Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tolerance.. A double entendre?
(picture: Jananne El-Ani)
Are we living a universal Nazi regime all over again?
Nazism is pathological aberration of German romance. The romantics opposed to the idea of the universal man and they favored not the abstract human being but the tradition and the race. As a result to that, man has become labeled by his culture and his origin and background became like a second skin that could be a prison. The map of the world became a mosaic that kept people separated as opposed to the melting pot that it should be and human interactions through out the world now consist of North-South leaving out the East-West.

Multiculturalism is about the inter-cultural relationships. It is about learning from each other and it becomes a challenge when there is no understanding of what the culture is. It is similar to the fanatic modesty of the French population that leaves immigrants clueless as to what constitutes being French. Nowadays the Western intellectuals are posing an atheist monoculture which could be the reason behind the persecution of Muslims in Europe. In the United States, Islam is not considered a threat to multiculturalism and that could be a reason why Muslims are left to their practices in the US more than Europe. Berlin is considered the 3rd largest Turkish city for example since 25% of the population is Muslim. The population of Muslims is France is larger than the population of Libya.

It seems that the solution posed today to the Islamic presence in Europe is to encourage secularism, or modern Islam. Nilufer Gole in her book "Interpretations: Islam and Europe" explains the effect of the transition between old and new Europe on the integration of Islam in European countries. The debate about Muslim immigration, Islamic headwear in public schools, the terrorist attacks in European cities, and Turkey’s membership in the European Union all indicated the ways in which Islam was entering the public sphere of Europe. The term secular Islam is just a term to describe non-practicing Muslims by birth who have adopted the ‘western way’. I find it hypocritical to expect those Muslim immigrants to leave their culture behind in order to integrate in the European culture. I also think this contradicts with the term multiculturalism and defeats the nature of the argument.

I attended one of the lectures at the New York Public Library as part of the PEN organized New York Festival of International Literature presiding Salman Rushdie (whom I had the chance to meet). The discussion entitled “The limits of tolerance: Multiculturalism now”. During which and on the subject of Islamic culture in Germany, Necla Kelek said “Turkish men made a journey 40 years ago to Germany and despite the years, the Turkish Muslims are not integrated in the German culture. They kept their Islamic traditional beliefs. They live in a world where they are supported by a bigger Islam. The way women wear the veil reflects the level of fundamentalism and the black chador for example is a sign of organized religion. The women only exist in the shadow of their husbands and that is the basis of the religion”.

I disagree almost entirely with the previously stated view on Islam in general and Islamic women in particular. The scarf that Muslim women wear, which is not mandatory in Islam, is in no way an indication of weakness or being subjected to the man.

I came across a very nice view on the Islamic veil in a piece done by Jananne El-Ani, who is a Palestinian artist whose work is currently shown at the museum of modern arts as part of the "without boundary: seventeen ways of looking" exhibition of Islamic arts (a term invented in Europe in the 19th century, to describe the art of a vast region stretching from Indonesia to Morocco). In her photograph, she depicted 5 women in various stages of veiling giving the room to the viewer to interrupt the process and disrupt a very private journey. The faces are very confrontational despite the normal cliché of the veil subjecting the women. The cover could be very powerful. Her portrayal of women contradicts expectations rejecting conformity to any dress code.

I do not understand why the head scarf is even an issue. Maybe the declaration of one’s religion makes people more uncomfortable. I have said it before and I will say it again. The head scarf is not obligatory in the Islamic religion. Islam does not give an inferior position to women but men give an inferior position to women given the chance in any religion. This is strongly manifested in some Islamic countries nowadays for the fact that these are impoverished countries due to wars which leads to ignorance and misinterpretation and misuse of religion in the name of power.

The European countries that Muslims migrate to should practice what they preach and be, themselves, tolerant to the manifestation of the Islamic religion and open to other cultures. Westernizing Islam through the creation of the secular European hidden and shy Islam is not the answer.

I have to say that I personally hate the veil. I do not hate what it represents though and I can not judge people who wear it or try to impose my sense of culture or fashion on others. Freedom includes the freedom of speech, writing, thinking, wearing what you want and practicing your religion in any shape or form it entails.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The time of causes is long gone..

I was dining with some friends at a Lebanese restaurant in Manhattan. I stepped out to smoke a cigarette with Mike, a Palestinian guy who has been living in the US most of his life. He was a very frail boy with a lot of determination and a lot of dignity. He had a trait that you can never miss in young Palestinian men. The children of the silent revolution and the brothers of the Intifada kids all had the same look. They all had this silent sadness about them. This feeling of never belonging and never complaining but revolting on the inside that strikes you as you spot one of them. They are the children of heroic fathers, never afraid of death. They are the children of heroic strong mothers, Jean Genet characters for mothers, women fighting next to men, feeding their children the love of the earth with every drop of milk. We had stepped out for me to calm down. I had just realized what Carl, the Lebanese guy who was at our dinner table, does for a living. I almost couldn’t look at him anymore when he told me that he worked as an informant for the army. Charlie joined us. Charlie was also a Lebanese man who is residing in the country for the lack of something he could do back home. He agreed when I told him that he is only hiding here and that there was nothing holding him from going back. I do not know what happened to Charlie after that. He was a chunky little man wearing a cheap suit that night. He gave fake smiles left and right and stroked his sweaty palms waiting for tip from the gentlemen at my table. Right then and there you could sum him up as the opportunistic money-loving man he was. They told me to calm down about Carl. I could not understand how I could. I was never an advocate of war or killing or being a tool of taking any life. When you grow up in a time of war though and you see massacres being committed in the name of occupation towards you and your race, you become an advocate of retaliation.
- I think our men are heroes and they fight with what they have. I think the men fighting in our south and in Palestine are no different than those kids throwing stones, a man with no power is like a kid with all the passion and drive and innocence, the difference though is that they know their cause and they know their logic and they protect their land. It is only considered terrorism, when we are defending ourselves with our bodies, because it is not organized crime like what they commit against us.

I let out some of my feelings that night and I was called naïve and idealistic. Charlie only cared about money and he would sell his mother for some bucks. I was hoping Mike would support me on this. To my surprise he took the same position as Charlie.

- What land he said and what cause? People are in despair and they are hungry. People died and struggled and got humiliated and stranded for life for the name of a cause that was an illusion, a gold mine for the politicians and the so-called leaders. People are just poor and hungry. I guarantee you it would be a much better solution for all these families in the camps in Lebanon and in Palestine to be compensated and they would sell the cause to live. People just want to live.

- To live persecuted? To live without dignity?
- We are so egoistic in our idealistic views and we sit back here and expect those families not to give up when all they care about by now is to have some of what you have.
- We all live the burden of hypocrisy I guess. I would not go as far as Carl did and be a traitor.
- But what is being done right now is that they are trying to put an end to those extremists who are executing operations throughout the world, killing innocent people and having nothing to do with the Palestinian situation.

- What about the war in Iraq? Some of these Arabic men are working against the situation is Iraq. I had a roommate who came up to me one day asking me to teach him Arabic. I said I might and when I asked what he needs to learn it for, he told me that he will enroll in the army and will go to fight in Iraq. I explained to him that he was asking me to arm him against my people. He did not see what I meant. He came back one day saying that he only needed some clarifications about a couple of sentences. I thought he would never learn Arabic and there was no harm in helping him with a sentence or two. He had downloaded pages from the internet that translate war lingo into Arabic. I was disgusted as I was reading it. Sentences like, oksof l3adow, kill the enemy. Who is the enemy? It is us. Then I thought who did this? Who wrote this and could not look at it for a minute. Your friend there, sir, is doing exactly that. How can I forgive him for that?
- I am telling you, you are naïve
- I surely hope the world still has enough naïve people.

