Bear Butte, South Dakota.

Bear Butte is a holy and spiritual site for lots of different tribes. It is also a Pilgrimage for Native Americans.

Leaders such as Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull made pilgrimages to Bear Butte over the years. In 1857, a council of many Indian nations gathered at Bear Butte to discuss the growing presence of white settlers in the Black Hills, which is located in the Western part of SD, close to Rapid City where I live.

We were feeling SUPER stir crazy this weekend and we had a "heat wave" (it was only freakin' 35* F) and so we took off to Bear Butte. Baktash had never been there before and it is so special. I really feel God there and that makes me stoked. I love how so many special and historical places are so accessible to us here in Rapid - Wounded Knee, The Badlands, Bear Butte, just to name a few really special places.

It is hard for us to live here in SD sometimes, but days like this one make it allright. and actually pretty rad. We try to make the best of it, and entertain ourselves. here are some shots from our lovely day:

dude, this buffalo was HUGGGGGGEEE:

The various cloth ties are prayer offerings, sometimes wrapped in tobacco, sometimes not, but always with a prayer. i find them so very beautiful:
What are some special places for you?


Raw/Natural/Whole/Organic/HEALTHY Cookbooks!

picture this:

below zero temps for over two weeks now, snow that doesn't stop falling, ice on the INSIDE of our windows (even with the heat on), frozen nostril hairs, frozen hair, cranky-because-we're-cooped-up-and-cant-frolick-in-the-fields samimi-aazamis who are restless and counting down the days before we'll be in LA, on the beach in Malibu. it better be warm there. or i'll FREAK. so this situation has really been pushing on my restless creative buttons. i am feeling like i need to CREATE something ALL the time. which i think i feel alot but more so when i cant get out and run around. here are some things

i am working on or working on doing:
  1. making new LISH designs. its time and people are buying.
  2. getting together a large format photo show.
  3. getting back in touch with Getty Images and their invite to share/sell my photos.
  4. making candle mobiles.
  5. getting a grant to make more films....ANY IDEAS/SUGGESTIONS??
  6. shoveling snow (small joke).
  7. framing /arranging my moo photo cards to sell.

and this brings me to my last, but not least:


#8 brings me to the reason for this post. Because of my very critical, restless situation, I posted an inquiry on my facebook asking my friends for suggestions on some yummy cookbooks that i can get and make delicious treats for me and my husband. there was a couple requirements: they needed to be natural/raw/whole foods healthy AND flavorful. when i even think about eating local, organic foods, i salivate, even if i'm not hungry. the difference is HUGE when we eat that way...i am instantly happy and light feeling. they way we SHOULD feel when we eat food. the response was insane; i got so many great suggestions. and i thought i should share them here with you all as well, since i have been lagging on blogging as of late. i know, its been bad. don't even talk to me about returning phone calls - my list is so damn long. (i'm getting to you guys, slowly...). So here is an amazing list from my budz. i can't vouch for all of these recommendations, but i can vouch for all the recommenders , so give it a whirl, tell me what you think:

--> I KNOW this one is good and this is my rec, she just came out with a cookbook!:

--> the lead singer of sigur ros created a recipe book full of only raw foods.

download it.

call me bias, i don't care, i'm persian. this book ROCKS. baktash and i are really loving the ASH soup (pronounced aw-sh), super healthy and hearty and perfect for winter. make a big ol' pot and freeze it even:
thank you for all of you who recommended all these yummy books, i'll make sure to check them out and tell you what i think...also, does any one else have any they are burning to suggest? i would really like some more ONLINE/recipe blogs, etc. thoughts?? the last thought i want to leave you with, was from a colleague of mine @ SIT. he and his wife farm and are really forward thinking about food and how we nurture our relationship to it; how powerful food is and how we need to honor that. during his thesis presentation, he asked us, "i want you to really think about your relationship to food. do you eat something quick while you're driving to work, or do you make and enjoy your meals around a table with your community?". i loved that though that he proposed. it really made me remember how important eating and cooking is, and how our relationship to food is just as important as our other relationships, as this is what sustains us. i have such a romantic crush on farming and harvesting my own crops with a community of like minded people, then cooking together and really truly enjoying the food we eat.

happy cooking...


my husband and my wedding.

hello dear readers.

i finally went through our official wedding photos and wanted to share some of them with you all. dont mind the fact that the order of the photos is absolutely backwards, and i cant be bothered to go in and manually switch it so they are in order...i hope you enjoy them as much as i enjoyed being there. we had SUCH a wonderful time and i am so happy to see these photos and relive it a bit. enjoi! i'll post more soon....i really want to thank Ryan Lash for his amazing photog. skillz. he really captured our four day wedding celebration in its true essence. so here's to you, kid.


on another -but related- note, baktash went to the dentist today, and has overcome a HUGE fear he has of the dentist. this is what he texted me:

"i thought about you the whole time and missed you. i told the dentist to tell you that i love you in case i died."

