Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beam Camp: Morning News Promo

Have I mentioned that this is what I get paid to do?  A little promo video I made for "Good Morning, Beam!" -- a live morning talk show we'll be hosting here tonight.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

International Book Club

Will read for fun.
I've read 20 books in the past 9 weeks here in Guatemala and have decided to start an International Book Club -- like Oprah's but better.  Your job: let me know if you've read any of the following books and let's discuss via email, gchat, facebook, whatever!  OR you could conversely just read one of the following books that strikes your fancy.  Your choice.  Here they are, in order from most favorite to...well, actually I enjoyed and/or loved all of them except for Silas Marner.  Sorry, George Eliot.  Here they are chronologically, from first to most recent, with a haiku about each.

1. The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins

remember Harry
Potter? this fills a very
small hole. still, good read

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon

this: the perspective
of an autistic boy who
finds a dead dead dog

3. Survivor, Chuck Palahniuk

religious cult meets
the rise of celebrity
and a plane crashes

4. Atonement, Ian McEwan

who doesn't love a
prolix period piece with
war, estates and love?

5. Lord of the Flies, William Golding

revisit this high
school classic.  there is more there
there after years passed

6. The Talented Mr, Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

inspiration for
film, but with much less homo-

7. Marya: A Life, Joyce Carol Oates

took me 200
pages to say, "Mariah,"
not "Mar-ee-ya."  right?

8. We Were The Mulvaneys, Joyce Carol Oates

a family comes
apart and tries to heal, with
mixed results, obvi 

9. Silas Marner, George Eliot

of the transparent and dry.
don't linger here long

10. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami

it's never too late
for pursuit of a new dream
or twenty-six miles

11. The Book of Salt, Monique Truong

cuisine, Gertrude Stein,
a gay Southeast Asian chef,
Paris, the thirties. 

12. Bluebeard's Egg, Margaret Atwood

we all know how I
Let's leave it at that. 

13. A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

Egan contemplates
virtual / fleshy

14. Room, Emma Donahue

trapped in the closet,
but sans R. Kelly (or for
that matter, music)

15. Death of the Adversary, Hans Keilson (unfinished)

dense unappealing
prose, fascinating premise.
maybe in ten years?

16. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan: my hero.
confronting the true evils
of the modern world

17. Under the Banner of Heaven, John Krakauer

just more religious
crazies; proof that god simply
should not be. ever

18. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis

the allegory, 
for some, will be lost to the
femicide. A+

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This is my camera on Guatemala

I'll try to keep these photos to a minimum.
So I've returned to Xela after 6 weeks on the road, traveling through Guatemala and Mexico.  The trajectory of my journey changed a bit -- I opted not go into Honduras and Belice, as I was enjoying getting to know Guatemala.  I have troubled views of tourism in general at this point, and I was working through these views on my sojourn.  Nevertheless, I'm thrilled to be back in Xela.  I am volunteering almost everyday at a home, called Hogar Abierto (Open Home) for children of Xela -- taking them exercising, running, teaching English, playing games, eating, cooking.  I opted not to return to language school, as I feel as though my Spanish is at a point where I only need to converse in order to improve.  I also interview tomorrow to be an English teacher here in the mornings, while continuing to volunteer in the afternoon and evenings.  But enough about my time here now.  Here's my time passed...

Una caminata a Lago Atitlán

Thorbjorn getting ready for the
first leg of our journey.
I began my travels by embarking on the three-day hike from Quetzaltenango to Lake Atitlán -- about a 50km journey.  It was gorgeous, replete with rolling hills, cloud forests, pueblos, and rivers.  The hike was let by Quetzaltrekkers, the organization with which I now volunteer.  However, it rained 80% of the time, and I got violently ill on the second day.  Let's just say I marked a lot of territory on this journey.  Therefore, there weren't many photos taken.  But I do have a few.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

