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the cinnamon peeler's wife

11.26.2004 at 1:06:00 PM

wayfaring stranger

I am a poor wayfaring stranger
Travelling through this world alone
There is no sickness, toil or danger
In that fair land to which I go

I'm going home
To see my mother
I'm going home
No more to roam
I am just going over Jordan
I am just going over home

I know dark clouds will hover on me,
I know my pathway is rough and steep
Beauteous fields lie right before me
Where weary eyes no more will weep

I'm going home to see my father
I'm going home no more to roam
I am just going over Jordan
I am just going over home

I'll soon be free from every trial
This form will rest beneath the sun
I'll drop the cross of self-denial
Come back home with God

I'm going home to see my savior
I'm going home no more to roam
I am just going over Jordan
I am just going over home

(this folk song has been passed down in the Appalachians for generations. originally, its roots are probably from an old Irish tune. though many versions exist, a recent rendition by Jack White is simply heartbreaking.)
*hope you all have recovered from your tryptophan induced slumber, though it is a naturally occurring amino acid- a sedative nonetheless

11.22.2004 at 11:51:00 AM


please take the time to read riverbend's entries about fallujah and eid in iraq. she is a young iraqi who blogs at baghdad burning.

update: the frontline on walmart is online in its entirety.

11.17.2004 at 1:23:00 AM

rated pg-13 for intense situations of peril

hilarious, have you ever heard a dumber rating. okay i watched 'the day after tomorrow' and yes it is a pretty dumb movie. but there are some funny parts, okay maybe only funny to me.

my fave line: the black kid is fixing the radio and someone offers help and he says i am the president of the electronics club, the math club, and the chess club. can you find anyone nerdier than me in this room? (i don't know i loved that line- i was the president of the math club)

okay and the americans illegally crossing into mexico, and the mexicans closing their border, and then all of latin america forcing the us to forgive their debt in order to allow refugees. i love the premise that the western world has to flee to the third world because they have heat!

ok don't watch the movie unless you are bored. but late at night it was kinda funny.

as for the premise of kyoto and global warming, we have been discussing arbitrations aimed at western countries that refuse to sign onto kyoto in international dispute resolution. an interesting idea, but i have little faith that it would work.

but really as for intense situations of peril- there are many all around us
read street's article on global warming and how in the shadow of so much social injustice many of us have forgotten that we are choking the earth as well.
also margaret hassan is presumed dead, it boggles the mind, even al-zarqawi called for her release. fisk's analysis of the situation is worth reading.
lastly, if you get a chance watch frontline's special on walmart, probably on your pbs station this week. with the new kmart-sears merger, the dynamics in this market are going to be worth following. additionally, with the mfa expiring in 2005, walmart is going to continue to push for cheaper textiles, not to mention using medicaid as their health plan. some folks in my labor law class go around handing out union cards in local walmarts just for kicks. ;)

11.16.2004 at 2:35:00 PM

shirin ebadi

did i ever mention that i love shirin ebadi. she is the woman, a role model, and of course the winner of the 2003 nobel peace prize. she doesn't let opposition stop her, when iranian clerics decided she could no longer be a judge (because women were too emotional) she continued to defend human rights as a private attorney. now that the us govt will not let her publish her memoirs, she (not an american) is suing to uphold the first amendment. now if only all of us could have so much passion for our civil liberties and human rights. read her op-ed in today's nytimes.

an excerpt:
For many years now, I have wanted to write my memoir - a book that would help correct Western stereotypes of Islam, especially the image of Muslim women as docile, forlorn creatures. Sixty-three percent of Iran's university students and 43 percent of its salaried workers are women. I have wanted to tell the story of how women in Islamic countries, even one run by a theocratic regime as in Iran, can be active politically and professionally.
and another:
If even people like me - those who advocate peace and dialogue - are denied the right to publish their books in the United States with the assistance of Americans, then people will seriously question the view of the United States as a country that advocates democracy and freedom everywhere. What is the difference between the censorship in Iran and this censorship in the United States? Is it not better to encourage a dialogue between Iranians and the American public?

