Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday 139 :: Jamie Grace's "Hold Me"

Music Monday 139 :: Jamie Grace's "Hold Me"

I watched the Gospel Brunch edition of "The View" on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. I don't know why I thought that it was a repeat, but it was a nice show. The King's Men concert tour is going to be hot. They need to take that on the global circuit too. Heck, maybe they are and I just don't know it yet.

The Jamie Grace segment threw me for a loop. I hadn't heard of her (which isn't unusual), but her music and her voice is strong.  "Hold Me" is so diverse in terms of vocal variation that she achieves. The lyrics are quite basic though.

And the brief interview that she had was cute w/her country accent. And she's 20.

Let me know what you guys think of this one.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Cleveland :: Fri., Jul. 27, 2012

Public Square in downtown Cleveland (and the Courthouse in the background).

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Online Shopping :: Wed., Jul. 18, 2012

Some damage is being done on this trip to the US. I need to be mindful of the luggage allotment and the weight of the luggage. I think I should try the 'one for you, and one for me' approach.


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cleveland :: Thur., Jul. 19, 2012

The sight of downtown Cleveland is always exciting to me. I just love to see the city's skyline. I typically travel to Cleveland via I-77 north, but this time I was on I-71 north.


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TRAVEL :: Amman, Jordan

TRAVEL :: Amman, Jordan 2012

Traveling to Jordan should be quite enjoyable and it was for us. The Lonely Planet Jordan guide's a good start on what to do and where to go. Though the information on the website might be more up-to-date than the most recent edition of the book. The guide, though a bit dated (2009), was still quite useful. Seems a new edition will be published in a few weeks (August 1, 2012).

Our travels (me and two of my colleagues) began in Amman, then to Madaba, Wadi Musa (Petra), Wadi Rum, Aqaba, the Dead Sea, back to Amman and then to Jerash.

For this blog post I'll focus on our time in Amman.

One of our best hotels on our 7-day trip was in Amman at Hisham Hotel. We liked it so much that we returned for another night at the end of our stay.

It's a super cute boutique hotel that's locally owned and near the Third Circle. There are lots of embassies nearby. But we really had no reason to venture far away from the hotel particularly after a long day of site seeing in the sweltering heat. They have some amenities (though no pool or workout facilities) like some really comfortable places to sit and read. Also, there's no cost for the wifi.

Various pics from Amman/Jerash (and one from Petra). Taken May/June. 2012.

The front desk service is cordial and informative. The complimentary continental breakfast was plentiful with lots of options including made to order omelets. Breakfast on their sprawling outdoor terrace was breezy and a great way to start the day.

If there's a downside to the Hisham Hotel it's that it's where the cool kids like to hang out in the evening and unfortunately loud techno music is the entertainment option. Even if I loved techno music (I tolerate it), I wouldn't want to try to sleep through what sounds like hours of the same beat. The solution? Ask for a room away from the Seven Barrels Bar.

We hired a driver to pick us up from the airport (though we eventually rented a car). He later drove us around to grab a bite a a local eatery and to see some sites like the Citadel and a nice view of the city.

For shopping in Amman, I highly recommend the Jordan River Foundation's shop. The mostly handmade items were high quality and reasonably priced: carpets, ceramics, and other trinkets. We saw some of the same items at other souvenir shops, but at higher prices.

The cafes and restaurants on Rainbow Street are fun and interesting; just an enjoyable way to see the city while strolling with the Jordanians.

Seven days is a good amount of time to see all of Jordan. We could have done without the trip to Aqaba. It gave me the willies. It reminded me of a trashy resort town. But traveling in late May, the weather was unbearable especially in Petra and Wadi Rum. Plan accordingly.

Finally, it was convenient to book end Amman on this trip since that was our point of arrival and departure.

Future blog posts about the trip to Jordan will focus on driving in the country as well as tips for traveling to Petra and Wadi Rum.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Monday 138 :: "The Art of Rap" Official 2012 Trailer

Music Monday 138 :: "The Art of Rap"

Living in another country has it advantages ... and disadvantages. I've heard about this doc, but still haven't seen it. Though I did see Ice-T give a few interviews, particularly one on Jimmy Fallon's show.

Trying to find this doc and see it b/c hip hop's in my heart. For real.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

FOOD :: Guilt-Free Fries of Every Variety

FOOD :: Guilt-Free Fries of Every Variety

French fries have been one of my fav foods for most of my life. 

So imagine my delight when I saw The fries that Yummly's compiled for this list; they will make your mouth water. And you'll want to get in the kitchen and get busy.

Guilt-Free Fries of Every Variety
YUMMLY | JULY 13, 2012

Everyone loves french fries! Who could resist that crispy exterior topped with just the right amount of salt? Read more

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Music Monday 137 :: Public Radio Remix

Music Monday 137 :: Public Radio Remix

Well, this post is not directly related to music, but the Public Radio Remix stream includes lots of audio and music is a part of that mix.

Listening to audio is the new 'it' thing to do. There are many options for listening to music and podcasts via mobile devices and of course online.

This Public Radio Remix stream is curated by PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Cairo Life :: Friday Morning Traffic

Everyone knows that traffic in Cairo is consistently unbearable. I often wonder: when does it thin out? Now I know. Taken June, 2012.


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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Cairo Life :: Sami Amin

Sami Amin is an Egyptian designer. He designs furniture, jewelry, hand bags and more. Having a Sami Amin store in my neighborhood is a blessing and a curse. Here's my friend's latest purchase; but I went and bought one too! Super cute. Taken June, 2012.


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Monday, July 02, 2012

Music Monday 136 :: Wayne Brady Sings

Music Monday 136 :: Wayne Brady Sings

Wayne Brady is every bit of awesome; he improvs and he sings and he's really good at both. Check out Brady on NPR's "Song Travels" as he sings Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" and more. Oh, and he put on his 'sexy' for the photo ... You'll see.

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Cairo Life :: The River Nile

Taken June, 2012.

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