The time of causes might be gone but can you forgive?
What is the extent of our involvement or lack of it?
And if we are not helping, how could we help the offender?
A quarter century of AIDS.

In the 25th year since the first confirmed appearance of the HIV virus, this meeting attempted to tackle issues concerning the immense unanswered challenges posed by the scope of the AIDS calamity, particularly in the developing world. The CNN Primetime Special, "The End of AIDS: A Global Summit with President Clinton” was held on April 28. “Through providing the world citizenry with a platform for a new global dialogue, the next 25 years will mark the anniversary of the last cases of AIDS”The meeting was hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and attended by special panelists including President Bill Clinton of the Clinton Global Initiative and activist and actor Richard Gere. The program assembled the leading voices and stakeholders confronting the global AIDS crisis today. From the worlds of business, government, the media, international relief agencies, activists and the religious community, the intention was to marshal the efforts and ideas of all parties who are truly equipped to make a difference and find workable, practical answers to this modern scourge. If you are interested in taking a part in this global fight to eradicate AIDS, join the AIDS Walk NY is Sunday May 21st at 10:00am. There is nomandatory donation but GHMC is a great organization and any fundraisingyou're able to do will be greatly appreciated!
Damn Hippies ?

I was sitting with my friend at a café in the east village having some cappuccino on what turned out to be a really cold night. The most wonderful thing about New York would have to be the street traffic and being able to talk to people randomly. Earlier in the day, I had the most stimulating talk with this old gentlemen waiting in line for the museum door to open. A German Jew who came up to my friend and I as he peaked into her booklet where she kept her Arabic phrases. He wanted to discuss Paradise Now when he knew I was an Arab and then he started telling me about the big war and the inflation and how he came to this country. I watched as his daughter showed up and he gave her the tenderest kiss and I felt so close to this man. It is amazing that hate creates hate and retaliation but people like me and him just want to live in peace. While shivering in the café, this woman who was passing by invited herself to our conversation and started preaching about the little organization that she leads with a group of her artist friends (this is the link she gave me It turns out that their organization is a bunch of people who live together independently of the “system”. They do not condone the consumption-based society that we live in that could only lead to more hate and exploitation of people. Those people live up from their art and try to communicate and reach out to as much people as possible.
- This all sounds good but you still go to the store though and use merchandise and you’re wearing designer earrings.
- Yes of course, we cannot live entirely without the society
- Fair enough, you are part of the community. It is always good to spread the love and communication message you’re talking about even when it’s a bit idealistic, don’t you think. Having said that, you still see love everywhere. I saw many couples in love at the park today. The manifestation of affection could be more hidden nowadays because it is becoming harder to people to find and live love on a daily basis in this racy life we lead.
- Exactly, and that’s why we’re here to try to remind people who are tired of wars and cheating and exploitation that they could live away from all that.
- And do what? What is your solution? What sort of economical plan have you people devised? You lead this sort of life, well good for you to have this privilege but you guys are artists. What can people with jobs that require being at corporations do? Do you suggest we all quit the jobs that lead to more exploitation? All jobs do and all corporations are rotten but what is the solution and where do you start? Should we all leave our jobs and sit and love each other? Start what revolution exactly.
- People are miserable though
- Who said everybody is supposed to be happy?
- Do you want to buy the Tshirt?
- No, that's another form of consumption and I should be against that.
Feast for the i
We are particularly proud of our resident scientist Jeff Wyckoff for being acclaimed for his recent show. Jeff is a living example of how art and science are more related than we think. He understands that, through looking within our selves and our bodies, we should be able to observe a beauty similar to that of the beauty of nature and to project it through art. Jeff is able to embody the life that most of us dream of. He acquired the privilege to surf the knowledge and to have a message and a true belief and understanding of both worlds. “Jeffrey Wyckoff uses his own scientific findings as a medium to make works of art. Science to him is a tool. It is the smallest common denominator out of which grows an extremely varied artistic production. When he employs traditional artistic media such as those of drawing, painting, sculpture and photography, science is used as their subject matter. Reversely, when Wyckoff works with scientific materials like microslides and petri dishes, the images that are transferred onto them contain references to the history of photography and of art in general”(
"The particular richness of Wyckoff's work comes forth out of this permanent oscillation and interchange between two very different systems in our society: science and art. Fascinated by the chaotic beauty of the microscopic, he translates these impressions to macroscopic images. On this ordered level, the blown-up scientific elements operate as aesthetic works of art, and have become part of a different system of meaning".
His recent piece of work, which was acclaimed in the LA times (,1,7027388.story?ctrack=1&cset=true) was a time lapse movie showing his blood cells in motion. The movie was made on one of our inverted microscopes, which i call the solitude (as opposed to other microscopes called the darkness and patience).
The movie, along with others from other artists played on an ipod. As opposed to his other shows, this movie was not accompanied by any sound and no pseudocolor added to the cells which made it even the more real and striking. He said to me, it's just simple that way. And it was true, away from the scientific atmosphere, you felt like you were looking at your cells in the most intimate way and it was brilliant.
If you have interest in science or art, learn his name and follow up on him, he's very good at both

Thursday, April 27, 2006

As per the wonderful Anessa
Invisible children

Northern Uganda called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today because of the lack of attention.
1- 1.7 million people forcefully displaced.
2- An estimated 20-50,000 children abducted to fight as soldiers.
3- Tens of thousands of children commuting nightly (to escape)
4- 130 people dies per day in Northern Uganda due to violence

On April 29th in over 130 cities across the country are lying down to demand:
1-End the conflict and protect the civilians of Northern Uganda
2-Ensure adequate humanitarian assistance to the invisible children (in internally displaced camps and beyond)

The overnight march will take place in the following cities:
San Francisco
Florida (multiple cities)
St. Louis

check the link in the title for more information

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Meeting don Juan Diego Florez

Sudden delight
Valses, criollos, marineras, boleros, rancheras
And tango… sentimiento latino...

" Let me tell you, man of lima
let me tell you of the glory
of the dreams that comes from memories
of the old bridge, the river and the promenade.

Let me tell you about it,
now while the memory still has its perfume,
while my dream still shimmer
the old bridge, the river and the promenade.

Jasmine blossom in her hair and roses in her cheeks,
the cinnamon flower would walk by, graceful
and alluring, and leaving in her wake
the aroma of the perfume she wore on her breast.

From the bridge to the promenade,
her slender feet take her along the path
that trembles to the rythm of her hips,
she would pick up the laugh of the river breeze
and cast it to the wind, from the bridge to the promenade.

Let me tell you,
ah, let me tell you, dark-haired man, my thoughts,
and see if they wake you from your dream,
the dream, dark-haired man, ruled over by your heart.

Breathe in the charms
of the cinnamon flower,
cover her with jasmine blossom,
adding to her loveliness,
strew the bridge
and garland the promenade
for the river will flow in time with
her steps along the path.

And remember...
jasmine blossom in her hair and roses in her
From the bridge to the promenade..."

Remembering princesa alameda..The faint lights.. our promenade.. The soft whispers.. San Juan..
Who pays the price?

