Posts Tagged ‘europe’

And It’s All Vanity

August 3rd, 2010

I created and mailed 3 new compliations to my friend Josh this week.  As usual, I used some photography from my trips for the artwork.  Another usual for me, is naming the disc from a lyric on that particular disc.  Click on an image for a larger view and the ability to scroll.

Smother Me With Words

July 31st, 2009

My friend from college, Annette Richards, wife of Andrew-who once wrote a guest snide– recently made a list on her facebook.  Her list was of different musicisans she had come to like, because a friend of hers shared them with her. 

annetteslist
I thought it was really cool, and at the same time, I wanted to be on that list.  So I was determined to come up with some good songs or artists that she might not have heard of.  I sent her a list of songs and artists, and she had heard of a few of them.  So I took the remainders, and along with my great birthday cd of 2006 (I should post that one too), I sent her 2 cds with artist samplers.  Maybe she will fall in love with one of the artists (I predict Phoenix), and I can make her list.  Here are the cd’s.

The Chaos Around Me
The Chaos Around Me Side Two
Smother Me With Words
Smother Me With Words Side Two

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

Standing By The Light Of The World

April 27th, 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.

u2_nolineonthehorizon3×5
Room For Squares
John Mayer
Its not a secret that I am not a huge fan of John Mayer.  However, I think they guy is unbelievably talented.  Not only is he an outstanding guitar player, but he has a great sense of humor.  If you haven’t seen them already, you should check out the videos I previously posted.  He jokingly says in one of those videos, “If I can’t get the girl, why don’t I just tell her I’m John Mayer?”  He is also often witty and clever.  

I have been a proponent of living with your eyes open.  What I mean by that, is that often whether it be vacationing, or in real every day life,  we live behind a camera.  We forget to realize that we are there, in the middle.  Whether it be birthday parties, concerts, or vacations, I am consciously trying to take “mental” pictures.  To take in and capture the moment, so that years from now, I might remember the scent in the air, the color in the sky, the hug of a friend–the many different moments of a moment that a photograph cannot capture.  Not that I am against pictures, as I think pictures are great tools to spark the memory.  But it is our mental image, our mental picture of the memory that will bring joy for many years.

John Mayer talks about that in this song.  And as I have been preparing to travel to Italy, it is a reminder to live through your minds lens, rather than your camera lens.


Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy cliche
And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway
Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life

killers_dayandageA Dustland Fairytale
Day & Age
The Killers
This is the second time in a row, a song from this Killers album has made it into my Songs On Repeat section.  This is surprising to me.  Although I love the Killers, this album as too many weaker songs.  Though, as told from the last 2 S.O.R, it has some catchy tunes as well.  If you haven’t seen it on these pages already, you definitely have to check out my snide of their cool light show performance of “Human” at the MTV European Video Awards.  Every time I go to Vegas now, I always think of the time I saw the Killers live there at the Hard Rock, as well as the time the lead singer came on stage and sang with U2 “In a Little While.”  Bono called the Killers “the swankiest band in Las Vegas.”

Dustland Fairytale is a great story told through song.  There is speculation that the song was written by the Killers lead singer, Brandon Flowers, about his Mom and Dad and how they met at age 15 in a trailer park.  Either way, its a catchy tune that brings back childhood memories of fairytales.  I recently wrote a pensée snide with the following lyric:

And the decades disappear like sinking ships
But we persevere god gives us hope
But we still fear we don’t know
The mind is poison

thevioletburning_lipstickanddynamitewonderCrush
Lipstick and Dynamite Wonder
The Violet Burning
This one is probably the heaviest musically that I have put up here yet.  For a long time (and I’m not necessarily kicking it off yet), this album has been in my “fantasy five” (5 cds that you would want to have if you were stranded forever on a desert island).  Part of that might because I was once stranded with this cd only.  It was May of 1997 and when I reached the hotel in Greece, my case of cd’s was missing (I do not know to this day if I left them on the train, if someone stole them, or the running joke on the trip – if Ben Morookian had merely taken them.  All that was left was this one cd that I had had in my cd player at the time.  This cd kept me company through long bus and train rides, and it carried on for the other cds, the faithful departed.  Anyway, this has always been one of my all time favorite bands.  And this cd has been released twice, once as a self-titled and once as the above title.   However, both cds are identical.

