Saturday, October 4, 2008

"FREEDOM" Big Sur Festival in the Forest

I'm reminiscing of my last weekend and it’s wonders in Big Sur, with a euphoric sense of "how-the-hell-is-it-over?" But, in all seriousness, is it really over?

Never before have I transcended such a sense of freedom in this reality, or in any others for that matter, than during the forty-eight hours I spent at Festival in the Forest in Big Sur, California in 2008,where a estimated three hundred attended. It was truly the closest I've ever felt to the word freedom, in its bear text, experiencing the idea philosophically, spiritually, and physically. There weren’t any institutions of rules and responsibilities that followed. Walls did not exist in this reality, the only boundaries were gravity, the inevitable humanly urges to eat, drink, and (eventually) sleep. Otherwise everyone on the campground was all totally permitted to do as we pleased with the unspoken rule that it didn't harm others (and that we should enjoy ourselves.) And permit we did! It was apparent about half way thought the second day of the festival, that the majority of the festival-goers had introduced their bodies to a substance called LSD. Everyone was very psychedelic. These people dressed as natives, minimalists, tree huggers, and fashion aficionado's of the year 1969. It was a woodstock scene, no doubt. Might I remind you, we're still in the time frame of 2008 years after Jesus' death. A mere four decades from these infamous scenes of woodstock which are most even notably inconceivable to most of us born after that particular generation.

Admittedly, and potentially regrettably, I did not partake in the ongoing of any psychedelic droppings. I had the idea that I wanted to be in my best possible state of communication with these beautiful people, in hopes of meeting, and of building relationships with. Well, that's sort of how it turned out, a dance party was organized both friday and saturday night after band performances at the fernwood bar, which was more than a great social gathering. I met a remarkable amount of compassionate people, which I do regret not more seriously getting contact information from, especially the female types that had interesting things to say about the world and had themselves impressively well-established. Ah yes, the old female situation again, it always seems to revert back into our basic human instincts doesn't it? Yes, I presume the laws of attraction are established for good reason, and especially in great cases like these, how lonely I must sound. At times it seems that all we (individually) ever really have is ourselves, yet, should we really be asking for more? Is there not enough fulfillment in total solitude? Must we continue our instinctual sexual practice of reproduction? There’s an overpopulation problem! Great and almighty God, Let us escape our condition! Independent-asexual must rise! My lame sense of humor is evidently still intact, it's most likely compensation for something else I'm not willing to admit. Regardless of all my babble, the amount of enchantment involved in the forty-eight hours supremely enjoyed at the festival will forever mask my apparent loneliness, at least I can hope, and hope is everything.

Have I continued thus far without any mention of musical performances? Yes indeed, I have. The Entrance Band was incredible, they were the only band scheduled both nights, thank a god they did. Both Friday and Saturday night they completely owned the night, they played loud, thunderous cries of WTF is going on in this world today-type of political prayers, and that of contemplating death. My god, they were great! Saturday I was personally a little more into it, the freedom energy had thankfully worked its way into me, and free I became. Most attended would probably recognize me from the descriptions that follow, when entrance played I flailed my limbs like a crazed jittering cockabee practically overdosed on crack cocaine. As someone who drums things, I'm familiar with where the beat lands, so I suppose I just throw myself to that point, attempting to reenact the notes through my limbs. It’s actually a huge enjoyment, some call it dancing, but I'm afraid that would be too huge a compliment. I really fucking enjoyed this part.

In reflection of my bathing habits, which I attempted to maintain at the festival, I try to imagine looking through a more natural, non-human perspective, which I find that I'm still a cultural slave to the institution I've born into. I've adapted to the cultural norms of smelling 'nice' and 'clean' when in matter of fact, my body could be trying to tell me something about my an unhealthy diet through these seemingly 'bad' body odor smells. Again, questioning the institution in dramatic detail.

Upon arrival at the camp grounds friday afternoon, friends and I set up our sleeping bags on the dirt and started romanticizing about the drugs and fun we might run into, and the beauty of the whole festival. I should add that the people I had come with weren't actually 'friends,' I had met the girl the previous night because someone else had told me she had an extra ticket, she sold it to be half price, and I pitched a few bucks on gas. She came with her brother, and we stuffed the three of us into a mid 90s honda hatchback with food, drinks, sleeping bags, and all intact. We were friends. In is this one minor detail and many others that played into the utter magnificence of the entire weekend.

