Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

It All Happened During Our Hiatus

July 23, 2009

As soon as June 18th arrived, I’ve taken full advantage of my significantly elevated availability to enjoy family and friends in internet-deprived locations.  After a seemingly endless string of lovely activities involving road trips, MLB games, freedom walks, island tours, pay tolls, gasoline scares, weddings, camp outs, reunions, lake houses, 4 on 4, card games, 4 square battles, bridge jumps, plane flights, firefly nights, deep dish pizzas, music festivals, and softball tournaments, I’m finally no longer M.I.A.


June 18th: Nashville to Knoxville drive (180 miles)
June 18th-19th: Knoxville to Cambridge road trip (920 miles)
June 23rd-24th: Cambridge to Nashville road trip (1,100 miles)
June 30th: One-way flight to Chicago/DeKalb (1.5 hour flight)
July 2nd: DeKalb to Cleveland road trip (420 miles)
July 3rd: Cleveland to St. Mary’s Reunion caravan (200 miles)
July 5th: St. Mary’s to Camden Lake House road trip (665 miles)
July 7th: Camden to Charlotte interview round trip (120 miles)
July 13th: Camden to Knoxville road trip (300 miles)
July 15th: Knoxville to Nashville return (180 miles)
July 16th: Nashville to Chicago flight (1.5 hour flight)
July 20th: Chicago to Nashville flight (1.5 hour flight)
July 20th: Nashville to Chattanooga drive (140 miles)
July 23rd: Chattanooga to Nashville return (140 miles)


I’ve covered a great deal of territory over the past month of “forced” vacation.  Each pit stop brought great memories; but in an attempt to get back into the swing of blog updates, I’ll simply highlight the most noteworthy accomplishments from my latest weekend visit to Chicago with Christina:

  1. Viewing limited released (500) Days of Summer starring personal favorites Joseph G.L. and Zooey D.
  2. Geese chasing (and consequential avoiding) on NIU’s campus
  3. Attempting to attack a quart-sized blizzard at Ollies
  4. Experiencing Frightened Rabbit live for the first time at Pitchfork (my 2nd Mew set was also a great success)
  5. Purchasing Nebraska on vinyl after three years of casual searching in all appropriate local music outlets

Now that I’ve successfully compensated for the posting deficit over the past few weeks, I’ll be focusing my efforts on a much more important and stress-inducing goal.  Here goes nothing…


Playing For Change

April 29, 2009

Ben E. King’s classic has always been one of my favorite songs, especially once discovering that he initially had no intention of recording it himself.  After seeing this cover frequently pop up over the past week, I figured I’d be a follower and post as well. “Stand By Me” was the first of many covers recorded around the world as part of the award-winning documentary Playing For Change: Peace Through Music.  The idea for the project arose from “a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.”  In my professional opinion, it appears we’re looking at a full-blown hippie jamfest the size of which we’ve never seen.

It all started with guitar and vocals recorded by Santa Monica street musician Roger Ridley.  The base track was then taken to New Orleans where blind French Quarter resident Grandpa Elliott added vocals and harmonica while listening to Ridley’s version on headphones.  From there, the producers took the resulting mix all through Europe, Africa, and South America, adding new tracks with multiple instruments and vocals that were assembled in the final version.  The collaboration definitely reminds me of the “Where the Hell is Matt” series I posted about when I first started the blog:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
If I had to guess, you can probably find the Playing For Change CD/DVD at your favorite neighborhood Starbucks next time you are downing a frappuccino.  For additional viewing pleasure, I also recommend checking out Ridley’s soulful Sam Cooke cover.

Dancing It Up Across the World

February 24, 2009

I’m sure a lot of people have already seen this, as it was really popular like over six months ago…but I wanted to make sure I included it on the new site for my own reference. I definitely hope that traveling like this guy will be an option in my future. You should definitely read his back story before watching.