The Weekend Starts Here

The decision was made
The paperwork handed in
I'll be here next year.

This war between us
It looks like you've won this time
How 'bout best of three?

By nurses orders
I'm allowed to play football
Only with helmet.

It was a good thought
But I second guess myself
I'm such a dummy.

Currently listening to: Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas


Chasin' Mice Around

Occasionally we have drill in our dorm to prepare students on the proper procedures to take if an intruder enters the building. Just like with a fire or tornado drill, you want them to be ready, but hope you never have to use the information in a real emergency. Tonight that intruder came. Fortunately he was too small to set procedures into motion.

I was alerted to the tiny little guy's presence by the shrieks from the television room next to the office where I was. Instantly one of the guys told me there was a rat in the building. I sprung into action. We started to pull the sofas away from the wall to force the little guy out. The little guy was smarter than that, so we then started tossing the sofas on their sides to clear the space and hopefully flush him out. Again, he outfoxed us on this move too. We were about to give up when my dorm dad noticed him hiding between some cushions.

The mouse (not a rat) then took to the floor running. We began to chase him around, myself armed with a broom and my dorm dad armed with some sticky mouse traps. I recommended getting a vacuum for backup, so one was obtained as we continued in pursuit of the rodent. He kept running from corner to corner, using the various pieces of furniture as shields. Soon after the threat of being sucked into a great unknown became real, the mouse decided to make a break for the door.

Unfortunately for the little guy there was only one thing standing between him and the door, and it stood over six feet tall in a pair of size thirteen shoes. He had to get past me for freedom, and that was not going to be an option tonight. I still had the broom in my hand as he made his move. Thinking quickly, I abandoned the broom and put my right foot forward. The Nike Swoop was the last thing that mouse saw. Immediately the students watching let out cheers along with sounds of disgust as this was the first time some of them had seen a mouse dissected so quickly.

I walked out trumpeting my victory in my role of protector of the students. They will sleep well knowing that their RA will crush any threat they might have, at least the ones under four inches in length.

Song to go with this post: Megadeth - "Crush 'Em"


I'm In No Shape For Drivin'

I think I obtained my first concussion today. It was a beautiful play in the end zone as I was attempting to catch the football. I watched in slow motion as it bounced around my fingers as I was falling backwards towards earth. Unfortunately, it was knocked out of my hands seconds before the THUD of my head hitting the cold hard field reverberated though my head like something that reverberates a lot.

I think I am doing fine, although for a while this afternoon life was a blur. Like, I know I had a conversation with a friend on the street, but I do not remember much of what was said or even if I made any sense. Dinner wasn't much better, as I do not think I was tracking with most of the conversation.

But I'm getting better. I think I'll go for a walk. I feel happy. I feel happy.

Song to go with this post: Coldplay - "A Rush of Blood to the Head"


It's Been One Week

Earlier, I posted about how this has been one of the stranger weeks I have experienced. And those who know me well, know I have had some pretty strange weeks in this life. I was presented with options for my future that would not only impact me, but everyone in my small circle of friends. I was forced to make decisions between two decent options, both with their advantages and disadvantages. It was like the time when I had to decide between either seeing Wilco or The Hooters in concert one evening. OK, it wasn't exactly like that, but you get the point.

When presented with the options, I asked for time to really think about things and pray. And pray I did. I even sent out a letter to many of my supporters to be praying for my wisdom in decision making. While I did not feel one hundred percent one way or another, I had a feeling what my decision was going to be. My personal feelings were leaning one way, but I wanted to be sure that they also aligned with God's direction.

Now here is the funny/strange/interesting part... before I even planned on delivering my decision, I was approached by those I was in negotiating with. They informed me that they did not think that proceeding forward was the best option at this time. Now this was the direction I was feeling as well, but I did not even have to utter it. God clearly made the decision for me, as well as made that decision clear to me.

So needless to say, I will not be moving to any new countries in the next year.

This morning, I decided to skip church. Not something I recommend doing often, but once in a while I think it is a needed thing. Instead, I spent some time in the Word and listening to a message by Ron Merrell. Amazingly, it was exactly what I needed to hear. He talked about choices and the moments that they are made in. He talked about "having faith that God is bigger than your moment." Again some backing up from God about the choices that have been made by me and for me.

Now hopefully life will return to some normalcy, at least my usual levels of normal.

Song to go with this post: Chris Rice - "The Power of a Moment"


The Naive Simpleton So Immature

Immature is the theme of this week's PhotoFriday. I kept seeing these hot dog stands around Moscow this summer. Every time I had to laugh a little, as I thought they had a rather strange name. Guess it was only the font that makes it look bad, as in Russian it is pronounced, "Stardogs." Yep, I can be so immature.

Song to go with this post: Michael Jackson - "Stranger in Moscow"


I'm The Leftover Turkey

This week presented
Two offers for my future
Think I'll pass on both.

The order was wrong
Football, nap, and then turkey
This Thanksgiving day.

The pistachios
I smuggled back from Turkey
Are almost finished.

It has been too long
Turkey day with family
Has it been nine years?

Currently listening to: Adam Sandler - "The Thanksgiving Song"


A Strange Cup Of Tea

Lately has anyone had the feeling their life has been a crazy mix of songs by Genesis and Richard Marx, a poem by Robert Frost, a couple John Cusack films, and a nineteenth century Russian novel?

Yeah, me neither.

There hasn't been any Marx in the mix.

Currently listening to: OMC -


Cause It's Friday Night Again

Students sneaking out
Never expected me there
Watching like a hawk.

Set the trap for mice
But I couldn't help but laugh
When it caught a dog.

