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You insisted.
I resisted.

It took some time,
some 27, 34, 36, 40 tries.

You asked me to stay for a while,
But rhyme or reason I had none;
for heavy as stone was I,
with a preconceived idea of you.

Was not until we waved hello again the 41st,
that you swept me up, up and away
onward onto a sweet up and down joyride.

You caught me kicking out all the windows,
and asked, “Where are you going?”

Space between
closing in,
you took me by the hand and led me down by the river.
There stood before us –  a mighty dreaming tree.

Nine planets around the sun,
only one does the sun embrace.

Following your step into the light,
You cried, “Don’t drink the water!”
but rather, “Seek up an emotion…
and our cup is overflowing…”

Oh an’ another (little) thing:

“Look up at the sky,
with your mouth open wide.
Lick and taste.
What’s the use in worrying?
What’s the use in hurrying?
Turn, turn we almost become dizzy.
Some might tell you there’s no hope in hand,
just because
they feel hopeless;
But you don’t have to be a thing like that;
Take these chances;
Stand up,
Start with one step, however small.
Dream little darling, dream;
Dreamgirl, you be a ship in a bottle set sail.” ~~~~~

~~~~~ Stolen away was I on 55th and 3rd. ~~~~~

As I rewind and hit replay,
I was then such a fool to think
of you as a greedy little pig.
I must’ve had let you down,
for now I agree, we’re all proud monkeys after all.

Now steady as we go,
celebrate we will,
leaving busted stuff behind.
Everyday feels so right,
turning typical situations into those best of what’s around.

Hey captain,
Do what you will, always.
Walk where you like, your steps.
Do as you please,
I’ll back you up.

You persisted.
I conceded.

This I admit,
tastes so good.
Hard to believe an end to it.
Smell
Touch
Feel
How could this rhythm ever quit?
Bags packed,
on a plane,
hopefully to heaven…

Yeah!

And despite when the world ends,
you need not help yourself;
I’m coming waltzing back
and moving into your head.
So, break free,
collect your things,
you’re coming with me.

We’ll come away with something better.
Resting high above the clouds,
No restriction.

Would you not like to be,
sitting on top of the world
with your legs hanging free?

So damn lucky.

So damn lucky,
are we.

~ ml

img_2448.jpg
Izod Center – East Rutherford, NJ
(11.13.07)

. . don’t burn the day. .

Bonus Trivia: Who can tell me how many single-count songs were referenced above? 🙂

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I received the following (exact) words in a recent email exchange with a current teacher at my soon-to-be-school, Shanghai Pinghe:
  • “I feel tremendously lucky to have ended up here. The teachers are great and everyone has been appreciative and supportive of what I have to offer. (I’m currently directing kids in a shortened version of ‘Twelfth Night,” which will have alternating English and Chinese performances.)… I love it here. I haven’t missed a single thing about the US since I arrived. Shanghai is Paris in the 1940’s, Manhattan in the 1950’s – the flagship city of our time. Shanghai is BURGEONING – economically, culturally, architecturally and gastronomically. I feel like my whole life has led up to and prepared me to be here, and I have no desire to be anyplace else!”

Look forward to meeting you,

Thomas

🙂 🙂 🙂

Whoooooo! I look FORWARD to meeting you too, Thomas! 🙂
Seriously, I’ve held a smile with super cheese since I read his above words!! I mean, every word of his sent good jitter vibes all up and down! I CAN NOT WAIT to EXPERIENCE for MYSELF! plus! I have made a new friend already! and he too is a Boston-area native who had spent a good chunk of time in NYC… and then hit Shanghai… Yay!

. . don’t burn the day. .

While flipping through the news last night, it was reported that London was the #1 most traveled-to European city in 2007…and also being the dirtiest. Paris was #2, but received #1 billing for the unfriendliest. Amsterdam, Dublin and London share top nods as being the most friendliest. Having personally traveled to Amsterdam last year, I absolutely concur! Here’s proof! Some Dutchmen who volunteered to be our tour guides. 🙂

img_0788_2.jpgimg_1065.jpgimg_1068.jpgimg_0796_2.jpg

Anyhoots, that little snippet of news made me curious to learn what the top travel destinations were for this year. I went off on my search, typing in all sorts and every travel expert/guide (Frommers, Lonely Planet, etc.) had their own Top 10’s. However, I then came across a site I had never heard of before, but took a liking to its hot spots for the year.

Now my peers regard me as being pretty well-traveled; I certainly do not entirely disagree with them but there are still just oh so many places on my wish list. I mean among those listed below, I can say I have knocked off one: Palermo, Sicily. I totally would LOVE to live in Buenos Aires for a period of time, and I hope to maybe hit up Thailand (though it would come after a few other must-go destinations while I’m in Shanghai) and perhaps (fingers-super-crossed) New Zealand… And mmmm Belize…and Budapest & Nepal sounds dope! But enough with my yapping…

