A Lifetime's Not Too Long

I blame Dave for this post... He was suckered into doing one of those "list up to ten things you want to say to ten different friends... Do not state who these people are. Do not confirm or deny any 'comment speculation' ...Then tag five people" things that spread around the blog world. And since I probably haven't blogged enough about some of my friends, I thought I would join in the fun. Although perhaps not fully, so there might not be ten. So here are my comments on some of the people who have help make me a better person on this planet.

1. We need to do another road trip, as the last one was too long ago. You can always make me laugh. Yet your words have also been a source of challenge and inspiration (I'm glad that they are downloadable too). I knew you would make a big impact on this world, which is why I helped you with stalker awareness training. While our paths might not cross now, I know someday they will again. Marx said it best, "Now and forever, I will be your man."

2. Your name can be found in some of my favorite dorm stories, as well as a few of the best travel stories. You set the bar high for all my future coworkers to live up to. The kids we worked with are not the only ones who are better people by having you in their world.

3. If we had not signed up for that missions trip we might not be the friends we are. It was the beginning of many humourous and great experiences. I treasure the many discussions we had over food and/or drinks. I am honoured to have been a small part of your wedding. It was only fitting that the last time we saw each other was for the "Old Friends" concert.

4. You taught me that every day is a gift, and should be used accordingly. (Yet how often do I forget that?) Nothing held you back. I miss the conversations we had while trying to prevent each other from world domination. I know our next visit will be heavenly.

5. When we first met, I didn't know what exactly to say to you. Now there is little that we have not talked about. You taught me not to give up and to not let anything stand in your way. Seeing how your faith got you through the good and the bad, has been an encouragement to me, and many others. Oh, and I blame you partially for my music collection. Can you believe it has been eighteen years?

6. Did my parents put you up for adoption? For you could easily be a brother of mine. I don't know where I would be without your advice. Nor do I know where I would be with some of your advice. Yeah, I pick and choose from what you tell me. Either way you have been a great sounding board. If I ever become a superhero, I've already decided you will be my sidekick. We need to dance down Main Street USA again soon.

7. You have said you are a bad friend. But I'll take your bad friendship over most of the people who have claimed to be good friends. Your love for the Lord and desire to serve him is contagious. And that is part of the reason I enjoy our time together. I'm still trying to figure out the other reasons I call you friend.

8. If I were picking an all star RA team you would be on it, although you might have to serve as the mascot too. You've poured your heart out into kids, even when you known some will let you down again. "As iron sharpens iron," is the phrase I think of when looking back at our time together.

9. When you volunteered to house the missionary, I bet you didn't expect he would move in. You shared your home, your friends, and your life with me. You continue to play a key role in my life, and I look forward the next time I crash on your sofa. Sometimes I think I was a fool to pass up the chance to work and minister alongside of you.

Ok, I'm going to stop there. As I've worked on this for a couple days, I've noticed that many of these could be about a several friends of mine, minus a sentence or two. So if you don't feel like you are on the list, just read the lines that apply to you. I could fill books writing about all the people who have gotten me to where I am. I'm blessed to have such a great cloud of witnesses.

As for tagging someone else... if you think you were mentioned above follow my lead and post a list. If you think I left you off, make your own list and leave me off it to teach me a lesson or two. Either way, leave a comment on your way out...

Song to go with this post: Stryper - Friends


See That Girl

I just wanted to introduce everyone to my niece. Only a few days old, but she is quite the dancer.


The Dream Police

The number of Cordells in the world just did increase
As the other night it was reported I have a new neice.
I once totalled my Mazda on a weekend road trip to Nice.
When it hit the guardrail it didn't remain in one piece
And all over the road it spewed lots of oil and grease.
Guess it wasn't as sturdy as my college car, the Caprice.
Have I told you how I stepped on a kid in Athens, Greece?
Here is a self portrait of Alex Toth who is now decease.
With Hanna Barbara, many great comics he did release.

Wish I could go watch:


Out Walking On A Friday Night

Frogger is a game
Not a guide to crossing streets
We found out in Seoul.

Warning on dancing
Just don't get carried away
Like these ladies did.

Kidnapping a bride
Did not end in Bible times
But still occurs now.

A train ride with friends
Just a fraction of the trip
That is soon to come.

All the cool chatters
Have the new emoticons
From Pepsi and Hoff.

Life is what happens
While you're making other plans
So said the Beetle.

Three weeks left he said
The school year is closing down
Where has the time gone?

Currently watching:

Take Me Home Tonight

Recently I wrote about "Home," and now it is this week's theme at PhotoFriday. While I've lived in many places around the world, I guess this view above any other tells me I'm just a short boat ride from the place I feel at home the most on this planet.