de cosas divertidas

¡Hola y besitos de Guatemala!  Surprisingly enough, I´m having a difficult time carving out space to write in this blog.  I am doing a lot of writing, but don´t necessarily always want to be doing it in front of a computer.  That being said, for my mother´s sanity, here I am in all my blog glory.  I have now been in here in Quetzaltenango for 2 weeks, the first of which was filled with muchas cosas políticas, but I´ll get to that in another post.  We´re here to talk about fun.  And I´m having a lot of it.  And in breaking news, this past Sunday was the first time someone utter the word “vamos…” and my brain didn´t automatically fill in “a la playa” afterwards!  And yesterday I got into my first argument in Spanish with a bank teller who refused to acknowledged that it is impossible to sign your name in the exact same way every time.  But anyways…

Un noche mio en Guatemala City

My first Guatemalan meal!
Not much to share here.  My hostel picked me up at the airport, brought me to their lovely accommodations, wherein the fellow guests and I ordered Pizza Hut, as there wasn´t much by way of local flavor that delivered and we were advised against going out on our own.  So I had a quiet night in, decimating my new friends in Scrabble.  The next day we boarded an early bus for the 4-hour trek to Quetzaltenango (henceforth referred to as Xela). And it was en route to Xela that I finally downed my first truly Guatemalan meal: tortillas con carne asada y frijoles

Proyecto Lingüístico Quetzalteco (PLQ) and Xela

Monday, July 11, 2011

Beam Camp: A Review

Things accomplished / happening since arriving at Beam Camp:

  • Named my bunk, along with my co-counselor Andrew, “We Live Here” and designed accordingly.
The boys' names are written onto each arrow.

  • Realized the importance of reflection (below: the before bunk shot I use for mine, immediately after leading our daily hysteric cabin cleanups).

  • Learned the names, histories and interpersonal dynamics of 71 children.
  • Hosted the first ever Beamapalooza 2011 along with an inimitable 11-year old camper.
What's brown and sticky? A stick!

  • Performed Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” at the piano at Beamapalooza 2011, dressed as Lady Gaga.

I invited some kids up at the
end to join me on the final choruses.

  • Realized how important 9 hours of sleep is.
  • Conceptualized a fashion show and hosted as my new alter ego, Hans Werner, a designer with an ambiguous and fluctuating accent.
  • Planted 5 tree groves on the campgrounds.

  • Welded together about 50 links of chain (with about 1100 to go), in order to construct a ship made entirely out of welded chain.
  • Participated in a song parody of Beyoncé's Single Ladies, entitled Singing Chickens. Choice lyrics: "If you liked it then you shoulda laid an egg on it."
  • Made exciting discoveries with Cassie, staff director.

  • Lead evening activities, including rousing renditions of Salad Bowl, Weird Al Scoop (a song parody activity), and Human Puppetry (writing plays for others to perform). 
  • Along with my 10 cabin boys and Andrew, created a composting system for BeamCamp.

  • Lead(ing) a course entitled 1-5-6-4 (which is filled to capacity!) on the structure of pop music and how to forge connections between popular music and poetry (including composing pop mash-ups, authoring prose and poetry inspired by those mash-ups, and setting contemporary poetry to music).  It was during the domain presentation (where course leaders describe their courses, or "domains") that I unveiled my mash-up: A Teenage Dream Where You Don't Stop Believing 'til the World Ends and I Love You Just the Way You Are: A Fireworked Bad Romance.
  • Bore witness to one of the most beautiful Fourth of July Celebrations: 72 Campers, in absolute silence, setting 72 origami boats afloat on Big Willey, each containing a single tea light, as the sun sank slowly behind the mountains.

  • Lead impromptu rain-induced choral concerts at the piano (Rolling in the Deep, Forget You, Someone Like You, Born This Way, Don't Stop Believing, Firework).
  • Created unparalled friendships with my fellow co-counselors.
Manda, de Australia.

Bojan, de Providence.

  • Basically feeling complete and utterly full in my life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

Camp is great, me, exhausted.  The kids got here today, and I am exhilarated, inspired and activated.  This is the real deal.  And let's be honest, I probably won't be doing much posting.  But we'll see.