(painting: Susan dorothea white)

Faced with the demands of the modern life, we have transcended above our bodily sins and human-bound inclinations only to embrace a new set of sins. Life on the fast track has made it difficult for us to maintain our romantic nature that allows us to be more in contact with our emotions. This phenomenon is deeply rooted in the nature of our urban existence and its impact is directly implemented and reflected in the contemporary artistic and literary work. Instead of ‘anger’, we now react with indifference and we have lost our lust for a more practical celibacy. Lust that could include our lust for life and our thrive to love and to react and be angry and happy. Our emotions are dampened since we have a very narrow window for emotions and human interactions. Workaholism has taken the place of sloth. In case we considered workaholism as a synonym for restlessness defined as one the five hindrances holding from enlightenment in Buddhism, then we have not adopted a new sin. Our workaholism is feeding our indifference and has replaced those intermittent instances of sloth that could very well be a window to self-meditate as well as reach out for moments of clarity and spirituality. Instead of pride that has created immortal pieces of work and ballades chanting with the glory of humanity, we now dwell in self-effacement and self-doubt and ego phobias that will portray our generation as cowardice and voiceless. Along with self-denial we have adopted all forms of sins of the memory (as defined by Daniel Schacter). And while the sin of bias results from forgetfulness that is a healthy part of our cognitive nature, it gets aggravated in our modern times due to workaholism and indifference. The lack of empathy with the human race comes from our indifference to issues that do not directly affect us fueled with self-doubt and the necessity to excel in order to survive the economical demands of our modern societies.
In short we’re in trouble but we don’t care because we’re too busy.
The question that remains though is who suffers from our indifference?
Who suffers from our biases and misjudgments? who are we working so hard for?
Are we sucking up to the system that is killing us?
Who is paying the price?
What a Freak!!!!

He will drown himself this Monday. He will live under water in a specially built human aquarium (an eight-foot acrylic sphere) for a week. The event will be in full public view in front of the Lincoln center. Afterwards, he will attempt to hold his breath under water longer than any other human being (8 min and 58 sec). During the 7 days, you will have the chance to watch him closely and communicate with him. I truly think David is one of the best illusionists of our days. His levitation technique still bewilders the masses and his high physical and mental endurance is to be acknowledged. Come by. It'll be fun!
My heart still belongs to the mindfreak though..
Alive for the lack of death?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I am bored…
I have always had a higher tendency to get bored. I feel unchallenged and unstimulated faced with many instances and many directions in my every day life. Lately I have reached a new level where I think I am bored with life in general and this is not, in any way, acute. This feeling has been creeping into my life for quite sometime now and throughout the years I have eliminated many involvements, even emotional ones, which I ceased to react to.

I eat half a meal; listen to bits of songs, read half books, and I get tired in the middle of an experiment, in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a kiss. I want the practical end of a relationship and the short version of a life. I look tired and I feel tired. I am bored and done with conceptual solutions to keep busy and have a meaning of all of this. I am not sad in any way, I am bored with sadness, I am just dried up and numb. I am bored of the same faces, the same places, my keys, my wardrobe, my computer, with love and this country. I am bored of the same voices, the potentials and the lack of, the accumulated papers I have to read, the next step that is long due and I’m bored with you. Now I’m bored with this post
Check out the post
(taken from cafe da's blog)

Monday, April 24, 2006

when love comes to town

Her friend caught her looking at her reflection
- Whatcha doin’?
- What? Nothing..
- You like this guy don’t you?
- I actually think I do
- So what’s the problem?
- Nothing, it just feels strange, could it be real? I feel like I’m in a dream
- He likes you a lot
- How would you know that?
- I think everybody at that table pretty much knew.
she smiles….

Only when she thought he couldn’t be the perfect man
he talked…
And he spoke the language dear to her heart
He told her she danced like heaven
she thought that he looked like heaven
In his eyes she saw her stories
They talked the night away
He whispered in her ears, and she laughed like a child
He knew her and she knew him…

Girl, where have you been all my life?
Where have you been all mine?
He could read her mind
I’m leaving tomorrow but I’ll be back for good
I’ll be here
You won’t forget about me?
How could i?
So this is for real?
I’m pretty sure…

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Are you kidding me? (check the link)

Do I tell my wrist to forgive the pain
Do I undo your cigarette burn
Do I wipe my eyes to forgetness
You have created the gap
With your indifference
Jealousy, screams…madness
and you leave me to this?
the end is this?

Happiness is a thought frozen in time
Hidden in the future
tucked in the hope
of one day forgetting
How dare you leave?
Who gave you the right to do so?
And you ask me to pick up and go
And my coat is in your closet
And my bags are always packed
They have been sealed for 10 years
and where to go,
hell! Where?
And how do you think this is fair

You stayed?
Have I not made you love me
Have I not washed your feet with tears
Have I not wiped the steps before you
You think I’m your consolation plan
You get lost and lose me on your way
And you feel threatened and lonely
If I ever find my way
Now we both are lost and hurting
And I’m never taking you back
Are you happy now?

you've always liked the taste of those tears
well fear not
plenty will come
you damned man...

Dark night
Bell rings
Phone abstains

Tea cup
Leaves succumb
In the mist of my pain

Fog on the walls
Hidden Ponds
Electric rain

Clouds floating
Blood smudging
Under the train

Bursting veins

Wet lilies
Behold the beast
Master of disdain

Sliding road
Unwanted child
wrong lane

Strokes of wind
Wet shoulder
How vain

Lost umbrella
Who knows where

keep it sane

Bubbles in her mouth
She calls it art

she calls it art
And Since we're on Haiku..

The jerk
at the soda fountain
leaks in her hand

nailed on the door

her body
curved on a couch
a smile














"Le secret d'ennuyer est celui de tout dire."
El primero beso...

will keep you posted :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Just for kicks!

Bigger than life ...

- Do you love me still?
- Is my name still the same?
- You never say it these days
- Darling you make my days
- A woman needs to hear
- You know to me you’re dear
- Dear? What happened to your muse
- Your love I did not lose
- Tell me then my love
- You are not, anymore, my dreams
You are not a strike of a brush
You do not make me blush
I do not roam the earth for you
My heart doesn’t stop at the sight of you
I do not get chills when you touch me
I do not die after you kiss me
You are now my past, present and future
You are my compass, my address, my eyeglasses
You drew every wrinkle on my body
You fixed my food, my appointments, my children
You were a mother to them and me
You witnessed my peaks and my falls
and you stayed through it all
You gave me your all and all what to be
You are a melody that eases me to sleep
You are a face I embrace my mornings with
You are the reason I keep living
And without you my heart ceases
For you commend him to keep beating
Till death do us part…

She said
this is your father
this is the man I opened my eyes to
this is my husband
this is the man who loved me all my life
he is my unwritten biography
I’ve written it on his forehead
I’ve written it in his every move
Every little habit,
Every look of respect he gives me
He is my story
And he will be the end of it
it’s better to know
the person you love is dead
than living every life’s detail
without you on his side

so till death do us part...

(pic, central park)

Friday, April 21, 2006

She just wants to play...

In all seasons,
she will play.
From time to time,
she might sing.
She will look up to the sky,
and twirl.
Talk to the birds,
in her heart.
She would run,
in the wild.
Hug the trees,
and hide from bees.
But she lives free,
free as a child...

In all seasons,
she’s a child
she is carefree
and she’s pure
she has a white dress on
and she lets nature
draw on it
the most colorful painting
she kisses flowers
and drinks from the rain
she loves the sun
and loves to run
and she lives the beauty
of being a child...