We are finding where we want to go
We are trying to regain control
Let the streams of light pour down on me
Let the love that heals me set me free
Come on, crush me

In Search Of Ravenna

April 5th, 2009

In Search Of Ravenna
    -1997

I left in search of Ravenna
not knowing when i’d return
or what I would find

I left in search of Ravenna
          but I found you
                     instead

Cause Edge Is On A Completely Different Timing As Usual

March 30th, 2009

Mycenae

Music touches my soul.  I love how lyrics, or melodies will shed light on life for me.  A simple song can resonate with my heart and make me feel in union with emotions.  You may have noticed throughout these snides lyrical references.  It is plain to see, that music accompanies my life.  If you haven’t read it yet, you should read the guest snide by Andrew.  He quotes Hans Christian Anderson who says “Where words fail, music speaks.”  I have not been much of a talker in my life.  My introversion doesn’t mean I am much of a thinker either, so don’t be too confused.  I am a feeler.  The trouble comes in trying to express those emotions.  Music potentially then, is something I find release in.  A heavy lyric opens a well of emotion inside me.  As Andrew writes, music is “something your soul needs to hear at that moment… something that resonates with the tonality and rhythm of the song.”

Chris Brahmer walking amongst the columns

Chris Brahmer walking amongst the columns

Anyway, all this is brought up cause I was looking through art journals and personal journals from my trip to Europe in May of 1997.  On one particular day in my art journal, we were travelling through the biblical city of Corinth, as well as some old Macedonian cities.  We were looking at architecture and tombs that dated back to 1250 B.C.  Up to this point I had been having a fascinating, eye opening trip.  I was learning from the time, from the art, and from the crazy collection of people I was travelling with.  Despite the constant community, my emotions were feeling mostly isolated at the time.  I felt, not really at a crossroads, but I could feel the winds of change (yes, 2 cliches, on purpose!) approaching off the Greek waters.  I was about to enter my senior year of college.  “The greatest time of life” was soon to end.  What was my legacy?  What had I accomplished?  What did I want to suck out of the remaining year?  What would be my final memories of friends and places?  And I held with me a fear of the future.  I had never planned past college.  All of my dreams post college were of wives and kids (OK, one of those was in a singular sense).  I was soon to be venturing into the deep unknown.  What did I want to do in life?  What sort of job did I want to find?  I had no direction.  All I had known in life was one grade to the next, one school year the next.  I don’t plan ahead very well.

Dori, Karen, Courtney, Karen, and Autumn under the Lions Gate

Dori, Holly, Courtney, Karen, and Autumn under the Lions Gate

As I was walking through the lions gate, and viewing the beehive tombs, I wrote at the top of this particular art journal entry, a poignant lyric that was resonating with me that day.

I am standing at the entrance
To a new world I can see
The ruins to the right of me
Will soon have lost sight of me
Love rescue me

-U2
Love Rescue Me
Listen Now

This is a beautiful song.  Even the “sha la la la” touches my tear ducts, as cheesy as that sounds.

I wonder if I am the same person as the person that was writing these things back then.  Life is full of lessons and experiences.  I have learned that I am spoken to, and speak out of lyric and song.  In the journey, I must seek occurrences in my every day life that challenge my reflections.  Finding the little lessons is sometimes the joy of life.  Whether I am the same person mentally and emotionally as I was back then, is tough to know.  Maybe a lot of that me remains.  Maybe a lot of that me has washed away.

On that same days art journal I wrote, “Also, while on this bus tour, it wasn’t a scheduled stop, but I saw something I felt was remarkable and worth noting.  [There] was a pier from 200 B.C built at the Port of Corinth or also known as Sinclair.  This port led to big steps in exploring and travelling to Asia Minor.  All that remains is a few stones.  I found it beautiful.”

 My life is like that pier.  Sometimes my life is full of travel and exploration.  Sometimes my life is a vital part of existence.  And other times, I may feel incomplete.  Life, in some seasons, may be down to just a few stones.  But I find it beautiful.



Ok, this is not the same U2 song as the one I quoted.  I used the term “heavy lyrics” which is a term I always think of because of this clip below.  In it B.B King says to Bono, “Those are some heavy lyrics, young man. You mighty young to be writin’ lyrics that heavy.”

