Thursday, March 01, 2007

5 things (or is it 6)?

Ok, this meme has been going on for quite long enough. I think I will officially be the last blogger to post 5-er, 6- things about myself that others might not know. After that, my friends, we shall have closure! Thanks, Chris, for the tag.

Here we go...

1. I was an awful student in high school. In fact, the only class I consistently earned A's in was French. There were a lot of reasons for my lackluster performance: I was placed in a science class that was too advanced for me, I had an evil misogynist of a math teacher (Jim Dawes, I'm looking at you. Yes, Jim Dawes) that turned me off to math, I went to a high school different than the one all my junior high school friends went to and had no friends, general teenage malaise and rebellion, the fact that in my family my brother played the role of the academic superstar while I played the role of the mediocre slacker...

2. I have moved a total of 14 times in my 27 years. I have inherited the itinerant lifestyle I grew up with, and don't think I could ever imagine living anywhere for the rest of my life. After a year or two, I get the itch. I have lived on both coasts of the U.S. and I want to experience much more! If I ever have kids, I would love for them to live in a country other than the U.S. for at least a few years. I am fascinated by notions of the diaspora, migration, wandering, and shifting senses of space and place.

3. I speak English, Farsi, French, and German. Plus a tiny bit of Spanish. My dad is an ethnic Turk and speaks Turkish. My mom's family is from a region in Northern Iran that speaks a distinct dialect of Farsi. I want to learn more languages! Next up, Mandarin...?

4. I spent most of my childhood in Cupertino, California. At school, all of our school computer labs were strictly Apple. Our scientific calculators were Hewlett Packard. We had Apple logo stickers and folders and stationary. My family's favorite restaurant used to be Croutons, a salad bar located in the Apple Computer building (this is where I first discovered the wonder that is pesto!). Al Gore visited my high school, but I didn't get to meet him because most students were under lock-down for his visit. I remember armed guards on the roofs. In 1995, as a junior, I took our school's first Internet class. This was before the world wide web was in wide use- I had to learn to use newsgroups, FTP, etc. I've had one or another email address for almost 12 years!

5. I've had the following hair colors (and combinations thereof): brown, black, orange, black with orange streaks, green, bleached blonde, bleached blonde with pink streaks, red, olive, strawberry blonde, brown with platinum highlights. For most of my childhood, I had very short haircuts, because my hair was wild and curly and I'd throw a fit every time my mom tried to comb it. That is why I was never afraid to try new styles, cuts, and colors... except, that I've been in quite the hair rut for the last couple of years. It's time for a change. * see photos, below *

6. I used to be pathologically afraid of being alone. I think it came from seeing missing child stories on television, combined with reading true crime books. When my parents would leave me at home, even for a few minutes, I would keep a butcher knife near me for protection. For the longest time, I was convinced that I was fated to come to a violent end. Not until my apartment in New York City did I ever feel calm to be alone overnight. I think it's because my apartment was on the 4th floor, and it was a corner apartment, which made me feel very nestled, cozy, and safe. I feel much safer and at home in crowded urban metropoles than in suburban or rural settings.

* * *

On an unrelated note, would you take a moment to read the sad story of Tigger the cat and see if you can help in any way?

Happy March everybody!

*Bazu at various ages with short hair*

at 6 months, with dad. here, short hair was obviously not a choice!

at 6 years

at 17

at 18


Anonymous said...

You know Bazu, I was an excellent student in high school (over achiever). It got me nowhere! Looking back, I wish I had been a slacker. Marty always says, "C's get degrees." Oh well, the past is the past.

I have the migrant itch but Marty is a total homebody. I have always been fascinated with people who move around and live in different countries with little possessions. I'm hoping that I can at least get Marty to travel more.

Thanks for sharing your 6 things. It was really fun to learn more about you.

Kati said...

I totally dig your short blonde hair! I've also been in a total hair rut the past few years - letting it grow and do what it will, but one of these days, the scissors will come...