Here it is!

BootsnAll.com, website for independent travelers, announces its Top 10 Destinations for 2008. The writers and editors of this global travel information and resource site have compiled ten great destinations that combine history and culture with value for travelers who prefer to arrange their own trips and challenge themselves in the most fascinating places in the world.

10 – Buenos Aires , Argentina — One of the nicest European cities of all is actually in South America. After its currency collaBuenos Airespse in 2003, this gorgeous place got embarrassingly cheap for foreigners, but that won’t go on forever, so don’t wait too long. Vegetarians may find beef-obsessed Argentina a bit challenging. It won’t be a deal-breaker, though, as this cosmopolitan city has something for everyone, including a diverse nightlife scene that usually goes until dawn or later. Brush up on your español before you go – it will help you experience the city more completely.
9 – Budapest, Hungary — The capital of Hungary is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Unlike some other Eastern European destinations, viBudapestsiting is still very cheap compared to the West. The old town district of Castle Hill is a highlight of this huge city, and the hearty portions of the paprika-accented food win over most who try it. You can spend days just admiring the classic architecture, but the city is also an excellent place to begin an exploration of the many historic Hungarian villages nearby.

8 – Marrakech, Morocco — This moderate Muslim country is easily visible and quickly reachable from the southern coast of Spain, but it feels a world away. Quickly pass throuMarrakechgh the “border-town” city of Tangier and on to Rabat, Fes, or Marrakech for a pleasant cultural shock on a backpacker’s budget. Choose Fes or Marrakech, and add in a smaller city to escape the constant tourism push, but skip the chaotic capital of Casablanca. For those with a bit more time, trekking the Atlas mountain ranges makes for an unforgettable adventure mixed with a cultural experience that contrasts nicely with Morocco’s bustling cities. Even for independent travelers, a tour using a local guide can be a great way to see all the magical parts of Morocco and avoid its often frustrating tourist traps.

Chiang Mai

7 – Chiang Mai, Thailand — This walled city in the Himalayan foothills is 700 kilometers north of Bangkok and is known as the gateway to northern Thailand. Over 300 Buddhist temples in all different styles dot the area, with the 13th century Wat Chiang Man being the oldest. An important trading center for many centuries, there’s plenty to do during the frequently steamy days. The famous Night Bazaar with its bargain crafts and fashions is the place to spend the cool Chiang Mai evenings. The fact that hotel rooms start around US$5.00 per night, and traditional Thai mini-resorts can be found for not much more, only sweetens the deal. This is a great place for a minor splurge for long term travelers in Southeast Asia.

Ethiopia

6 – Imet Gogo, Ethiopia — Forget what you might have thought about Ethiopia before, this large East African country is not depressing or completely parched. A growing tourist infrastructure is making it easier to discover for adventurous travelers. Having never been colonized, Ethiopia has its own fascinating history and culture, which mix nicely with one of the most impressive networks of well preserved national parks in the world. The Omo Valley in the east provides an unforgettable look at African tribal life today. Hotels in Ethiopia start under US$10.00, but luxury is available if you’ve got the money.

Queenstown, New Zealand

5 – Queenstown, New Zealand — Anyone who has been to New Zealand knows that Queenstown is the tourist mecca of its South Island. During winter the city is filled with snowboarders and skiers; for the rest of the year, the Bungee-jumping and adventure-travel crowd moves in, so the nightlife is good year round. This postcard-perfect mountain city on a lake is also so charming that you’ll want to move there before you even reach the center of town for the first time. You can have a great visit using public transportation, but if you’ve rented a car or campervan, your possibilities for exploring the area greatly increase. Queenstown is not terribly cheap, but it’s not a budget buster either.

Sicily

4 – Palermo, Sicily — This endlessly scenic island off Italy’s toe has its own ancient culture and even its own language, but in some ways it’s also more intensely Italian (and noticeably cheaper) than the main tourist cities in the north. The plentiful seafood is both exotic and simple, and the abundant vineyards ensure the wine keeps flowing at a very reasonable price. Check on the bustling capital of Palermo or the beach resort/fishing village of Cefalù at any time, except the sweltering and steamy summer. Ancient Greek ruins can be found in many areas and Mt. Etna – Europe’s largest active volcano – is easy to explore as well.