Two other tidbits on this video clip. 
– I love when they are backstage and Bono starts talking about “not the first verse, first chorus, not the second verse…” and then Larry is being a drill sargent about the song.  And then he says the title to this snide:  “Cause Edge Is On A Completely Different Timing As Usual”

– B.B says “I’m no good with chords…I’m horrrrible with chords.”

– “A lot of emotion right there, that’s alright young man, that’s alright”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH81Klu1FAw

Small World

February 6th, 2009

I have been recently looking into planning a trip to Italy and perhaps some of its neighboring countries.  With the train systems and the cheap inter-continental flights, Europe can seem like a “small” place, that is easily manuervable.  But when I really started to examine it, I realized again how massive it is.  How, you cant easily get to Germany via a train thru Switzerland, because of something called the alps

Picture by John Minton

Picture by John Minton

I was chatting with my friend John and looking at some of his pictures from his trips to Europe.  John loves the outdoors and sci-fi/fantasy.  So he showed pictures of valleys, and waterfalls, and talked of Tolkien.  When he was showing me pictuers of the valley and glaciers near Grindelwald, Gimmelwald and Muerren, I realized, again, that the world is full of beauty.  There are popular places in the world to travel to, often because of its beauty.  But there are also little towns, little cities, little nooks and crannies that we often don’t think about, that are undisputed beauties.  How did God create such a magnificent world.  And to also imagine the beauty that we don’t often get to see–underwater–the world amazes me daily. 

People travel to parts of the world to see its history, to see its architecture, to see its art–to see the genius of God, the genius of artists, and the inexplicaable feats of building massive strcutres with non-modern equipment.  I am often blown away by the overall size of churches, and castles and other buildings across europe, that were built in the 1600’s, without the use of modern equipment such as cranes.  Furthermore, this makes me contemplate, what sort of feats of architecture do we erect today?  Are we building anything for the pure beauty of it?  What will our generation be remembered for?  Also, sure there are parts of the east coast that holds “history”, but what will “remain” for future tourists on the west coast?  What do we have in america where people travel to “see”, and not just be?  What “genius” are we presenting and will be remembered for?

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

I also find it contemplative, if there is a reason it is a “small” world.  I think everyone at one point or another, has been travelling in a remote part of the earth, and have ran into someone they knew.  John was describing walking thru that valley, and having one of the best days of his life, and running into the Lees , a couple who he knew.  When I was in Europe in 1997 with other students from my college, this happened to me twice during my 6 week jaunt.  The first occassion, I was travelling in Florence, walking down the street, and I recognized the sister of a friend of mine.  And then an even more random experience, was Andrew and I had just come out of Westminster Abbey in England, and im staring at the ground, looking at the cobblestones as we walk up the road.  When then im just staring at someones shoes, and there is silence.  I did one of those movie slow pans up, and then surprisingly exclaimed, “Sean Foster!”   We had ran into one of our classmates that was not on the trip with us.

I am sure we all have stories like this.  It always seems to happen, and the line always used is “its a small world.”  Is there a divine reason for this?  Perhaps, its a way of God reminding us that we are never alone, and never outside our community?  Is there some profound reason that this happens so often?  Perhaps it is just that we are more concious and aware when travelling, that we notice these little things more clearly?

Which reminds me (yes, this snide really fits the category of “rambling”) of the freedom of travelling.  I had an experience in Europe in 97 that I will never forget, and never be able to duplicate.  It was such a free time — not in the money sense, but in the freedom to think, freedom to live.  Every day was set in the moment, and my mind and eyes were seeing awe and thought inspiring places.  I felt so alive.  I was in community and was free to challenge myself and others.  It makes me wish I was young again with the freedom from responsibility, where I could just travel around the world, seeing and doing remarkable things, being inspired to interconciousness–yes, I just made up that word, but I think you know exactly what I mean.

Between Your Smile And Your Slight Of Hand

January 27th, 2009

It was about a year ago, I made 3 cds for my friend Josh’s birthday.  I made cover artwork using photos that I had taken while in Europe.  These are great mixes that I still listen to, and I am really pleased with how the cover art came out.

betweenyoursmilesidea

betweenyoursmilesideb

afterallthissidea

afterallthisside2

yoursmilesidea

yoursmilesideb

This Week I'm Thinking About: Jeff Sieck