Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wait a minute!

Waking up to a grey day (surprise?) in wintery New England reminded Marash Girl of one of her father's favorite quotes . . . (Peter loved to quote Mark Twain -- probably one of Peter's favorite philosophers, if not his FAVORITE philosopher!)  The quote?

"If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a minute!"

And why did Marash Girl think of the quote today?

She woke up to a grey, overcast  New England winter's morning. . .  (forcing herself to remember that spring is less than three weeks away!)

Monday, February 27, 2017

La La Land!

Marash Girl had been living in La La Land, as it were, until, in fact, she was invited by her step-granddaughter to go to see "La La Land" at the West Newton Cinema.  Marash Girl accepted the invitation, went to the movies with her daughter and step-granddaughter, bought everybody popcorn and coke,  watched the movie, and went home.

Fast forward several months.  Marash Boy insisted that Marash Girl watch the Oscars last night on their ancient tiny TV in the attic room of their Victorian house.  Why? Still not sure, as they rarely go to the movies and even more rarely watch TV.  But it was important that Marash Girls' step-granddaughter kept Marash Girl up with the times, because, in fact, almost every "best" at the Academy Awards last night went to "La La Land"!  So important that even the MC at the Academy Awards last night, Warren Beatty, read off    "La La Land" as he removed from the envelope in his hand the white card holding the name of the winner of best film. The performers from "La La Land" were on the  stage celebrating before Warren Beatty realized his error!  The name on the card for Best Picture was not "La La Land" but "Moonlight", but we must assume that the excitement regarding all of La La Land's "bests" was so great that when Warren Beatty read from the card in his hand, he was, indeed, in "La La Land".

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Generational Thing?

Joking around at the check out counter of a local shop, the clerk commented, '"I see," said the blind mouse!'

"The blind mouse?" questioned Marash Girl, having never heard the expression before. . .

"You know," he said; "The three blind mice?"

"Oh," countered Marash Girl.  "When I was a kid, the joke went like this -- 'I see," said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.'  I never thought of it as politically incorrect, or even as a joke; only as a riddle.  My grandmother was blind, you see, and my father and uncle were always sawing wooden boards (with a saw) or pipes (with a hacksaw) . . ."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Straight Talk!

An Armenian expression:

(1) Shidag nisdenk; dzour khosink!

And a play on that Armenian expression by Armenians,

(2) Dzour nisdink; shidag khosink!

Playing with the words and the concepts, Armenians may say (to translate for those of you who know no Armenian),

(1) Let's sit up straight and talk "crooked".

And a play on that Armenian expression,

(2)  Let's sit "crooked" and talk straight!

In either case, in either language, you get the point!  Or do you?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Taxes and Open Space, a tradeoff?

"It's always a tradeoff between taxes and open space," says Selectman known to support 'good causes' in western Massachusetts.  Such a sad tradeoff.  Open space? They aren't making any more of it!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dr. Boris Adjemian speaks at NAASR in Belmont, Massachusetts

Dr. Boris Adjemian speaks at NAASR in Belmont, Massachusetts.                Photo by Kimberly Kamborian

On the evening of February 16, 2017, Dr. Boris Adjemian, (Director of the AGBU Nubarian Library in Paris) gave a talk entitled “The King and the Forty Orphans: The Invention of an Armenian Homeland in Ethiopia,” at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center in Belmont, Massachusetts.    A personable and engaging speaker, Dr. Adjemian told his audience of well over 100 people that, in 1977, he began to write about the history of foreigners in  Ethiopia.  He began by noting that Ethiopia is a nation made up of 90 ethnic groups, Armenians being the 91st.  They were known as Farunj" = "Foreigners?"

A fascinating look at a question that has long plagued the community . . . Are there black Armenians?  Although he did not address that question directly, he made clear that the Armenians (who came as musicians --40 young boys) and tradesmen, (male, of course,) stayed and intermarried with the local population.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ice Is Nice

Got an ache or a pain?  Bruised yourself?  Apply heat!  It sure feels good, but the new adage?  Ice is nice!  And sure enough, Marash Girl woke up with a joint pain, and rather than applying heat (which is what she wanted to do and what she had been told to do years ago when she was a child -- yes, she was a child way back when), she grabbed an ice pack from the freezer (they say a package of frozen peas is even better), stuck it in her pocket (which happened to be directly over the joint in pain) and, as the French are wont to say, "Voilá!"  The pain disappeared like magic, or like ice on a warm spring day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Black Ice Everywhere!

Going for a walk on black tar sidewalks?  Beware the (invisible) black ice!

Monday, February 20, 2017


"I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO!" -- A film that all must see!  (And do NOT arrive at the theatre late, as there were no previews before the film began, at least not in Coolidge Corner.)  Even academic Marash Boy enjoyed it, if enjoy is the word!  Amazing to watch footage that one has lived through . . . footage so dramatically put together.

