Saturday, January 25, 2003
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
I just got a call from my friend and yours, Hagop Bedrossian in LA. He inquired about Armenia and how to get there. Oh, just to reflect on the days back in Yerevan... right now, not too nostalgic. I remember this time last year never seeing the sun and freezing my vor off. Okay, maybe a little nostalgic. There's nothing like hybernation, especially for someone who loves to sleep as much as I do.
I also saw Zabel Artinian in Harvard Square the other day. She's up visiting from NY, as she just returned from Armenia for an indefinite stay. That too was a nice reflection on time spent in Armenia... still, a little nostalgic. Oh, who am I kidding? I wanna go back just as much as the day I left. I've been bombarded with meetings. I like to call it the "attack of the jhoghovs." Finished one last weekend, having one tonight, need to supervise one this weekend, have two scheduled at the same time the following week, one the following Thursday in Providence, then another in NY that Saturday. Then I think I'm going to Montreal to get away the weekend after that. Then there is a meeting in Chicago the week after that I may skip and another in Detroit the weekend after. I'm sure it will continue until the end of the year.
The funny thing is that during meetings, I sit quiet and knit (my new adored hobby). Once the meeting is over, I run all over the place until the next meeting when I sit quiet and knit. Perhaps I should think of them as breaks from now on. Perfect opportunity to just sit and knit. :)
Thursday, January 16, 2003
I worn you, I have a lot to say… and you may not like some of it. Here goes!
The past few days have been a killer! It went as low as -30C.
But I shouldn’t complain. Montreal is well equipped and heaters are everywhere. Talking about heaters, I’ve been meaning to log about this for some time. Last September my friends and I had gone to a Resto-café and we decided to sit on the terrace. I kid you not when I say that the terrace was heated, what do I mean? I mean they had powerful heaters to heat the outdoors… yes, outside! I was disgusted with the waste of energy and to our level of being spoiled. We were ready for the chilly evening, we had jackets and we wanted the cool air… Although my friends thought it was cute that there were outdoor heaters, I insisted to go inside. We argued about this topic for a long while. I couldn’t believe that some of my friends thought it was a smart move and a great way to attract more customers. I had had enough of this consumer based arguments. So what if the resto makes a few hundred less every night, isn’t worth respecting the environment and stopping to waste energy for nothing. I mean you can have your club sandwich inside… it will still taste the same. You can enjoy your friends’ company, they will still be the same people… why does it matter to insist on sitting outside. If it’s a terrace you want, and a warm one for that matter, you can either wait for summer or move to a warmer place.
All the time, I was imagining telling my friends in Karin Dag that we in Montreal heat our exterior with powerful energy consuming heaters when they couldn’t afford to heat their living room for their 3 kids. Disgusting!
Back to the cold… it’s still winter here.
I wanted to talk to you about a course that is being offered by Mr. Vartkes Dolabjian. He has prepared a ten session course on the history of the Armenian Cause and also has a practical side that deals with writing to editors and replying to articles etc. He has a great approach. I followed this seminar about 2 years ago. Hye Tad is hosting it.
I am busy with a few things now. Of course the kids take up a lot of the time. It’s great to be here, at home when one of them says or does something for the very first time. They love to be fed, bathed by their Baba. Amassia always wants to be with me, which is an excellent ego booster. My parental leave will end in May… then it’s back to reality. Mind you, this is probably more work then work! As I’ve mentioned in previous logs, I also am helping with the LCO summer campaign. I will do some recruiting and will be in NY, Boston, DC, Detroit, Toronto and Ottawa. I will let you know when I will do these trips and maybe some of you might be interested! Lara, my wife, is still writing her MA thesis. It has taken her longer then expected. After all, she had 2 kids during the process. It will be a great research paper once it’s done… I hope, for her sake and mine, that it’ll be done soon… and no more kids on the way!!!
I have a very good friend, Tamar, who followed her heart and went to Lebanon to marry someone that she met in the summer here in Montreal and fell in love with. This is the happiest I have ever seen her. Bravo! This year has gotten off on a great start.
In some of the comments, people were talking about languages and so on. Although it is not a sin not to speak Armenian, I believe it’s wrong and just plain laziness on the part of that Armenian. Now, let me clear this up. If you live in a remote town with some Armenian families scattered around, I understand: if you are a child or grand-child of a mixed marriage, even that could be excusable. But when you live in a community, a vibrant one at that (NY, Montreal, Toronto, Boston, LA) it is unacceptable to approve of someone who speaks only English and does not do the effort to speak some Armenian. I’m not even talking about reading and writing. You know, we have great poetry, songs and proses inside jokes that can not be translated. You MUST read or at least speak the language to understand. After all, if you, as an Armenian, don’t attempt to learn the language that is yours by right, who will? I speak five languages, there is no reason why you (whoever that is) cannot speak 2 (the language of the country you live in and Armenian). I am sure that I am not smarter than the average Armenian. I know this comment might sound a little harsh, but I am tired of letting my fellow Armenians get away by using lame excuses such as: “well I don’t have any Armenian friends with whom to speak”, or “we never spoke Armenian at home”, or the best “what good will it bring me anyway, I know English and that should get me by anywhere”… I expect more from us.