HA! i love this man.


Iranian B-Boys

holy man, you've never seen anything as awesome as Iranian breakdancing in the early 1990's in Tehran:

thanks to towfigh for posting this on her facebook.

i know i haven't been around much lately, i'm making a comeback the way those white hammer pants are...keep your eyes peeled on this here blog for more frequent posts...now that the swine has mostly left my body...



the swine flu

as my good friend said to me today, since i have a mild case of H1N1, i have a piglet flu.
ugh. either way, its crazy exhausting. i have literally slept 19 hours today. yowzah. please take this from me. i want to go back to work and live my life.

i hope you are all well and healthy!!


a new spin on an old fave

LISH's CHILKATS with sterling silver chain (new design) are some of my faves, ever- a mix of hard and soft - just posted on:

they make great holiday presents & gifts for your lovers!! ;)


big accomplishments feel f-ing RADICAL.

i love having my masters degree in Conflict Transformation! it feels soooooooo good and i am soooo relieved its over!
also, going to minneapolis this week to see
the family and see mason live!!!

watch out!


hit the ground running

i am off tomorrow morning to vermont to defend my masters thesis!
AND i made a film! my first one ever. this will be the bulk of my presentation.
so stoked.

so stoked for this to be OVERRRRRRRRRR!!!

wish me luck.



we're half awake in a fake empire: a reality check

i found this on my friend saman's blog here. a film by Ryan Lewis from Seattle.
it really blew me away, maybe its what i needed to see, really powerful.

how did it make you feel to watch it?
what did it make you feel?
are you a slave to technology??

wtf ever happened to picking up the phone and TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER? what about having coffee??

i need to get off my macbook more...even though it is fun.

come visit me in sodak and i promise i'll get off my technology to kick it.

what do you think?


the ultimate contradiction i find myself in while i write my thesis:

AKA why it has taken me so long to write my thesis (BORRRRINGGG).

my favorite book of all time, like, my professional (and personal, as everything is interconnected, right??) "bible": THE MORAL IMAGINATION by John Paul Lederach.

This part really resonated with me today:

In the professional world of writing, we view with caution, even suspicion, the appearance of the personal, and lend a higher accent of legitimacy to models and skills, theory, well-documented case studies, and the technical application of theory that leads toward what we feel is the objectivity of conclusion and proposal. In the process, we do a disservice to our professions, to the building of theory and practice, to the public, and ultimately to ourselves. The disservice is this: When we attempt to eliminate the personal, we lose sight of ourselves, our deeper intuition, and the source of our understandings - who we are and how we are in the world. In so doing we arrive at a paradoxical destination: We believe in the knowledge we generate but not in the inherently messy and personal process by which we acquired it.


i just realized to a deeper level why this paper has been so brain wrenching for me. its not that i dont know how to write strictly academic papers, but its that my spirit has to be compleetely ignored, shoved off, seperated from my focus. How can i seperate myself that way? i am a person who lives from my spirit, incorporating that into everything i do. no wonder this has sucked. duh! thanks, JPL.

phew. someone feels me.
holler if you hear me, folks.

one of thousands of reasons i married baktash.

a gchat from him today @ work:

"did i elbow you last night. i had a dream i was fighting against some karate master. sorry."


i'd been itching to shoot lately, especially in downtown rapid city on a weekend when its ABSOLUTELY dead. like, instead of ten people out on the town, there are none. i really had been wanting to shoot for about a month down here. these buildings are really beautiful old, industrial buildings, which i find very romantic. i will shoot more soon, though it was so cold to shoot yesterday for too long.

this shoot was done right before we went to the....RODEO. shots of that soon.

p.s. which is your favorite shot?
p.s.s. if you would like to see the shots bigger, just click on the images.