(sidenotes: drink lots of water- there are very bad consequences for not doing so, believe me i found out and it was painful/ my mendhi is at the weird stage where it is starting to look funny/ carpal tunnel sucks/ school work is inundating me and thus i am wasting my time/ read the alchemist/ watch bridget jones diary, i heard the second one is terrible but don't worry i will find out for myself and report back!)

11.15.2004 at 10:03:00 PM


yathrib ke waali, saare nabi tere dar ke sawali
jalwein hain saare tere hi daam se, aabad aalam tere karam se
baaqi har ek shai, naqshe khyali, saare nabi tere dar ke sawali
tere liya hi duniya banihe, neele falaq qi chaadar tanihe
tu agar na hota, duniya thi khaali, saare nabi tere dar ke sawali
tu ne jahaan ki mehfil saajaee, tareekheeoun me shamma jalaeen
har simt chahee thee raat kaali, saare nabi tere dar ke sawali
qadmoun me tere arsh barri hai, tujsa jahaan me koween nahin hai
kandhe pe phirbhi kamli hai kaali, saare nabi tere dar ke sawali
madhab hai tera sub khi bhalayi, maslak hai tera mushkil kushayee
dekh apni ummat ki khasta haali, saare nabi tere dar ke sawali
hai noor tera shams o qamar me, tera laboun ki lalli sehar me
phooloun ne teri khusboo churaleen, saare nabi tere dar ke sawali

eid mubarak!

11.12.2004 at 2:24:00 PM

so what's up with yasser?

inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raji'un
okay i am not being flippant, the death of arafat is (or is perceived) to be a turning point in the history of the palestinian struggle. but this conversation a few nights ago needs to be heard...

suzan: so lina, what's up with yasser?
(lina's mom's face turns white and her eyes go all wide, lina looks embarrassed, and the rest of us are wondering: who is yasser and why don't we know about this lina?)
me: arafat, you mean?
suzan: yes, yes of course.

so this post needs a shout out to the awesome lina, who can cook like no other, and fed us such an iftar that it will be remembered for ages to come. you bring honor to the palestinian people with your epicurean feats.

but yes as for arafat:
read his obituary in the ny times,
also Prof. Mark Levine (of UC Irvine) has an interesting piece on Arafat debunking this myth of new beginnings,
and i will leave you with an excerpt from the Fisk article, which i mentioned earlier:
The Arafat mug was never going to find its way on to university walls like Guevara or even Castro. There was -- and still is -- a kind of seediness about it and maybe that's what the Israelis saw too, a man who could be relied on to police his people in their little Bantustans, another proxy to run the show when occupation became too tiresome. "Can Arafat control his own people?" That's what the Israelis asked and the world obligingly asked the same question without realising the truth: that this was precisely why Arafat had been allowed back to the Occupied Territories -- to "control" his people. The only time he did stand up to his Israeli-American masters -- when he refused to accept 64 per cent of the 22 per cent of Palestine that was left to him -- he returned in triumph to Gaza and allowed the Israelis to claim he was offered 95 per cent but chose war.

off to put on mehndi and eat sweets and freeze in my shalwar kameez at 7 am eid prayers...

11.09.2004 at 9:40:00 AM

stupid post

you asked for it, you are gonna get it (this blog strives to grant all requests as long as i receive a check in the mail). you asked for stupid, dumb, orange boxer shorts: well bushie epitomizes it all. stupid is as stupid does...