For more on James Baldwin and Marash Girl, see Marash Girl's post of 
Monday, January 3, 2011:            
"On gifting an Armenian tile to James Baldwin - August 1964 - Orly Airport"

It was on the occasion of James Baldwin's deciding things were getting bad in the good old USA, when he decided he had to return to his homeland . . . it was at that juncture that Marash Girl met James Baldwin in Paris, both of them awaiting a return flight to the USA.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Sign of the Times at the End of our Street

                                                      "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor."     Photo by Marash Girl
Marash Girl was surprised and pleased yesterday, when she walked to the end of her street and found the above sign, a message of welcome written in Armenian, English and Arabic.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Detained at the border?  Not just today; not just folks of color.  Many years ago, Marash Girl and Marash Boy were detained at the border -- at the border between the United States and Canada.  Why?  We never knew.  All we knew was that we were shuffled into a room, asked to sit (which we did), and left in that room for hours.  Never another human contact until 5 hours laer, when they let us out of the room and back to our car. We were allowed to cross the border . . . into Canada.  And had no problem returning a week later.  Why?

We were never told why.  Was it our name?  (Marash Girl?  Really?  What a threatening name!)  Our looks?  Certainly not Marash Girl's looks!  Perhaps Marash Boy's looks!  Was it our dress?  Our luggage?

We never learned.  We were simply glad to be let out of that room!

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Walk Around The Block

A walk around the block on a snowy winter's day could be lovely, but it could be dangerous as well, especially if it's around the corner of a Newton Corner establishment that touts its specialty as physical therapy.  At least that was Marash Girl's experience yesterday as she sauntered along wonderfully shoveled sidewalks that allowed her a safe afternoon's stroll, a first for several days due to that white stuff.  Safe, that is, until she came to the corner that was held down by an establishment which offers physical therapy to its clients.  Ice and snow all around the corner, all the way to the walk light that offered death-free safety to walker's crossing a portion of "Circle of Death".  Go figure!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A mess? Poor U.S.A.!

Early this afternoon, Trump announced, "I've inherited a mess!"  and "Other countries are taking advantage of us."
And later in the speech, he declared,  "‘‘This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine,’’  while he called for an investigation into recent leaks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Very Happy Valentine's Day

Marash Girl has never had to worry about a Valentine's Day gift for Marash Boy.  She gifted Marash Boy  a lifelong Valentine's gift, daughter Lorig, yes, on Valentine's Day, a gift that has proven the most wonderful Valentine's present that a wife could ever give to her husband!  Happy Birthday, anoushig Lorig! and Happy Valentine's Day, Marash Boy!

Oh, and, of course, "Lots of Love" on Valentine's Day to all of Marash Girl's followers!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Boston Pride: Brewed in Boston

Craving a donut and a cup of coffee?  If you live in Newton, you may be heading for  Newton Corner's Dunkin' Donuts (although not today, as the snow is still coming down).  But don't be sidetracked when you look to your left as you park.  You may  see an alternative . . . Dunkin' Donuts is not the only company with Massachusetts pride!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Don't Say Yes!

A word to the wise!

Have you been receiving calls that begin with the question, "Can you hear me?"  Whatever you answer, do not answer, "Yes." Better yet, do not answer anything.  A "yes" could allow the caller access to your bank account . . . the latest scam.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

White Out.

Marash Girl's brain has whited out, what with all the snow on the ground, in the air, and promised for the weekend.  Sorry, folks.  She's listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and can't focus on this post.  Except for the concern about the President's comments on Ivanka Trump's feud with Nordstrom's.  Really?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Murder Mysteries

Marash Girl loves murder mysteries, because they always end up catching the bad guy!  However, Marash Girl spent most of yesterday evening  (while it was snowing, yet again) reading a very boring murder mystery. Any recommendations, other than trying a different genre or moving south?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

In the news: "Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History!"

" Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History!" Well behaved Snowstorms Rarely Make History! And we're in the midst of one! A snowstorm, that is!

 Bumper sticker, anyone?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ice, Ice, Everywhere . . .

Ice, Ice, Everywhere and not a drop to drink . . . whoops, got that quotation wrong!

Ice, Ice, Everywhere and Not a Grain of Salt!

For Marash Girl, who ALWAYS keeps a bag of salt on her porch for just such ice emergencies as today, finding no bag and no salt on her porch was disastrous!  The stairs are slick with ice, the sidewalks are slick with ice, the cars are slick with ice, the roads are slick with ice . . . and ironically, the hardware store is slick with ice melt -- lots of it!

