People Are Strange And So Am I

The people I see when I walk around the cities of the world simultaneously amaze, frighten, arouse, stimulate, disgust and amuse me. Some are unbearably attractive, others the kind of ugly that permeates from the inside out. Some are beautiful and life affirming in their actions, others make me feel complicit in their greed and cruelty, simply by being human. Some are good, some are bad, some are pretty, and some are not. Continue reading

God Bless The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead, the quintessential hippie rock band, forged in the belly of the San Francisco underground Acid Tests, has kept us all rolling, twirling and tripping along with them on their long, strange trip since 1967 with the release of their first album. They have gained and lost band members, written timeless songs, and allowed us all an excuse to feel that freeing feeling of communal liberation that is, a Grateful Dead show. Continue reading

A Return Home to Return Home

Living in a foreign country can have many feelings. There can be, in any conceivable array, a multitudinous collision of emotions: boredom, freedom, homesickness, love, lust, excitement, desire, longing, scorn, derision, insight, resonance, horror, humor, confusion, or wonder. Some days, anywhere or for anyone, are better than others. Some days are really transcendent. Continue reading

Meeting People

I went to see a comedian I had never heard of until three weeks ago. But in Seoul, American entertainers are a rare occurrence and it seemed like a good idea to get some comedy after the past few six-day workweeks. I researched Tom Rhodes on the interwebs and found a documentary he had made over 15 years ago. He had long Robert Plant hair, black boots, and a 90’s attitude wandering through Vietnam 30 years after his father had left the country serving as a helicopter pilot in the war. Continue reading

Taiwan by Train

Leaving Taipei:  Tropical trees mingle with dense brush growing through giant, ancient boulders; gentle curving rivers meander below the green landscape in a quiet rhythm of eternity. This is Formosa. This is a busy land of high-speed rail, modern technology and independence. This is Chiang Kai Shek’s land. This is a place made for train travel. Going fast or slow, you will enjoy the old temples peeking out from ledges and the endless, endless green. Continue reading

SCUBA in Thailand

The videos prepare you for the worst, the instructor prepares you for the dive, the panic prepares your concentration, the excitement prepares your anticipation, and yet nothing can truly prepare you for the quiet, pulsing energy of breathing underwater. The barnacle crusted line leads downward toward the dark, sandy bottom. Equalizing the pressure against your ears as you swim, the calmness begins to envelop your body. Continue reading