Has Something Good Begun

For a couple years I have been posting videos over on the YouTube. I figured a few random people would watch them, and perhaps leave some stupid comments. So I was shocked when I was asked if one of my videos could be used in a music video. Rafael Gazzi and Paul Sonnenberg created an amazingly beautiful song, and chose my tram ride through Basel to accent their song. When Paul emailed me and told me the song was "about the feelings of longing and hope experienced by an expatriate in a new country," I knew this was a song I could embrace. Be sure to check out their sites, and even leave a comment on their Myspace or YouTube pages.

Arrivals (Noutro Cais)
By Rafael Gazzi
English lyrics by Paul Sonnenberg

Headlights of a train
Has something come to an end
Or has something good begun?
Beautiful and new
Welcoming me like a friend
Ah, such colors, and such tones

How much will I be changed?
How much will I change?
How much, here, will I know and be known?
At last, to be known!
Will this loneliness always remain?
This longing for my family back home?
Can I build a happy life from
A loving heart alone
This heart is all I own

I want to see the sun rise at dawn
On other landscapes and yet I still want even more
I want to see the sun set upon
Other places and yet I still want even more
The soft turn of a loving hand
Meet the eyes, watch the stars, be the sea
Let the waves of love from this heart of mine
Embrace all I see

I want to see the sun rise at dawn
Over the mountains and yet I still want even more
I want to see the sun set upon
Other places and yet I still want even more
Hear the voice of a gentle hand
Striding angels that rustle the trees
To recognize the voice of a loving heart
When she speaks to me

Lead Me To The Harbour

"Electricity" is the theme at PhotoFriday this week. This photo was taken last fall when I was in Hong Kong. Every night they put on an amazing light display in the harbour. I would love to know what the total electric bill to run the Symphony of Lights. I posted a video of the show on the YouTube.


I Break From The Crowd

Last Thursday I took the train up to Seoul to catch Duran Duran. It was the first time in almost twenty years that they were playing South Korea. I figured that they would be a great band to see as my last concert here in the ROK. With that in mind, I scored a ticket in the standing area right in front of the stage. In fact, it was the sixth row of the standing section. Wrap your head around that concept.

So I get to the Olympic Park Gymnasium and pick up my ticket. The security guards then directed those in the standing section to proceed to one side of the venue. Now here is the part of Korean concert going that I will never understand: They then lined us up by ticket number. The standing section of most of the concerts I've attended in North America and Europe are first come first served. Yet here in a country that still struggles with lines at the grocery stores, they have people line up like those crazy "get to know you" games at camp. "OK, this time everyone line up by height. Next by reverse alphabetical order of your middle names." Security guards spent the hour before the doors opened making sure that people were in numerical order. Once the tickets were taken and the doors opened, it was all a waste as people just rushed to the spots nearest to the stage. My long legs, quick stride and determination allowed me to find a spot on the front row.

Now another aspect of the oxymoronic aspect of entertainment here is that you can buy bootlegged DVDs on many street corners, yet they are fairly strict about taking photos at some concerts. Four or five guys, who I guess might be drop outs of the military, were stationed in the front to crack down on cameras. They would scan the audience looking for the metallic shine or unfortunate flash. For some like myself and the guy next to me it becomes a game. The goal is to see how many shots you can get without being noticed. Needless to say, I think I won this concerts game. Although the dude next to me with the SLR wins top prize for both most photos and largest camera used categories.

For those wondering about the show, I'll just say it was everything I expected. They busted out all their hits, as well as the newer stuff. I actually really enjoyed some of the new stuff, even if Timberlake's name was dropped as a co-writer of one song. I was a little worried when I heard that they had forgotten some lyrics at a previous show. I can report they didn't forget the lyrics, just forgot the order. As they closed out the show with "Rio" it sounded like they were trying a round as Simon sang "Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand" while John was busting out, "Her name is Rio she don't need to understand." I'll cut them some slack, as they are pushing 50, have recorded over twelve albums, and the song they were singing was older than some of my coworkers.

Currently listening to: Duran Duran -


Frozen In The Snow

The theme this week at PhotoFriday is "Cold." Don't talk to me about cold until you have used an outhouse during an Upper Peninsula winter.


A Little Time To Wake Up

A nap is defined as sleeping a short period of time. This is usually done to break up the day, and catch up on rest. So what do you call when you wake up for about ten to twenty minutes in the middle of the night for no reason? Is it the reverse nap? Cause I'm reverse napping right now.

Odds are I will remember there really is a word for this tomorrow when my brain is fully functioning.

Currently listening to: Pierce Pettis -


If The Bombs Fall

"Fragile" is this week's theme at PhotoFriday. This was a bomb I came across while wandering around some old war trenches in the Vosges Mountains of France. I tried to pick it up, just to see how heavy it was. I even thought it would make a cool conversation piece in my apartment. Luckily, there were some people who felt it would be unwise to load a undetonated WWII bomb into the back of van full of students. Those same wise people were not on another trip we made to the area, but that is another story for another time.


But You're Not Allowed To Win

Before it becomes too trendy, I want to announce that I will be abstaining from competing at the Beijing Olympics this year. It was a tough decision, but here are my reasons:

1. China's human rights record
2. The abundance of lead in Chinese exports - if I want lead in my kids toys, I'd just buy them some hematite pellets.
3. The lack of success with the fortunes and lucky numbers I've found in fortune cookies over the years.
4. I've already been in the custody of the Chinese military once, don't want to do that again.
5. Most importantly, they have not named the board game Risk as an Olympic event. Let's face it, that is about my best shot to even have a chance at winning the gold.

Currently listening to: Monty Python - "I Like Chinese"


All This Wandering

"Far From Home" is the theme at PhotoFriday this week.

I have considered myself fortunate to be able to wander so far from the pumpkin fields of Morton, Illinois. There are hundreds of photos I could use to show myself "far from home" I picked this one, just because it is one of the more recent photos. It was taken in Subic Bay, Philippines, while I was in the area helping with a Habitat for Humanity building project.

To be honest, home is a concept I struggle more and more with. While many of my peers have a place to call home, I feel homeless. Sure there are places I know I can stay for long periods of time and feel comfortable, but a home I feel I lack. In some ways I would love to say because I am longing for a heavenly home, but I think it might have to deal with my ever need to wander.

This actually line of thought could fill a huge post, so for the time being, just enjoy the photo. As with every photo, it was so much better in real life.