I can’t wait for my next Armenia trip. I feel it’ll be very soon.
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Sunday brought me an early morning wake up call... for minutes I tried to shut off my alarm until I realized it was my phone ringing at 9:30 in the morning. It was none other than Armen Carapetian letting me know he was in town and hungry for brunch. So I spent the day with him and his cousin eating... a lot... with a brief intermission for another movie: Legally Blonde... ranking in Arsineh's top 10 favorite comedies. It's up there with Coming to America and Princess Bride. Go Reese Witherspoon.
I slept sorta late Sunday night, so when I had to wake up on that dreaded Monday morning, my body was not cooperating with my sense of logic. I get up early on weekdays... not because I have a job, but because my parking pass is only valid from 4pm to 9am, so I gotta get my Corrolla out of that lot first thing in the morning. So I woke up with little sleep, turn the shower on and wait for the hot water... and wait... and wait... nothing. I took an ice cold shower. Funny, I never had that problem in Armenia. All day was spent with Armen again, but running around for both of us. He had a meeting, I had to prepare for the Ambassador's visit, Tom Samuelian turned up and we drove him as well. It was a loaded day of taxiing and meeting. Rather fun, I think.
Ambassador Ordway's visit was interesting. He was brought to my office for a tour and was told I spent time in Armenia, so I told him what I did there. Just in the middle of the conversation... the cell phone rings. Oh no, it didn't just ring. I seemed to have forgotten to switch it off of the funny ringer sound I set it on (the sound of a bugle horn). He got a kick out of the "crazy sounds these phones have now." Hey, how many times do you get to say, "Excuse me Ambassador, I have to take this call." And now I can add him to the long list of people who have said to me, "I hope to see you in Armenia soon!" Yes, Ambassador, I do too.
Finally I got home and relaxed with a nice episode of Boston Public. Things are starting to seem okay this year.
Sunday, January 12, 2003
I started this year very sick, with my liver exploted. Now i am ok, so sorry about my absence.
Vacations started for all Argentineans here. Lots of tourist of different parts of the world are taking advantage of the Argentinean economy to spend some dollars in this SouthAmerican country.
What are Armenians doing??? Well, we had a visit here called Claude Mutafian he gave a conference about Turkish posture about the armenian Genocide. Professor Mutafian is Math professor too in France. So when Rosita, Mariana Kechichian, Alex Sarafian and I (some of the GENERACION 3 staff) interviewed him we got the conclusion that his arguments are objective as maths are. He taught us that we have not too believe that we are the eternal victims of the genocide but that we have to make a strenght science formula about its solution. We have to collect real facts. Documents. Stadistics, etc, etc...
Some months ago, i learned something from a friend of mine. He told me the importance of saying NO. It gives you freedom and power to decide by yourself. And after listening the theories of Turkey´s negationism i tought...Turkey has freedom to decide, because he is saying NO and no power is forcing him to say YES. It is very simple...For example try to imagine this. A friend and i go for a ride, and suddenly my "friend" punchs me so hard in the nose that make breaks it. Try to imagine an "unreal" trial. I accuse him of Damage but he says he didnt punch me out, that i am a crazy liar. So, the problem is how to proove it. And that is difficult when the scenery of the crime is not evident. All the big countries know that the genocide happened but they are tranquil because we are not moving our VORS enough in making an objective petition. We have to use todays technologies to show stadistics and prooves of all kinds. The world won´t listen to sentimental claims. Power do not care about feelings. And our Genocide was about control of power, and envy...
Forgeting this issue. I am preparing my vacations. If my fate lets me fly i will travel to the South of Brazil. I will let you know about me altough you dont care. Mama Mía Mama Mía Mama Mía, let me goooo...
I have a news to all SPANIOPHONE ARMENIANS (from Spain, Argentina, South America all, or Europe, US). There is a new web page called MENK that is trying to join hispano armenians from everywhere.
Sorry if i ANARCHIZED the design of this log. It´s just that i am happy to log again.
