That Proves You Were There

Sometimes I get the feeling my life is more interesting than it really is. Sometimes that feeling is proven to be correct. In my defense I present to you the jury the following:

Traveling to a foreign country for a rock show is pretty sweet. Getting a mention on the band's website (and myspace blog too) is über amazing. At least in my book.

Although I must give some props to "Ashley from Alabama". Let's be honest, if it were just me talking to the band after the show, it would have said something about "some loner that was hanging around after the show like he had no where to go." Plus she is the one who discovered the concert's existence in the first place. If she didn't put the idea of rocking in Japan, I would have spent my time off probably cleaning my bathtub (which I'm doing after I post this) and going to see Eragon.

Now the question is what do I do next to up the interesting factor? Any suggestions?

Currently listening to: Calexico - Calexico - Garden Ruin


A Little Routine I Liked

Do not worry kids
The routine begins again
The haiku are back.

Walking in Japan
Like a scene from a movie
Just without Scarlett.

Got some photographs
You want to save forever?
Use Lovely Caskets.

Driving around town
GPS unit in car
But still getting lost.

Snow in the city
Just glad I don't have to drive
It's crazy enough.

One question I fear
How to be a girly girl
From one of my guys.

Some kids just found out
Talking during a concert
Does not make me nice.

Currently reading:


The Eastern Sea's So Blue

This weekend I had the opportunity to travel with four ladies to a rock show in Japan. Take a second to soak that all in, and then I'll break it down for you all.

It was a weekend of travel. It started with a two hour train ride to the southern shores of Korea. There we boarded a hydrofoil ferry for what would be a three hour tour. Upon disembarking in Japan, I had to try to explain to the customs agents why I was only spending twenty hours in his country (interestingly enough not the first time I've had this experience). Upon making it through the customs it was off to the bus to take us to downtown Fukuoka to begin the Japanese experience.
Yep, four females actually agreed to spend a portion of their weekend hanging with the one they call Cordell. Sure, this goes against a promise I made with myself eight years ago about traveling to a foreign country with that many women. I made that after an awkward trip to Paris and EuroDisney, and but felt it might be time to rethink that promise. And sure, it probably wasn't the opportunity to spend time with me, as it was going to a concert in a foreign country that was the hook, but this is my blog and I'll spin it however I want. Either way, it was me, four ladies, and a evening of music ahead.
Just like the old saying, "if the concert will not come to Ryan, Ryan must come to the concert." Since the concert offerings are a little limited in Korea, I chose to try another country to fulfill the need to rock and/or roll. I could have gone a day later and caught Boys II Men, but I felt the option of Calexico and Iron & Wine would be a far better choice. I was right. Unfortunately due to weather conditions, Iron & Wine didn't show up until the load out began. But that did allow Calexico to have the full stage for the whole night. They did not disappoint. For almost three hours they played a variety of songs from their collection. Those among us who had not known their material were immediately hooked. Personally, I was even more sold on their talents. I highly recommend anyone with at least one ear to see them in concert.
And to finish up the explanation of that first sentence, I repeat again, we went to Japan. This was my first real trip there, as the airport just doesn't count. I went with few expectations, including hoping to have a few "Lost In Translation" moments as I wandered the streets of Fukuoka. Outside of the concert time, I had a great time. From enjoying a great curry in a Shi Lankan restaurant to wandering the streets late at night or just all the people watching, the city provided a great experience and left me with a desire to return again. Hey look, Yo La Tengo there in February, and Muse is there in March. Hmmmm.

Plus, no one really avoided me like a psyched lone ranger, so I got that going for me.

Currently listening to: Calexico - "Drenched"


Shake It Up

It might be too soon to find any information online, but I think we just had a small earthquake here in the Korean peninsula. Shortly before 9 pm, the room started shaking, and I know for a fact I was not drinking. I was sitting in the office playing some cards online, and thought my chair was acting in a way an office chair usually does not act. Confused why it would start wobbling, I began to look around and noticed the door also swaying a little. Some students also confirmed that they noticed the movements, otherwise I would think I was crazy.

OK, a quick update - there is still nothing on the USGS site of recent earthquakes, but I received a text message on my cell phone telling me there was a 4.8 quake 105 miles northeast of where I live. The odd thing is that I'm the only one in the dorm who got a text message (or bothered to read it, as I've found out.) from the "tragedy alarm center," as one student called it.

Currently listening to: Calexico - Calexico - Garden Ruin


Out In The Frozen Air

Indoor urination is overrated. Yes my friends, I not only typed that, but I also believe it. I recently spent six days in the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the closest thing to running water was me scooping water out of the frozen lake and carrying it into the cabin in containers as quickly as I could. Thus we tried to conserve on the water used to flush the toilet. And while trying to write your name or a short doctoral thesis depending on how much you've had to drink can be fun, I will tell you that ten degree Fahrenheit outhouse seats are not fun.
But I'm not just posting an update on my preferences in bladder depletion. Just thought I would get your attention first. See it was a grand time in the north woods. A couple good friends and I enjoyed a few quality days of rest, cards, pyromania, storytelling, and attempts at global domination on the Risk board. It was so relaxing that we used one of these to measure the time spent. In fact I think a couple days began for us when the clock said half past whatever day it was.
Speaking of pyromania, yet again I came very close to a major injury due to a firework. But that is another story for another time. Even the eight hour drive there and back was highly enjoyable, although it was a sad drive out of the woods knowing it meant heading back to the responsibilities of life again. Oh, the responsibilities of life...

Currently listening to: Five for Fighting - Two Lights


Haven't Been Home In A Year Or More

Figured it was time for an update. While many of my coworkers took off to beaches in warm climates, I decided to surpise my parents by returning home for Christmas. I was able to shock not only the parental units, but also all of my siblings and spouses. It was a Christmas miracle.

Since then I've basically been hanging around the house, catching up on family time, watching CSI and Law & Order marathons, and wondering where the snow is. In a couple days I take off for an island adventure with some friends. Last year two of spent time on an island off the coast of Phuket, this year the island is on a frozen lake in Michigan.

Finally, I can report that tonight I joined the "Wall of Flame" at a local bar and grill. All it took was consuming a plate of what they claim are their hottest buffalo wings. I won't say it was easy, but it wasn't hard either.

Song to go with this post: Buster Poindexter - "Hot Hot Hot"