TAM

Jan. 5th, 2010 10:09 am
merchimerch: (Default)
I am very impressed with The American Muslim as a voice for moderate/progressive interpretations of Islam.

I'm linking an article below that especially impressed me, since it discusses an edict the the Prophet Muhammad made to Christians at St. Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai.

The opening sentence is especially apt: "Muslims and Christians together constitute over fifty percent of the world and if they lived in peace, we will be half way to world peace."

http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/prophet_muhammads_promise_to_christians/0017819
merchimerch: (Default)
I don't actually hate my job, but today's A Softer World still resonates:

http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=517
merchimerch: (Default)
I'll try to avoid spoiling anything in case I'm not the last person on the internets to have finished watching Children of Earth.

But seriously, could it get more tragic? And Gwen being just so incredibly human through all of it, when the world's gone insane and cruel and she just feels like the soul if this were a morality play by Hildegard von Bingen.

From where I'm sitting, it's just such an overwhelmingly bitter commentary on the jaded cruelty that institutions allow us to wreak on each other.

It wouldn't feel this icky if it weren't done so well. (Could I fit another negative in that sentence? Probably not.)
merchimerch: (Default)
One of my yoga instructors (Kelly Blaser) just sent this Hafiz poem in her news letter. I love some of the imagery in it, like old depressive habits still sending out invitations and squeezing drops of sun from prayers and music. Anyhow, here it is for my preservation and your enjoyment:


Cast All Your Votes For Dancing

I know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.

I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.

But you are with the Friend now
And look so much stronger.

You can stay that way
And even bloom!

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions' beautiful laughter.

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From the sacred hands and glance of your Beloved
And, my dear,
From the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel.

You are with the Friend now.
Learn what actions of yours delight Him,
What actions of yours bring freedom
And Love.

Whenever you say God's name, dear pilgrim,
My ears wish my head was missing
So they could finally kiss each other
And applaud all your nourishing wisdom!

O keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions' beautiful laughter

And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Now, sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all your votes for Dancing!

~ Hafiz ~

Kucinich

Nov. 10th, 2009 03:32 pm
merchimerch: (Default)
So Dennis Kucinich (Ohio Representative who has run for president) voted against the health care reform bill. Does anyone know why? I thought that he was for health care reform, so I'm wondering what stipulation it was that put him into the "no" pile.

Aziza!

Oct. 25th, 2009 08:27 am
merchimerch: (Default)
I accompanied my Bosnian to his former coworker and friend's birthday party that was just amazing last night. It was held Morrocan place in SF called Aziza (on Geary) where the food was just impeccable -- all very Middle Eastern/Morrocan, but much more upscale than I've ever tasted. They had tables of 5 and brought out 5 appetizers and 5 main courses for everyone to share. So much food that I'm still full, but I LOVED the way this worked out -- much better than either separate entrees or a buffet. My favorites were a pastry wrapped spiced chicken pie that was very complex and had such a wonderful combination of textures and their lamb was the most succulent that I've ever tasted. The best appetizer was a fava bean bake with feta cheese and oregano oil. The whole meal was just over-the-top good. Also, near the restaurant we found a Russian/Georgian bakery where I found the Georgian khatachpuri that I fell in love with in Tashkent. So, if we ever get hungry today (which seems doubtful right now), I get to introduce my Bosnian to Georgian doughy-eggy-cheesy goodness.

package!

Oct. 22nd, 2009 11:16 am
merchimerch: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ame_chan's package of modest clothes arrived yesterday and they're wonderful. I'm wearing the skirt today to work and am THRILLED to have a skirt that is long enough without having to tug it down around my hips. Thank you so much.

The non-jersey top won't fit over my square shoulders, but there is a hijabi Uzbek in the bay area who I think might enjoy it.

Also, last week, a packaged arrive with a gorgeous purple and white hand beaded necklace from [livejournal.com profile] balivatn. I wore that to work last week and it went' perfectly with one of my purple work tops.

I feel feel completely prettied up with non-shopped-for goodies.
merchimerch: (Default)
I just made 2 large pans of zeljanica (Bosnian for spanikopita) and a bonus tiny pan of apple plum chai spice filo pie.

The Bosnian mommy makes it way better than I do.

She spends hours pouring over each leaf of spinach to assure that it is washed and trimmed to her standards.

My zeljanica will never rival hers, but I mixed it up, baked it, and had it out of the oven in a total of 45 minutes.

I really love fast food that isn't fast food.

cable news

Sep. 30th, 2009 09:41 am
merchimerch: (Default)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/30/fox-news-dominates-3q-200_n_304260.html
So the ratings for cable news are out and MSNBC and CNN are losing viewers, while Fox News is gaining them.

