Posts Tagged ‘new york’

Welcome To The Melting Pot

December 29th, 2009

I added new songs to my home page under “Songs On Repeat.” I’ve been really digging these songs lately, and continuously hitting back on my ipod or car or itunes (too bad you can’t hit repeat on Pandora). I hope you enjoy them too.  And in case you weren’t aware, there is a little “play” button next to the song on the home page where you can listen to the song.

Phoenix UnitedIf I Ever Feel Better
United
Phoenix

Lryically this song is a sad yet redemptive song about someone that has gone through a terrible heartache.  He knows that this pain that he feels, however devastating, will some day fade away.  He is confident in that.  However, you can also feel the deep sadness that doesn’t want to believe that.    There is courage in this song.  There is perseverance and faith.

Even though this song has such heavy lyrics, the beat of the music is really catchy and always makes me happy when I hear it.  To me, its a happy song.  I cannot help myself but to dance around and sing to this song.  This song makes me happy.

Dark is the night, cold is the ground
In the circular solitude of my heart
As one who strives a hill to climb
I am sure I’ll come through I don’t know how
They say an end can be a start
Feels like I’ve been buried yet I’m still alive

The Life PursuitDress Up in You
The Life Pursuit
Belle & Sebastian

This is a beautiful, serene sounding song that takes a wallop with its lyrics.  Every verse is a power punch to the gut.  Its going along all pretty sounding and then you hear the F bomb, and have to rewind to make sure you heard it correctly.  The more you rewind it, the more it stands out as brilliant and genius.

I love it when the horn section comes in as well.  I wrote a pensée from this song not too long ago.

Blow up in the face of my rivals
I swear and I rant, I make quite an arrival
The men are surprised by the language
They act so discreet, they are hypocrites so fuck them too!

 

The Blueprint 3Empire State Of Mind
The Blueprint 3
Jay-Z (with Alicia Keys)

I recently posted two videos of this song.  Its a great song about the city of New York.  However, I truly love the lyrics that Alicia Keys sings.  Lyrics that give you hope and that pump you up to believe that anything is possible.  Jay-Z meanwhile takes you through his memory of the city and all that he has experienced there.  Looking back on his life, he is grateful for all he has seen and done.

Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves in life about how much we are blessed.  At the same time, we have to always believe that we can accomplish anything, no matter how difficult a belief that might be.

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
Theres nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in new york
These streets will make you feel brand new
The lights will inspire you

Empire State Of Mind

October 6th, 2009

This is Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performing his song “Empire State of Mind.” I love this song for Alicia Keys. She nails her part and sings a very motivating line. Although, what’s with the one big earing?

“There’s nothing you can’t do…these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you.”

Arreviderchi Italia

May 28th, 2009

May 28

goodbyes_smGot up at 5am and left our place at 6:05.  We walked a few blocks to the taxi stand outside of Piazza Navona.  Goodbyes were said, and tears were cried.  Ciao Rome.

Ending trips is always sad.  Especially if you’re traveling with someone and you don’t get to sit next to them on the airplane.  You feel disjointed, alone.

Trips ending suck.  There is no more excitement, just finality’s.  Going back unhappy that life is moving on, life is getting older, quickly fading away.

I assess that I have about 30 years of able travel left in my life, before bones and knees ache and travel is difficult.  Lately I have gone on big trips every couple of years (London/Paris in 2007, Rome in 2009), so that would leave 15 years left of able worldwide travel.  I better make every trip count.

It is sad leaving Rome, ending this trip.  Where will I be in life next time I come to Rome?  The last time I came to Rome I was about to be a senior in college.  How much different is my life now from what I expected and hoped?  Will this have been my last time to Rome?  Did I just say goodbye to the Trevi Fountain?  Even more, will this be my last trip to Europe?

I just got on the plane and I am sad–as you can tell.  I hope the person that will be sitting next to me is small in size, not grotesque, doesn’t smell badly, and is a nice person.

This flying stuff has been a lot easier than I remember.  I could almost get used to it.  I have been on the plane for 7 hours now, taken  little naps, and watched 1.5 movies.  I have put on Coconut Records 21 tracks on my ipod and I have not made it to song 11 awake, multiple times.  I think i have done this play-list 4 times now and I sleep till it finishes, then the engine noise wakes me up.

I watched the movie Marley and Me and I must admit that I cried numerous times.  Why do they advertise these movies as comedies and then draw the rain?

One part that got me was when Owen Wilson said “He gets to come home” and then of course the other moments towards the end, and the sudden end (which reminds me of a scene in the movie Fletch).

Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it’s a shame about Ed.

Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: Ahh, he was dying for years.

Fletch: Sure, but… the end was really… very sudden.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was in intensive care for eight weeks!

Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually died. That was extremely sudden.

I woke up from one of those naps to see that Get Smart was on and about 75% done.  Darn.  I feel that I need to take advantage of the things that make time go fast:  the movies, the sleeping…

They just showed the chart of where the plane is.  I love those things.  They show a picture of where in the world the plane is and the course it has taken.  Right now we are nearing Newfoundland and the edges of Canada.  It says we have 3:03 left till NY.  Oops, maybe I spoke too soon about getting used to this.