In all seasons
and through all times
she needs protection
she's born to be loved
she doesn’t care for war
she wants to play
she doesn’t like blood
she is not to be raised on hate
don’t fight for her
she gets scared
she cried for other children
who die for her
she thinks they kill in her name
and she hides her face in shame

What are you going to say to her,
When she grows

and she knows?

(Picture: central park)

The midnight whisperer...

he whispered to me...
A Friday wish

Take me back to Alania
where i bathe on the sand
while i flirt with the moon
And let the water tingle my hand
Take me back to Alania
Where I step in Cleopatra’s trails
Where I dream of what once was
And have a hundred tales
Tell him I’m back to Alania
He knows where I’ll be
He should remember the day
When we marked our love in the sea
Take me back
How i want to go back..

(Picture: Alania, Turkey 2000)
Some selections for Zee

From the Koran:

“Be kind to parents,
and the near kinsman,
And to orphans,
and to the needy,
And to the neighbour
who is of kin,
And to the neighbour
who is a stranger,
And to the companion
at your side,
And to the traveler,
and to that your Right hands own.
Surely God loves not The proud and the boastful” (The Women)

“And We sent,
following In their footsteps,
Jesus Son of Mary,
confirming The Torah before him;
And We gave to him The Gospel,
wherein Is guidance and light,
And confirming the Torah Before it,
as a guidance and an admonition
Unto the god fearing”
“And We have sent down to thee the Book
with the truth,
confirming the Book that was before it,
and assuring it.” (The Table)

“ It is not piety, that you turn your faces to the East and to the West.
True piety is this: To believe in God, and the Last Day,
The angels, the Book, and the prophets,
To give of one’s substance, however cherished,
To kinsmen, and orphans,
The needy, the traveler, beggars,
And to ransom the slave,
To perform the prayer, to pay the alms.” (The Cow)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Have you heard anything?

I heard on the evening news on Future tv that, for the first time, Israel was finally indicted of 'war crimes' for the genocide that took place in Qana in April 1996 by the UN. I thought not that it matters but at least people would hear the story and know what happened.

Headline news: The Tel-aviv bombing: Teenage bomber who shook the Middle East (the times, the independent, le monde and our papers)

Nothing about Qana though! Maybe i'll find something online. it's too early to be online. I'll look anyway. Maybe i mispelled it. Qana, Quana, Kana... Nothing the next day either.

Anybody heard anything?

and so we'll always remember,

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On etait tous amoureux..

So that we won't forget

and waiting for his book to come out...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

And in a different outfit.

At night
when we leave
she puts on a different outfit
that pleases the night
she borrows from the stars
her shores wink to the bridges
with thousand little jewels
she flirts with the city
the waves caresses her feet
and the lovers silently watch
at their hidden bench
while she makes love
at night
Born 50 years apart

(in pencil)

She borrowed your somber look
Your nervous mouth, your crooked nose
She hasn’t seen you
You were born 50 years apart.
Blue again..

My attempt at Picasso
"La lune est le reve du soleil "

- So why did you come?
- I don’t know, to remember I guess, and to relive some of the old days
- Makes sense. (Knowing him, it didn’t make sense. It would have made even less sense hadn’t they stated the premise of the proposal prior to that conversation).
- Do you remember when we first met?
- Yes. (He went off talking about some details here and there, purposely missing out some images that were still vivid in her mind. It was a kiss she would never forget. The way he positioned the events told her that he remembered very well).
- You still wear the same perfume
- Yes and how do you remember my perfume?
- I don’t know. I just remember I guess.
- That’s flattering. (She knew exactly how he remembered. He had told her once before that his girl wore the same scent. Back then when he mentioned his girl, he didn’t apologize. This time when he mentioned another, he apologized and tried to make it sound less than it is. She knew it was more than that. A woman can sense these things so she kept quiet. She respected that he wanted to leave her with this small homage even when he didn’t have it in him and she wanted to give him the satisfaction even when she didn’t have it in her). It just feels absurd to me that one would inexplicably make an effort to revive a little memory that was awkward to begin with.
- I suppose that’s true
- I suppose
- I don’t like your hair that way. (She thought that her hair was not his to like or dislike but she kept quiet. She understood his sweet attempt to make her think he fancied a grade of weight and importance on her appearance or in her life. It was sweet. It went in concert with the make believe instances of intimacy and romance that crossed her mind and that crossed their pseudo-friendship over the years).
- It will grow. (If only he knew he should relax and stop nervously trying to amend something that didn’t need to be justified. In him, she saw a dear face from the past. After years of longing to the past and to the home, she was glad with encountering any memory- revoking face, even when the less pleasant memories follow). There’s that thing again.
- Yes. A shark not a dolphin
- Oh. (She remembers very well the conversation this was in reference to in the isolated part of the house but she kept quiet. She then listened as he was talking about his work. She saw his face lighting up with passion. She almost felt proud of him but it wasn’t her place to be so she kept quiet). You leave soon?

He stayed for hours and left..
Their green bench was now some bar stools
Some tossed towels and some empty dishes
For moments they had the memories
For moments they were calm in each other’s arms
Even when they were worlds apart
Like they always were before
Like they will always be…
Like the moon and the sun
For he was the son of the morning rays
And she was the daughter of the moon
It was in her name
That he won’t pronounce…

I think any artistic attempt we make has to categorize either as realistic or romantic and I think that we are blessed in an instance when art losely relates to life.

(Picture: courtesy of Wilfrid Hoffacker, journal photgraphique, le monde)

Monday, April 17, 2006

In the words of your favorite woman

"Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me"
*Maya Angelou*

And you're phenomenal to me.
Une soiree avec le fabuleux monsieur Bassil...

- Let’s go to the cafe des arcades. I love the atmosphere over there.
- When is Carla coming?
- She’ll join us soon. She went with Jackie for some Couscous at the Cartier Latin. You know Jackie, the girl from Chile.
- Yes sure.
- I wanted to go to that club yesterday but the hostess said “ici madame nous avons une boite strictement pour garcons homosexuals”. I didn’t see what the harm was with us girls going there. I wanted Jackie to have some fun. She was very upset after all her money was taken. We ended up going to Versailles for the night. The ride was longer than we expected. We got there too late and we forgot that the subways here don’t run all the time. Finally we found a park across the street. On the way there we got terrified at the sight of the gruesome ghost-like windows of the chateau. Suddenly we start running. We slept on a bench in the park and we froze up. At 6 in the morning we went to hide inside the metro station and then we made it to the tour. Where were you yesterday?
- Lana wanted to see Hugo’s apartment. We did that since it was free then we took a walk at Tuillerie and had ice cream. At night we went to duplex. We would separate and she would seduce guys to buy her drinks then we would share them. How is your book coming?
- It’s going well.
- I added a character in my play that was inspired by you. This play has to work. The tv show will stop soon. Who was the guy who was with you the other day?
- It was a guy we ran into at rue Pigal. Since we’re absolutely broke, Sylvain managed to trick him into inviting us to lunch. He couldn’t resist after watching him buy all this soap. We were so embarrassed though when he wanted to take the lift up to Montmartre and we could not go along with it. The pennies we had put together would not make the fee. Sylvain told him that I was dying to go to pere Lachaise so we ran away. I hope I never see him again in my life. We’re living like bumps here. I think it’s time to go back. I’m stuffing my purse every morning with the free crumbs we get at the youth hostel. I have to walk from Porte de Bagnolet to Pasteur to go see Sylvain every morning.
- At least you know Paris very well by now.
- It’s time to go home.
- I have to finish writing. What happened to the guy you met at Monte Cristo?
- We met again the day after like “les amoureux des bancs publics” on the first bench. We had drinks and we danced with some strangers. He was very charming and he had the most contagious smile I’ve ever seen. It felt like love at first sight. While saying goodbye, he kept waving to me like he wouldn’t want me to leave his sight and agreed to another date. The next day I had a cold. It was last Monday when it was raining. He took care of me and got me a cab. I didn’t have any money for the cab though but I couldn’t tell him that. Luckily he was on my way so he took care of it. I told him that I was flying the next day and he got so upset. We were almost in tears and didn’t want to leave each other. He gave me his phone number in case I come back one day. Before I left, he hugged me for a long time, with the meter running, like he never wanted to let go. Then I found out that I was staying and I was so excited to the idea of seeing him again. So I rang him over and over and no one came to the phone.
- Oh well...
Good Toni is here. Maybe we can get him to buy us dinner.
He fakes death for half an hour every day.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Our lazy sundays

