Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Welcome to the Zoo

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Now this might sound more like a sermon or something of that nature. It's not. It's still a blogpost but with an extraordinary story. Two weeks ago I was wondering how I could get back out there on stage in front of an audience. I've been away from the live stage for a year due to life really. Nothing was looking very promising  on musician classified sites and I didn't have any decent musician connections that were viable. I prayed about finding the right people to hook up with and start back into the rock and roll. After totally giving it to God in prayer I had the idea to look on Craigslist. Now this is not the place I would normally think to find musicians but I was running out of ideas. I saw an ad mentioning a great U2 tribute band that I had seen many years earlier. They were looking for a new Bono. I've sung Bono parts professionally before in the past and been accused of sounding a bit much like U2 on my earlier  CD's. This was worth a shot, at least to contact these guys. I've pretty much studied the band for 30 years and Bono was really my main inspiration as a singer.

I reached U2Zoo by email and literally heard from Brian the guitar player within a half hour. Talk about the power of prayer. Later that afternoon Brian called and we talked for a bit. He said that he went to www.timkorry.com, listened to about 4 seconds of a song, and called the bass player. The next thing I know he's asking me if I want to play Summerfest 2016 in front of around 6,000 people. Whoa... dude. I know my U2 songs quite well but not every word. He was talking about 90 minute set. There was a few things to think about but I was feeling the pull to say yes. We practiced once just to get a feel for things and I decided to just go for it. Jesus said that with God anything is possible. Well, that's what went through my head and I said let's do it. Why start doing things normal at this point in my life. First show as a lead singer singing Bono in front of thousands? OK, that's rock and roll right. Crazy... a day later I developed a wicked sinus infection. There went my voice. Crap. I started taking every medication I could think of, tea, honey, etc. We were able to have one more semi practice where I was singing kind of quietly. Still no voice. I was starting to get nervous but kept the faith regardless. I was not able to make a 3rd practice with the guys due to my vocal situation but got an appointment with my ENT. This guy is great. He's worked with Skillet as far as the same kind of problem and he trained under Celine Dion's ENT. Heavy meds for a couple days seemed to really help. Not 100% but way better. I had purchased some singer's throat spray and lozenges. I was ready to walk out in faith and give this one to God. You can do that without being in church. It's still praise man. We hung out in the dressing room for a bit and prepared for the show. 

The crowd was huge and I'm glad that Mike brought a few libations. It was a great feeling to see such a crowd and responsive at that. The guitar for I Will Follow kicked in and we were off. All my gears switched into Bono mode. This felt good despite my slight vocal handicap. I was able to bring it pretty good thanks to the my faith and God's power. I was so super thankful for the opportunity and the experience and felt renewed both spiritually and performance-wise. To top it off, our new adopted son was able to see dad on stage do his thing. This will be the start of a new chapter in my musical career. Who saw this one coming? Two weeks and what a change. #Thankful. Stay tuned for the new adventure!
 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Zero Hour


A New Chapter. Everything has changed… and that’s fine. I’ve been out of the music scene for a year due to the adoption and all that goes with it. Rhinocerotic is permanently put to rest due to the passing of Timmy Wolf and I’m still having a hard time with that one. I’m working on some new styles of music but getting anxious to play live again. Currently I’m looking to start either a goth/blues band or guitar/dance hybrid. It’s not as easy to find musicians my age to collaborate on innovative ideas. People usually give up or play in “old man weekend warrior” bands. Sorry, I will never play ‘Mustang Sally’. This will be a challenge to move ahead, clear the slate, and re-imagine my relationship with music. Time for a new approach? Stay tuned... news is on the way!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Time Travel : The End of the Philippine Adventure


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(Click the photo for pictures)
4/17
It's 3:18 in the morning partly on the way to Korea. There is turbulence and I'm watching Macbeth. I do not care for turbulence and do get quite nervous. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I do however like Shakespeare... very much. I do currently wish I had some whisky. We put our lives in God's hands and hope that he will protect us in safe travel. We have been very blessed on this trip with safety and the good people that God has put in our path. We are thankful.
The airport in Seoul was pretty empty on the walk through immigration and to the gate. That was great. The 4 hour wait was rough. Still no sleep for me. Liza and Joshua were able to grab a few winks but I kept awake with a few cups of coffee. The airport was cold and irritating this time. Announcements were going off all the time, r's were used in place of L's (sorry, but after no sleep for over a day it's not amusing), and airport staff was definitely not as helpful and friendly as in the Philippines. Aside from that stuff, we were looking good.  That's just a long time to wait and it's cold in here. After a mini cowboy meal of beef jerky and coffee I was ready to go. We finally were allowed to board and I was ready to throw party. Sleep deprivation and oxygen in the cabin are a great combination, plus we got slippers on this flight. Sweet...
3:11 PM? AM? I don't know but we have been having the worst turbulence I've ever experienced. Poor Joshua has been sick and probably scared. I can't say that the rest of us feel much better. Still 8 hours to go. This is the day that will never end. I was able to get s brief amount of sleep but I'm afraid that's it. This has been a rough one. I'm looking very much forward to landing at O'Hare Lord willing. I know you've probably never heard anybody say that. Just meditate on that one for a sec. One of the flight attendants on Korea Air gave us a pill for Joshua's upset stomach. These attendants are awesome, pro all around and we can't say enough. Now at the same time we get the overhead announcement for turbulence at least every half an hour. I think a more appropriate announcement would be,"Hey, it's going to be smooth for a few minutes".  I would rather hear that one.