Almost Home

Currently listening to: A Girl Called Eddy -


Ever Searching For The One

I decided to check the logs of my site today to see how people are finding me. It always amazes me what people enter into Google or Yahoo that leads them here. Here are a few of my favorites of the last few months' searches. My snarky responses in italics.

1. Sell Your Girlfriend - Try eBay.
2. Debbie Gibson haiku - Two of my loves together in one search.
3. Little boy dancing to shake it like a polaroid video - I got nothin'.
4. Peanut butter butts - Is this one of the Reece's snacks?
5. Oops I peed - and you are typing this why?
6. "Give me a shot in the butt" - Sometimes I think that is what we are all looking for.
7. Cordell hoax - Exposing this hoax is the plot of the next Dan Brown book.
8. How to mummify someone - Information to keep on file. You never know when you might need to perserve a friend.
9. Johnathan lipnicki wears underwear - Who searches for this? And does the FBI know?
10. Do british pigs perspire - This question has kept me up nights since I read it.
11. Best way to say "be my girlfriend" - You're asking the wrong guy...

How did you get here?

Currently listening to: David Mead -


Proceed With Caution, I'm Like A Blaze

Usually ending the poems on these rhyming days,
This self portrait thing could just be a phase
But for now here is one by Ricky Gervais.
America's nineteenth president was Rutherford Hayes
About whom have been written many college essays
Perhaps some that might debate if he ever grew maize.
Originally a line from golf, "play it as it lays"
Has now become one of many over used cliches.
One fact about my life that to some might amaze
Is that in high school I acted in two different plays.
The Lord said to give careful thought to your ways
Remember he is great and is worthy of all praise
For he has enabled us to serve him all our days.

Currently listening to: David Mead -


We Are The Champions

Well, the Eurovision contest is now over, and I should have been a betting man. While I only picked three of the top ten songs, I did call the winner when I said, "going against the poppy sound could give the win to the Finn." To give those who don't click away from this page an idea of what I meant, here is a photo from the press interview of the winning band.

So today I raise my Finnish flag high and yell out the only Finnish my grandmother passed on to me, "rakastan sua Joulupukki"

Currently listening to: Mitch McVicker -


The Property of Jesus

So Friday night rolled around, and I kicked it off by cleaning my apartment. Gave the place a thorough scrub down, to the point that the phrase, "I could eat off that," passed through my head.

Luckily for me, I was going out with a couple friends for a late dinner. We had decided to check out a place rumored to have decent hamburgers. During our time out we encountered a fellow foreigner who was curious why three guys were not drinking alcohol on a Friday night. We explained a little about where we worked, and that we all made agreements when we were hired that we would not consume alcohol. As he walked away he exclaimed, "Jesus, who is your recruiter?" I quickly said to my friends, "I guess in some ways, Jesus was my recruiter."

Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Try the chicken.

Currently drinking:

Ease On Down The Road

This week's theme at Photo Friday is "The Road." Here is one of my favorite road photos. It was taken in the Philippines two years ago.


Currently listening to: Moby -


Gimmie Something To Write On

That's tricky I said
Answering my friend's question
I'm not sure myself.

They should have been warned
Against left handed swordsmen
And gals with tent pegs.

Just how long until
The point of embarrassment
Mentioned in this verse?

Oh Jephthah's daughter
He made a vow to the Lord
That cost you your life.

Might pass on this film
Not on religious beliefs
But on bad reviews.

Two bitter rivals
In a neutral loving land
Riots on the pitch.

Chicken or mutton
The only dinner choices
At the restaurant.

Currently listening to: Moby -


Sing, Sing A Song

It is almost time for one of the biggest competitions to begin, and the excitement is in the air. No, I'm not talking about the World Cup, but the Eurovision Song Contest. This will be the fiftieth year that the countries of Europe have sent some of their finest musicians to compete for this annual battle of the bands. Previous winners include Abba, Celine Dion, and Katrina and the Waves. During my seven years of life in Europe, I became a big fan of the event, and was excited when I discovered that it was this weekend. So excited I stayed up way too late watching the videos of the song entries.

I now give you my picks for the top ten songs:
1. Germany - lighthearted country music from the people who brought us Rammstein.
2. Finland - going against the poppy sound could give the win to the Finn.
3. Malta - Could this be the Richard Marx of poppy music? The video says yes.
4. Romania - I think the video caught me, and the Erasure sound.
5. Switzerland - It is like S-Club 7 from the Alps.
6. United Kingdom - The song is catchy and kitsch enough to win
7. Ireland - One of the more thoughtful songs
8. FYR Macedonia - A catchy song, and if only males are voting this has a shot.
9. Slovenia - He pulls off a fauxhawk. Plus this video makes me smile.
10. Netherlands - Don't be afraid to turn up the Treble.