"Down in Florida in the early voting, there were computer glitches, confusing ballots, long lines and chaos. And when President Bush heard about this, he said, 'Mission accomplished!'"
-David Letterman

"Bush bragged that more Iraqis say their country is on the right track than Americans say our country is on the right track. Boy, there’s a campaign slogan for you — 'America: More F*cked Up Than Fallujah!'" —Bill Maher

"President Bush is not fazed by other candidates' war records. He said, I may have not fought in Vietnam, but I created one." —Craig Kilborn

"Last night, in a prime-time address, President Bush said he backed limited federal funding for stem cell research. That's right, the President said, this is a quote, the research could help cure brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and whatever it is I have." —Conan O'Brien

"According to the latest poll in the Washington Post, 63 percent of Americans said that so far they approve of President Bush. Not surprisingly, the other 37 percent are English teachers."
-Conan O'Brien

"President Bush gave his first-ever presidential radio address in both English and Spanish. Reaction was mixed, however, as people were trying to figure out which one was which."
-Dennis Miller

"Bush advisers have long been worried that a lagging economy could hamper the president's re-election chances. They hope that the Cabinet shake-up will provide a needed jolt. If that doesn't work, North Korea has to go." —Jon Stewart

"Bush the younger has two things going for him that his father never had. One: an easy charm with regular people and two: the power to make them disappear without a trial." —Bill Maher

"Did you see President Bush land on the aircraft carrier? President Bush told reporters on the carrier after he landed that the pilot actually let him fly the plane for a little bit. In a related story, Dick Cheney said that he once let President Bush run the country for a few minutes."
-Conan O'Brien

11.07.2004 at 3:49:00 AM

solace, connection, re-evaluation

the air grows colder and the last of the leaves grow damp on the ground. somehow every year around this time the days seem to speed up, time flies, and people are accelerating on an invisible path to the new year. it is the last ten days of ramadan, a time to reflect and search for that solace for which our souls are yearning. eid will be soon upon us, then turkey day will fly by, soon i will avoid malls for the crowds of christmas (don't worry i will hum carols and bake cookies). what have i done in this, my 25th year on this earth? a lot of things to think about and little time to do so. trying to lose myself in the inundation that is law school reading.

all of us seem to be in search of something. recently reading some utterances of shaykh abd al-qadir al-jilani, the great 11th century sufi saint of baghdad. from his ode of connection (qasidat al-wasila)

nazarta bi- 'aini 'l-fikri fi hani hadrati
habiban tajalla li'lqulubi fa-hannati

i saw with the eye of contemplation,
in the tavern of my presence
a Friend who revealed Himself to the hearts,
so they were filled with yearning.

*sidenote: it is not just the elections, but life in general which seems to need re-evaluation, not just now but always. but yes i, too, have been reading a lot of post-election articles. some of note or interest:
1. the optimism of uncertainty: howard zinn
2. open letter to the democratic party: how you could have had my vote
3. why they won: thomas frank
and things go on after the election, things still matter, so read on...
4. arafat died years ago: robert fisk
5. tide? or ivory snow? public power in the age of empire: arundhati roy
6. the war on iraq has made moral cowards of us all: scott ritter
7. fallujah and the reality of war: rahul mahajan (lest we forget that as the election clouds our vision, we are funding a routing of fallujah, the city of 1000 mosques. in the middle of ramadan, most inhabitants are fleeing their homes in fear of smart bombs to form shanty towns on the outskirts. of course any man between 15-60 is not allowed out in fear that he may be militant and of course most hospitals are being closed- both violations of the geneva conventions- but who needs those anyway?)

*suggestion: listen to ustad amjad ali khan on sarod: raag kausi kanada

11.03.2004 at 8:06:00 PM

please pass the duct-tape

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry" (A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway)

i can't express today. as i sit in ohio, i will use other people's words (if you said these things to me, thank you. please excuse me for sharing your words, but you all really helped me through today.)

