Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Will the real Zsa Zsa Gabor please stand up?

I constantly get amusingly confused messages to the ZZG Facebook site from fans of the Hungarian actress who think that they are actually talking to her. Despite a disclaimer on the page stating that I am an American noise artist and enough performance imagery to substantiate that I am NOT the famous glamour queen, I still get Facebook likes from people all over the world who think that they are getting one step closer to Ms. Gabor. i wanted to share a few of these messages with you.

Here's a continuation of John's (the prince) messages to me. Again, for some reason, he thinks he is talking to the divine Zsa Zsa Gabor. Unfortunately, it's only me. 

Things start to get dark in the message. Bible strangulation? 

A little more of John's family history. Good to know that he didn't follow his father's violent ways. 

And finally, although sad to see John go, he wises up and realizes, maybe this isn't the right Zsa Zsa Gabor. 

Sometimes, the messages are not so supportive. 

This John (a different one than "Prince" John above) turned it all around though! I feel much better. 

All in all, a great response from a great world! Sigh! I guess any publicity is good publicity, right? 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

NEVER GET OUT OF THE BOAT! India 2012 part 10

Tourist bus outside of the Wall Street, Jaipur.
We met our crew outside of the Wall Street in the early morning. We were to make our way to the Raj Palace Resort in Sawai Madhopur. 

Saw more great sites leaving Jaipur. I would never see anything like this back home so I cherished all of the great memories! 

These guys were hauling down the freeway.  A little unnerving? You bet! On the road out of Jaipur.

So much delicious fruit! 

Leaving Jaipur.
Pimped out, Indian style. 

Salutations on the road out of Jaipur.

Where were these guys heading to?
After another death defying trip out of Jaipur, we made our way to the Raj Palace Resort. This is a very cool old hotel and it has a pool. Some of our fearless team members have already made their way into its blue waters. Feels good to be out of the city again. This is some real peace and quite. There is a great jungle like atmosphere here at the Raj. When we came in, the hotel staff placed marigold necklaces around our necks and painted red dots on our foreheads. There is one gentlemen here who is decked out. He's wearing an authentic period outfit and is impeccable. He has a mustache to die for. We're eating box lunches that the previous hotel prepared for us. Bananas with tomato and cheese sandwiches. So good. We're all getting comfortable now. We will be heading to the Ranthambhore National Park shortly to see if we can catch a glimpse of some tigers. Our group leader has a special ride planned for us. 

Hotel Raj Palace, Ranthambhore 

Our room.

C'mon in!
I wanted to know who his tailor was. 

I really like this hotel. There is a writing desk and it fits me perfectly. I would very much like to take it home with me. The other hotels really didn't have this type of furniture and it gives me some time to really work on this blog. 

Yup, this is all you'll need in India!
Well, we definitely were in for a treat. The excursion of the day was to visit the Ranthambhore National Park. We were going to try to spot some tigers.  The special ride was an open top safari bus. If we were going to find some tigers, we would be pretty damn close. The bus fit about 18-20 people. Our guide looked like the b-movie actor John Saxon. Heading into the park was nice. There were ruins scattered all over. I once again felt like we were heading back into time. Even our bus was a creaky old beast. She threatened to fall apart at every curve and turn. The roads were ridiculously bad and we literally were in each other's laps as the bus tossed us around like dolls. Our park guide tried desperately to find us the ever elusive tiger but did not have any luck. We did stumble upon some tiger tracks. We were close to finding one. Well, we did see a crocodile and some deer though.

The Beast!

Tiger tracks! That tiger was near!
Undaunted, our guide pushed the driver of the bus to venture down a path that they really weren't supposed to go down. We all vowed our secrecy (oops!) and we pressed forward through the bushes! We really felt that we were on to something. Mr. Saxon dashed like a madman down the aisle of the bus peering intensely into the forest before finally stopping the driver. We've been beat! No tiger today. I'm glad we stopped as it appeared that the trail ended. I don't know how far we could have gotten without getting stuck out there or going off a cliff. 

The scenery was great out there in the sticks. The rocky bus ride was slightly amusing until it was time to head back and I realized that we had the achingly bad road to weather through. As we headed back tree branches whipped around smacking people in the faces and even whipping one guy's hat off his head. That's the price we paid to see some tigers!