While Israel and Cyprus might have a chance, they lost my vote by bringing in Americans to compete. Cyprus loses extra points for bringing in a former backup singer for Britney Spears. She also cowrote "Everytime," giving me another reason to send my vote to a possible former Russian republic.

I will be shocked, flabbergasted, taken back, bewildered, dumbfounded, and lose any remaining faith in human reasoning and logic if these even make the top twenty:
1. Iceland - I'm still have forgiven them for giving us Bjork. This now means war.
2. Croatia - I have no words.
3. Lithuania - I feel the need to vote for them to be the winners... of the loser bracket.

So give all those videos a listen and let me know who you are rooting for.

Oh, and before you leave that site, be sure to check out the video for Dschinghis Khan, in the 1970-1979 section. You can thank me later.

Currently listening to: Some of those tunes still floating around my head.


Till I Go The Distance

Sometimes in this life we need more Godly persistence
As it will help make this more than a vain subsistence
And give purpose to this ever challenging existence.
Remember that when in this life you face resistance
Or feel ever beaten down by the world's insistence,
That is not a sign of weakness to ask for assistance
To help you carry on this path and go the distance.

This was such a good poem, I didn't want to break any consistence
But I got traditions to keep, so is this Rockwell's piece de resistance?

Currently listening to: Over The Rhine -


Mom Could Make A Gourmet Meal

Well, it is Mother's Day, and I'm too cheap to send flowers internationally. So being the nerdy one of the family, I thought I would put up a little tribute to the lady I know as mom.
From what I have been told, over thirty years ago she took a chance. She was told her second child would be mentally disabled and would not be able to take care of himself. The doctor recommended ending the pregnancy, but she didn't even consider it an option. Months later a little redheaded child appeared to the world, and proved that doctor wrong. (Although if I lived by his expectations, tying my shoes in the morning is a great accomplishment. I could stop there, and have a great day.!)
Skip ahead a few years, she and her family are on vacation. She decides to take her child on the rope swing, as she had done many times before. While swinging that day the rope decides to break, sending mother and child to the ground. She was the only one injured in the fall. (Although I still use the excuse that I was dropped as a child when needed.)
Those that know her, know that you can take the girl off the farm, but not the farm out of the girl. She brought her hard work ethic with her when a hot shot from Chicago swept her off the farm. She has worked at several banks, a city utility office, the local A&W, a feed store (where word was she could carry heavier bags of grain than some of the male employees), and even ran a semi-truck elevator. She currently works crazy hours at a bakery. Luckily she has passed down some of that work ethic to her kids... although I think she also passed down the desire for odd and random jobs too.

I know it wasn't easy for her when this nomad left years ago for a summer in Ireland. It was tougher when I took off for what I thought was going to be two years in Germany. And I don't think she ever expected I'd end up in Asia. But I still remember the words of my parents when they told me they raised me to be independent and wanted us to be happy in what we did. They knew God was leading me in this direction and were proud that I was following. If she (and dad) didn't do such a good job of raising me, I still would be living in their basement.

I could fill pages telling stories of a woman people on several continents call Eleanor or Elle, yet I still call mom. I could also probably get in trouble for putting up more photos of her through years. So I guess I will end this post with a funny note I got from my mom. It was on a bag of Musli she sent me in a care package. It says, "To Ryan: From IKEA 11/27/05 You can take out the raisins if you don't like."
You gotta love a mom who allows you to be a picky eater, even when you are half a world away and in your thirties.

So mom, if you are reading this... Thank you for all you did to help raise me right. Thank you for being supportive of my vagabond lifestyle. Thank you for being a Godly example of caring for others before yourself. Thank you for providing a place I know I can always return to. Thank you. You are appreciated and loved.

Currently listening to: Danny Plett - (one of my mom's favorite albums)


Friday Evenin' Finally Rolls Around

Getting writers block
Can't come up with great haiku
Need inspiration.

I had one written
Based on dinner plans I made
But we ate elsewhere.

It takes work he said
Not all fun times and romance
I'll trust him on that.

My friend is a dad
Just like a Chuck Norris role
They named him Braddock.

Some really tough rules
Thanks to a new covenant
They don't apply now.

I said it was done
Some thought that I would get Lost
But still no TV.

Under the moonlight
A bat moves through the crisp air
Letting out tension.

"Oh my gosh, no way."
That dumb smiley keeps saying
Enough already.

Currently reading:


A Matter Of Trust

Even though I have been going to church for a long time now, I can remember very few sermons that I have heard. But one that I did hear was on lying. The pastor made a comment that he felt it was the first sin humans participate in. He pointed towards the baby that even before they utter words, will cry just to get attention.

