Nov 25, 2011

Day 300 - The LozinTransit map


Germany Day 1-17 (17)
Stays: Frankfurt, München, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Köln
Daytrips: Neuschwanstein Castle, Oberhausen

Italy Day 18-46 (28)
Stays: Milano, Firenze, Venezia, Roma

Spain Day 47-94 (47)
Stays: Barcelona, Callela, Valencia, Madrid, Sevilla, Córdoba, Malaga, Granada
Daytrips: Lloret Del Mar

Portugal Day 95-158 (63)
Stays: Lisboa, Sintra, Ericeira, Obidos, Coimbra, Porto
Daytrips: Leiria, Peniche, Mafra

Netherlands Day 159-197 (38)
Stays: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Denbosch, Tilburg, Rotterdam, Scheveningen
Daytrips: Harlem, Amersfoort, Delft

England Day 198-200 (3), 206-212 (7), 270-299 (30)
Stays: London - Arsenal, Fulham Broadway, Russell Square, Pimlico, Swiss Cottage, Queensway.
Bournemouth, Brighton, Birmingham, Nottingham,

Scotland (Day 201-205 (4)
Edinburgh

Lithuania Day 213-242 (29)
Stays: Vilnius, Panevėžys, Siauliai, Klaipeda, Kaunas

Latvia Day 243-257 (14)
Stays: Riga, Liepaja + Karosta Prison, Ventspils
Daytrips: Jurmala, Sigulda

Estonia Day 258-270 (14)
Stays: Tartu, Otepää, Tallinn, Karesaare, Muhu
Daytrips: Kaleste

Other 'Loz in Transit' maps:
- 30 Home Games: NBA Destinations
- 'Loz in Transit' Europe 2011 expanded map
- 'Loz in Transit' South America 2013 expanded map

Nov 24, 2011

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (Christmas songs)

hyde park, bavaria, christmas, winter wonderland
hyde park, christmas, ice rink, ice skating, winter wonderland
In my most recent Road Music post I mentioned how Wrestling Entrances were inherently "Songs to be happy to". I see your 'Wrestling Themes' and I raise you - Christmas Songs! I can't think of any other genre of music that inspires as much nostalgia and joy in me as the songs that begin to circulate around this time of year.

On the cusp of my return to Germany, I spent my final day in London at the iconic 'Winter Wonderland' at Hyde Park. Many of the rides were German-made and there was a Bavarian section with mulled wine and bier. The winning combination of traditional Christmas songs, the German Winter aesthetic and carnival atmosphere had me grinning from ear to ear. Seeing kids playing American Football by the Ferris Wheel, (in the cold) was an added bonus.

Without further adieu, the songs...

VIDEO: 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues

Pleasantly, this song is on high rotation around these parts (its by a Celtic band). I never heard it much in Australia but for as long as I've known it, I've considered this my favorite Christmas song.
Truth be told, I first heard this as a Punk rock cover by 'No Use for a Name'.

VIDEO: 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' by Bing Crosby

This will be an interesting and emotional christmas as it will be the first time I won't be spending it with my familia, let alone being separated by an ocean. That said, I always carry my family and those I love with me.
As the song goes "I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams".

- Visit the 'Winter Wonderland' Facebook page
- Find the entire 'Road Music' Track listings here

Nov 20, 2011

Other people's stories - Tales of: Living the Dream

I'm having fun traveling around Europe for the year. I've been to several events I'm passionate about, some I've always aspired to go to (Edinburgh Fringe) and others I've lucked upon (EuroBasket in Lithuania, Wrestling in England). I've been able to act on most of my whims, even the privilege of not working for a year is golden in and of itself. Surprisingly this doesn't make happiness any less elusive.

Once the novelty of being around new places and new people wears off, ultimately we're left with the same dilemma - "What do I do with my time?". As I've mentioned several times, one of my go-to responses is reading. Graphic Novels in libraries, Photography journals in bookshops and collecting as much street press I can find. Street Press is particularly illuminating as it informs me of a Country as reflected by their trending artists and movements.

I've read some interesting articles in England, the following two resonated with me as they touched on the subject of glorification. Who else but a successful Celebrity would be more qualified to comment on the realities of "living the dream". This edition of 'Other People's stories' is unique as it features people I've had no interaction with.


Musician Ed Sheeran (EdSheeran.com)

Heart Strings (Ed Sheeran interview)
by Hattie Collins for RWD Magazine

How's life hanging out with Example, performing at Nobu with Clare Maguire, for Princess Beatrics...
The grass is always greener - but I do have the best job in the world. I enjoy my job so much and it's so fun. But there's lots of downsides to it.