When I get into NY, there is customs and then a 2 hour layover before another 6.5 hour flight.

It’s been 10 hours since I caught the cab in Rome and an exact 12 hours till we arrive in San Diego.  Add that up, plus the hour earlier than that that I woke up this morning in Rome…travelling is tough.

And if I haven’t mentioned it, let me make sure I do here:  My last 3 meals in Italy regretfully sucked!

We are currently flying 841 Km/hr.  It’s 4:30 pm in Italy, I wonder what Debbie, Steve, Kathie and Jeane are doing.

I am now writing this the next day, after getting home.

I shouldn’t have mentioned during our layover in NYC that the 3 flights of the this trip had been relatively easy compared to flights in the past.  Well, 3 out of 4 now.

We were delayed at first boarding our plane, and then when I boarded, they were frantically still cleaning the plane.  We taxied out and sat for 30 minutes due to rain and busy-ness and then they announced that they heard a funny noise and we had to go back and get maintenance done.

As we were heading back, they said that they think it was just too much air conditioning and that they were gonna head back out and get in line again.

We waited 2 hours on the runway.

We took off and I was sitting near a cougher, a baby crying, a lady interrupting me asking random questions (Is the ocean cold in San Diego?), and next to a guy that had zero spacial sensitivity as he had his legs spread wide, was shaking and singing out loud to his death metal music and who was often reaching down and up his shorts to itch himself.

The movie sucked.  I watched 15 minutes of it and then read 400 pages of the Angels and Demons book that I bought at the airport in JFK, and then I took a nap.

During my nap, I pulled my hood over my head and put my earphones on.  The Itcher next to me wanted to go to the bathroom, but didn’t realize I was asleep.  When he tapped me, I jumped and let out a startled yelp.  It was funny.

26 or 27 or…hours after leaving Rome, we arrived in San Diego and Robbie picked us up.

Got home and talked to Adam for awhile, gave him his arsenal jersey, did a few random things and went to bed.

It’s odd being “home.”  I am afraid of falling back into habits of becoming lazy again, and not challenging myself.

I also am stressing about all I need to do to be responsible, to catch up on things, to eat, to see…I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to do it all in one day.

It was a fun trip.  Much different mentally than 11 years ago.  I wonder if that was because I was in charge this time and had responsibility to think and worry about other people?  Maybe it’s cause I’m older?  Maybe I had less enstranglement of thoughts and worries of life last time?

Seasons of life are strange.

I write this on the 29th now.  I woke up in the middle of the night with strange dreams, not sure where I was, quickly throwing on my shorts.  I realized shortly that it was 2 am and I had been asleep for 90 minutes only.

Got up eventually and went and ate pancakes for my first meal back.  I still can’t believe that my last meal in Italy was a hot dog.

Now I am going to try and have a lazy afternoon, finishing hopefully the last 300 pages of that book.

Sad.

Longing.

Grateful.

Arreviderchi Italia!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVYpL5Mky5w

Pinch This

May 21st, 2009

May 21, 2009

Alle LoggeStarted the morning the same way most mornings here in Montalcino would start for me, and that was downstairs at the winebar/internet cafe.  It is such a great convenience having it just outside the front door.  Almost as convenient as having it inside the apartment, but with better coffe.

We were meeting up today with Ceylan Tumgoren, who runs the winery at Casanuova delle Cerbaie Winery in Montalcino.  When we ran into her this morning, she wanted to sit with her mom for some coffee first, so we took the opportunity to walk over with my parents to a church that was currently being restored.  My mom has taken great pride in this little town and all of its events and undertakings.  You pinchcould see the pride in both of my parents faces as they discussed this church, its sinking, the art that was hanging, and the statue of peter that was here.

Rather than squeeze 6 in the car again, Lisa and I rode with Ceylan while the Volvo was behind.  We learned a lot about Ceylan on this car ride.  Her mother lives in New York and is divorced.  Her father is from Turkey.  To go along with her American citizenship she also held citizenship of Ireland.  She worked for a wine distributor out of NY called Zachy’s.  She then spent time working for a vineyard in Bordeaux France before moving to Montalcino where she has been for almost 2 years.  She speaks fluent French, Italian and some Turkish.   She told us how it was first a tough transition having an American work ethic while working with Italians because a coffee break would sometimes last 3 hours.

Lisa Likes Wine We arrived and we walked amongst the grape vines as she told us some of the history of the winery and some of the patterns of growth.  She told us about Brunello-gate(tangent:  I’m really tired of something controversial being called blank-gate.  Watergate was the name of the office complex in the Nixon controversy.  It had an actual reason of being called “gate.”  However, now everything gets labeled “gate” and its flat out annoying.  One recent example was when the Patriots were caught cheating, it was labeled “spygate.”  For an inconclusive list of many others read here).