- I had another nightmare last night
- Again?
- Yes.
- What about?
- I don’t know. It was very fictional and inexplicably scary. I kept seeing these two persons, who have never met in place or time in my life, and both were implicated in issues that will harm me, in the dream of course.
- It must be this movie you saw. It was very dark and a real downer
- I loved the movie though. You didn’t understand the symbolism maybe because you slept through most of it.
- Probably.
- So happy pass over by the way
- Thanks
- For the lack of knowledge of a better greeting
- Good enough
- I took your jelly beans
- No, give it back
- No
- Give it
- No, they’re mine now
- How come
- Well, I’m the Israel of jelly beans
- Oh yeah
- Yeah
- How come we can’t share? Our jelly beans will co-live in the same container
- No, you might have the yellow ones. Mine will surround yours though and I might eat some of yours too.
- Oh yeah, my jelly beans will suicide bomb your jelly beans
- You said things will be fine by the time my hair grows down to my shoulders. Well things are not changing.
- Yeah, stop cutting your hair. So you’ll see him again?
- What happened to the other shoe?
- Same as the other glove
- I never have a pair of anything
- What are you going to name the other cat?
- The other cat
- Why did you get it?
- Two is better than one. They will keep each other company.
- But they’re killing each other
- Eventually they’ll give up
- No they won’t. So you’ll see him again?
- I heard you the first time.
- And?
- And I didn’t answer the first time
- Answer me, this is ridiculous
- No this is private
- What’s so great about him anyway?
- He’s a concept.
- Why couldn’t he be more
- I don’t want to ruin him
- How so?
- I want him to stay a vision, an illusion, a dream of a life and a promise of happiness. I want him a moment of excitement and joy. I want him a sensation before the lips touch, fingers cross and bodies embrace. I want a reflection behind stained glass of a perfect man. I want pieces of a puzzle and no clue how to solve it. I want him a mystery.
- And how do you ruin him?
- I don’t want to reach the bottom of the well. I don’t want to know everything he does or plans on doing. I don’t want to foresee his every step. I don’t want to know his face more than he does and know how he looks on the inside more than he thinks I do. I don’t want him to stop talking about me to his friends. I don’t ever want to be ‘the other one’. I don’t want him to lead an existence without me even when he’s right in my face. I don’t want to know him in and out. I don’t want to be so vulnerable to him just because I know what goes in his head. I don’t want to lose my ways because he knows me better than I know myself. I don’t want to waste another ten years of my life.
- So you’re trying to protect yourself
- Once and for all
- You’re jumping way ahead
- You don’t say
- You can’t live without love forever. Go see him.
- I probably will.. Now where’s that shoe?
- Give me my jelly beans I give you your shoe.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Could I?

"Could I but ride indefinite,
As doth the meadow-bee,
And visit only where I liked,
And no man visit me,
And flirt all day with buttercups,

And marry whom I may,
And dwell a little everywhere,
Or better, run away
With no police to follow,

Or chase me if I do,
Till I should jump peninsulas
To get away from you,
I said, but just to be a bee

Upon a raft of air,
And row in nowhere all day long,
And anchor off the bar,
What liberty! So captives deem
Who tight in dungeons are."

*Emily Dickinson*

Always together...Never apart...

Like in your picture.. like in my heart.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Take a walk with me…

I fall in love very easily and out of it even easier. I get drunk every now and then. I love wine. I love watching movies on Friday nights at home. I love when people ask me questions, even scientific ones. I never eat breakfast. I do laundry once a month, when things are dirty I buy new stuff. I can’t sleep without music. I never forget a friend. I like random aimless walks. I enjoy a nice little piece of gossip. I never miss dinner. I have coffee every day. I never baked a cake. I love to dance. I’m a good dancer. I hurry up home on Saturday to watch SNL for the good old days. I love to travel and I like horror movies. I lie when I need to but never to harm anyone else as much as to protect myself. I don’t like first dates. I love pictures. I give people too many chances and get disappointed but I will keep on doing it. I love to swim. I love to color my hair. I love surprises. I love techno. I want to retire in Turkey. I love to read with a glass of wine and Callas singing. I hate to workout. I hate when people tell me to take it easy. I never save anything, including money. i don't like planning. I don’t like stereotypes but I can understand where they come from. I hate to cook under pressure. I love to throw parties. I love 3 letter names. I hate compliments. I procrastinate as much as I can. I am lazy. I shaved my head so that I won’t comb my hair. I am workaholic too. You figure it out. My toes are too long and my fingers curve upwards. I respect women and have an honor code. I never hurt another woman. I love my sisters like I love myself. I love people who speak with authority and confidence but i hate arrogance. I don’t believe in God. I like going to the movies but I hate crowds. I love babies but don’t care for children. I hate teenagers. I say things before thinking. I am too honest but don’t mean to hurt. I love technology and I hate technology. I like to feel challenged but hate to be challenged. I hate being patronized. I’m scared of ghosts and public speaking. I hate dismissal. I’m border-line OCD but I’m sloppy. I tried all drugs but I don’t do drugs. I smoke and it will kill me. I love fashion. I love colors. I love nature but I’m an indoors city girl. I hate to be cold. I hate to be hot. I get hot flashes when I’m stressed out. I love the theater. I get quiet when I’m freaked out. I never felt safe and never had a home. I’m very sociable but I live alone. I’m very affectionate and passionate and warm but I live alone. I love men but don’t get along with any man I know. I have a tattoo. I dated a rock star. I have a scar. I have a weak heart. I’m smart just enough, pretty hardly enough, resealable and good to go. I’m very romantic and nostalgic and very practical and realistic. I’m down to earth and I live on the clouds. I sleep too much and I love my bath robe. I hate beer. I hate commercials. I analyze things too much and i'm too suspicious. it's hard for me to trust people but i finally do. I miss my country but I hate a lot about it. I love the good memories and I’m afraid to lose them. I’m happy with a new passion, a new hobby, a new book, an exciting look. I think work is sacred. I think love is hard to find. I think life is about the people that surround me. I think I’ll always need friends around me. I heal very fast. I have a good heart.
This is me, what about you?
Things of the past...

A mad look and an impatient heart
A lost language and fading memories separate us
A blank face and unreturned calls
A Pair of scissors and misplaced glasses separate us
An empty bed and a crying cat
A broken face and a one way ticket separate us
A picture torn in half
A hot casserole and a baked pie cry for your forgiveness
Endless nightmares and morning screams
A dying plant and a broken record cry for your forgiveness
Stacks of books and paintings
A baby that’s still waiting, crying for your forgiveness
A shadow of another man
Long hours of work separate us
My unpredictable life
My separate world separates us
My lingering regrets
The elaborate nets separate us
Take a good look
One last look
At half the picture
Half the memory
The other half I lost
I don’t have your shoulder anymore
To lean on
I don’t have your arms anymore
I don’t have your lips, your eyes anymore
My shoulders are bare of your face
My heart will swim in no man’s affection
My letters are lost in your direction
Keep me a memory,
And when you close your eyes
And rest your head
Every night
In another bed
And when you take another
In your arms
And when you rest your face
On another’s lap
And when you make her wait
And when you break her home
And when you taste her food
And control her mood
And when you break her heart
Don’t think of me…

I don't think of you...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wait. Stop. Go back..

Here’s a revolutionary article for you.
This article shows that certain events in the cell cycle that have long been assumed irreversible may, in fact, be reversible. For as long as i can remember, we assumed that protein degradation towards the end of mitotic events commits the cell to cell cycle exit and cytokinesis producing the two daughter cells. This article, and for the first time, challenges this dogma showing that, even past the cytokinesis checkpoint, the reactivation of a protein (cdk1 through inhibiting the degradation of Cyclin B and artificially washing out the direct cdk1 inhibitor) would rewind the process and takes the cell back to mitosis. In theory, as always, this process qualifies as a gold mine for anti-cancer therapeutics. This is as big as gene therapy and taxol. The problem that remains, though is to device a concept of a drug that will keep cdk1 active. This cannot be done through the inhibition of Cyclin B degradation by inhibiting the proteosome machinery since protein degradation is needed for many other events in the cell. Also directly inhibiting Cyclin B might cause problems to normal cells.

Aside from the implication in cancer therapy though, for now, this is a jaw dropping find. This is a typical example that shows you how little we actually know and how fascinating and complex all these cellular events are. Enjoy the read and watch the movie.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tell the sun to come out... It's spring

Des millions de larmes

He said he had to leave
In her heart she knew why
He had to leave
He could not understand
Why she kept still
Why she didn’t move
He will, one day, understand
That their story had passed
That he still lived in the past
Her sadness doesn’t matter now
Her laughs don’t inspire him now
And her little habits bother him now
He had found a home
Away from hers
She took him in her arms
And she choked
She can’t show her tears anymore
She had shed too many tears for him
Over the years
He took her in his arms
And he shivered
She had never seen him cry
She never will
He was a stranger
The dearest stranger
‘Call me’,
and she gives him one of her best smiles
‘I will…’
‘I do this for you’
‘yes love, and me for you’
they were quiet
their love is bigger than words
he can feel her
she could read him
and she was calm
for the first time
she knew she would be fine
she had him in her heart
and now he was before her eyes
but she was ready
this time she was ready
to send him away
she didn’t go to the door
they promised never to say goodbye

with all that I am
all the love,
all what’s left of the memories
the dreams and the whimsical gestures
the crazy expressions and the childish laughs
all the mistakes of the years
all what I know of love
all what I will never know
with the secrets of women
the tears of men
the morning light and endless nights
the smell of the beach
the songs you sang for me
the books I read for you
the stories we told
side by side
to so many friends
in so many places
for our tree
that is now green
with every breath I missed
when my eyes lost you
with every laugh you laughed
at me when I was scared
for the days of longing
and the time of belonging
take me in your arms
my love
one more time
before you leave…
Inside the halo and beyond...

You come, you visit, you stay
You wrap me like a soft shell
And you promise of another day
Leave me with a smile and a smell

You’re a halo, a dream, a memory
A girl’s faith in beauty and life
You’re a body of light and a face of ivory
Looks of fervor and ardent thrive

Every time you come to life, I lose my senses.
Every time you materialize I turn defenseless.
Take me back to our happy place...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pleasures of the flesh...

Keep going..

I see a hair
Painted on
Stuck on the tiles
Part of the concrete
heavy smells
the smell of rubber
The stuffy air
Sweat dripping from my neck
And from my hair
Keep on going...

Vessels in motion
And faces with no names
Robotic reactions
unholly interactions
Flesh with no shame
A surfacing face
A lit face
A touch of warmth
A picture in a frame
smiles on the walls
and voices
do not stop

The rhythm speeds up
my heart beats up
a closed door
and bodies squeaking
twirling like snakes
oozing with fluids
of passion and of physical pain
blushing foreheads
frowning eyes
gushing fronts
almost there..

I see the light
Murmurs in the back of my head
My chest is heavy now
My muscles are spastic now
My skin is burning now
My legs are shaking
And I moan with ecstasy
I am numb
I am done
you can stop now..

I light a cigarette
take a shower
And leave the gym.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mon frere... mon petit..

My love exhibited a heroic effort today. He resisted temptations and avoided altercations against who wanted to do us harm. Some ill-spirited creatures who wanted to see us apart. In my eyes he had grown immensely. Today he is a better person than me. I will say it to the world like I said it before. He undid so many prior injustices and past misunderstandings. He was a hero. He was a giant. He had risen above human ulterior motifs. Rest assured I will never forget this. He gave me a gift. He gave me the gift of a lifetime. I am proud. I am touched. He was there so many times before to save me. Today he saved us. He believed in us. How I wish for every human being to experience the kind of connection we have. How we hide the mutual respect and the self-sacrifice in the corners of the walls that we built separately. How I hurt when I hurt him and he feels my pain. How he cries if he comes short and I ease his worries. How I am a better person when I know him and when I love him. I will forever be indicted of not loving him selflessly enough. I will forever be grateful for his mere being.
Oh how I wish for you to have a fraction of what we share.
Only a maternal love would ever compare.
I pray, my baby, for you,
my little brother.
I pray to the goodness in me and you
and i pray in my heart
my little dysfunctional heart
that my eyes will see yours through

and he responded...
To Robert and Anne...

I had an evening of typical Lebanese animosity and bad news
that will resonate
for who knows how long.
Did not care.
I went out on the town.
With my favorite buddy.
To my favorite place.
Still is
and will always be
like a lebanese wedding
my favorite place
Had a couple of beers.
Ran into the dearest couple.
Tonight they are.
Her with her relentless innocence and beauty inside out.
A half Lebanese half American Shakira loving goddess
And him.
The lovely.
The man who dances on the bar.
To make us laugh.
Who curses us out left and right.
To make us laugh.
And with the gorgeous lovely couple
we dance Dabke.
and he yells at Ziko
asking for 3arabe
Just back.
With a heart full of hope.
In people, I will always have hope.
And I’m tipsy on life
And I will always celebrate people
And friends
who will join me
As long as we dance
On each bar of this damn city
And every city
I will always have him in my heart
And in my conscious
For him I live
And I drink
For him I survive
But meanwhile,
dance with me
raise your glasses
and laugh
My hips can’t lie
and neither can yours
tonight is for life
tonight is for innocent laughs
beautiful friends
and a promise...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cancers are like snowflakes in their uniqueness.

(pic. compilation from

Friday, April 07, 2006

Science.. What is it good for?

