so true, and it will be just the true feeling in each part of my life in that movie.

Gil: What do you value the most about your friends?

M.I.F: Friends always help each other. With my good friend, we help each other, we have fun, When he or she is sad I’m sad, the valued thing with the real friends is that they don’t leave you alone and in the lonely moments they are with you.

Gil: What do you consider the most important lesson life taught you?

M.I.F:As I’m silly sometimes, I do stupid things. Don’t  laugh (lol). I’m sure you did too because we are all human and each one of us do the wrong things sometimes. All of humans, even the biggest persons. Experience – that’s what we get, sometimes. When I make mistakes, I will not be sad about it, maybe you can’t believe that, but I will be happy because it will be experience and is like a medal for me. Or an achievement (lol). It’s true and I’m not kidding. We should never be sad for making mistakes because any mistake is a step towards victory. I believe that we should never give up.

M.I.F: Which places do you like to visit? which place you choose for living (except the place you living now)?

Gil: I appreciate the greatness of nature Vs. the contrasting humbleness of men. For that reason, places that interest me are places where that contrast is evident. Examples include the grand Canyon in the US, the Amazon, Antarctica. I will likely not make it to most of these, but would be happy to see some. If there’s one place I’d like to live it’s the Golan Heights at the north of Israel. A beautiful place.

M.I.F: Which pet would you like to have? which pet wouldn’t you like?

Gil: As far as pets, I’m a dog person. I had a few and loved them. Currently taking a break from pets as I have enough on my plate. I don’t particularly like cats (Sorry internet :)) and I’d never keep a wild animal captive.

M.I.F: Out of the books you read, what are your favorite books?

Gil: Good thing you asked in the plural form, as I have quite a few. The books that really had an impact of me include: 1984/George Orwell, The Man In The Maze/Robert Silverberg, Lord Of The Rings/JRR Tolkien, Otherland/Tad Williams and Foundation/Isaac Asimov among others.

M.I.F: Which behavior don’t you like with people?

Gil: I will phrase it that way, people who do not have capacity for compassion. I feel sad for these folks. No matter what happens in our lives, there’s always someone who might have it less fortunate.

M.I.F: Which person is your biggest inspiration person? and why?

Gil: I’d have to say that on a personal level, my father was and still is my biggest inspiration. A person who’s done his best to be positive, honest and hard-working, who put his family’s needs ahead of his own. A person who fought Cancer for years, so he can see his kids reach a stage in their life where he could let go. A person who did not need anyone’s approval to be a good person. Another person who I’ve always thought highly of is Martin Luther King who showed that non-violence can achieve great things and overcome great wrongs.

M.I.F: What kind of music do you like to hear?

Gil: I love Rock music of many kinds. Some of my favorites include Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and many many more. I’m also a big fan of Israeli singers who mix rock, and other western styles with middle eastern influences. Look up ‘Ehud Banai’ (Who I believe is from a Persian descent) in YouTube 🙂 Another Persian Israeli singer is Rita. Whether I like her style or not, her voice is simply amazing.

M.I.F: What are your dreams and wishes?

Gil: I am very modest in that regard. I believe I share the great dream of being happy. I do my best to be happy at all times, regardless of circumstances. I find that negative feelings tend to invite more such feelings into our lives. Outside of myself, I hope that people will find a way to live with each other in peace. So many lives, so much energy, money and resources are directed towards hate… it makes me wonder how can we not see that directing these to peaceful and productive existence would make this world so much better.

M.I.F: What is your purpose in life? And tell me about ultimate goal in your life.

Gil: This is a question I am still trying to answer myself 🙂 My ultimate goal in life is to try to live in peace with myself and others.

M.I.F: Which person did you want to be? and why?

Gil: As a youngster I wanted to be a DJ on the radio. I love music and always wanted to be the one to share it with people. These days I just want to be the best me I can possibly be.

M.I.F: Tell me about the biggest and important thing you learned from this world.

Gil: There are many great lessons I learned (and I have plenty of room for more). Perhaps the most important thing I learned was to understand that I’m responsible for everything in my life. To realize that nothing in the past could be changed and that the future is not here yet, therefore, I can only change what I do in the present. Because of that realization, I choose to avoid falling into the pitfall called regret, forgive myself and others and do my best at present time.

I hope you enjoyed our conversation. To complete Buddha’s quote in the title

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

I hope you did not find any of these word hollow. Each one of these, and so many more that are spoken every day, are meant to bring about the goal of many in the middle east – Peace.

My Iranian Friend could not be named in this forum to avoid persecution in his homeland.

I’m grateful for your cooperation my friend!

We both met on Facebook as part of the Israel-Love-Iran group and one of the goals of this group is to encourage communication between people of these two countries. I wanted to share this, and encourage others to have more of these! We are not our leaders, we are not politicians, we’re people and as you could see above, we have no problem with each other.

Feel free to share this post, spread the word. Hopefully one day, we could meet in Tel Aviv or in Tehran and chat over some coffee. Until then, Peace, Shalom, man solh raa arezou mikonam.

Come on and ride on the peace train!

What have you done for Peace lately?

Until next time,