Once we'd unpacked we heard guitar wails in the distance, it started to sound good, then better, then "oh my god, what the hell are we waiting for?" We marched ourselves to the stage which was a little under three minute walk, the first act playing was called SLEEPY SUN, mind blowing music. So soft and soothing, yet at time the sabbath influence was quite apparent, and very fittingly so. Not only was I witnessing some of the best live music to date, I was also discovering what this whole thing was about, the people all around were stoked to be there, while the psychedelic hippies were only half way psychedelic at that point, everyone else was from four decades ago. SLEEPY SUN was great.

Although I acknowledge there's much more noteworthy bands that played throughout the festival, I should only mention one more that really caught my ear, they're called FOOLS GOLD. They play an afro-pop infused funky, truly grooving, array of "love for the world" easily listening and very pleasing kind of sound. With at least six to nine members on stage at once, they had a section of percussion, a sax, drummer, bassist, three guitarist, and the Big Sur mountains as a back drop. Not one, no one, was sitting or standing still or could even if they wanted to, and it was mid-afternoon. Every one in sight was grooving on this stuff, hard. It was freedom, flail your body every which way! No judgments or condemnations, you're free! By god, I hoped that moment never ended.

And ended it has not, through the course of the two hours invested, what little understanding of writing I've exhausted, an empty stomach, and the bitches brew album, I've re-lived the festival, and re-discovered my love of life. This festival had a deep impact on everything I know. For this, for reading, and for everything else, I thank you, you've influenced this thing to happen either one way or another, and so rest in the fresh canals of my memory it stays, dancing and frolicking all gay-like only to present it self in the most psychedelic of dreams. With this experience I can now say I've experience a hint of what freedom must taste like. And what a intoxicatingly most-beautiful taste it was:

When I pushed out, the air reacting was not trapped or concealed by a cage, a wall, a barrier, but it took flight with the rest of the wind, elegantly soaring and flowing with the rest of the air molecules, this, in all aspects, is freedom. Music is freedom, freedom is happiness.

Monday, August 18, 2008

szgit festival, budapest

last night I saw Carcass in Budapest. kocani orchestra also was incredibly great.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

डूबरोव्निक ८.२.०८

Onwards DUBROVNIK! Onwards my readers; my brothers, and my sisters…

Greeting again good friends! It’s me of course in my blodging routine of updating, reiterating, informing, and hopefully evolving… from the land of Croatia!

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina is catching us on a bus in three hours. Dubrovnik was good. Yet, better than the typical kind of ‘good.’ yes, better; great! It’s: Warm, humid, sun-beating-down-all-day-hot, little clothes on people which was sometimes nice on the eyes and other times not so nice. One of my favorite little things in Croatia was how good our US dollar was to their Kuna, we ate many goremet meals for around what would be $6! Compared that to $15US in Istanbul for eh sort of gormet food. Great for US! And bad puns, hurray! Everything is good, continually getting even better, all it’s such a great experience!

I’m only two weeks into this east European excursion and I’m completely convinced that money can’t be spent a better way; it’s such an inconceivably priceless experience!

More on Dubrovnik: lot’s of Italian looking men with big muscles and awesome tribal tats -looking good, beautiful beautiful looking females everywhere with these same hunky steroid infested guido fuut ball playing superstars. Yes, great! I’ve always felt more ‘comfortable’ as a bench warmer anyhow! Very OC (television series) type of feel with how rich the area is and the whole dating-barhopping-getting-lucky-mentality. There’s horns being honked everywhere; these people are mad for their honkers; citizens totally honk happy. When any opportunity arises you can count on hearing an extremely obnoxious beep beep. Great!

There’s a lot of pollution everywhere: garbage, oil, dirty water, messy streets -it’s really heart wrenching that people privileged of enjoying such a beautiful land would (and do) return their gratitude with such neglect and carelessness. One day we ventured off to an island and when we swam in the ocean we could literally see the oily thickness of the water and felt a thin filmy layer of pollution when we got out, this made me really appreciate how well kept our beaches on the central coast are. No buano.

Okay, yes, times out, you-know-who has to get going. Thanks for indulging, my next post will (hopefully) report on Mostar and Sarajevo of Bosnia and Herzegovina! See you then.


Friday, August 1, 2008

ब्लोद्गे नुमेरो थ्री ७.३१.०८

Hello all who read, it’s your great friend sean! I’m posting from Dubrovnik, Croatia!

It’s been totally stellar! We’ve arrived by aircraft to a new and mystical land, this one much warmer and so divergent (in so many ways!) in contrast from the last. There is so many forms of beautiful everywhere I perceive! Less English and more slavv is what I’m hearing and trying to communicate in/with: not so successful. I think it’s safe to say I’m still in good shape. I think I reached a naÔve realm with my first experience of language barriers in Istanbul. There the majority of the people could still understand the language I was trying to speak. Here it is much more challenging to communicate with the people. In addition, the people were much friendlier about not understanding English and were still trying to make sense out of it.

