30 October, 2007

My house and the "hood" in France

Well, kids I finally got settled in my flat in Arles.. I have been in it for a week... Only took me a couple of days to get situated.. I am so happy to finally have a place here in Arles... Okay here are the much anticipated pictures of MI CASA. This is the street I call home.... Rue Renan.. My house is on the right with the light blue shudder..

My living room and kitchen.... Hmm just finished laundry.... So the entire flat becomes my dryer.. Eh viva la france... I am lucky to have a washing machine soooooooo.

Okay here is the shower for some reason people like to see your bathroom I draw the line at showing people my toilet, however, it's just a toilet.. The last two pics are of my bedroom in the cave.. oh wait it's a grotto.... At any rate here it is..........

The last two pictures are pictures of my neigborhood... Not bad digs no??? At any time of the day I have the best view in the world......

20 October, 2007

Well I made it.. And I think it's gonna be all right!!

Well, kids I made it to France...
The flight was pretty much flawless. Though the short flight from Amesterdam to Marseille was the longest hour and a half of my life.... But when I landed in Marseille I grinned from ear to ear!!!
The first night here was nice... Phoned "mi amor Gitano" we met for dinner... He and his "mujer" makes me laugh... I will say this it was good to see that face.. He has the sweetest smile Well, the first time I ever saw it I knew I was in trouble.... Needless to say because of that smile I am here... Now it's not just the smile... It's what that smile has lead me to... Oh la la can I go on about that??? But I digress..
Not bad for a first night out...
Day two was okay.. I didn't sleep very well.... And I decided that i needed to start apartment hunting ASAP...
The day was pretty crappy to begin with and i was not in the best of moods... Jet lag caught up with me....
And it was pretty much a bust on the appartment hunting here in Arles... Looked at a funky little house near the Arena.... It wasn't bad... eh who am i kidding it had this funky smell to it.. hmmm not a good selling point... At that point after looking at a couple of places I got a little bummed out... Things were not moving as fast as i had hoped... but as it has been said everything happens in it's own time... Well, I came back to the hotel and took a nap and a shower and rested for a while then i pretty much decided that i needed to take a drive to clear my head... so i did... Driving through the Camargue at night hmm it worked... I came back and decided that at this point it is out of my hands... Well, that was last night... I woke up this morning with a pretty good feeling that today was going to be okay... Had lunch with a friend of mine at a nice place in the Roquette.. I'll keep it in mind for when visitors arrive.... After lunchI went to a few agencies and looked at a cute little place by the train station, of all places... However, note to all, when trying to rent as an american here in france it's almost impossible... eh i love the challenge!! Yet at this point the challenge has been a sore spot.. I just want to get into a place of my own... Hotels bug me after one or two days... Tooo small.... and I can't cook my own food.... and i hate living out of a suit case.... LA VAGABUNDA PURA at this point.... After looking at the house I came back to the hotel set up another soiree/ dinner with "mi amigo" in Les Saintes... Got there called and called and called... The orginal place we were set to meet was Cerado! For a half an hour I set in my car waiting for the "mujer" to get off of his phone... Finally he answers... QUE PASA??? OH LA LA!! Finally, we met up.... Mira, Los Gitanos y sus mujeres.... Aye dios mio!! Gitanos tiene mucho mujeres. Y solo una amor de sus vidas... El siempre dice a mio, "yo tengo mucho mujeres en mi vida pero yo tengo solo una Melissa" So if you are wondering why i put up with what i put up with that's why.. And yes i know what Gitanos are.. I know how they work... And I know what their game is all about.. As long as I am straight forward with them and tell them where I stand I have no problems... I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Gitan of this part of the world and I like to keep it that way... Digression # 2..... Bare with me.. That's why I am writing a book kids... At dinner "mi amigo" introduces me to yet another, what I like to call, Star of the Camargue music scene.. Juanito... Wow what a talent.. and what a wonderful personality.... I met him and his family... He has a wonderful wife, Maria... We sat and listend to some music that i had with me on my i-pod.. another hint.. want to hit it off big with the gitanos... Bring the ipod with speakers and play some music that they like... Oooh before i forget.... Part of the next generation of Gypsy catadors made an appearance.. Jose, Pablo's son, Miguel, Janito's son and a few of what I like to call the young Gitano bucks were there... I love it they sit there with their cell phones playing tunes that they downloaded to their phones. They pound out rythms on their chests or the table and they all sing... Cool thing is even the older guys got into it.... it's amazing what happens to their faces, when music is heard... How their eyes light up and their hearts song just comes out.... Those really are the moments where you sit there and go wow...... It's what they were born to do.. Funny I seem to think that we were all born to sing our own heart's song, yet by the time we realize that we have it, it gets lost.... These guys never loose it... Needless to say after the conversations I have been having, the past few weeks, with "mi amigo" it was good to hear him sing his heart's song again... Digression #33 We sat and talked for a while then it was brought up that I was looking for a place to live and well, Juanito had studio. Okay unfrigginbelievable..... So tomorrow i look at a flat in Les Saintes... and I spend yet another day with one of the Camargue's finest musicians... I was totally blown away... And yes I do understand why the welcome mat was basically thrown at my feet so quickly.... It's the same old story.... They size you up to see what you have... You play the game.... and if they drop you like a rock then it's their loss.. Ladies, CUIDADO CON LOS GITANOS!! After another wonderful evening with "mi amigo" , his family juanito, and his family.. I made my way back to Arles.... I realized something on my drive back to Arles... That this journey that I am taking allowed me to find something that I lost... My heart's song... And I realized that I am here for me... It seems to be the place where I can truly hear Mi cancion de mi corazon.... Okay gang.. I hope this makes sense... It's 2 in the morning here and i had to write what's happened so far... If you have lost your heart's song GO FIND IT!!!