I can't help wondering if people who watch CNN and MSNBC have switched to internet viewing as the Bosnian and I have. Or maybe we're becoming a nation of birthers...
merchimerch: (Default)
(of which I can now claim to be one -- my Bosnian and I rode down the Los Gatos Creek Trail for the first time last night -- he now has a bike - hurray!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LydEn_cJ-dM

BCP

Sep. 26th, 2009 12:48 pm
merchimerch: (Default)
I am so glad that I don't take birth control pills. It seems as though they are always finding new kinds and brands of hormonal birth control that are *supposed* to be safer and end up having the same problems or worse. The latest frightening study is on Yaz and Yasmin, the BCP that I saw marketed all over Tashkent in the early 2000s as a cure for acne and menstrual cramps:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/health/26contracept.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp
merchimerch: (Default)
Yay, new Miss Platnum video on You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6lGgPkM7uY&feature=player_embedded

And, there's a free download of "Drink Sister Drink" on www.missplatnum.com

the guild

Aug. 17th, 2009 11:07 am
merchimerch: (Default)
I'm a nerd, but I love this (and so does my Bosnian -- he's singing along with it right now, about a 4th below Felicia Day):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urNyg1ftMIU
merchimerch: (Default)
I slept past 5 a.m. for the first time since I've arrived home :)

I got up for church at 9, then picked up my Bosnian for the Campbell farmers market and we had a lovely time walking and buying delicious tomatoes and stone fruit among other things. Then he surprised me by taking me to Aqui's for organic Cal-Mexican brunch. We're now home and collapsed on the couch with 2 laptops and 2 kitties and life is good.

Hopefully I'll manage to make babaghanoosh and carrot-fennel-sweet potato soup before heading out for a contra dance with a Quebecois band, Crowfoot, tonight.

It's good to be home :)
merchimerch: (Default)
My cat mo has hyperthyroidism and needs to have meds every day now (luckily she still likes Greenies, so it's not a major pain to give them to her).

My Bosnian and I are heading up to Oregon next weekend for a bit of a family reunion and need someone to come over once a day to feed and water the cats and give Mo her meds Fri-Sun 8/21-8/23. Does anyone know anyone or feel like doing this themselves? I'd be happy to compensate with baked goods or cash, as appropriate.
merchimerch: (Default)
I'm home :)
merchimerch: (Default)
Those of you who know me in person are aware that I'm rather buxom. This makes some yoga poses rather...interesting.

My Bosnian has been a yoga enthusiast for at least six months now, but until today he stuck with all-level or beginner classes, so he missed out on some of the more advanced poses like head stand, suptavirasana (lying down kneeling pose), and plow pose (where you balance on your shoulders with your torso as vertical in the air as possible and your legs behind you over your head -- here's a visual aid: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/479).

Today was A's first intermediate level class and he was a total trooper when it came to trying the new poses.

Toward the end of class he came out of shoulder stand before I made the transition to plow (it was optional). So at this point I drop my legs to plow, allowing my boobs to flop down pretty much into my mouth as I fold from my hips. A chooses this moment to ask "Oh what pose is that?!?" I reply "mmmmpppph mmppppph," since I have a mouth full of sports bra and he starts chuckling and says "well honey, maybe this is a good time for us to have our little chats."

I busted up laughing. Not a mellow and respectful titter, but full on cackling and guffawing. It was raucous and disruptive. Luckily our yoga teacher likes rowdy students and laughing, so it was up her alley, but it was just such a perfect T&A yoga moment (though perhaps you had to be there).
merchimerch: (Default)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8076906.stm

http://www.kmbc.com/news/19615730/detail.html

http://www.kmbc.com/news/19616565/detail.html

This makes me so angry and sad. I really didn't think that such things would still be happening in the 21st century.

Killing in the name of protecting life is just so unfathomable.

RIP Dr. George Tiller and thank you for your service.
merchimerch: (Default)
The outrage over the CA Supreme Court's decision is being much better voiced by others, but I want to add a little of my perspective.

This seems like a very awkward compromise, letting 18K marriages stand yet outlawing any in the future. It is reminiscent of racist debates about how much hereditary blood line makes you of a certain race even if you "pass." This seems like an incredibly pointless line to draw in the sand. How are the marriages performed a year ago any more valid that those that would be performed now? I wonder what would happen if we had rogue counties and rogue courthouses starting to issue marriage licenses regardless of the sex of those applying.

This decision only underscores the very broken nature of California's proposition system. We should not have a popular vote to decide about human rights. Also, we shouldn't have a popular vote to decide whether or not to raise taxes. Our proposition system does not foster democratic ideals; unfortunately it only fosters fear mongering.

Last Tuesday we Californians lost our chance to raise taxes enough to keep our public education system on life support (barely) and to save other public services that are direly needed. Today Californians lost the basic human right to marry whomever we choose. What's on the docket for next Tuesday?

Also, how can we really do this at a time when so many other states are acknowledging that marriage is a basic human right? I shudder to think that I live in a state that falls down on the right-wing, religiously extreme side of this conflict.

I wonder if the court decided to uphold the existing marriages so as to avoid the legal argument to transform ALL legal marriage in the state into civil union. That's a change I would get behind. I'm happy to allow marriage to be a religious term and to clearly delineate and separate it from the legal and civil concept.

We've always struggled to keep church and state separate in this country, but right now? Epic failure.

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