Packing A Suitcase

I sit here waiting for my laundry to dry. I wonder why I always put packing off until the last possible moments. Even more so, I am curious how I ended up like this. I look at my siblings and those who grew up around me, and none have traveled to the extent that I have. Many would see it as a blessing, but there are times I would beg to disagree. Another country, another town, another frustrating language. Do not get me wrong, I am very thankful for the miles I have traveled, and even more so for those I have met along the way. But who else do you know that uses luggage as furniture? That nightstand by my bed is a suitcase. And my laundry bin is the Rubbermaid tub I shipped some of my stuff over in. I even have a collection of alarm clocks I have bought around the world, not because I collect them, but I end up forgetting to pack one. Which reminds me, I better pack one of those.

Well, the laundry is done. Must finish packing and try to get a little sleep. I do not want to miss Ratatouille and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer on the flight. At least on my return they are showing The Simpsons Movie and Stardust.

Currently listening to: The Frames -


Do You Hear What I Hear?

I think I mentioned that I have almost three whole days of Christmas music in my collection. It is a rather random mix of tunes. I've got complete holiday albums by the classics like Vince Guaraldi, John Denver, and the Steamroller. There is also the Twisted Sister, Rick Springfield, Barenaked Ladies, Menudo, Partridge Family and Sufjan Stevens albums to add a new twist on the holiday season. And don't even get me started on over 150 versions of Wham!'s Last Christmas, I discovered via this site. Needless to say I have plenty to help with the holiday cheer, and to save me from tears...

But as I have been listening to these tunes, I have become a little disturbed by some of the lyrics in some popular songs. And I'm not talking about Weird Al's "Christmas At Ground Zero" or "The Night Santa Went Crazy". So if any of you have any insight, let me know what they where thinking when they wrote these:

1. "Tonight thank God it's them instead of you" from "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid. Sure they recorded this to raise money and attention to the poor in Africa, but this sort of distracts from the purpose a little?

2. "Making my life long sorrow if you caught pneumonia and died" from "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Frank Loesser. While the guy is pressuring his girlfriend to stay the night, he drops this odd line. Sure she would be dead, but how would that make him feel.

3. "There'll be scary ghost stories" from "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" by Eddie Pola and George Wyle. Did I miss something growing up? I never remember ghost stories as part of the holiday festivities.

Well, there are probably more, but I have got to get back to my Christmas music marathon. Before I go, I recommend this mix of Winter Wonderland. I only wish I had thought of doing that.

Currently listening to: John Denver and the Muppets -


Buy A Shiny Backpack

Ireland next week
Switzerland the following
Not too bad a break

Cheaper to fly there
Than most countries I checked on
Except for Japan.

Going to see The Frames
Playing a New Year's Eve gig
Should be a good show.

Got a rental car
To enjoy the autobahn
While in Germany.

Any Europe folk
Who want to meet up with me
Leave me a comment.

Currently watching:

Highway Run

"The Best of 2007" is the theme of PhotoFriday this week. I've posted over a thousand photos taken in nine different countries. It is hard to narrow down to just one as the best. I picked this one, as it shows one of the things about travel that I love most, the open road. Travel to me is not always about the destination, but the journey. Too often for me the best parts about a trip happen on the way. The destination is sometimes the icing on the cake. J.R.R Tolkien said it best, "Not all who wander are lost." I am just grateful I have been able to wander this far and for this long.


Now That It's Out

Last week I was excited when I discovered that Once was coming out on DVD here in Korea the same day it was being released in America. This has to be one of the best films I have seen in a while, and I was planning on having the folks ship it to me. But if I could get it sooner, even better. So I had one of my students check the Korean websites just to make sure I was right. He told me he could just download it for me. After a little explanation about how I do not agree with that, plus want to physical dvd, he found that I was correct.