16 October, 2007

"I'm leavin on a jet plane.........."

Wow the day has finally arrived..
I leave tonight for France...
I leave to persue a dream...
At this point it seems that there is a certian amount of fear.. What am I talking about there is a whole lot of fear... What might happen what if what will i do???
oof doesn't seem fair to me that it should be a lot easier to persue something that makes you happy... But I guess, as the saying goes... Anything worth having is worth fighting for...
Dreams are hard to keep hold of... They are hard to stay focused on. And sometimes the fight doesn't seem worth it... Sometimes keeping our eyes on the goal seems more important than the journey toward that said goal..
Ya miss out on a whole lot when your eyes are focused so far ahead.. Jeesh I wish I could believe what i write...
Right now I sit here with a pit in my stomach wondering what if??
and scared half out of my mind.. But then i remember that i felt the exact same way when i moved here 12 years ago.. STRANGE!!
Far to many things to think about when you are persuing a dream... Some say if there were no dreamers we wouldn't have certian things....
Well, I often wonder what if I were just supposed to be a normal person... Workin at Wal-mart. Raising a family.... stuff like that... see plenty of happy people walking with their kids. Taking them to school. Going to work. Living their life and they are satisfied with that... And that's a good thing..... Then I ask my self why can't I be satisfied with that? Then i say to myself well, what is normal... For me running around the world chasing dreams seems to be the normal thing to do.... I often will tell my friends who often times sit back and watch their lives pass by, you have to live your dreams. because then your life becomes a "WHAT IF" I often preach it as if it were gospel. Sure it is easy for me to say you should follow your heart but when it comes to me... It's not as easy as I preach... I just sometimes wish that I would listen to myself...
Maybe i wouldn't throw myslef into fits of panic and i would just let things happen...
Naw that wouldn't be me...
I have been asked to give it up to a higher power... And that God won't give us anything we cannot handle... Well, I believe that most of the time. Most of the time. I suppose the universe only gives us what we can handle. Some of us must be made of iron because the universe hands out some pretty tough shit.. Yet we are still here...... Yet the dreamers keep dreaming and the practial comon sense folks keep the world sane... It's just us crazy Mutha F&*@ *$# That keep the world on it's toes.
It's real hard to be a dreamer and live in a world where comon sense rules... Following your heart in a world full of head followers. WHEW!!
So now I am off to follow a dream.. To have the courage to fail and to get back up and dream even bigger if I do. But some how deep down inside I know I can't fail. I know that I can't just work at Wal-Mart I can't just have a 9 to 5 job I have to follow my dream. I have to make the things that I dream about a reality. And that's why I got a one way ticket to France and a heart full of hope and love... HOW CAN I GO WRONG?
So gang wish me luck and stay close to the blog... It's gonna be a hell of a ride..

11 October, 2007

Excerpt from Paulo Coelho.

This is an excerpt from a monthly news letter that I get from Paulo Coelho's "Warriors of the Light" I wanted to share this with all of you.. His writting has been a tremendous inspiration in me starting my persuit of my own "Personal Legend"
I hope you enjoy it.