Ruins of Ranthambhore National Park. 

The temple. 

Tower of Ranthambhore.
Thankfully, it was a short drive back to our hotel. It was getting a little cold. We all stumbled off the bus in pain and took a small break. Dinner would be in an hour. My mom and I decided to do a little shopping. There were some shops a few blocks from the Raj. One small shop had some great finds. I bought my son a tiger t-shirt and we walked to the next shop next door. This place was really nice. I was about to buy some souvenirs until I saw something that made me sick. The entire store was covered in small mosquitoes. There were in the blankets, the shirts, everywhere. I looked up at the ceiling and saw that mosquitoes were dropping like rain. That freaked me out. I literally grabbed my mom and we ran out of the store. The poor salesperson didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.  

As soon as we got back, there was some entertainment and drinks waiting for us in the courtyard  A small band was playing some music. The singer was great. One of the dancers came to our group and grabbed my mom. He started dancing with her. Man these guys know how to shake their hips! I ordered a round of Indian rum called Old Monk for one of the group members and I. It was good. He ordered a round for me too. The dancer did a little routine where he spit fire. He then came around and pulled our whole group to do some dancing. I broke out some mock breakdancing moves complete with a bad handstand. We finished our drinks and headed into the restaurant for dinner. 

Fire at the Raj Palace Resort. 

It was getting cold!!
It was an early night for me. Tomorrow we head to Bundi. Fireworks would be exploding for the remainder of the night. 

Bad road at the tiger reserve. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NEVER GET OUT OF THE BOAT! India 2012 part 9

Strolling. Jaipur.
Woke up at 6:30 AM and went downstairs to have brunch. Potatoes, toast, hard-boiled eggs and yum, baked beans. Baked beans at breakfast? A group of Korean tourists came in and tore up the buffet. Glad I got here early. I wonder if anyone came down for the midnight buffet?  

Baked beans for breakfast? 
Our group leader took us to Jantar Mantar. This interesting park is a collection of fourteen astronomical observatories. All of these devices were built by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaji Jai Singh. These instruments look more like sculptures. These angular buildings jutting out of the ground like stone needles. The structures vary in purpose. Some were designed to measure time, others to track the stars. The place would fit perfect in a science fiction movie. One of our group members got yelled at for climbing up the stairs to one of the structures. 

Stairway to heaven. Jantar Mantar. Jaipur.

Jantar Mantar, Jaipur.

We were not allowed down there! Jantar Mantar, Jaipur.

Like an M.C. Escher drawing! Jantar Mantar, Jaipur.

Sky bound. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur.

Great place to relax. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur. 
Took a picture with a real life snake charmer. I've always wanted to see a snake charmer. I taped some of his tunes. He put the snake around my neck. I didn't worry about it biting me, the fangs were removed. The snake charmer played some cool tunes on his flute. One side of the flute played a drone while the other side was for playing notes. I gave him some extra rupees and he said that I was a good man. 

Is this thing real? Outside the Jantar Mantar.
I had been looking for a 9 volt battery for days. A spied a guy selling batteries out of a cardboard box. He didn't have a 9 volt. He said that he could get me one though. I didn't think anything of it until I saw him as I was leaving the Jantar Mantar. He found a 9 volt battery and it was all mine for the 500 rupees. Yow! That was $10.00. I didn't want to pay that much, but he said that he walked a long way to get it, so I grudgingly paid for it. Glad I did. I really needed it for my Smokey Amp.  

We were then taken to a magnificent fabric store as part of an agreement with our tour guide company. They had some really nice things here. While the rest of the group were off buying clothes, the head salesperson told me to follow him into a side room. There were carpets everywhere. He tried to sell me one. He told me to take off my shoes and walk on one of the larger carpets. He rolled one out especially for me. I felt kind of bad. There was no way that I was going to buy a carpet. He told me he asked me because I looked like an artist. I told him that I appreciated the thought, but buying a carpet was out of the question. He seemed a little bummed.