"I walked out this morning and the sun was shining. I felt better. The wind was clear and crisp. I felt better. I cried all night - big searing, gulping sobs - I cried in my sleep. Ever have those dreams where you want to wake yourself up by screaming? I tried last night but never succeeded. I mourned like a loved one had died. There is an idea of America constructed in my head, built by my associations with the land, the people, the cities. It died last night. A new America was born last night. An imperial America, a theocratic America, an America built by fear and loathing. This great nation that can destroy anyone cowers from shadows. It fears the gay man who will destroy its families. It fears the slut teen who will kill her unborn child. It fears the brown man who will detonate a bomb in the mall. It fears the secular intellectual who will corrupt the youth." (Sepoy)

"(the) apathetic american population (inlcuding democrats) will all get over this, and everything will go back to business as usual, as long as i can have my starbucks in the morning and lunch at the drive thru at Mcdonalds in my SUV (hummer) and bomb a couple of countries when i feel snippish. ah, the american dream." (my sister)

"Sorry to have to put it this way, but WHAT ARE PEOPLE THINKING?!" (from abroad)

"I am slowly realizing that my country has gone to the religious right - the same phenomenon that masks political agendas and drives hatred all over the world and ultimately justifies systematic killings of civilians in the Middle East... Our president, who believes the laws of the US are derived from Gd, has clearly stated that he acts in order to fulfill Gd's will - not the will of the people of California, or New York, or DC, or anywhere else that sits as a terrorist target, not the poor people without health care, not the paraplegics who could benefit from stem cell research, not my neighbors who are gay, not Muslim-Americans, not school children in poor neighborhoods, not the people who want peace, not people who call for universal human rights" (a friend)

"Next semester's classes at the law school will now be: the history of civil liberties, the history of labor law (as both of these cease to exist), how to get canadian citizenship, jd's working at starbucks, how to speak canadian, election intimidation and the art of dis-enfranchisement, deportation as a vacation from life." (people trying to make me laugh at school)

"What gets me isn't that Bush won the election. It really isn't. It's the strong margin of victory. It's the fact that Republicans increased their House majority 2 seats. That Daschle was ejected. That the very blatantly racist Tom Coburn won in Oklahoma. That Gov. Knowles lost to someone appointed by her Dad in Alaska. That the most extreme wing of the Republican Party led it to a 55 seat majority" (Faraz)

"Ralph Nader- is now the equivalent of a swear word. If you are mad, just say it: RALPH NADER!" (sad friends as we watched the poll results come in)

"It was my pleasure." (a 70 year old black woman, in response to our congratulations, after she waited more than 7 hours to vote)

"Take time to feel the desolation and disappointment. But I remain confident that time is not on the side of the kind of values and politics that President Bush represents. It took conservatives two decades to build up the institutional muscle they have today. Though I was always nervous about the result, I thought we could win this election. But it was always naive to believe that that sort of institutional heft could be put together in 24 or 36 months" (Marshall)

"People now will not tolerate the United States behaving like the British and the French conquering countries and creating new colonies. The people of the Third World did not fight for independence for 200 years against the British and the French and the Dutch and the Belgians and every other little European country that thought it had the military and economic power to push brown and black and yellow people around because they had something that they wanted. Well, that period of history is past! The Vietnamese should have taught everybody this. You do not go and take over somebody else’s country."
"There are two ways for George Bush and Washington to learn this lesson. One will be a slaughter in Iraq and then decades of violence, where there will be people who will step off the sidewalk when they see an American, because they are so afraid. Or Americans will realize this is not the world that they want. It is a choice between wars of conquest, wars of colonization, things of the past, or the future based on a common, shared respect for everyone."
Can it really be that Americans have decided that this is the world they want?" (Podur quoting zia mian)

"I almost feel that smart people should go on strike for four years just in a kind of "Atlas Shrugged" way, except with the opposite politics. If you are a thinking person it's becoming impossible to go along with this program. And if he wins it's not even left vs. right, or red vs. blue anymore. It's thinking vs. not thinking, and the thinking people should go on strike." (Prof John-Paul Spiro)

"It's just a matter of time people. I truly believe that. We'll take our country back. Because this is the important stuff. We have all been brought together by this experience, and we WILL NOT forget again. They are counting on us forgetting, going back to sleep, resume complacency, nibble the grass like good little sheep. Ha. We are like insurgents ourselves: the more you beat us down the stronger we will get. Do the kids say "booyah" anymore?" (SCB)