DUBROVNIK! The people here are very interesting to me, especially in contract to all of the people I met in Istanbul. I think that (to natives) I stand out much less here than in Istanbul: skin-color-wise, dress-wise, and the rest. There seems to be a lot of money flowing through the village, very ritz-y, and did I mention how beautiful everything is!? -oddly enough the towns people seem cold, bitter, and irritated by other people traveling through; whom, in their innocence, are only hoping to catch a glimpse at the allure and history of the land, right? It seems the annoyance is more so when one is not speaking their language, but hey, I’m totally open to the idea that I could be just dissecting all of this on a completely bias and paranoid basis, I could be off, in the scheme of things, and I probably am, that is, in the scheme of things. My primary hypothesis that these people act this way is partially a product the Bosnian-Croatian-conflicts (wars) they endured a mere decade ago. I mean right? this is former Yugoslavia. The bitterness is undeniably evident, though I speak in a dramatic tongue to get the whole thing across, by no means has it limited us to enjoying ourselves. I’m also really excited about how Bosia Herzegovina will be in contrast. Eh?

The room sam and I are sleeping in. We’re staying in a small cottage-style-structured condo room where at any given moment we can hear the blaring of the Croatian language amplified from our neighbors (who own the place), their television, constantly in the PM, lound, fast paced, and completely incomprehensible to us americanos. It’s little things like these that I’ve picked up on that instill a certain level of comfort in the similarities of our cultural and their, I suppose, moreover human culture that we all share as a race.

After only nine days (out of thirty five!) of traveling another side of the world, I see it fitting to express a small summary of my philo. insight by quoting a white-rapper on what I’ve gained thus far: “the world is just a small town, we all know how people like to get down.”

ta ta for now

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blog posting numero two from ISTANBUL 7.29.08

Yes, hello my friends, sean here!
It’s Tuesday mourning and we’ve just arrived to our flight to Vienna on time! (Istanbul to Vienna, then Vienna to Dubrovnik.) My sincerest of apologies on the whole not-very-good-at-updating-the-blog-thing. I’ll assume at this point you’re at an understanding of how valuable my time abroad is, seeing how this thing might appear to have been moved to the backburner temporarily, I assure you this is not so. When I’m doing these things I like to try put my the full of my heart into it, as much of it fits, really. I just honestly haven’t been able to do these things ultra-frequently. So now, without further ado, I invite you into numero two….

Over the course of spending six days in Istanbul, I decided I had to bring back some material wealth to rightly mark my visit and, of course, to share with the people around me back home! With this in mind, I bought two major items in Istanbul: a Suz, and a Nargile (pronounced in English as s-oo-ze and nar-geel-a.) A suz is a middle-eastern type of guitar that, to me, sounds somewhat in between the ear-ery and exotic eastern sound of a sitar and the simplicity of an acoustic guitar. I only had a short time to attempt to make sound out of this thing and that sample was enough. I’ve also purchased a Turkish water pipe (nargile) used primarily for flavored tobacco (although I was told other things work well too.) In Turkish culture smoking the nargile is a symbol of relaxation, meditation, a time to unwind one’s mind of the daily stresses and drama and be at peace. I am very excited to bring these back to share with you and yours… I can only pray, at this point, that they’ll both make it home alive.

I’m sure most of you people have already heard about the terrorist attacks in Istanbul late Sunday night. You can now rest assured Sam and I are alive and very well. The attacks allegedly took place some twenty-five kilometers away from where we were sleeping, and apparently it was the biggest terrorist attack in Turkey for the past five years. We thought we might have heard some crackling in the distance Sunday night, but disregarded it as fireworks, which it could have been, or was (?) Hearing the news early the next day, I expected that the city and its people would have been someone shaken up by these events. To my surprise I didn’t notice much difference among the people, or the environment. I will note that as it could have been a coincidence, Monday was the first day I noticed the law enforcement carrying around larger machine-type-guns. Later that day a shoemaker had explained this madness to us in a Turkish tongue that was somewhat hard to decipher, yet we understood his point in explaining the absurdity of terrorism, killing, and the sympathy he felt that our race has succumbed to such an inhumane condition.

Leaving Istanbul today was an experience I won’t easily forget. Actually, Istanbul was an experience incapable of forgetting. Between running by aya sofia and the blue mosque in the warm rain this morning, saying our final good bye to our friend Gursel who served us breakfast every mourning, and all of the other countless and enthralling experiences instilled in this enchanted land; I don’t think I’d be capable of not coming back some day soon.