We did arrive safe and sound in Chicago but I've got to tell ya, the turbulence was remarkable. Yes, those bags in front of the seat do work... We were so thankful to get on the ground. After being treated like some kind of threat by our immigration, we finally were allowed to leave the airport an hour and a half after we landed. Seriously, the things we had to go through at the airport were ridiculous. Yes we arrived with an innocent 15 year old boy. Really guys? I could write several posts about this episode. We were picked up by a limo (don't get used to it kid) and driven back to Wind Point where we deliriously overtired people had..... McDonalds (that's really the only reason, plus the kid was asking for it). From Macbeth to McDonalds.Yep, now the real adventure begins.... back home, back to the gazebo, back to the lake....


Go Here for Music:
www.timkorry.com 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Last Day in the Philippines

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4/16

Time travel. It's what we do when traveling from one end of the world to the other. 
 
We met a very nice women named Marie who must be some sort of manager here. We shared a little bit of our story with her and she shared a story about her daughter with us. The Philippine people are the best man. Nobody is perfect anywhere of course, but people have been kind and friendly at most of our stops. 
 
We headed over to the pool for some last day swimming. Who cares about my sunburn. We are heading back to WI people! We had some halo halo by the pool and headed in to clean up for checkout. We paid for access to the exclusive club lounge of Windows on Manila Bay 19th floor and that was definitely the way to spend 5 hours. They set Joshua up with The Avengers movie and we just enjoyed the view with their afternoon tea. Amazing view and I dig afternoon teas, no seriously I dig tea. I'm going to miss the Philippines but not necessarily Manila. There are a lot of things going on right now in the South Pacific and I'm ready to get the hell out. Things are escalating with the Philippines and China, the US is sending commandos in for war games and our Secretary of State is here to support the Philippine military. There were just 2 major earthquakes in Japan so we are thankful to God that we have to land in Korea instead of the original plan for Japan. In addition, there are volcanos beginning to erupt. My thought is seriously, let's get the hell out like the A-Team
 
After a few movies, 5 hours in a cool lounge, and some light snacking we met up with Mr. Art for the trip to Manila airport. Before this however I have to tell you again about Marie and what a wonderful person she is. We had about 1 1/2 hours before our ride arrived and decided to order something to eat. Something must have not worked out in the communication because we had about 40 minutes left and still nothing. Marie absolutely went out of her way to see that we got what we ordered before leaving. Joshua had ordered sinigang which is s Filipino comfort dish. She personally stepped in and made sure that he had it before leaving his country. She absolutely went out of her way to make our experience great. We were so impressed with her and her staff. I don't believe we have had treatment like this even at 4 star places in the US. It would certainly be hard to top this experience with the Hotel Jen staff so thank you so very much! 

We arrived at the airport and found the right gate thanks to Mr. Art and proceeded to stand in line... You know, airport stuff. We did move through immigration and all that fairly quick. 
We had some extra pesos and found ourselves spending them on random snacks, drinks (not tea at this point- long flight), what have you. Finally we boarded the Korean Air flight. So began the longest day ever... we boarded the plane around midnight...


For the MUSIC

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pool

 
 
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4/15
 
This is our last full day in Manila. Pool day! As far as I'm concerned, the hotel pool is the best place in Manila. No, this is not the most exciting blogpost. Yes, there is a loud festival going on down the street, construction of 2 buildings next door, sea planes, constant honking, barking, smooth jazz, but relaxing all the same. The Hotel Jen staff has been amazing and way over the top from what we would get in the US. Joshua has been having some stomach problems and well, dad knows those quite well. It's called nerves and it's just one of the joys of travel. That's aside from moving to a new country with a new family. The manager Hannah personally escorted us to the clinic where the hotel doctor examined him. Nothing out of the ordinary but man this staff is good. Our room was also moved due to some leaking in the bathroom. This too was handled well by staff.  Out to hang by the pool we went. The ocean wind seemed to blow the smog back into Manila clearing the way for some sun. We swam for a few hours, ate lunch, and then out of nowhere the hotel had a lifeguard drowning drill. What a surprise for Joshua who was observing in amazement and possibly fear. By the time we were finished, 5 hours had passed and I had a rather nice sunburn. We chilled in the room for awhile and got ready for Kitsho, a Japanese sushi and sake restaurant in the hotel. Dinner was unexpectedly not crowded. I  read write ups on this place not understanding how they could not be a reservation only restaurant. Well, seems that aside from the high prices, our waitress/hostess was not very attentive and there were sections on the menu not even available. Robert Irvine would have a field day with this one. Looked very nice, but not outstanding in any other way. Everything was good but we had better sushi experiences in the US. In Kenosha nonetheless... We headed upstairs to watch some foolish Planet of the Apes movie and fell asleep. Yes, dad was tired enough to agree to watch it. We are leaving late tomorrow... very late.