It's awesome that you speak so many languages. I speak a fair amount of Spanish, but my accent is terrible. I'd love to learn German and Dutch, but I have this mental block that tells me that I'm "bad at learning languages." My negative attitude keeps defeating me before I get started.

I've moved once a year for the past five years. I keep saying I want to "settle down," but I'm never satisfied enough with my current location - I think I have your migrant itch. J and I are planning to move either this summer or next and I want that to be IT! Enough already...I want to buy a house!

Thanks for sharing - I enjoyed getting to know you better. (and I had to chuckle at that "general teenage malaise" comment, although I think mine has morphed into "mid-twenties malaise" ;)

KathyF said...

You don't know how much I wish I could speak another language fluently. French, Italian, Welsh, they'd all come in handy.

Theresa said...

I haven't moved around nearly as much as you, though in the past two years I've lived in 9 places.

Here's an interesting fact that I don't know about you (I just realised the other day): what is your PhD about?

Heather said...

kheyli khoshgel hastee! :) faqat kami farsi, kami espanie va anglishe harf mizanam. :(

My brother was a few years younger than me and he was the slacker and I was the overachiever crazy person. I'm really not sure which was better, but I'm sure me being the overachiever didn't help him any.

bazu said...

Crystal, I think one of my biggest achievements in high school was learning to be a slacker... I know it might not make sense, but I mean learning to have fun instead of obsessed with schoolwork, you know?

Kati and Kathy, I might not have too many talents, but being a quasi-savant at languages is my specialty! I can pick up languages and accents fairly quickly, and I love it. My favorite is German- a beautiful language and a pleasure on the tongue.

Theresa, I'm jealous of your exotic travels! I'm getting a Ph.D. in visual studies, which is an interdisciplinary field, roughly a mixture of art history, film studies, and critical/political theory. I focus on how vision is constructed and managed by culture... I could go on an on about this, but I won't bore you! Feel free to email me for more grad. student conversations! (bazooq (at) gmail)

Heather, kheili mamnoun! Chera tasmeem gerefti ke Farsi yad begiri? Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope to chat more soon!

KleoPatra said...

Such interesting points we never knew and cool insights into you, Bazu. Love finding out more about the inner you... Cool photos for the trip down memory lane, too!

Heather said...


film va adabeyat irani kheyli doost daram, va tasmeem gereftam ke farsi yad begiram! kheyli jelab aest! faqat az inke in sal farsi yad migiram (ham daneshjue (chi "graduate student" be farsi mishe?), ama ketabdari dars mikhunam.)

khodafez- heather

laura jesser said...

I love languages, and one thing I wish very much is that I had more exposure to them. I had a professor once who was fluent in 7 languages, and I have always wanted that to be me. As of now I have French... sort of. I commend you!

aTxVegn said...

Awesome post. What an interesting life you've led thus far. I've always admired the multi-lingual. I couldn't even learn Spanish, except for "Diana, otra efe" (another "F").

LOVE the pictures!

springsandwells said...

Oh fun,
Bazu - your 6 things were really interesting! I didn't realize you grew up right here in Cupertino... so close by!

It's interesting to hear another person who was so affected by all the missing persons stories that were so widely publicized in the 80's. When I was a kid, I went through about a 2 year period where I was convinced that someone would climb up the front of our house, in through my window on the second story, and kidnap me. It was quite a scary time in my weird brain. Glad to hear that you've found some security and good feng shui.

I also love that you speak so many languages. I LOVE learning languages. I speak Italian, and have studied French, Spanish, and Serbo-Croatian. Usually before I go on a trip I spend a few months learning as much as I can. Like you, I can learn languages relatively easily. I'm hoping to learn some farsi for my fantasy trip to Iran. I worked at a Persian Rug gallery for 3 years with an all-Iranian staff, and dated an Iranian guy for about 3 years too... so I've heard a lot of Farsi in my time.

I love that you've had so much short hair. My short hair is a brand new thing, but I'm loving it. It's so fun and breezy.

love Amey

Scott said...

I've counted - looks like 6 things to me :)

Nice to learn a few new things about you!

scottishvegan said...