"But we (meaning intelligent, fair-minded, civilized, mostly good-looking liberals) got f*ed by a bunch of Bible-thumping, gun-toting, gay-hating rednecks. And not just in the presidential election, but in a majority of elections. There are two Americas that are fundamentally opposed to each other. This is at the same time infuriating and terrifying. - So...I'm moving out of the country. Three questions: who's coming with me, where are we going, and what are we going to wear?" (Mulgrew)

"I think I will give everyone I know a lot of duct tape to try to hold their skulls together so when Bush talks their brains don't shoot out of the back of their heads." (Internebbish)

Please someone pass me the duct-tape.

11.02.2004 at 1:00:00 PM

nov 2: triumph of politics and populist anti-intellectualism over policy? you decide.

"In Broward County, Fla., this morning, a group of men set up a canopy under a tree in a parking lot outside a voter precinct in a union building, enticing voters with an unlikely breakfast of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, sodas, toast and jam. Many ate while in line and listened to loud blues music." (ny times)

mmmm. fried chicken sounds pretty good right about now. what an election day, the air is electric.

1. i drove to cincinnati to vote (wasn't going to chance absentee ballots), was at the polls at 6:25 am (right after suhoor). the line was already out the door and down the street. thankfully it only took 30 mins. checked for hanging chads and other such abnormalities, hopefully they will count my vote.

2. the lines are really, really long. a lot of people at school reported waits of more than 2 hours. for people who have to go to work or risk being fired, this is impossible! another way to dis-enfranchise the working class. (plus it is raining, a lot of soggy, unhappy people in line)

3. an estimated 15 million people have newly registered. however, skepticism about voter fraud is at its highest levels, ever!

4. at about 3 am, the 6th circuit court of appeals overturned the dist court, to allow republican challengers at polls. find out more about this and other election law at osu's special page.

5. thank you to all the people who called and emailed me this morning to remind me that i live in ohio and i should vote. thanks- i know and i remembered. (i even got international reminders- from my cousin in saudi to friends in the uk, everyone really cares about ohio, go figure)

6. i have this queasy feeling that bush is going to win. but jimmy breslin (of newsday) begs to differ. he forecasts a landslide by kerry, pretty funny. oh and even hunter s. thompson (yes of rum diaries)forecasts a win, or in his words:"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. We will march on a road of bones. Mahalo." or you can say bush is going to win and then plan for the future (or lack thereof).

7. i am monitoring tonight. hopefully we will know results tonight. well i can hope can't i? oh post your own election day story, i want to know how it went other places.

11.01.2004 at 10:44:00 AM

marianne moore

M in a vicious world-to love virtue
A in a craven world-to have courage
R in a treacherous world-to prove loyal
I in a wavering world-to stand firm

A in a cruel world-to show mercy
N in a biased world-to act justly
N in a shameless world-to live nobly
E in a hateful world-to forgive

M in a venal world-to be honest
O in a heartless world-to be human
O in a killing world-to create
R in a sick world-to be whole

E in an epoch of UNself-to be ONEself

-e.e. cummings

(pulitzer-prize winning poet, author, critic: marianne moore. she was a friend to many of the 20th century's greatest: t.s. eliot, ezra pound, e.e. cummings, and allen ginsberg)
(E. E. Cummings, who was born in 1894 and died in 1962, wrote many
poems with unconventional punctuation and capitalization, and unusual line, word, and even letter placements. he was most famous for his ideograms- noted as an extremely terse form of prose that combines both visual and auditory elements. contrary to popular belief, he did capitalize his name at times, but i am still a fan of his "lower-cased eye".)

at 1:10:00 AM


okay, busy with last minute election stuff, canvassing, etc. please go out there and vote. but since most of you are sick of hearing about the election, here is a hilarious bit off conan o'brien. okay so maybe it's a few weeks old, but it is still funny. i can't believe they sent him all the way to hyderabad! (woo hoo you get to see char minar).

note: you need winamp to play the clip.