I still remember reading into biology books and getting very enticed and challenged whenever I would reach the end of a section describing an unknown function of a protein or a gene. I remember the way I used to eat up pathways and go through them in my head like reciting poetry. I remember the scientific discussions with the new comers and the fresh ideas about how to cure a disease or another. I remember the hopeful passages of significance we included in dissertations and proposals about a non-ventured route in drug development and a potential gold mine for therapeutics. I remember knowing all there is to know about the intricate cross talks and upstream and downstream regulators that lead to cancer. All what could go wrong and all what could fix it. I remember walking to the lab everyday going through the hospital, faces, shaved heads and little hopeful kids and I remember the vow we took to keep working and to make a difference. We wanted to make a difference and we believed that this is the ultimate selfless way to do it.

For years we were pupils of greatness, void of any self-interest. To us, this was the noble venue, far from being money-oriented and far from the glamour or the instant gratification of immediate care giving professions. Science was our salt and bread. It was what we lived for; it was our passion and existence. Part of us had the discipline to love science for the knowledge and the intrigue; we called them the NSH group. Others were NIH idealists, including myself, and we believed in funding for human’s sake. We did not care about funding for imaging spectroscopy of compositional maps of Saturn's moon Phoebe and we did not care about crystal trays of some gene in yeast that did not have human homology. We cared about money for human diseases. We cared about every penny and every minute of a researcher’s time and focus to go towards curing diseases. We could not bear looking at those ill faces while we stood useless and we would not stand for indifference. The idea of an AIDS vaccine not made available for people so that it won’t encourage teenagers to go and be wild with it and the funding cuts on the way to war, these were our battles and our issues. We had big dreams and we were rivals on the way to save humanity.

After a decade of science, I wonder what is left of our hopes and dreams. I wonder if P. still wants that private research facility. I wonder if the cuts on funding will persist in the post-Bush era. I wonder if people lost faith in us; that if we haven’t lost faith ourselves. Every now and then you are reminded of what you’re here for. Some people give you a feeling of importance and make you want to believe again, others through passive dismissal and hidden disapproval make you want to prove how great this profession is. Someone argued that one cannot compare the nobility of the medical profession to someone who goes to lab everyday based on the fact that doctors get an immediate satisfaction in making a difference. I am happy for this person to think that his job is the greatest of professions if this helps him perform better. But just for the sake of arguing, isn’t a nobler mission when you are making a huge difference in the life of the masses without even getting the slight recognition or monetary compensation? To each his own.

A recent significance passage from a proposal: In the last two decades an enormous effort has been produced to understand the biological and genetic bases of cancer, a progress fueled by both industry and government based research. Unfortunately, relatively few innovative therapies have been introduced in the clinics that proved to be more successful than or as powerful as available drugs. Drug development is certainly a difficult, time consuming process, and the success rates of new compounds that pass clinical trials is very low. This in turn slows down the appearance of new drugs that use innovative mechanisms of action to treat cancer. The bulk of modern chemotherapy is indeed still based on combination therapies that feature anti-mitotic drugs, like vinca alkaloids and taxanes, very effective molecules which target the function of the microtubule cytoskeleton. A major concern of these therapies is the development of resistance in some individuals and strong side effects which include neuropathies caused by the interference with microtubule function. In fact, I am exceptionally proud of my department chair who got the lifetime achievement award for introducing the use of taxanes into chemotherapy and who is still grounded enough to talk to me about hair dyes.

The use of anti-mitotic approaches is old fashioned now since mitosis, as we all know, is crucial in health as well for immunogenesis. The latest craze in research was apoptosis. The gold card in cancer therapy. Instead of inhibiting the cancer cells from dividing, which could affect the healthy cells, reactivate their controlled death. Brilliant, we all thought. Unfortunately though, and like most other phenomena, the amount of genes and proteins responsible for apoptosis would make your head spin too. BAK and BAD and BCL-1 and BCL-X and bim and dim and little tim and DIABLO (we started getting quirky with the names) and LAT and Syk and src and Fyn and FAK and rho and rac… names much as they are combinations for the alphabet and more. Proteins that cross talk in all possible ways. I remember my professor laughing when I asked how could a tumor suppressor be also an oncogene in response to the same stimulus and in the same cell line?

We went from that to cancer cell motility. If you can’t kill it and you can’t make it stop dividing, break its legs. Brilliant we thought. We want to disable breast adenocarcinoma from metastasizing. Keep on dreaming. Every pathway is different, at every time, at every subcellular location, in every cell line, within the same tumor, in each hand, in different labs and more. And even when a consensus is reached to the best fit of our best ability and best assessment, it will be different in vivo. Mice or rats and how old and what tumor. Is it the same in humans? Of course not and start again. And they still ask you, are we close to curing cancer? You want to say, the more we know the less we know and the less we hope, but it’s better to keep quiet. Asking me to cure cancer is like asking an underground rail road worker in Manhattan to build the infrastructure in Iraq and more. Cancers are like snowflakes in their uniqueness. Scientists find it to be fascinating and I think it’s fascinating that they do. My mom still doesn’t know what I exactly work on. So a drug that will kill tumors? No. a specific kind of tumors? No. A chemotherapeutic potential? No. What then? I work on understanding the localization of a specific protein, that is upregulated in some cancer cell lines some times, in response to a specific stimulus at a specific time under very rare conditions in vitro in a very specific cell line extracted from rats…

Maybe he’s right. Maybe P. quit. Maybe the age of big discoveries is long gone. Maybe we’re just nitpicking to keep the government money rolling to keep our doors open and people working. Maybe. Maybe science is good for nothing. Maybe Cancer won. An exquisite fascinating disease. An accumulation of minute mutations that is completely unique in every case and every human body. Maybe I don’t care anymore and that left me with nothing.

We say we’re godless and we only believe in science. Well guess who proved to be a bigger prick?

For better or worse though, it is who i am and it is what i do.
Why Blog?

written by Donald Brook, 2002.

"There are, I'm sure, as many reasons to keep weblogs as there are weblogs authors, however, some common threads surely exist between them. What could motivate someone to keep a public journal of their innermost thoughts? What possible reasons would someone have? Are some legitimately insightful or original, of course! Are most? No, probably not. So why? Well, I think most can be classified into one (or many) of several basic categories.

The Reverse Voyeur. This person suffers from a serious personal attention debt. I think this probably accounts for the majority of weblog authors. Not so much an exhibitionist, they aren't making a spectacle of themselves in order to attract attention, no these people simply wish to be spied on intimately. They crave attention from someone else in their lives, they wish that someone would see them for who they really are and want to spend real time with them. Some are quite balanced persons who, for whatever reasons, have become recently socially disabled and crave the contact of another human being in some way...these acute cases probably cure themselves after human contact is resumed. Others are simply social outcasts who have never received quality human attention and to them, the weblog is a vast unknown audience that actually listens to their thoughts, cares about their opinions, and listens to their jokes. All of these persons are reaching out into the void in the hopes that someone will read their digital thoughts and the thought that they are communicating with others (even though no one else may be listening) is comforting. It is the same phenomenon found in many religions, as followers pray into the void, knowing the communication is one way, but the hoping that their thoughts are being received by the heavens brings them peace in some way. These people should be shot on sight and all their genetic material vaporized...fucking losers. Chronic Reverse Voyeurs probably need sex worse than normal people need oxygen.* A side note about my use of the term "reverse voyeur". It's not an official term, but one I adopted to differentiate between an exhibitionist, who makes a spectacle of in an effort to _draw_ attention to themselves, and the reverse of a voyeur, who simply likes to look at other people intimately. A "reverse voyeur", then, in my terminology, would be someone who likes to be _looked at_ intimately, however, does nothing to attract others to give them attention, aside from simply _being_. The physical analogs of each might be an exhibitionist, who runs down the street naked, and the reverse voyeur, who just _wishes_ that someone would peep through their open window while they are taking a shower.