With this much I leave you for now, Dubrovnik is next, I'll be back up here soon, good luck to all, and thanks for indulging!


REAL PHOTOS! there’s new photos on my flickr account (the picasa site reportedly didn't work) I'll try and upload more soon. just copy and paste this link into your browser:

...if that's not working, you can try searching the flickr site for yourgoodfriendsean and the results should come up with a link to my photos.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

day numero uno from ISTANBUL

Hello everyone, it’s been truly lovely, here’s mi day numero uno BLOG posting from the enchanting land of ISTANBUL!

It’s wednesday the twenty third over here, sam and I have probably been here a total of ten hours thus far. I think it’s safe to say I’ve fallen for the place (ten hours!) The weather is surprisingly not so bad, probably in the upper eighties-ish, which usually tends to be somewhat problematic for my seemingly sensitive physique, yet I think I’ve been more distracted with my surreal surroundings to let it get to me; great! enchanting!

I’ve found it a challenge to nap in the day due to the heat, while we have the luxury of our own personal shower, staying cool hasn’t consumed too much energy or thought. I will say that it is naturally easier to not invest much energy or thought into anything other than sitting still and simply absorbing my surroundings; the euphoric energy of this land is beautifully overwhelming. I’ve been taking it slow in order to do just this. enchanting!

In the past four or so hours, we’ve seen Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, around thirty-seven pretty-eyed Turkish men (in which the majority were very very charming,) and many Muslim looking tourist, as well as many other looking tourists, some good, some less good. We were provided a very good fruit filled breakfast at the hotel, and ate lunch at a genuine non-English-speaking Turkish café where I enjoyed an authentic Turkish brew. lovely! Living for the past four or so hours has not been so cheap, I decided to discontinue my habitual spending of useless items like beer, food, and the like. The most beautiful sighs are free and within view of our hotel, the oxygen is still free over here, in all, I think I’ll make it (financially.)

The langue barrier has been worlds more fun than I initially anticipated. In my experience, it seems that we all understand each other on a universal communication level, just smile and nod, and you can feel their happiness, thus illuminating any kind of awkwardness in the language barrier and enables much more comfort when stuggling with communication. When buying post cards at the Blue Mosque today, a nice Turkish man told me I was beauty. I introduced myself by pointing to myself and saying “sean” he pointed to his self and said what sounded like “saa-do-ou-k,” we then shook hands. After my purchase this man did not hesitate to kiss my cheek in gratitude of making a new friend. I later pieced it together that he was actually referring to the post cards at beautiful, as flattered as I was by this misunderstanding, my ego eventually recovered. This man only spoke one word of English to me “beauty.”

I’m now sitting on top of our beautiful hotel in Saltanhamet where the streets are constructed of charming narrow brick roads. It’s a heartthrob of a village town/ city. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I feel it’s a city yet, it lacks most of the more popular elements of our American cities minus the population part, I would say that’s where one terms it ‘city.’ The peoples hearts are as gold as their skin. I could spend five minutes writing and dissecting every minute spent in Istanbul as you can probably tell but every minute spent here is far too valuable, I must be on my way, for now, I leave you.
Easkim, elveda! (much love, good bye)

ps. There should be some pictures in the attached html in the album entitled Eastern Europe, from breakfast on top of out hotel, in front of aya sofia and inside the blue mosque, and the view from our hotel. my apologies about not including more info about the photos, time here is so damn valuable, this is such an incredible experience! much more to come!

Friday, July 11, 2008

my eastern european travels july 22- aug 25

Yes again, hello! sean here, what a great idea I thought it would be to post the final and complete itinerary of my travels! I also would like to use all the resources in my arm's reach to really extend an inconceivable amount of gratitude and utter-indebtedness to that one particular group of people whom without I would not. It is truly a blessing; and yes I do love painful clichés. Without further ado here we are: (and soon we'll be) Istanbul, Turkey: 7/22-7/29, Dubrovnik, Croatia: 7/29 - 8/2, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina: 8/2 - 8/4, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: 8/4 - 8/8, Split, Croatia: 8/8 - 8/10, Zagreb, Croatia: 8/10- 8/11, Budapest, Hungary: 8/11- 8/17, Krakow, Poland: 8/17 - 8/21, Prague, Czech: 8/21 - 8/24. WOW! I’m so excited words cannot fathom or even come close to doing justice the deep burning excitement I’m feeling about this entire experience. As previously mentioned, painful clichés! And with this much I leave you for now, thank you my friends, I hope you all the best!