What an interesting post! That’s so cool that you speak so many languages. I would like to learn another language properly but I can never seem to motivate myself to do it!

meesh said...

Hey, now I have a face to go with the fabulous blog posts! Cool!

Thanks for sharing the meme. I love to find out a little bit more about folks and I loved reading your account of all the moving. I used to be really afraid to be at hime alone too. I think it was because I have a really active imagination. Every little sound would become an axe murderer in the closet to me. I still get a little freaked out if I come home and a closet door is open that I don't specifically remember leaving open when I left. (sigh)

Oh, and I love your short blond locks. Very cute! :)

Melody said...


I love learning more about everyone..

I feel much safer in an urban environment as well. I used to get so freaked out living on the farm in the middle of Iowa..

Emmy said...

I had an evil math teacher in high school too. I can sympathize. Wow, that's wild how many times you've moved. I should have had you help me with my move! You're an expert at it :-D I am so impressed with how many languages you can speak. That's so cool. Rob and I are going to take some Spanish classes this summer...Rob knows it will help him with work and Chicagoland has a huge Spanish-speaking population. And wow again with your various hair colors...that's awesome you're not afraid of hair-change :)

Love the pics....that first one with you and your dad is so adorable. Awwww.

Happy March to you and Daiku!!!

Candi said...

That was fun reading about you, Bazu!! I am so impressed with the languages you speak and the fact that you will add more to that list!

I love all the hair colours you posted and think this would be my top pick for you: bleached blonde with pink streaks!! Awesome!

I love relocating too. It's an itch, like you say. I get very restless and feel like I need to move or my life will end. Lol! Maybe I just need to take some vacations now and then and cut this out!

I love the photos! What a great post! Thanks for sharing more about yourself with us!

Urban Vegan said...

I always knew you were a colorful lady--inside and out. Photos are cute you were and ARE.

Fun to learn what makes Bazu Bazu!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your 6 things, i love languages i wish to learn more of them! or at leat better english!

Susan said...

Lovin' this meme Bazu!
Have you tried fuschia with violet streaks yet? ;)

Vicki said...

we're closer to learning what makes bazu tick! i enjoyed each of your 6 points and i'm most intrigued by all the languages you speak - that is one thing i really wish i could do. i share you love of migration & change.

runswithdog said...

I am very impressed! I suffer fromt the 'move itch' but unfortunately have been 'area bound' I just wanna go.

And what a cute baby :-)

You are too interesting.....will we get more details about Daiku? I bet he has some stories :-)

vko said...

I love your 6 things and the evolution pics of your short hair colors. What a cute little baby!

And I completely agree as to feeling safer in a crowded city- after years of boxed apartment living, I can't imagine living in a stand alone house- feeling so vulnerable, so many windows on all four sides and dark, quiet and woodsy outside...that would scare me.

And I hope that misogynist math teacher finds your blog and apologizes to turning you off to math- though, math just plain turned me off period.

Your awful highschool student story is like the ugly duckling story, look what a fabulous grad student you are now pursuing your PhD!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bahar,
Hello from another former Monta Vista graduate and mutual Jim Dawes HATER. Love your story, hope your language learning experience takes you to new heights. That Mandarin portion is rather rocky however...
But back to High School, I actually remember this one incident where Mr. Dawes was yelling at me to do a specific math problem a "certain way". He was highly critical of me and told me I lacked "discipline". I spoke back about how hypocritical he was in trying to teach me discipline when this was coming from someone who was morbidly obese. I therefore asked him to, "be disciplined about his weight". Needless to say, I was sent to the principle's office.
Anyhow, now more than a decade after having been taught by him, the wounds are still there. I guess some childhood memories are more difficult to forgive and forget. To this day, I still feel EVERY name I called him, "Chubby Brown (he looked like an overweight Charlie Brown), "99Cents Jimbo Jack (his first name is Jim)" was more than deserved.
Oh, and if Jimbo is reading this, I did manage to make a career out of Math actually - No thanks to you. I'm a Design Engineer for a well known Silicon Valley Integrated Circuit Company.
Good Luck in all your endeavors Bahar,