Tonight I gave a devotion on lying and the trouble it can get one in. I read from Acts 5, where a couple paid the highest price for lying. What amazes me sometimes is the lengths people can go to convince themselves they are telling the truth. Even when the evidence is right in front of their eyes, they still believe what they have created in their head as the actual events.

One of the phrases (or variations of) I have had to use over the last eight years of working with kids the most is: "I don't care what you do, but lying to me is the worst of all offenses." I then go to tell them how it takes a while to build trust and respect, but can be destroyed with just one lie.

Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth. Proverbs 16:13

That is just what is on my mind tonight... take it for what it is worth.

Song to go with this post: They Might Be Giants - Finished with Lies


I Grieve In My Condition

It is now time for another week's ryhming submission
Which are just as difficult to produce as cold fission.
I don't know if I write these due to some ambition
Or if it has just because it has become a tradition.
It sure isn't to gain any local or global recognition.
One of my good friends is a professional magician
And I'd promote his book without any commission.
The local museum has Rouault's art work on exhibition.
Speaking of art, here is a self portrait done by Titian.
That is two artists' work to end this day's transmission.

Currently listening to:


You And I Collide

This afternoon, I set out on a quest. And very much like Ethan Hunt's search for the "Rabbit's Foot", I went about looking for what at this point I, for the sake of adding mystery to this lame story, will call the "Bed Bug." While isn't a team of rogue agents chasing me, I think if I were to actually find this rumored item in this fair country there might be a reward.

So there I am cruising along on my bike when... BAM, a car pulls out in font of me without any notice. Again taking a page out of the Mission Impossible handbook, I quickly weigh my options. While I would have loved to pull of the moviesque fly across the top of the car with a two point landing on the other side, the only real option was to use the side of the car to stop the momentium of this body in motion. Yep folks, bike accident number two saw me watching in slow motion as I colide with a car. At the time it was not a pretty sight. Yet, looking back on it, I don't know if my view of the whole thing was as funny as the view of the passengers as they see a large foreigner smack against their vehicle.

They were kind enough to see if I was alright. Which I told them I was, even though I'm pretty sure I saw the cartoon stars floating around my head. After a quick adjustment to the alignment of tire and handle bar, it was back on the hunt. One that did not provide any positive results. Oh well, at least I am alive for yet another adventure tomorrow.

Currently reading:


Friday Morning All Alone

The girl made my day
With a big smile and a hug
And a balloon hat.

Biking across town
Got to make it home in time
Ice cream is melting.

A beautiful night
Filled with good conversation
Thanks for being there.

Hey it's No Pants Day
One day I don't celebrate
Well, not in public.

The sun was shining
A great day for the cages
It was decided.

Planning a party?
Don't ask me for game ideas
I am of no help.

How many people
Can say they used Bible maps
To plan vacations?

Currently reading:


I'll Travel Anywhere

Well, folks the other day I mentioned trying to booking travel tickets through Russian speaking countries. Tonight I got word that all the money has made it to the proper places, and now I just wait on the tickets. And before you ask what is the big deal in the day and age of credit cards and ATMs, it isn't always that quick and easy. Three airline tickets were purchased, one on an airline that doesn't accept credit cards. Only one airline issued me an e-ticket. My train tickets had to be paid by bank transfer. Let me tell you there is something very scary about having someone whom you don't share a common language send a large sum of money to a country you grew up believing wanted to drop a bomb on you.

So I think at this point I can give you a brief guide to my summer. Plan accordingly, as tickets for the Cordell World Tour are selling out quick.
July 4 - Beijing
July 6 - Ulan Bator
July 10 - Irkutsk
July 15 - Moscow
July 18 - Copenhagen
July 19 - Basel
July 22 - Niederweiler, Germany
July 23 - Basel
July 27 - Istanbul
Aug. 3 - Tashkent
Aug. 6 - Taejon

So if you are anywhere near any of those cities and want to hang out, provide lodging, race camels, or even assist me in living out some song lyrics, please contact me.

Speaking of world travels and languages, this video made me laugh.

Currently reading:


Eyes Open Wide

The paper warned all the people to stay inside
From the invading yellow dust it said to hide.
But that did not stop me from a nice bike ride
To my new coffee shop over on the west side.
I once had crashed while attempting to hang glide.
Some folk into last weeks poem's meaning pried
They thought they knew exactly what the words implied
Which is funny, as its meaning I'm still trying to decide.
The gelato place only has five flavors I have not tried.
Mr. Wilder said nothing was going to break his stride
About the same time U2 had a hit song with Pride.
The other day two cars next to my cab did collide
The cabbie only made a comment we thought was snide.
I'm stoked about this week's artwork I'm about to provide
As only Dali would do a self protrait as bacon that was fried.