Darwin had a point
Survival of the fittest
Happens now and then.

Making mixed CDs
Like programming a jukebox
Without the quarters.

Proverbs Thirty-one
Everyone thinks of the gals
Not about the guys.

Time for the question
Should I stay or should I go
Any suggestions?

Currently listening to: Hayden -

An Albino, A Mosquito

Evil is the theme at Photo Friday.

It was a cold and rainy day in Russia. We were on a hike several kilometers from a small remote town. It was bad enough that my mind started playing tricks on me, causing me to think that this was going to be where I would die. But evil was taken up a step when the mosquitoes began to swarm.

Currently listening to: Hayden -


But He Keeps On Trying

I know I've said it before, but if the rich and famous can not find true and lasting love, how is a average guy like me to have any hope?

While we are on the subject of relationships... A while ago I was standing with two people who have some influence in my life. We were talking about some student issues. At one point one informed me I was doing a good job, but he was concerned about my eyesight. I had heard this line of joking before, but the others around had not. He clarified the joke by saying that he was concerned that there were all these eligible women working around me, and I am not doing anything about it. This reminded me of a friend years ago who was told by a coworker, "just pick one." Like it is just that easy.

Usually this line of thought is dismissed by some random joke from me like, "there is a reason most pandas do not mate in captivity... everyone is watching." For some reason on this particular evening, I thought I would defend my honor (what little there might be), and perhaps the honor of those who find themselves in similar situations. I started by telling him that I agree I have worked with many quality gals during my years in international education. I then informed him that I felt my eyesight, as well as most of my male coworkers, was pretty good, and that it could be the reasoning of some of those ladies that should be in question. I told him that I know of a few of those ladies that have been approached by some of the guys, but for one reason or another they have passed on those chances. Perhaps they have just taken the wise advice of Annie Lennox.

We had a couple good laughs about the whole situation. It then segued into a good talk about how life in a fishbowl is not easy for either gender. I think, as people who arrived in this situation married, they didn't fully understand some of the added pressures the single people among them face. Sure, some of those pressures are self imposed, but some are put on them by the people around them. And again, it does not help that everyone is watching.

Soon I had to leave to check up on some students. But at least I knew that I would not be questioned about my lack of vision. Although my lack of action could still be in question or does this count?

Currently listening to: Martyn Joseph -


Find My Place Up On The Map

I used to think that this map was the coolest, as it showed where people were looking at my site from. Well, a week or so ago, I discovered that Flickr now has a map feature. So now you can see where in the world my photos have been taken. I have been going through some old photos, like this one, hoping to fill up the map. This actually has caused great excitement, as now can I not only tell the story behind the photo, but I can show exactly where it happened... even down to the exactly city block in some cases.

Perhaps the next step will be to get people to spell out my name in every country...

Speaking of travels, I came across Rick Steves' ten tips for sleeping cheap in Europe. I'd like to add my very own tips. All links show places I've spent a night free of charge.

1. Sleep in city parks.
2. Don't be afraid to sleep outside.
3. Park benches make great beds.
4. Airports are not just for moving through.

Currently listening to: Mindy Smith -


Things Ain't Cooking In My Kitchen

Out hunting for food
Walking across the city
Just to make a meal.

Onions and chicken
Garlic, beans and green peppers
Made a fine chili.

This week had a few
Meetings about my future
Wish I knew the way.

I wrote a haiku
But I got scared to publish it
So this took its place.

Currently listening to: The Perishers -


Walking Round The Room Singing

This is a great weather week. Yesterday I was awoken by an amazing thunderstorm. Last night I walked under a perfectly clear sky complete with a full moon. Tonight as I head to my bed it is snowing outside my window. Too bad it isn't sticking, as I would be tempted to have a snowman standing by the back gate to welcome all to school. Alas, there will only be two or three of us who actually were aware snow was falling tonight.

Tonight I went to see The Prestige. I'm telling you this has to be one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I highly recommend, and that is all I am going to say about this film. Wow, I just got a feeling of deja vu.

In other news, I work with some crazy people. I have the text messages to prove it.

Currently listening to: The Perishers -


In Short Supply

When the third one broke
I vowed to ban the iPods
But I caved this week.

In the next five months
Three international flights
Not counting returns.

I'd write more haiku
But I've got things to get done
So look at this chart.

Currently listening to: Snow Patrol -

Just Like A Sacred Cow

I was looking through some old photos on my computer today. I came across this one that also fits in the theme of "Light" on PhotoFriday. This was taken at the morning Fashnact parade in Basel in 2004.

Currently reading:


Pre-wrapped Sausages and Things

I have discovered there is an exciting feeling about walking up to a bank teller and sliding a piece of paper requesting a few million to be withdrawn from your account. Even better is when she does it without flinching. She asked me if I wanted it in cash or check. As I would be walking across town to another bank, I decided check, although I was really tempted with the feeling of walking out of the bank with a stash of bills. A few hours later, I got to enjoy dropping a few million on the desk when the teller asked me how much I wanted to transfer. Yeah kids, I'm a high roller. Before you start sending me requests for charity, remember I live in a country where a bag of chips costs a thousand.

Last night, I had dinner with some friends to celebrate the upcoming birthday of this guy. Two of us then went to see The Prestige. I'm telling you this has to be one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I highly recommend, and that is all I am going to say about this film.

Speaking of entertainment. I discovered a good sign you have been living overseas too long is when you get excited that Who's The Boss is on television. And speaking of Who's the Boss, do you what my favorite kind of cookies are?

Alyssa Milano Cookies

Currently listening to: