Tuesday, June, 17, 08

Back…did you even notice?

Filed under: Uncategorized — theradishpress @ 10:53 am

I decided to not do this in Ireland. Write, I did. Post to the blog, no. I did not check email or surf the internet either. I was totally disconnected that way, and it was great. I fell in love with Ireland all over again and wished my stay was longer. I also have started looking at jobs over there. We’ll see what comes of that, if anything. I do love the feeling of no attachment.

And like previous travels mixed in with the endless stream of thoughts, it is making me think to get rid of a lot of things. Books, I tend to never want to rid myself of, but the truth is I have so many and so many that I have not read in a while, nor will I read in a while if at all again, that why not pass them on to someone else who will enjoy them? Not my children’s books though. Movies I think will be a little more difficult for me to get rid of…if at all. So there, there is my one thing I have major issue letting go. (NY made me appreciate libraries again. How the fuck did I manage to lose sight of that? UNIVERSITY).

Remember Jack’s realization that his possessions owned him…in Fight Club? (I know, it is an overrated movie, but you know what I am talking about). I feel that way often. The thought of having to move seems like a burden mostly because of the shit I have to move. I really don’t need much. I just think I do. I have a lot of clothes that don’t get warn as well. Really, I don’t need that many. Frankly, I just need a lot of underpants, ’cause my laundry revolves around that and now that I have to go out to do my laundry, I hate doing it.

I was even thinking that some of my Batman figures could go. I know, I know, blasphemy! But really, why not give them to some kid? Hello, Iskander and August were just born and need some Batman in their lives. It took a lot to give my horses to Tariq’s niece, but I did. And it will take a lot to give away the ones I have here, but I will. Also, I still have a lot of things in my parents’ house that I need to go through and figure out what is really worth holding on to. I should post some of my amazing stories from the second grade here. I found a lot of unicorns in the woods in the second grade. I also murdered Lori, which caused some concern…but that was the third grade. Eventually I graduated to the sixth grade with a vampire story that really does need to make an appearance here, purely for laughs. I have not read it in over 10 years so I am sure it is genius.

I will post about Ireland later. Maybe tomorrow. So much to say….!

Thursday, June, 5, 08

If you see something, say something. Something would be me.

I am getting ready to fly out tonight. Maz Jobrani – an Iranian comedian – jokes about how whenever he goes to the airport he suddenly feels paranoid, like maybe he does have a weapon on him or maybe he is a terrorist. I laughed when I first heard him say that, mostly because I always get the same feeling. So, I woke early this morning, around 630 with a heavy pain in my chest and deep rumble in my stomach. Here we go, I thought, panic attack. I sat up slowly. I thought maybe if I could get up and move around, but no, that didn’t help. And I was exhausted. I was too tired to be awake this early, especially without work today. I lay back down finally. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I am not afraid of flying. I never have been.
Airports, on the other hand, terrify me. They always have. I used to associate them with business trips my dad took, long far away places, for long far away months. I used to cry at the gate.
I hate airports because I am randomly searched, hands search my body for threats, eyes stare accusingly.
Agah sets off the red alert.
Now, though, without my scarf, I have managed to breeze through. My last flight was in the US and I was not stopped. I was almost angry. How dare they pass me by? How dare they ignore my blood? My religion?
Today I fly internationally. I have my scarf in my passport picture. I keep thinking I will be pulled aside for questioning. Why did you take it off? Who are you trying to fool? I always have smart-ass remarks in my head. But I shut down at the airport. I follow orders. The last thing I want is to be sitting in some orange jump suit waiting for my next torture session.
I sound paranoid because I am paranoid. And with reason. Anyone who doubts me, calls me crazy, well they can spend one day in my shoes, in my mind, in my heart.
I dreamt about a month ago that when trying to return from Ireland the US would not allow me back into the country. But instead of keeping me in Ireland they detained me at JFK, held me there for 2 weeks, tortured me. But I refused to speak. Not in Farsi, not in English. I remained silent and stone faced for 2 weeks. They will not break me, I thought. They will not make me confess to things I did not do. They will not make me turn on people I love. And all I could think is that they are going to get my family.
I was taught by this government, by this society, by this media, that I am a threat, that my people are threats. I have caught myself staring suspiciously at Muslims and Middle Easterners. I remember as a kid I sometimes thought, maybe Mommy and Baba really do work for the CIA and sometimes I thought maybe my family really is a threat to this country. When 9/11 happened I thought, maybe there is evidence against us, maybe we did do something! I felt so guilty for these thoughts, and feel guilty when I look on my own with suspicion. But do you see? Do you see what this world has done to me, to my people? And we are only one small group. We are only one group of oppressed peoples.
I read those posters in the subway about 1,944 New Yorkers seeing something and saying something and I wonder how many of the things that they saw were associated with Middle Easterners and Muslims and how many of those were actual threats, if any?
I am flying out tonight. I am flying out tonight. I will not be paranoid. I will not hate myself. I will not allow anyone or anything to bring suspicion upon myself. I will not be suspicious of any Muslim or Middle Easterner I see. I will love myself.

