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Love at First Grab – By Kaz Matamura

By Guest Blogger: KAZ MATAMURA — Japanese (read bio)

Here’s something that may totally change the way you think about Japanese women.

When you watch old Japanese films, pay attention to where women are walking. They ALWAYS walk behind men, and they are not looking up when they walk, but they have wandering eyes.

The reason for this is that they are checking out the men’s ASS.

I don’t understand why some women get upset when men are only attracted to big bosomed women, instead of seeing the person inside. It works both ways. If it didn’t, advertisers would never spend so much money designing the perfect packaging for detergent and chocolate. Women have equal right to check out all packages.

Whoever invented the magazine PLAYGIRL was a moron. Great news for gay men, but we girls are not interested in what’s obvious. When a woman sees an erect penis, she doesn’t get aroused, she gets suspicious. We are more complicated than that.

There are girls who like abs, wide shoulders, a deep voice or a pretty face. But (more…)

Fal: Fortune Telling & Destiny – By Jasmine Rafati

By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI — Iran (read bio)

One day when my mom picked my sister and me up from school, we stopped by a store on the way home to do some shopping.  A gypsy woman stopped us and insisted on telling us our fortune. She said her children were hungry and she needed the money. My mom told her that we weren’t interested in the fortune but offered her a bit of money. She said she wouldn’t accept the money without telling our fortune (fal). Finally, we agreed.

The Gipsy woman had a small purse mirror with plastic rims. She asked me to say my name and then to make an imprint with my index finger on that small mirror. She did the same thing with my sister. She then looked at my mom and said that your daughters would leave the country in 21 days and they would never come back to leave in Iran. She told my mom that we would be separated for a while and that my mom should cherish the time when my whole family is together.  In exactly 21 days we left the country to go to Switzerland for studies. After several years in Europe, my sister and I moved to the United States to finish our studies. We never moved back to Iran.

I have plenty of stories like this and will share some more with you during this piece. There are countries such as Iran, Turkey, Armenia and Lebanon where people do have their fortune read and this is a part of the culture I dare say.  I believe some of the Latin American countries do believe in the fortune as well and in addition they practice magic to open up problems or fix a love triangle.

There are different ways of doing this. Some do it with cards, some read faces, (more…)

Norouz, Persian New Year – By Jasmine

By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI — Iran (read bio)

Norouz meaning the light of day is the Persian New Year and it celebrates the Spring Equinox. It is originally a Zoroastrian festival and has been celebrated from the Achaemenids Period (340-330 BC). On the first day of spring, Kings from different areas under the ruling of the Persian Empire would come to the kingdom to present gifts to the king of Persia.

On the eve of the last Wednesday of the year, Persians celebrate by making bonfires and jumping over them. They shout while leaping over the fire:  Give me your red vibrant color and take away my yellow paleness.  This day is called chaharshanbeh soori.

In welcoming spring and the renewal of life, most Persians also do an extensive cleaning of their homes. They wash all the curtains, and rugs in the house.  The kitchens are completely cleaned up. We decorate a table for the Persian New Year. Seven items that starts with the letter C decorate the table; Serkeh (vinegar), Sumac, Seer (garlic), smanu (sweet paste), seeb (apple), Senjed (sorb-tree_ berry), Sabzeh (wheat or lentils grown in a tray).  Most Persians add Sonbol (hyacinths) and sekkeh (coins). These two items begin with C but there are not traditionally considered part of the seven C’s people put on the table.

Serkeh signifies patience. Sumac is a sign for the sunrise. Seer represents medicine and health.  Samanu represents wealth. Seeb symbolizes beauty and Senjed represents love. Sabzeh is a symbol of rebirth and renewal that represent the season of spring.

Right after New Year is announced on TV, all my family members hug and congratulate each other with best wishes. Then my father takes the coin and passes it around. All of us hold the coin and wish for money and success. We also add colored boiled eggs to the table.

Growing up, my mom would boil eggs and us kids would sit around the table and paint them. There also couple of gold fish in a bowl. Muslims also add a copy of the Koran.

The traditional food of Persian New Year’s day is Sabzi polo which consists of rice and green herbs and it is served with fish. The seasonings used are parsley, coriander, chives, dill and fenugreek. Kookoo Sabzi, another food served that day, is a light and fluffy omelet soufflé made from parsley, dill, coriander, spinach, spring onion ends and chives, mixed with eggs and walnut.  Kookoo Sabizi is usually served with the evening meal.

Usually grandparents give money to the grandchildren as gifts for the New Year. I remember growing up, my grandparents, aunts and uncles would give us money (more…)

A Question of Friendship, A Matter of Integrity – By Sandra Lord

By SANDRA LORD — Caribbean (read bio)

(©) 2010 Lord Sisters. All Rights Reserved.

When I see the Real Housewives of any city or state, or any of the other reality TV shows whose very success thrives on drama replete with backstabbing, jealousy, envy, division and the destruction of friendship/relationships, I have to ask, WHAT does “friendship” mean these days?

Whenever I read or hear about a source “close” to a celebrity or public figure revealing privileged information to tabloid media, I cringe. Who are these close sources? Surely they must be people who are trusted enough to be in that person’s inner circle. Doesn’t that in itself count for something? Whatever happened to loyalty, as in “I got your back,” to those people whom we call friends?

Meaningful friendship — you know, the type exemplified in the beautiful lyrics of the Golden Girls theme song that starts with, “Thank you for being a friend…your heart is true you’re a pal and a confidant…” or what Dionne Warwick meant when she crooned, “That’s what friends are for… knowin’ you can always count on me for sure…in good times, and bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more,” or Simon & Garfunkel with “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” or Carole King with “You’ve Got A Friend” — seems to be dying a slow, painful death.