So this morning I was set to wake up and head to one of the local DVD stores to see if they had it. Well, morning disappeared before I got out of bed. But once I got up, I headed out fully intended to head to the store. I was then distracted by some friends watching the Monday night game. After it was apparent that Chicago was going to lose, I headed to the store. I walked in looked around, and figured it would be best to go straight to the counter. Showing a paper I printed off the Korean website about the DVD, I proceeded to see if the movie was in stock. She smiled and grabbed a copy of it from right in front of me. She then walked it up to the checkout counter. I got the feeling she had not even entered it into the system yet, as she was still putting pricing stickers on them when I showed up.

I headed home, hoping to put it into the DVD player. Alas, upon my return, I discovered a package from home with the Commitments. Seeing that I have been waiting a while for that one, I popped it into the player. Once can wait one more day.

Either way, these Irish films are getting me excited about the upcoming trip. Eight days from now I will be back in Dublin.

Currently watching:


Living Out This Life I've Chose

I have been lacking in things to post lately, but here are a couple random thoughts:

1. It is sad when a Popa John's Pizza across town is a note of excitement in your week, if not month. Too bad they do not deliver to this side of town. But if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.

2. When I die, I want someone to hire David Caruso (or a suitable impersonator) to stand off to the distance at my burial. Then after some silence, he should put on some sunglasses and walk away. This could be a sign I have been watching too much CSI Miami.

3. Today I was saddened by the news that Dan Fogelberg passed away. Unfortunately, most of the people I work with would have to google to figure out who he was.

4. I never expected that I would be my age and still counting down days until Christmas break. Heck, I might be more excited than some of my days as a student. And the number is 3, but that is including a day off.

Currently listening to: Dan Fogelberg -


Reach Up For The Sunrise

The PhotoFriday theme this week is "Sunrise." It must be proof that I am not really a morning person, when this is the only sunrise photo I have. I took this from the top of an orphanage near Bangalore, India. I am excited to be able to return there in about two months. This will be my third time taking a group of students from our school to work with the children there.


Upon A Midnight Clear

Went to a concert
Swedish a capella group
Touring Korea.

Time for Christmas tunes
Over fifty-four hours
In my collection.

Less than two weeks left
The Christmas break begins
I can't hardly wait.

Heading to Europe
Because tickets were so cheap
And I hate the beach.

So if you are there
In Dublin or Basel-land
Let's get together.

Currently listening to: Hall & Oates -

Shake All The Way To The Outhouse

The theme this week at PhotoFriday is "Primitive." I have spent a lot of time in this little outhouse. While I do enjoy all the benefits of indoor plumbing, I have to admit that I do find a simple enjoyment in using an outhouse. I am not totally sure I can explain it fully. Perhaps it is the feeling of privacy, going to a seperate location to take care of business. I could lie and say it is because it is wasting less water and potentially causes less impact on the environment. Maybe it is fact that most people I know have never used on, and thus it is yet another a unique experience that makes me who I am. Although I will say that using one in the winter does make me appreciate indoor plumbing, at least for the fact that the seat is not freezing cold upon contact.


One Day I Have Ham And Bacon

As a news junkie, I usually get a good laugh at some of the odd stories out there. Unfortunately, a report of people stealing seventeen tons of ham made me cringe a little. See, before I started my world traveling ways, I spent many post college days processing meat for Rocke's Meating Haus. On a normal week I would process one to two ton of ham a week. During the holiday season, I saw two to three ton of ham pass before my eyes. To give you an idea, it would take two solid days of work for me just to pump the brine into a ton or two of ham. Then, there was the smoking, slicing and glazing to still be done. If the ham wasn't enough to occupy my time, I also would cure a large amount of turkey breasts as well. Needless to say, by the end of the holiday season, I would pretty much avoid any ham product. It was bad enough that I smelled of ham pretty much all the time, the thought of eating it was unbearable.

But to walk into work and discover that I would be having to redo all that work due to a burglary, I'd be asking for a serious pay increase and a Christmas bonus that wasn't meat related.

Currently listening to: Rick Springfield -