10. Waiting for Guffman

Filed under: movie list — theradishpress @ 1:49 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I know, I know. Christopher Guest is supposed to be hilarious and amazing. I like the 6 fingered man just as much as the next ROUS, and Best in Show is pretty priceless, but I have never seen Spinal Tap – mainly due to the fact that I spent the majority of my life thinking it was a real documentary – and I could not get past 10 minutes of this movie. Yes, it has a great cast. Parker Posey is generally all that is needed in order for my attention to be grabbed, but I felt like everyone knew they were being funny. Like it is a bunch of friends getting together to show each other and anyone else who will watch just how hilarious they are, but really they are mostly making themselves laugh. And okay, most comedies, particularly those made by and starring the same people, are like that. It is all about making themselves laugh, but I want to laugh too. I don’t need to be in on every freaking joke. OR, I need it to be really out there, like Stella. Just make it totally nuts so that I am laughing at how fucking weird it is, and awkwardly hilarious. I feel like Superbad was a lot of inside joking and cast and crew cracking each other up, but at least they dished out some awesomeness for the audience. Though, really…cop scenes, cut it short. Maybe I should give this another chance. Maybe Christopher Guest and his troupe are not my thing. I think the latter. Now every asshole Christopher Guest fan is going to go on about how great his movies are. I think Spinal Tap will remain like Titanic, not going to see it.

Tuesday, June, 3, 08


Filed under: a moment in my head,what do i know — theradishpress @ 10:40 am

After living in NY for almost one year and several months visiting John’s restaurant, I finally hung out with D outside of the restaurant. Of course, he’s moving and I am leaving this Thursday, so it only makes sense that I had a great time hanging out. I know that what I enjoy most is good conversation, and there was plenty of that. And despite his moving, I am glad we hung out. I prefer that over never having done so.

It is a reminder to me of something I realized about a month ago: I live in NY and need to start living in NY. I have allowed my social anxiety and anxieties overall really cloud my actions and prevent me from making connections with people. But I have been making an effort and enjoying it. I have been going out, whether it’s for cupcakes at 1030 or for drinks when I don’t drink, or dancing…well, I always enjoy dancing. I didn’t just move to NY for school, I also came to experience things. I think I was expecting some major shifts like happened in England. There have been some changes and other developments, maybe I am just more accustomed and less surprised by changes that occur.

I have been having some great conversations with T as well. We are both part of similar and same communities and our mixed identities have been especially prominent in our lives, particularly at present. In speaking with T and expressing my interest in reaching out to more people of color and mixed people, I also realized that I have been so bad about doing my own research, on finding things, places, people. I know there are Iranians in NY. A lot. And because of some of my past experiences of feeling not quite Iranian enough, I have shied from from locating any groups. I was part of a meetup collective of Iranians, but never went out with them.

So maybe this is my big shift, my comparable to England change. Me actually fighting my anxiety, not trying to hide it.

I am looking forward to this summer of travel, friends, family, concerts, and whatever else may happen.

Monday, June, 2, 08

little debbies worked out fine

The one thing that made me think we were not so bad off financially was Little Debbies. Baba bought everything in bulk. Baba did all the shopping once he quit his job because he was home all the time and patient enough to go around and find the cheapest things. Buying everything in bulk was important when it was on sale because it was cheaper and would last FOREVER. I swear some things were never eaten.

Anyway, one of the things we had lots of were Little Debbies. I don’t even know if they exist anymore. But we had the chocolate peanut butter waffle bars, whatever the hell they were called, brownies (which I loved), zebra cakes (also delicious), and my least two favourites which were always available because everyone knows they suck: oatmeal cream pies and star crunch. The cream in the former was way too sweet and not even creamy and the latter was a mass of rice krispies stuck together with some sort of caramel and then covered in chocolate. Much like Merry Munchers these desserts were purchased because Mommy and Baba knew we wanted sweets. Much like Merry Munchers, I ate these last two, but I also did not like them. I guess it’s hard to complain about something not tasting great when you are still shoving it down your face.

I do not hold it against Baba for quitting his job. He did it on principal. He stood up for what he believes in, and that took a lot, especially knowing how it would impact his family. I am actually glad he quit working for the IMF. I know that I would have seen the world so differently. I would have seen people so differently. And I am fairly certain that I would be a major privileged AHole.

As a result of my upbringing, particularly the lack of knowledge around our financial situation, I have a strange relationship with money. I think I always will. In college I took out student loans and I worked at least 2 jobs the entire length of my undergrad – except for the three months I did study abroad in England, which my same cousin Ahmad who helped our family out before, paid for…cause he is awesome and does not charge interest like thieving banks – sometimes 3. All of that money, stupidly, except for a small amount I saved, was spent on movies, eating out, books, music, etc. I thought to myself, money will come and money will go. There is no need to save it. Of course, then I graduated and had a hard time getting a full-time job and knew that I would need to start paying back all those loans that I took out.

I have only worked to pay off debt. I have not worked for enjoyment, for love, for knowledge. My jobs after graduation have had nothing to do with my interests. And part of me is okay with that. Once I managed to get a job that pays my rent in NY and has allowed me to put aside a little bit on rare occasions, I found myself slipping a little into that same mentality I had as an undergrad: money will come and go, you can spend it. And while it is true, I cannot operate like that. The funny thing is, that as anxious and nervous about being unemployed that I was, when I did not have a job in NY I was happiest. I was creative and productive and wandered around a lot. There is a lot to do without money. And I could not fall back on my parents. I could, yes, call Ahmad. But I would not. It was a little bit of a pride and a lot of not wanting to have my cousin, yet again, come rescue an Agah.

I keep learning and remembering and reminding that I do not need a lot. I do not need name brands of the little that I do need. I do not need the many pairs of pants I have, the endless supply of books and movies and music, all the shirts, all of it. It is an overload of things. I have told myself this for years and I go through purges and get rid and then get more as if I might lose what I already have.

My relationship with money is one of mistrust, broken promises, deceit, and abandonment. I just have to figure out how to navigate through that sort of relationship.

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