Petra, Jordan

3 – Petra, Jordan — The Middle East can sound scary and that helps keep Jordan from being overwhelmed with tourists, but this safe and welcoming country where most people speak some English – eco-tourism is quickly catching on – offers a fascinating look at the region with surprisingly few headaches. Don’t linger in the modern capital of Amman. Instead, spend a couple of days in the ancient city of Petra and another couple checking out the stunning desertscapes of Wadi Rum. Spring and fall are the best times to visit, but brave visitors are welcome all year round. As long as things remain stable in Jordan, it’s bound to start getting crowded in years to come.

Belize

2 – Placencia, Belize – This tiny English-speaking Central American country feels frozen in time, but in a very good way. Paved roads are a rarity on the popular tourist islands where most visitors go. Belize has world-class scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, sea-kayaking, cave-tubing and jungle expeditions, mixed with fascinating Maya culture. It’s one of the cheapest Caribbean resort destinations now, but don’t wait too long. Developers and even celebrities have caught on (Leonardo DiCaprio is building an eco-resort on a private island in Belize and Francis Ford Coppola already owns a couple of places), so it won’t be this way forever.

Nepal

1 – Kathmandu, Nepal — Most famous for being home to half of Mount Everest, there is a lot more to do in this ultra-photogenic country than follow a Sherpa into the sky. Trekking adventures for all skill levels are available throughout Nepal, and crowds still tend to be minimal for now. Check out some Bengal tigers, elephants and Indian rhinos during a guided jungle tour in the Royal Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital of Kathmandu – which dates back to the 8th Century AD – is filled with temples, but also has a sturdy tourist infrastructure. Hotels for under US$10.00 per night are easy to find, but so are international business-class hotels for those with deeper pockets.

. . don’t burn the day. .

I’ve come across several articles this week, that have zero’ed in on the downward spiral of the record industry. Le Sigh. All I can say (and many of ya’ll know this) is that, I’m happy and thrilled that I was able to be a part of it during its last legs of “fun lovin’ fun” days…

Check these links!

20 Biggest Record Company Screw-Ups of All TimeBlender Magazine

(shout out to Deangela for finding the online version!)

Sorry for the spoiler but I have to in order to include my blurb to immediately follow:

But the #1 Biggest Record Company Screw-Up of All Time = Major Label Squash Napster
Shawn Fanning’s file-sharing service attracted tens of millions of users, but instead of trying to find a way to capitalize on it, the Recording Industry Association of America rejected Napster’s billion-dollar settlement offer and sued it out of existence in 2001. Napster’s users didn’t just disappear. They scattered to hundreds of alternative systems—and new technology has stayed three steps ahead of the music business ever since. The labels’ campaign to stop their music from being acquired for free across the Internet has been like trying to cork a hurricane—upward of a billion files are swapped every month on peer-to-peer networks. Since Napster closed, “there’s been no decline in the rate of online piracy,” says Eric Garland of media analysts BigChampagne, who logged users of son-of-Napster peer-to-peer networks more than doubling between 2002 and 2007. And that figure doubles again if you count BitTorrent.
Unintended Consequence: Your grandmother deciding to trade up from that dial-up connection

With that in mind, in my weekend digging thru memorabilia, I found a copy of Washington Square News (02.29.00) from my alma mater, NYU. img_3182.jpgHeadline: University Bans Internet Music Trading Program. Here are some noteworthy quotes:

  • “NYU ITS (Information Technology Services) made a decision without even talking to any students. I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to respond… There should have been some communication between the University and students, at least warning students that Napster is a problem.” – B. Sloan, student in Stern School of Business (class 2002)
  • “There is no way to tell what malicious functions may be performed by the software you automatically download with the music. Napster violates University usage policies regarding for NYU networks in that the program opens a host computer to outside access.” – M. McMillan, Chief Information Technology Officer, NYU
  • “I understand the reasons for restricting Napster, but the University can not hope to restrict every oen of a growing tide of network-intensive programs like it. NYU should instead embrace the new technologies while concentrating on taking steps to increase the University network’s bandwidth. This is a big performance school, this is a big arts school. Students’ appetite for media is important to their study here.” – B. Sloan, student in Stern School of Business (class 2002)
