White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Listening to Rachmaninov's 2nd symphony: on a rainy fall day, working on the proposal, glancing over my beautiful red, yellow green tree.... sank in the extreme beauty of this piece!

I can't find a musical instrument that as mesmerizing as clarinet. The sound of this instrument when it resides on an string orchestra is just heavenly! The other night when I heard Mahler's 1st symphony, among the many magnificent moments of the piece, there was a andante segment that really got me frozen.... It was some moments of clarinet solo on top of strings.

In the 5th movement of Rach-2, you can find some of the best clarinet moments ...
PS: If one day I have a daughter, I'll encourage her to get clarinet lessons.

Monday, September 29, 2008

blog problem

ok, apparently there is something wrong with my blog. the blog readers don't show all my content.... working on it.

ps: it should be fine now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sixty Seconds to what?

That's the cool title of a track by Morricone's legendary work For A Few Dollars More.
And that's the state of things on these strange days:

A fast paced trends of events that are difficult to fully grasp:

- The Fall of Wall Street and strange bail out plan that government rescue plan that republicans are putting forward. This much government intervention from a republican bill! And that will kill the whole economic agenda of next president either MacCain or Obama!

- Ahmadinejad's visit to UN was less of a circus this year. Attentions were similar to Khatami's visit in 2001. However Ahmadinejad continued to make a fool of himself in every press conference by answering crap and questioning things in USA. Typical eastern attitude: When something works one time, do it 1000 times!! Now even western media knows that this guy is just a big mouth and nothing more.

- Election season is hot.... Palin's buzz is almost over and the economy is finally bringing some substance to the debates.... The first debate went ok. I expected more from Obama and thought he was not as impressive as usual, but apparently people thought different and he's been called the winner of the debate. Actually it really doesn't matter who wins the debate. I remember that Kerry was superior in all debates, yet at the end ....

- Paul Newman's death: I haven't seen many of his films, but his performance in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" bring so much of memories. I remember how much for film crazies like me and Omid, finding this film and watching it in one of reletive's house (who had a VCR), was a huge deal.... That could make a few days of our lives. We were just melted into TV's screen seeing the brliant acting of Newman and Elizabeth Taylor....

- Gone Baby Gone: It was strong and certainly beyond entertainment. A debate between practicality and fighting for values.... It leaves you there fighting between two school of thoughts... each one with interesting points... Strong actings and script.

- Siavash writes me about his partner's departure.... This one was so tough to swallow really... I almost cried by his message....
- So much of stories come from every direction: Elena, Les, K1, Mike, ... Their struggles to live ...
- The baby boom continues ... I leave it there.

- Proposal, proposal and proposal!! And many many questions ahead!!! I'm in that 9th of minute of a treamill run....

- The coziness of my house keeps me happy. Yes it's kind of superficial, but I can't help it... I really enjoy it.... I kind of feel living in a poetry. Up here on this top steep floor.... Looking down at this beautiful tree that is now turning yellow and red! Yes the beautiful fall is arriving.

- High frequency of ups and downs. I have learned so much from this period. From the trends of it. From the ways to fight... learning to "live" and not "survive"....

It's important to rethink it's sixty seconds to what?!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Joe Biden's gaffes

Joe Biden is an excellent politician and one the best that Obama could pick. Actually he was one of my three top choices in the primary (with Obama and Kusinich). But his speech gaffes are also excellent. Here are a few cool ones from Politico:

" Among other things, the Delaware senator has said that Hillary Rodham Clinton may have been a better vice presidential pick; accidentally referred to his partner as “Barack America”; told a wheelchair-bound man to “stand up”; and called Michelle Obama’s convention speech “the most remarkable speech I have heard in my life.”

So it's not only for George W. Bush's craps that American are forgiving. This guy is gonna say a bunch of hilarious things.... Wait for the debate with Sarah Palin....

If elected we're going to have a lot of fun not only with his policies, but also his rhetoric.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I'm spending hours on editing a few paragraphs.... But to be honest with you, now I understand why my advisor is so picky about the logic and the flow of the text. I reread what I gave her last week ... and how nice and subtle she's guided and directed me about my writing problems. It's quite an art some time to fit so much information into a few simple intro paragraphs.... I'm appreciating her more these days.... that's maybe a sign of maturity in grad school.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Notes at the Plaza

I'm sitting in Schenley plaza, enjoying the lunch hour music. There is a clarinet-piano duet which gives a total Woody Allen style chill to the plaza on a nice end-of-summer day. Lunch chats are all around: ladies with sunglasses on top, guys in all sort of minimalist attires... and yet at the end the game of attention and passion hunting is on.

I keep thinking about a few things that I watched recently: Antonioni's La Notte,
Cohen's brother's Burn After Reading and a few episodes of office. Beside's Antonioni's genius in subtle story telling, it was interesting to see how relationship complications that we think are issues of our time were pretty similar in 1960 of Italy. Same issues of boredom and isolation. Probably things have gone more globalized.

I don't like Office. The direction and story telling is quite interesting. It's fiction in the style of reality TV: With the same lines of monologue talks to the camera, on hand cinematography, etc. However its surrealist comedy content does annoys me. So much making fun of average Joes... Very much picturing a looser-winner society.

Burn After Reading is quite successful to picture the chaotic state of affairs in Washington. It makes a caricature of the whole thing: Intelligence community, Average Americans, Emotional dramas, etc. At the end the story is simple and flows well. It hasn't impressed the critiques, but I liked it. Actings are quite impressive: Brad Pitt is quite hilarious and most people rock. I found the music odd, but novel. Quite in fight with the dramatic picture of the screen. Maybe this is a new style to make things more tense.
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