One for you, two for meShe also told us about pinching the grapes  and how they do not want too many grapes growing on any particular vine because then all the energy of the vine is spread out through larger numbers, rather than focusing all its strength and flavors on a smaller number of grapes.  We walked up and down some vines, pinching the vines. 

two for meWe then went into the barrel rooms where we were gonna taste some of the wines that were in the middle of the aging process as well as some fresh wines.

In order for a wine to be classified as Brunello, it must be 100% sangiovese grape, grown in the region of Montalcino.  It must age in the barrel or vat for a minimum of 5 years.  If it is bottled after 2 years it is called a Rosa di Montalcino.  If it is less than 2 years it is called “Tabalo” or table wine.  I can’t imagine the patience that goes into a bottle of Brunello.  Not only do you have to grow the vine for a certain number of years in order to yield fruit, but then once you do you have to wait 5 years for it to properly age.

We tasted some of the wines that had been in the barrel for 2 years, and others that had been longer.  On one taste she immediately said “this one is ready to be moved out of the barrel” and she took note to make sure that got done immediately.  To me it just tasted like wine, as I am not sure I would have noticed it was ready to move.

Straight From The BarrelsIt was a great experience and I really enjoyed the first hand tour and imparted knowledge.

We made our way back to Montalcino and I spent some time posting to this site while at the internet wine bar.  We then all went to St. Antimowhere we spent time at a 30 minute service of Gregorian chants.  It was a really pretty church whose history dates back to the late 8th century.  After the beautiful service, we walked around the grounds and made our way back to Montalcino.   

antimo

Back in town, we walked around, ate some gelato, and then had dinner of wine and bruschetta, and then risotto with chicken.  All very delicious as we watched the moon come up over this beautiful valley.

Our conversation started toward Bridge and how my parents play often with Kathie.  We then spent 20 minutes trying to give me a bridge lesson and playing a hand.

Time for bed.

cork

Zantastic

May 7th, 2009

What an odd and interesting day  Let me take you back a few weeks though.  

I have been losing weight for the past few months because:

  1. since my knee injury, exercise is very limited.  I went from exercising 6 days a week down to zero.
  2. the last time Juan visited, we did some heavy eating and drinking.
  3. I wanted to create room for pasta and pizza and wine while I was in Italy.

I dropped around 20 pounds back to the weight I should be.  Sometimes I used good ad healthy methods for these results, and sometimes I used poor methods- like cramming for a test and pulling all nighters–you may get results, but you may suffer for it.

The last part of this week I have been increasing my food intake to prepare my body for heavier loads and the last few meals, my body would get a little sick to my stomach.

After I ate Monday night, my stomach started having problems and feeling very nauseous.  Come Wednesday I almost called in sick to work, and suffered through the day.  I was hoping it was just stress from the trip.

Today, Thursday, I woke up at 4:15 am for my trip.  Before Robbie even arrived to pick me up, I had already knelt at the toilet in anticipation of vomit.  Fortunately it never came.  But it got really bad.  A few ties I had to run upstairs.  I was nervous that they wouldn’t let me o the flight or worse, that I would be throwing up on the plane.

I had Robbie make na emergency stop at CVS where I picked up a sprite, some zantac and CVS brand antacid.

Just in the nick of time the zantac kicked in.  I was partially hoping Robbie would drive slower as I wasn’t ready to be at the airport feeling this way.  

I could feel the drug kicking in just before I got there an shortly after I did arrive, I felt a lot better.

But it wasn’t gone.  It went through waves all day.  Some moments it felt like the ed of the world and at other times I felt great.  

I went thru the maximum allowed for a 24 hour period.  I’m hoping I survive this flight I am on at the moment.  

My flight this morning from San Diego to New Yor, I was in seat B.  I had booked each flight to have the aisle seat as I sometimes get a little claustrophobic in tight spaces.

So I get on this flight and to my surprise I am in the middle seat.  Fantastic.  But this turned out to be one of the couple of good surprises of the day.  It happened to be the exit row and the leg room was massive for a coach seat.  i sat there, stretched my legs, happy.

I was kept company by a few Cd’s I bought on itunes last night.  A couple by the one-man band Coconut Records; the solo live album by Noel Gallagher of Oasis; some Sia; and a little Jason Mraz

I arrived in New York and although I had a very short layover, I went and hung out in the American Airlines Admiral Club.  That club is so worth it.  You enter the room and it has abn aura ofpeace and calm,m not like the chaos and fear of the terminal.  

I got myself a ginger ale and took another zantac.  I was feeling nauseous and was hoping for calm to envelop y insides (sadly as I sit on the plane and write this, that hasn’t happened).

(another thing, as I sit here, the lady in front of mejust let the stewardess have it).

I board my flight to Milan and I’m disgusted at first by my row.  There was chip debris everywhere.  It was like I was i my living room.  As wegot closer to take off though, I began to love my seat and row.  5 minutes before take off, and the seat next to me was still vacant.

We pulled away from the gate and I was happy.  Despite having and up and down sick day, I’m on an international flight with a full row to myself, drinking some sprite and watching “Yes Man.”

Only about 9 more hours to go and I’ll be in beautiful Lake Como.  

Ciao Bello

This Week I'm Thinking About: Kelly Le