Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to pack for a long trip

Step 1: Lie out everything you own in the living room and use the process of elimination method along with Noah's Ark method. The process of elimination is what one should use to start. It is where you just eliminate completely the obvious unnecessary items of a trip. Noah's Ark method is where you just grab two of everything. That way, while you're using one item you can be washing the other.
Step 2: Throw it all in as little luggage as possible without it weighing more than 50 pounds.

The roommate in the background shouting occasional bits of advice is always useful. The difficult thing is to pack for multiple climates: winter and then summer. I am going to sporting events, the beach, a wedding and a chic city.
A final get together at the beach with good friends is a definite necessary to calm ones nerves before a long trip. Thanks for showing up tonight guys!

Bon Voyage!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Music makes the world go round

The next three individuals that I would like you to meet are very unique. I brought them home with me the last time I went to South Africa. Nostalgia and excitement mixing together are a little bit of what I feel as I listen to these three artists and pack my bags in preparation for my trip in one week from today. So if you’re interested in expanding your musical horizons a bit then I invite you to listen and learn. Open your mind. Music can change your life. Grab a vuvuzela and imagine you’re in Cape Town sitting below Table Mountain experiencing the same thing I did 4 years ago. Let me introduce:

Jonathan "Johnny" Clegg (born 7 June 1953) is a musician from South Africa, who has recorded and performed with his bands Jukula and Savuka. Sometimes called Le Zoulou Blanc ("The White Zulu"), he is an important figure in South African popular music history, with songs that mix Zulu with English lyrics, and African with various Western European (such as Celtic) music styles. (Wikipedia) I also went to one of his concerts the last time I visited Cape Town. I am going to venture to compare him to an artist similar to Jimmy Buffet in that he is an older very normal looking man that has no distinctive or amazing voice. However, the difference is that Johnny Clegg brings alive the Zulu culture and exposes part of its beautiful history and legacy to some western culture by combing languages in the songs. His energy creates sometime magical at the concert. Here is one of his songs you might enjoy:

Brenda Fassie (3 November 1964 – 9 May 2004), was a South African pop singer. She is known for her "outrageousness" and widely considered a voice for disenfranchised blacks during apartheid. She was affectionately known as the Queen of African Pop and her nickname amongst fans was Mabrr. (Wikipedia) Brenda Fassie was passionate to say the least. Watch this clip and you’ll understand why:

Lesego Rampolokeng (born 1965) is a South African writer, playwright and performance poet. He was born in Soweto and has performed in many countries. He appears alongside poet Lefifi Tladi in the documentary GIANT STEPS (2005). (Wikipedia) Lesego was introduced to me by a friend named Mpho Mtongana. I met her in Port Elizabeth where she so kindly offered Marizanne and I a house to stay in during our visit. This song by Lesego was played over and over again until I actually memorized a little bit of the Xhosa lyrics.
So please enjoy, look up more songs, and appreciate them as part of the culture they come from. Lesego has soul and you can hear some of it on you tube at this link:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The summer adventure begins

The purpose of this blog is so that you will get to know a few interesting individuals throughout the world. Via my summer adventure, you can keep in touch with where I am, what’s going on around the world, hear recommendations on new music and just get to know some faces you have never seen before. Today I’ll tell you about my trip and a little bit about a couple of girls I will be traveling with.

Beginning on July 1 I will be leaving the Pacific island of Oahu that I currently call home to embark on a 2 month, multi-continental adventure. The goal: to explore more about two amazing cultures. More specifically, via watching two international sporting events in South Africa and attending the wedding of a very dear friend of mine in Madrid, I hope to create relationships with people who are different than me. But in reality, I just wanna have FUN!

My Itinerary:
July 1-Depart Honolulu

July 3-Arrive Capetown and get dropped off in Fan Park at the stadium to watch the semi-final match with Mia Grundlingh.

July 9-Depart Capetown in the “noddy” (Mozzi-G’s car) and drive to Jeffery’s Bay/Port Elizabeth in order to attend the match that will determine the 3rd and 4th place teams in the World Cup of 2010. Directly after this we will be watching some rounds of the World Tour of Surfing at JBay.

July 17 – Back to Capetown to do some wine tours and some reading and relaxation/tourism.

July 27- Depart for Johannesburg to see Vlasa-T in her new natural habitat as well as visit a beach town just outside of Durban.

August 4- Return to Capetown to celebrate my quarter century birthday with Mozzi-G and fam. This is epic, because just a few years before I was in Capetown with Mozzi’s family celebrating her quarter century birthday.

August 8- Fly to Madrid.

August 9-Travel to the north of Spain where I will meet with Carlos and his family as well as spend time with my niece, Christie Gibbs, who is living in Valencia right now.

August 17-Vlasa-T arrives in Spain and we travel to a still unknown destination until…

August 24- We go back to Madrid and settle in to celebrate (and the Spanish knoooooow how to celebrate) Angela San Juan Cisneros’ marriage to Alex. 

August 30- Alas, the fateful day that brings me back to reality, work, school and a very small paycheck in Hawai’i again.

Now without further adieu, let me introduce the two main suspects behind the planning of this adventure: Mozzi-G and Vlasa-T.

I am L-Dog. The three of us are about to re-unite after years of living our own lives. It all started in Dallas in the year 2002. I went on a recruiting trip to Dallas in order to see if I wanted to attend SMU. Marizanne was my hostess. Being the ever graceful hostess, Marizanne left me with other college students to party one Friday night, hoping that this would convince me to come to SMU, and to fend for myself as far as a bed to sleep in. This charming experience with the lovely South African dame, Marizanne Grundlingh, is what convinced me to live in the middle of a state with no ocean or altitude for 4 years. Shortly after that, Michelle Vlasakova, the tall exotic Czech girl, arrived on the scene. In our freshmen class, Michelle was the only one living alone (without the other athletes) in a dorm across campus. I took Michelle under my wing, however, teaching her new English words on road trips like “opposite” and its correct pronunciation.

Four years later, a few good friends deeper and MANY bottles of wine later, Mozzi-G, Vlasa-T and L-Dog live to continue their legacy. Please stay tuned, and may the adventure begin.