Our group split up again. My mom and I went back to the hotel. I was craving pizza. Someone mentioned that there was a Domino's Pizza near our hotel that delivered. I asked my tour leader to phone in an order. As soon as we got to the hotel, my pizza was there. A boy on a motorcycle delivered it. Damn it was good.

Domino's Pizza, Jaipur style!
Everybody on this trip is slowly catching a cold. Two of the girls in our group brought it with them. They were coughing up a storm. It's been a game to see who gets sick next. My mom was feeling under the weather so I went out looking for some medicine for her. She's had the cold since Fort Madhogarh. 

Going out alone was a heavy experience. As I ventured down the streets of Jaipur, I was getting the stare down from practically everybody. As I said before, everyone thought that I was Indian. So it seemed strange that I was getting this kind of attention. I was a getting a little paranoid. It could have been my appearance. I was the only guy wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. That made me stick out a bit. I bought some Hindu stickers and a poster of Kali. I took off the sunglasses and shoved my hat in my backpack. The stares went away and I felt like part of the population. For someone who hates getting stared at, this was a great sense of relief.

I took a rickshaw back to the hotel. My driver had black teeth. I bargained with him for a bit on the price back home. Right then, another guy in a tuk tuk came and said that I could ride with him. I had already made a deal with the rickshaw driver and politely declined the alternate offer. I told my guy the name of my hotel and we ventured down the road. The guy was a little spacey. He made a left down a dusty street and dropped me off at the wrong hotel. I told him that this was not my hotel and asked him if he was lost. I started to panic a bit as he kept riding down getting farther away from where he picked me up. Luckily I spotted a pet shop that was on the corner of where my hotel was. I poked him in the back and told him to head down that street. I was filled with relief when I saw my hotel. I paid him and went inside.

Went in search for a small screwdriver to open up my portable amplifier. I just purchased the most expensive battery of my life and I waned to put it to use. I sat at the bar and asked the bartender if he had one. I kid you not, the entire hotel staff got up to help me. I told them I needed a screwdriver to open up my tiny amp to replace the battery. They asked why I had an amplifier and I said that it was because I brought my electric ukulele  They asked if I had with me and I said yes, I went up to my room and grabbed it. When I got back, a skinny maintenance man found a screwdriver and was opening up the back of my amp. Once the new battery was in, I played the hotel staff a feedback rich medley. I think they liked it. The hotel manager who was present said that he liked Enrique Iglesias and the song, "Hotel California." Who doesn't like "Hotel California?" I arranged for my group to play a small concert in the bar. Our guide is going to bring his acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, this didn't happen.

Later that night, we were to meet our tour leader in the hotel lobby. He was going to take us to a fancy dinner at one of the palaces. There weren't that many of us come dinner time. The family in our group decided to do their own thing. My mom was sick as was another member of the group. We hired two tuk tuk's to take us to this heritage home for dinner. We ventured our way through the eldritch streets, again risking life and limb. The heritage house was nice. It used to be the home of a king but they turned into a restaurant. There were musicians playing sitar and tablas as we entered. I talked to them briefly. Good guys! The place was like a museum. We ordered drinks and sat and waited in the lobby. Fireworks blasting in the background. 

Pretty sweet heritage hotel. Jaipur.

Like a museum! 

Beauty and the beasts. 

These guys kicked out the jams!
After dinner we got in our tuk tuks and headed back to our hotel. I saw some strange sights as we journeyed through this bizarre world. A guy on a motorcycle puked all over a friend. Something red and meaty was bubbling in a huge cauldron. Shadowy figures lunged from dark alleys. We raced down these hellish streets and made it safe and sound back to The Wall Street Hotel. 

Cool tree! Jantar Mantar, Jaipur. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Slimer in India 2012

I thought it would be a fun idea to take my son's Slimer Ghostbuster toy to India with me and take pictures of him. I was bummed that I didn't get Slimer at the Taj Mahal though. Oh well, next time.

Ladies and gentlemen, here's Slimer's journey across India!

Here's Slimer in Delhi. 

Slimer at Fort Madhogarh.

Slimer in Jaipur. Our driver had his own collection going on. 

Even though the table is marked Jaipur, here's Slimer in Bundi.

Slimer's last India appearance. Bijapur.