  • “Napster had not contacted NYU. They could’ve taken the approach of working with the University at the beginning. We would certainly be willing to talk to them.” – M. McMillan, Chief Information Technology Officer, NYU

………………Mmmmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmmmmm!! Where’s B. Sloan now, I wonder?!???

The Music Business: State of The Union Address / Top 10’sThe World Is Ready

(shout out to Marcus for the words!)

and while we are at it……

The 50 Worst Things Ever Happen in MusicBlender Magazine

But this isn’t necessarily ALL bad…. Independent artists, this is your time to reap in your own rewards for your hard work!

The current Days of Digital = an Open medium of Opportunity. Play wisely!

. . don’t burn the day. .

Yup, I said it. Friendster. If we rewind back to 2003, Friendster was da shhhhut yo mouth!

How/Why am I writing about Friendster of all things? – Well, amidst convo with Gab & Jess at El Cantinero last month, the topic of Facebook, MySpace and our very 1st online community friend, Friendster came up. Gab still actively checks her Friendster, but we won’t tell anyone! 😛

But let me cut to the chase. We all agreed that the BEST part of ALL of Friendster was the “Testimonials” section where you were able to be creative and witty and say all sorts of nonsense about your friends. So, I took a chance in remembering my log-in info for my Friendster account… and surprisingly it worked! For giggles and archival purposes, here are some goodies:

Ms. Mimi –look for her special on VH1–>”Driven.” She’s seriously one of the most focused, passionate people I’ve ever rubbed Spice chopsticks with. We share so many loves as well as so many crazy ass good times. It all sprouted in the land of KFC, McDonalds, and ssssspeedy tour guides aplenty. Oh Greece, I’m surprised we made it off the iiiiiiiislands–and quickly soon onto the most raging island of them all. Where yes, Mimi was/is a true friend and team player– you can always count on her to come through whether it be in 5am pizza “delivering” Cancun (minus if Snoop is having a free concert) or 6am on the pool tables of an all-night Florentine bar–the best, Lochness, or on an immensely bumpy and hungover train ride to Rome or to be your partner in a tequila inspired karaoke session, or on a tequila inspired Cinco de Mayo for that matter. Don’t let her sassy sweetness trick you though–she’ll swing on you in a second! I’m seriously privileged and lucky to have found Mimi–“fake falls, St. Thomas being barbequed, Crazy Kate in general, the Staaaanley Hotel, “Tu hai una macchina?!?! Dove???” Room 3…0…1. Full-Up, more-more-more!” And she claims that she’s from Boston– but rumor has it that she’s actually from Tennessee, I believe it…because she’s the only 10 I see!!! – Gab, 12.15.03

my mimi – yes, the sweetie pie communications major demeanor may appear non-threatening , but don’t let that fool you… deep down, mimi’s lived longer than most, knows more than she lets on, and possesses a passionate determination that surpasses the
gallivanting youth of today… that and she can dance many a nights away on only two hours of sleep!! –
Jules, 7.24.05

Mimi’s like a good coke connect….she knows everything and everybody. Need to know whats good for the night..2way mimi. Wanna know when the next meeting is call mimi. Your connect price will always be right. Just don’t ask her what she’s doin…cause thats “up in the air right now, all sorts of new developments are happening.” Caroline, 12.16.03

Hellllloooo pot! It’s your BIRFDAY! Oh, wait, it’s mine, I forgot. What can I say to the original Beav… Well I can say this….rum punch, swirly pants, orange hands, tourettes and yes, I am burnnnnninnnng but I’ll stop. You no likey the booze cruise, then just throw some sand on your floor, it is exactly the same. You are destined to be an ass-kicking music biz ball buster. You know that you are. As always, save the drama for your mama please…Maybe one of these days you will make it out of the great Northeast and stop at a few “bus stops” on your way down to Florida. I guarantee you that not one single guy will look like a greasy version of Patricio Swayze. Hellllooo again! (Which is not OK with all fingers waving, and maybe a few toes). So let’s take care of some business, do you want to sponsor my next 5K, it is for charity and a great cause. All proceeds will benefit the “I need to pay off NYU (Now You’re Unemployed) before I turn 35 college fund”, I am now taking donations. – Jack, 12.22.03

Ok, so let me write this chick a testimonial so she will get off of my back about “where’s my testimonial, where’s my love, where’s my little schpiel, where’s my this that and a third, yadda yadda yadda…” As a result Mimi cries herself to sleep at night, thinks I hate her, even though I do since she doesn’t roll through for any of my get-togethers but whatevers…