Issue nÂș 157

Fragments of a non-existing diary

A Peruvian priest’s sermon
In my book “The Alchemist”, the young shepherd Santiago meets an old man in the town square. He is searching for a treasure, but does not know how to reach it. The old man starts up a conversation with him:
“How many sheep have you got?”
“Enough,” answers Santiago.
“Then we have a problem. I can’t help if you think you have enough sheep.”
Based on this extract, the Peruvian priest Clemente Sobrado wrote an interesting piece, which I transcribe below:
One of the biggest problems that we drag around with us all our life is to want to believe we have “enough sheep”. We are surrounded by certainties, and nobody wants someone showing up to propose something new. If we could only suspect that we don’t have everything, and that we aren’t all that we could be!
Maybe we are all faced with a very serious problem, namely that although we have the opportunity to help one another, the truth is that few people let themselves be helped.
Why is that? Because they think they have “enough sheep”. They already know everything, they are always right, they feel comfortable in their lives.
Almost all of us are like that: we have many things but few aspirations. We have many ideas already sorted out, and we don’t want to give them up. Our life scheme is already organized and we don’t need someone trying to make changes.
We’ve done enough praying, practiced charity, read the lives of the saints, gone to Mass, taken communion. A friend of mine once said: “I don’t know why I come to visit you, father. I am already a good Christian.”
On that day I could not help answering:
“Then don’t come to visit me, because there are a lot of people waiting to see me and they are all full of doubts. But one thing you ought to know: You aren’t bad enough to be bad, nor good enough to be good, nor holy enough to work miracles.
“You are just a Christian satisfied with what you have achieved. And all those who are satisfied have in fact renounced the ideal of always improving. Let’s talk about this some other time, all right?”
Ever since then, whenever we speak on the telephone he starts by saying: “this person who is calling hasn’t yet grown up as much as he could”.
Lord, give us always a dissatisfied heart.
Give us a heart where the questions that we never want to ask can be voiced.
Deliver us from our conformism.
Make us able to enjoy what we have, but let us understand that this is not everything.
Let us appreciate that we are good people.
But above all, make us always ask ourselves how we can become better people.
Because if we ask, then it is quite possible that You will come and show us horizons that we couldn’t see before.

Hakone, Japan

I finally manage to get my editor, Masao Masuda, to invite me to a traditional tea ceremony. We go to a mountain near Hakone, enter a small room, and his sister, dressed in the ritual kimono, serves us tea.
That is all. However, everything is done with such seriousness and protocol that a daily practice is changed into a moment of communion with the Universe.
The tea master, Okakusa Kasuko, explains what happens: “The ceremony is the adoration of the beautiful. All efforts are concentrated on the endeavor to attain Perfection through the imperfect gestures of daily life. All its beauty consists of respecting the simple things we do, because they can lead us to God.”

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Strolling along the promenade, I hear a young woman saying to another in a very convincing voice: “I’ve programmed my life in the following way ...”
That made me wonder: does she take into account things that happen just when we are not expecting them? Has she considered that maybe God has a different plan, a far more interesting one? Has she thought seriously about the hypothesis that, by including other people in her program, she might be interfering in different ideas and projects?
I am not sure whether the sentence I overheard was born of inexperience or total delirium.

Melbourne, Australia

I step out on to the stage with the usual apprehension. A local writer, introduces me and starts asking me questions. Before I can conclude my reasoning, he interrupts me and asks another question. When I answer, he says something like “that answer wasn’t very clear.” Five minutes later, I feel a certain restlessness in the audience. I remember Confucius, and do the only thing possible:
“Do you like what I write?” I ask.
“That doesn’t matter,” he answers. “I’m doing the interviewing, not you.”
“But it does matter. You don’t let me finish a sentence. Confucius said: ‘whenever possible, be clear.’ Let’s follow that advice and make things quite clear: do you like what I write?”
“No, I don’t. I have read only two books, and I hated them.”
“OK, so now we can continue.”
The camps were now defined. The audience relaxes, the environment fills with electricity, the interview turns into a true debate, and everyone – including the writer – is satisfied with the result.

In the plane between Melbourne and Los Angeles

This extract from the on-board magazine is attributed to Loren Eisley:
“The journey is difficult, long, sometimes impossible. Even so, I know few people who have let these difficulties stop them. We enter the world without knowing for sure what happened in the past, what consequences this has brought us, and what the future may have in store for us.
“We shall try to travel as far as we can. But looking at the landscape around us, we realize that it won’t be possible to know and learn everything.
”So what remains is for us to remember all about our journey so that we can tell stories. To our children and grandchildren, we can tell the marvels that we have seen and the dangers that we have faced. They too will be born and will die, they too will tell their stories to their descendants, and still the caravan won’t have reached its destination.”

"Warrior of the Light, a www.paulocoelho.com.br publication."

04 October, 2007


I just thought I'd talk a little bit about Amigos..
Hmmm where to begin????
Most of the time your friends are there for you every step of the way through your journey through life... They become a sort of extended family when your family isn't near... Sometimes you share things with your Amigos that you wouldn't dare share with your family...
They come in all shapes and sizes and each one has their own unique personality... Some even have more than one personality... Well, see now that makes it even more fun.... MORE FRIENDS!!! It's kinda like a two for one deal... This morning a friend of mine anounced, rather loudly, that he was going back to India.... I felt like telling him that your people left India at least a 1000 years ago... And second I don't think there are any living realitives that you can stay with...... Oh la la!!! But it's one of those things... You sit and you listen to your their crazy ranttings and offer them support no matter how crazy you might think they are.... I have been on the other end of those conversations... where I am the not so sane one... so it's a give and take I suppose.....
Amigos where would we be without them???