Raffí i need a kangaroo babysitter, would you help me??? ;-)
Saturday, January 11, 2003
Other than my traveling, I haven't been doing much. I've been catching up on things I had been planning to do for a while now... like going to the dentist and BOY am I glad I went! Let's just say Monday morning isn't going to be a happy time for me... :| I also had my regular check ups and stuff, and was finally able to get a concrete schedule of what's happening when. It seems like I'll be off meds in March and ready for another dose of radiation in early May. Of course this ruins any hope of me going to Hayasdan in May and staying, but then again May is 5 months away, and A LOT can happen till them. We'll see.... I guess everyone else is right---this comes first. Till May, I'm looking for a job though. I can't imagine sleeping at 3am and waking up at 11 or 12pm every day.... I feel very unproductive.
I promise to log again... there's actually lots of stuff going on in the community I wanna tell you guys about.... But right now it's 4:23am and so I should sleep.
p.s. - shnorhavor nor dari!
Friday, January 10, 2003
Here, in Buenos Aires, are summer holidays. Most of the people went to the sea, Mar del Plata, Pinamar, etc. Some others go to the mountains, and very few abroad, because of the raising dollar. I’d been in Armenia the last four winters, so now, I miss it very much. The weather here is very wet and hot.
Yesterday we attended a great conference. Claude Mutafian, who visits us from France, lectured to the armenian schools’ teachers first, showing a new very nice and useful historical map, explaining in a lively way all the armenian history –not the traditional version- in only two hours. Usually, two hours are too much for a conference, but none of us even moved from our chairs. The second part was open to the community. The subject was “Negationism”, it was very interesting as well: he explained the point of view of the turkish diplomacy, the European Union’s thoughts, the manner we should approach to the aim of recognition. Although is not my favorite subject, -I’m quite tired when the only speech is Genocide-, it was pretty interesting. The place was full of people, nevertheless it was summer evening, after Christmas, full holidays. I think one reason is that Mutafian is a well known historician, and the second –perhaps the more important- is that he speaks Spanish perfectly. So those young people present could understand what was it about, and take part on it.
I don’t know how the other communities are, but in Argentina, people never talk in Armenian, only they try to babble something when the other person doesn’t know Spanish at all. Armenian language here dies, -an armenian teacher can tell you-,
I think language is not determinant for being a good armenian, or for going on with your feelings, but it helps a lot. It makes the 50 %, I think.
So, it was a nice evening, I went with my yerevantzi friend: the journalist Rima Sargsyan, who is visiting her relatives here, and although she didn’t understand a word, it was interesting for her to see our community, the language level, the kind of questions, the people.
By the way, many many hayasdantzis live in Buenos Aires by now. They came five years ago, more a less. But in the last year, because of the financial crisis, several families and young people returned home, Armenia. An organizacion: HAI, (“hayrenatartzneru hantznakhump”, I think) make it possible for those who have no means. Aren’t there more people in Armenia now?
Thursday, January 09, 2003
To make it brief, we had a great Christmas, then New Years, then S. Dzenund. It was food food food… some dancing and lots of drinking!
What I want to tell you about is a film I saw by Michael Moore about guns in the USA. What a great film! It’s called “Bowling for Columbine”. If you get a chance to see this documentary, DO IT! Moore has captured so many moments that will knock your socks of. He has an interview with Charlton Heston that kicks ass! Any gun holders and supporters of gun holders should watch the doc. OK sure it deals with too many issues, but it all makes sense as an ensemble.
I will be doing a little bit of traveling myself in the next few months. I will be in New York on the weekend of 24-26. I will be organisaing an LCO reunion. So anyone who is or knows an LCO veteran, please know that you/they are invited. You can write me for more details.
I know I had lots of other things to say but …blank!
Shnorhavor nor dari… Happy new year!
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Well, I'm finally back in Boston and back in gear. It was a nice break spent with the family. My sister's birthday was today, same day as Armenian Christmas. We had the guests over for the typical "Barskahay" dinner: Kookoo plaf. Words will never describe it in full.
I flew into Boston this morning and haven't even been home yet. I'm afraid of digging up my car under all the snow. It's still coming.
I hung out with some Packers during the holidays. That would be the Green Bay Packers. For those not familiar with the NFL, that would be a football (American football) team from Wisconsin. They were staying in the same hotel that we held the AYF Convention. We overheard some of them gossiping about some dangerous Armenians in the hotel that could kick their butts... so I verified their comments by telling them I could scratch their eyes out. Of course, I had to look straight up at them to do so as they towered over me. They seemed amused. Sadly they lost their game and moped around the bar that night. No sighting of Bret Favre. What a great Quarterback. I wish the Redskins had someone like him.
That should sum up just how dull things have been otherwise. Great New Year so far!