In any case, I *guess* Mimi is a pretty cool chick. Ms. “future record exec” who
I get reminded of when I see the Mastercard commercial that says something like, “landing the record industry internship that gets you the connections to be the record exec of your own label at 30… pricelsss.” That’s Mimi. The only China-Dominicana I know who eats her platanos with chopsticks… even though I don’t think I ever actually confirmed that she wasn’t Dominican, although she never fully denied it either. I just live in a state of confusion over this, thanks to Mimi.
Alex, 02.08.04

The Mimi doll…get your Mimi Doll…$19.97 for a 1 week special only! This was my
concept, my vision…inspired my ours truly. She even comes with low rise jeans and thong sandals for the cool summery look! She shouts commanding epithets, pull the thong sandal string and her trigger finger starts to get fidgety. It also comes with a fully operational blackberry, sidekick, 2 way pager, palm pilot, laptop, ipod (the big 1), a cup of coffee and a phone book of contacts for everyone from Chris Lighty to DonaldTrumps lost cousin Ernie. She also tans when you keep her in the light too long… The Mimi Doll buy it for your kid dammit! Love your intention my dear…u r the now and the next!
Marcus, 01.20.04

Man this chick joined Friendster yesterday and already has damn near 30 friends..tell me that aint gangsta! And while all of u bitches are spending your rent $ dining @ Rue 57, she has the hookup on the cheap ghetto fish spots in midtown. But for realz, Mimi
aka. “The General” has held me down since day one, I promise I will eventually find my own sidekick charger and sorry for takin so long to put u on my buddy list. All in God’s perfect timing right? WE r FOCUSED right?…Scream @ cha boy!
Ant, 12.16.03

Mimi is like the little sister I never had or ever wanted! I am sick and tired of cleaning up after her, wiping the snot from her nose and putting her shoes on the right foot. Despite all my attempts to make her cool by getting her drunk and introducing her to my friends she still can’t seem to cut it. I even made her my famous tuna sandwich and she didn’t even appreciate that. Despite it all I still luv her…besides who else is gonna give me tons of free cds???Rob, 12.15.03

Now go ahead. You know you wanna… Log on and take a trip down Friendster Lane!

. . don’t burn the day. .

Blogs are fun. Blogs are time-consuming. But THESE blogs are HYSTERICAL…

Last month, Joy enlightened me and passed along a site on Stuff White People Like.

Yesterday, Phil shared with me Stuff Educated Black People Like. I later searched and found another site on Stuff Black People Love. (There is a distinction between the two! Read them to find out.)

So I said to myself, “Self, is there one for Asians? If not, I can perhaps start one since I would have expert status, being that a) I am one and b) I’m about to live in the land of Asians in a few months. But! Luckily for me, there is one already made = LESS/NO WORK for me! 🙂

So here it is, I AM NOT ALONE: Stuff Asian People Like

I invite 2nd generation-Asians such as myself to join hands with me in a kumbaya.

anddd oh! I just now found something for Stuff Mixed People Like!

DISCLAIMER: Sense of Humor needs to be turned on High before proceeding with these links. Sit back! Read! LAUGH! Get Cultured! ENJOY!!

. . don’t burn the day. .

Ok, maybe it doesn’t sound as inviting en espanol… but it’s still such a great movie!!

In light of Patrick Swayze’s recent diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, our friends at Showtime gave me an evening treat yesterday by showing the fantastic flick, Dirty Dancing!

Take a time-out in your day for a smile… Enjoy!

And of course this brought back fond memories of:

  • a) Patricio Swayze in Cancun with Jack, Gab & Jess. (fingers waving, March 2003)
  • b) My/Our (Cindy, Dan, Dora, Jack & Ned) rendition of Dirty Dancing, while stranded (taxi ran out of gas-twice… long story, another time….) alongside the highway in Peru – while we were leaving our MTV Beach House at Beach Asia (pronounced Ahh-Cee-Ahh) heading back to Lima. (Jan/Feb 2006)

“We’ve had the time of our lives….and we owe it all to you… ipod/radio-cooler!!”

Here are flashbacks photos for those who have no idea what I’m talking about…The last couple photos sum up the experience…

cimg3470.jpgcimg3472.jpgcimg3478.jpgcimg3483.jpgcimg3481.jpgcimg3482.jpgcimg3494.jpgcimg3491.jpg

But now for real, for real – my thoughts go out to Patrick and his family in hopes for a healthy and speedy recovery!… “Somebody who has taught me that there are people willing to stand up for other people, no matter what it costs them.” – Johnny Castle

I also recommend ya’ll putting it on your netflix queue and/or hit up your local video store. This movie never gets old…

dirtydancingsoundtrack.jpg“Time of My Life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes from soundtrack, Dirty Dancing (08.21.87)

 

 

 

. . don’t burn the day. .

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