Nowadays, as everyone fights to get into the spotlight by any means necessary, these great lyrical expressions of gratitude, loyalty and unflinching support go out the window faster than Heidi Montag will go under a plastic surgeon’s knife. (more…)

Stand For Something – By Kaz

By Guest Blogger: KAZ MATAMURA — Japanese (read bio)

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”

I am bold.  I trust my luck.  I am still capable of “just going for it.”  I’m still leading my life as if I’m writing my fantasy autobiography. My sunny brain and penchant for the positive makes my life easier and brighter. So, to mark the 10th year anniversary of my non-profit company, Fire Rose, I shall share my some of the ingredients that make the recipe for this life of mine.

Trust I don’t waste energy being suspicious or worried, not because I lack an awareness, but because I surround myself with only trust-worthy people.

In Hollywood, I work with wonderfully creative people.  Paranoia is often based on how one sees and treats others and their expectations of those people.  An individual, who wants to be liked, attracts skillful suckers. These are individuals who will say whatever it takes in order to get what they want.  The rest of us just think the suckers are weird.

No pressure Most of the time, I am not sure whether I’m playing or working. Pressure doesn’t drive me.  ‘Drive’ drives me. I don’t worry about “making it” or “getting to the top” because I concern myself with the road in front of me.

I’m a perfectionist and I always give my best but I also acknowledge perfection (more…)

Corpo-Rate Punishment – By Sandra Gluschankoff

By Guest Blogger: SANDRA GLUSCHANKOFF — Argentinian (read bio)

Corpo: Italian for body

Rate: fee, price, toll

I’ve been accused many times of being extremely analytical. I admit it; I’m guilty of evaluating and tearing up situations to pieces until they make some sense to me.

One of the many things that I do is teach Hebrew (I’m making a mental note to add it to my bio, surely I will forget by the time I’m done writing this article). A good trick for teaching a language is making your students understand the root and significance of words. In doing so, they can discover the many directions a particular word can be related to the ones they already know.

When the termcorporate” started playing games in my mind, it was no surprise to me that the meaning was defined as a toll or price that you pay with your body. Now, hold your horses! Don’t run for your Webster’s, because this definition is not there. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it will be added in a few years time.

The corporate world today in America is the new definition of the American (more…)

Missing Los Angeles – By J. Rafati

By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI — Iran (read bio)

I always thought of myself as the citizen of the world. I could easily move to a new place and adapt. It was always hard at first but it would change for the better pretty fast.

As some of you may know, I recently moved to Paris, temporarily. I feel as I am getting older, it is harder for me to adapt to a new place; even though, I have lived here before. I long for my family, friends, and familiar faces. I have much missed the wonderful city of Los Angeles.

I miss my place of peace, Los Angeles County Museum, where I forget all my troubles. I miss my beautiful family who is the rock in my life. And of course I miss my beautiful friends without whom my life would be dull.

My sister, who is my best friend and critic, is literally my second half who listens to me talk about everything and everyone only to offer good advice.

To my Mr. T, whom life is hell with and without; I miss drinking pomegranate tea (more…)

Suicide is NOT Painless – By Kaz

By Guest Blogger: KAZ MATAMURA — Japanese (read bio)

I was raised by a Pollyanna mother.

When I broke my nose, she praised the fact that I had the guts to physically take on boys. When I ran from home at the age of eight, she encouraged me to become an explorer in the Amazon. Having her permission to smoke, drink or fight took away the excitement and desire to do these things. In her eyes I could do no wrong. But in my teen years, as typical as a teen can be, I rebelled against her view of the world. I started to train myself to be pessimistic.

By seventeen, I was running an independent advertisement agency in Tokyo. My job required no previous training because each situation was different; I was a troubleshooter. When one thing went wrong, such as a client getting red roses (more…)

Airline Gouging & The Perils of Travel – By Allison Lord

By ALLISON LORD – Caribbean

It all started when I recently decided to take my elderly mother to the Caribbean islands for a well-deserved vacation.

HOWEVER, before reveling in the luxury of rest and relaxation, I had to prepare myself to deal with the endless shenanigans of today’s travel experience. I cringed at the thought.

First: call my preferred airline of more than twenty years — American Airlines.

My accented voice is greeted by an even heavier accent from a man named Habib.

For a moment I thought my call had been re-routed and I was talking to Microsoft, India.

Habib’s customer service skills are horrible. Despite my many attempts to be polite, this rude English-challenged young man is determined to ruin my day at all costs. I am now reconsidering my decision to make these travel arrangements if basking in the tropical sun, eating mangos and drinking coconut water means having to deal with the bad attitude of this idiot.

I opt for the Internet!

With my Citibank Advantage Card in hand, I peruse the American Airlines website and other (more…)

It’s Getting Engl-ish – By Kaz Matamura

By Guest Blogger:  KAZ MATAMURA – Japanese

The first time someone asked me if I wanted to get high, I thought I was being asked if I wanted to be taller.

Being the polite Japanese girl that I was, I said, “Yes, I do,” and hopped into his golf cart.

My justifications for getting into a golf cart with a total stranger were:

A) He was riding in a cart – which meant he was on staff at this park.

B) I was standing under a rather big tree so he must have thought I wanted to climb the tree therefore we were going to get a ladder.

I went to the LA Coliseum to get tickets for a concert.  When I called the box office beforehand, I was told it was SOLD OUT.  So, I just dropped by (more…)

 
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