Marash Girl will have to wait until the ice melts in order to make her way down the stairs, across the sidewalk, up the driveway, into the car, up Maple Avenue, across Washington Street . . . well, you get the picture . . . to the hardware store to purchase that ice melt . . . with hopes that no-one will once again "borrow" the ice melt from her porch, where it's stashed all winter . . . or was stashed until the ice storm arrived!

Brings to mind that old fairy tale about the princess who loved her father, the king, more than salt!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Good Object Lesson!

The Patriot's win on Sunday in the last minute of the Super Bowl would have been called by Marash Girl's father an "object lesson" for us kids. When all seems lost, all is not lost!  (Amazing Grace?) The Patriots’ championship parade is set for today. "In typical Boston fashion, players and other team officials will ride in duck boats, the World War II-era amphibious vehicles..." and, in typical Boston fashion, this will all take place while it's snowing!

Monday, February 6, 2017


February 6th marks the 229th anniversary of the Massachusetts state legislature ratifying the U.S. Constitution, becoming the sixth state to join the Union on February 6, 1788.  Today is a day for Massachusetts pride!  Drink some ocean spray cranberry juice, eat clam chowder or a lobster roll.  Drink Dunkin' donuts coffee or Sam Adams beer.  Play a game of basketball.  Oh, and the Patriots just won the Super Bowl!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

You're too d.... religious!

Marash Girl was so upset with the results of the United States presidential election that she decided she had to get out into the sunshine, but there was no sun shining through the windows of her domicile (which was on the north side of an old Victorian duplex "side-by-side"), so she decided to head out for the sunniest spot she knew at that hour of the morning, the sunny side of the McDonald's restaurant down the Lake (Nonantum, for those of you who are not familiar with the local parlance).

She sat herself at a booth on the east side of the restaurant, hoping the sun would heal the hurt she felt.  Upon hearing Armenian being spoken in the booth behind, her ears perked up, and she turned to see if she knew the speakers.  No, she did not know the speakers, but she recognized the physiognomy and the language, so decided to engage the couple in conversation, as they were, after all, her "askagan".  

And, yes, they were Armenians from Turkey, now American citizens, having lived in the United States for (not sure how) many years.  But their faces and their accents certainly identified them for Marash Girl. Marash Girl soon turned the conversation to the recent ban on immigration into the United States, the ban imposed by the United States' recently elected President.   Marash Girl asked these folks their thoughts.

"Well, do you want your taxes to go to feed folks who can't afford to feed themselves? Who can't get jobs? Who can't get housing?" the Armenian now American man asked her.

Marash Girl replied.  "Jesus said, 'What you do to the least of these you do unto me.'"  (Matthew 25:40)

The Armenian man got up out of the booth and stormed out of the room exclaiming loudly, "You're too damn religious!"

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Where New Friends Meet and Old Friends Greet!

Marash Girl had the singular pleasure (I don't really know what that means -- singular pleasure -- but it sounds impressive, right?) in any case, Marash Girl had the (singular) pleasure, yesterday evening, of attending a fundraising dinner at St. James Armenian Apostolic Church (Watertown, Massachusetts) . . . a destination where "new friends meet and old friends greet" . . . . an evening which held true to its promise of wonderful in-house  (or in this case, in the church social hall kitchen) Armenian food -- shish kebab of all varieties, with marvelous vegetarian options, and interesting conversation in many languages (Marash Girl's conversations were in English -- easier that way)!  If any of you readers out there live in the Watertown area and have never attended these dinners, give the church a call to assure your visit to the next event.  You'll be glad you did!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Nasrettin Hoja: Who are you going to believe, me or my donkey?

What a surprise when Marash Girl learned that the Marx Brothers may have taken the quip (heard in their Movie DUCK SOUP),  "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" from a very old Nasreddin Hoja tale recorded by Marash Girl several years ago as follows:

When Hodja's neighbor asks to borrow Hodja's donkey, Hodja answers, "Sorry, somebody else has already borrowed my donkey." At that very moment the donkey hee-haws and the neighbor hears and says, "Eh, What do you mean? I can even hear the donkey hee-hawing!" "Well," answers Hodja, "who do you believe, me or my donkey?"

N.B. This is one of the grandchildren's favorite tales!  It could be amended, I suppose, or updated for today's headlines to read, "Who are you going to believe?  Me or the donkey?"

Thursday, February 2, 2017

And on yet another light note

Overheard at a bus stop in Paris:

Young American woman to young Frenchman: Avez-vous le temps?

Young Frenchman to young American woman:  J'ai le temps, mais je n'ai pas l'inclination.

Thanks to Sylvia K. for the above story!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"Give me your tired, your poor, your yearning to be free..."

At the airport in Washington, DC this past weekend, above sign protests an American Presidential order.

What happened to our Statue of Liberty welcome?