The Exhibitionist. These people are genuinely out there trying to wiggle their junk in everyone's faces. They are ACTIVELY making a nuisance of themselves via their weblogs in order to draw attention. They rant about controversial topics and take the side most likely to produce the largest public outcry from their readers. They want attention and don't care if it's bad or good, they just need someone to pay them attention. The Exhibitionist often evolves out of failed attempts at other weblogger archetypes in the same way that the frantic struggles of a drowning swimmer evolve from the patient water-treading that slowly drains their physical reserves. They are the kids that behave badly in school because it gets them noticed. These people deserve all the bad attention they can get...let them wallow in their filth and enjoy the show.

The Self-Important Moron. These people honestly believe that they have 'listeners' who actually care what they think about the various topics they rant about in their weblogs. They believe that their opinions matter in the grand scheme of things. They are typically idealists who believe that one-person-can-make-a-difference bullshit applies to them personally or that they are somehow more enlightened than the rest of us schmucks. They tend to be rather self-involved or often highly opinionated about one particular subject area (politics, music, etc.) and feel that their random meanderings on the subject are justified by their profound and unique insight into it. Truth is, nobody really fucking cares what these people think. These people deserve to be sodomized with a red-hot poker and slowly eaten alive by army ants.

The Obsessive-Delusional Ranter. These people can't turn it off. They fixate on everything and NEED to talk about it. These are the people you have to find an excuse to walk away from occasionally because they just fucking won't shut the hell up. They have an opinion on everything, whether they do or not. Often, their weblogs are unfocused, blindly-meandering, blatherfests that may start on one topic and end up passing through twenty new topics before finally ending in a non sequitur or some comment about a failed love affair two years ago. They'll talk about the oatmeal they had for breakfast and come up with four reasons not to talk to chipmunks on a weekday and then get started on their opinions about Jewish footwear, all in the same log entry. They are severely agitated personalities who hunger constantly to express all the myriad thoughts in their head, but often have no one to listen to them (see: Reverse Voyeur, above) or just no one around at the time to listen to them. These people need a pre-frontal lobotomy followed by a cinderblock head message or a morphine drip and a phat blunt.

The Town Crier. This person uses weblogs to announce things. Typically, the Town Crier archetype doesn't really use weblogs for anything other than to let the void know about important events in his or her life. Anything worth writing on a calendar is typically fair game; anniversaries, birthdays, kid's first tooth, new car purchase, new computer part, interesting event at work, etc. This person seems to think that people are watching their weblog intently for updates, hoping to get a glimpse into the fascinating world that is their own. Maybe they've told someone in their family about their weblog and assume that that person is looking at it occasionally for updates (and maybe one or two is). This person really doesn't invest much time in their weblog, they are often hovering on the use-not-use line somewhere, but haven't made the move to completely abandon their weblog yet. Often they are recovering "bloggers" who have previously been much more active in their weblog authoring, but have, as of late, begun to create entries less often because of outside influences and actual honest to goodness life. Weblog authors who are _only_ Town Criers have a chance, they can be saved, but typically only by themselves.

The Tragically Geek. This person is a depressing realization of all that is bad in the land of the nerd. They may be very powerful geeks in their own right, excellent programmers or scientists or mathematicians or philosophers, but they've lost their soul to the world of the geek and will probably never get it back. They live in front of a monitor, they follow the weblogs of friends and write their own weblogs because they realize their friends will read theirs too, friends typically known by aliases like 'warzd00d' or 'Ph33rFr33k' or 'No>The Ego Stroker. This weblogger is sortof a cross between a Reverse Voyeur and Self-Important Moron. A feeling of zero self-worth leads this weblogger to reach to the void for validation of their lives. In real life, this dumbass probably does the same thing to everyone they meet. They tell you about their day, they tell you about something they did, all in the hopes that you'll provide them with the sort of approval their Daddy never gave them. This weblogger listens to the silence and assumes that nothing is better than someone saying something bad about what they've done and, like a fourteen-year-old with a Hustler, masturbates their self-esteem to the rhythm of the keyboard clicks. This weblogger is often depressed, sad, and lonely...basically a fucking looser who needs a reality check written in whatever comes out when they get a steel-toed Redwing to the temporal lobe.

The Crossover Poster. This weblogger isn't satisfied with just talking about THEIR stupid moronic opinions, they have to crosspost with someone ELSE's stupid moronic opinions, link to THEIR weblog and then create a weblog entry that regurgitates the other person's post, then expands on their personal feelings about the original post, what it means to them in the deepest most fluffy happy pathetic useless fucked-up places of their hearts. Not _only_ can these dipshits not come up with something useful to post in their own weblogs, they feel the need to post something so badly, that they steal someone else's content to feed their insatiable need to beg the universe for attention. These people need to be set on fire and put out with a switchblade.

The Aspiring Writer. This weblogger is probably one or many of the other weblogger personality archetypes and is using the excuse that they are an aspiring writer to justify their meaningless drivel. They'll marvel at how wonderful it is to have a printing press in every home, or they'll talk about how their weblog helps validate their writing and builds writing skills, steadfastly ignoring the fact that they could do the exact same thing WITHOUT a weblog and not publicly. They are undoubtedly following some other agenda or fulfilling some other need, but have found an excuse that seems acceptable in their minds that justifies the electronic equivalent to holding up a big sign that says, "Please look at me! I'm important! Listen to me!" These people need to just accept what they are and deal with it or dive on a pitchfork.

The Pedant (a subclassification of Self Important Moron). This weblogger is basically the same asshole/bitch you know that enjoys arguing about the stupidest, most minute details of whatever subject they are ranting about at the time. They'll argue about usage rules for an English word or rant about how a senator wears his shoes. They'll feverishly pontificate about how nobody seems to understand or use correctly some esoteric networking protocol or how nobody seems to understand their horror at something Microsoft did. These people are utterly without lives and write weblog entries more as a way to pass the horrible lonely waking hours between work and sleep. Unfortunately, there's no cure for the Pedants of the world, they just continue to bitch and moan their whole lives and even sometimes manage to find others like them, much to the eternal annoyment of the rest of the norms. Pedants are fucking arrogant annoying twats that need a railroad spike wedged in their aorta.

This is by no means meant to be a complete list. There are many many more ways that a weblog author can be a fucked up person...this list is meant as a demonstration of a handful of the mindfucked attitudes weblog authors may be experiencing".

I am pretty sure that, as you read this, you will find a lot of truth into it and you would probably fit in one or more of the categories, i know i do. I find it ironic that so many people seem to be worked up about this harmless phenomenon. It is very simple, if you don't like it, don't read it. i know a lot of blogs out there are in no way an addition to anybody's knoweledge or daily gain of information and that it is just taking up virtual space, including mine. What's the problem with that?. So let them keep bashing, we're just gonna keep on blogging. Reverse voyeurs, attention seekers, exhibitionists, geeks and criers, we only write for the people who read and in many cases we write to rant and vent out. I see it as a healthy medium of expression. It is also a mean where you can be creative as opposed to the daily jobs and errands that, by now, we perform blindly and with no soul.