For MUSIC

Water Water Everywhere

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(Click photo for pictures)
4/14
We woke up around 6am, which has become the normal time here, and looked out at the hazy port of Manila. The air quality is quite bad with both air and noise pollution. Did I mention that summer just started. Man, the heat is actually a news story! Today is the big day at Ocean Park. The Aliwan Fiesta is beginning today across the street. This is a giant fiesta celebrating all the smaller celebrations in the provinces. Maybe we will check it out, but the hotel pool seems way more inviting on such an incredibly hot day. 
Sir Art, Mr. Ramon's counterpart drove us over to Ocean Park. It might be in Manila and in pesos, but to us but it is still quite the traditional theme park atmosphere. Pay for a little, get a certain amount of access, pay for the big kahuna, get slightly more. We went big. The heat made the outdoor areas rough and many inside areas were not much different. We were actually relieved to visit the Arctic penguin exhibit. We had to put coats on to enter and there was actual snow. Probably was the first snow the boy has seen and it won't be the last, that's for sure. Welcome to Wisconsin kid. This will look like home in 7 months. We saw a few really cool things including a jellyfish exhibit and a Philippine eagle exhibit where they were just flying around us. After lunch at a legit Asian restaurant inside Ocean Park which had choices of Pinoy food, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, you name it. 
We were picked  up by Mr. Art and went back to the hotel for more sun and swimming. After a little rest we visited the 19th floor of Hotel Jen called Windows by the Bay. Liza & Joshua were getting a little nervous as the window sitting area extended a bit out. Great view and nice chilled out place. We ordered a nice cheese plate, charcuterie plate, and a pizza puff plate. Joshua mostly made faces at it so we ordered him a ham and pineapple pizza. I've noticed that this kid digs the Hawaiian pizzas yet is ironically scared of cheese. We were pretty tired after the full day and ordered the in room Avenger movie. Everyone fell asleep. One more full day in Manila...


For MUSIC

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

ICAB & MOA


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 (Click picture to see photos)

4/13 
Today is all about the Inter-Country Adoption Board. We woke up early again and headed down for the breakfast buffet. I still felt a bit full after the crispy pata last night.  Joshua didn't really dig the buffet and we never eat enough to be worth the money. Hoping for the best as far as lukewarm buffet food in Southeast Asia... or anywhere really anyway. Who really likes buffets? Well, we've been okay so far and the food is very good at Hotel Jen.  Excellent staff as well.

Mang Ramon picked us up from the hotel and we were on our way through the early morning streets of Manila. We arrived at ICAB about an hour early and finished shortly after for signing and receiving the final paperwork in the Philippines. ICAB was professional and friendly, not nearly as stressful as I anticipated. Whew... (wiping brow) Diggin the Filipinos.
In between time, Mang Ramon drove us through Intramuros and past some notable sights in Manila including Rizal Park, The Manila Hotel (General MacArthur fame), The Coconut Palace, San Agustin Church (original doors from 1607) and other sights. We really enjoyed seeing the historical buildings, what you don't see in the pictures is the extreme poverty. There were people sleeping by the roadside, mothers feeding babies, dogs eating garbage, people eating and sleeping in garbage, and this was in about 100 degree weather. There are the super rich but mostly the impoverished in Manila. We are very blessed in America. Maybe I should have taken pictures of these things. They are hard to look it and absorb. Mang Ramon took us back to the hotel and introduced our driver for tomorrow, Mang Art. He would be the one to take us to Ocean Park, which everyone is excited to see.   

So, off we were to The Mall of Asia to grab some more clothes for Joshua and to check out one of the biggest malls in this part of the world. Trying on clothes is so much fun in gigantic malls... I'm not sure if I really need to even write anything here. We did get a shuttle over from Hotel Jen and planned our time for pickup. Security at this mall is no joke. Guns and everything, but I suppose that's a good idea in today's world. We were okay with it. We had some crappy mall food (Pizza Hut... we were hungry) and snapped a few pictures outside before our pickup time. Back to relax at the hotel...

For MUSIC