Happy Persian New Year! a Toastmasters Speech

For Persians, honoring the New Year is a happy two-week long event. Norooz 2017 starts Monday, March 20, at 3:28 a.m. Some go as far as beginning the Wednesday before, jumping over bonfires that represent life-sustaining sunlight burning away dark winter cold. Regardless of exact time or day when the northern hemisphere equinox occurs, many gather with family, friends, and food to welcome it. A flurry of brief cheerful teas ensues, with juniors visiting elders, then elders visiting back. Festivities culminate on the 13th day, when all gather for picnics to eat, dance, recite poetry, and sing.

This speech fulfilled my Storytelling manual project 5, “Bringing History to Life.”

Below is the photo I point at toward the end of the speech. It’s from an amazing book called, “Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies,” by Najmieh Batmanglij.

Photo from book.


Valentin Popov’s Ironic Icons at Long Beach Museum of Art

Only days remain to see Ukranian-born Valentin Popov’s boundary pushing reworkings of Orthodox Russian iconography at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Don’t despair, however, if you can’t make it. The museum always has something wonderful going, along with free admission every Friday.

Artist Valentin Popov's Holy Family, 2011. Oil on Canvas.
Holy Family, 2011. Oil on Canvas.


Artist Valentin Popov, St. Batman, 2016. Oil on wood block, silver plating.
St. Batman, 2016. Oil on wood block, silver plating.


Artist Valentin Popov, The Crucifixion of Saint Batman, 1994. David Perry (photography)
The Crucifixion of Saint Batman, 1994. David Perry (photography)


Long Beach Museum of Art
Long Beach Museum of Art features cutting edge art, outdoor sculptures, a restaurant, and beach-side views.

“Dieting Tough Love,” a Toastmasters Speech

Ever wonder why losing or gaining weight is so %#$ rough? Allow my dogs to illuminate us on how set points work…

Weigh in with your thoughts…

Lucy Cat and Mooshie Cat: a video

This Toastmasters speech required me to tell a story with a moral at the end. Hear ye now the tale of two cats: Lucy and Mooshie…

How do you think personality affects one’s life?

An Unplanned Honeymoon: a video

How to not plan your honeymoon and have the best one ever! The Toastmasters assignment required me to ‘get personal,’ so here’s my speech…


Do prefer unplanned or planned?


The Enchanted Mule: a video

When Toastmasters challenged me to tell a fable, I chose, “The Enchanted Mule,” an old tale set in Spain…

Do you have any favorite fables?


Another of my Toastmasters speeches captured for your viewing pleasure…

Indeed, some people don’t enjoy chocolate — click here and click here to find out more.