What's the toughest part of the job?
Well I'm still sofa surfing - not because there's no money, it's that there's no time to go look for a flat. It gets to 2am and I'm like "F**k where am I going to stay tonight?" That's not a nice feeling. Or being told you have a day off and there's a last minute studio session or gig, photoshoot etc... you just keep going...

But there's no point complaining about stuff like that because two years ago I would have given my left leg to do that. Life isn't always as peachy as everyone thinks it is, but it is also really good...!

And the toughest lesson you've learnt?
Probably having to realise that not everyone's going to like you. I used to read all my press - I've stopped that now...

I'd think "Why would you say that?" I picture myself as a nice person - I'm probably not! - but I try to treat people how I'd like to be treated...

Master Shortie actually gave me a bit of advice. I get like one bad tweet for every 200 good ones and I'd tweet back at them. He asked me why and said "You've got 200 fans saying they love you and one guy saying he hates you?". Why don't you use that tweet to ignore him and reply to a fan and make their day?"...

Instead of focusing on the hatred, it's better to focus on the love and who likes the music. It's good advice.
--------------------------------------------


Comedian Stephen Merchant (StephenMerchant.com)

Stephen Merchant - Would you fall for this man?
by Stephen Armstrong for ES Magazine

Stephen Merchant is one half of the UK's most successful comedy duo... He and Ricky Gervais are among the richest comedians in the world... And yet he still can't get a girlfriend.

One New Year's Eve, for instance, he was standing in Trafalgar Square when a good-looking girl reached up to tap him on the shoulder (he's 6ft 7in) and asked, 'Are you going to be here for a while?' In a second his whole night changed. 'Here we go,' he thought. 'This is it.' He was no longer crushed in the cold; he was a handsome winner about to get some New Year's action. 'Because me and my friends are all going off,' the girl continued, 'and we want to arrange to meet back here, at you.'

He sighs as he relates the story... 'People think all fame is the same but being on BBC Two from time to time does not make you Warren Beatty. I honestly can't impress that upon people enough.'

Surely once he'd picked up a Golden Globe, live on television, women found him more attractive? 'No,' he says firmly. 'But I have become more confident in my own skin. That's the difference.'...

I was 15 when my dad came in from work one day - at the time he was in the building trade and he was very stressed - and said, "You don't want to end up doing this, son" he recalls. I decided to become the next John Cleese. Ridiculous. But, well, I've done it. It's good, isn't it? But now what do I do? I've jokingly said that everything I'm doing now is filling up the hours before I die, but I do feel that slightly. I have no religious beliefs so this is the ride. This is it. So I'm just like anyone I suppose, trying to fill out the days in the most interesting way possible.'
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Adventure
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Love
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Living the Dream
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Living in the moment

Nov 17, 2011

A question answered with a quote: England edition

I began my 'QAwaQ: UK Edition' many months ago but have decided to compile a new list dedicated to England. Apart from my awesome 4 nights at the Edinburgh 'Fringe' I might actually not see the other parts of the UK outside of England. I'm even considering a 'QAwaQ: London Edition' to honor the length of time I've been here.

Find the collection of quotables here:
- A question answered with a quote: German + Italian edition
- A question answered with a quote: Spain edition
- A question answered with a quote: Portugal edition
- A question answered with a quote: Holland Edition
- A question answered with a quote: UK Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Lithuania Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Latvia + Estonia edition
- A question answered with a quote: England edition
- A question answered with a quote: Germany Revisited edition
- A question answered with a quote: Turkey edition
- Listen to my Podcast inspired by AQAwaQ: Lets's Get Real podcast

With that I present to you 'A question answered with a quote: England edition


- You don't see your own skills
- It all depends on how you sell it afterwards

I'm only smart when I'm with someone, when I'm single I become dumb again

I'm pretty lucky no one else wants these things

- "Yeah. But that doesn't mean I wanna hear about it"
- "True. But it doesn't mean I should change my factory settings"

We all have to make choices

Vagrant with fishing gear(!?) admonishing kids making out
Vagrant: Why don't you get a room!
Guy: (without missing a beat) There's a lake over somewhere over there

Nov 15, 2011

Road Music: Complete Track listings

The 'Road Music' playlist so far
Enjoy the Complete Tracklistings on this YouTube Playlist:
Alternatively you can find it here on Spotify - Travel trigger Songs

VIDEO: Loz in Transit Trigger songs

Home Music: Songs to be happy to (First impressions, Last show)
- 'At your Funeral' by Saves the Day
- 'War all of the Time' by Thursday

Songs to be happy to ( Last time, First lines)
- 'Juicy' by the the Notorious B.I.G
- 'Mama said knock you out' by LL Cool J

Songs to be happy to (Not Sad New Year)
- 'Jet Black New Year' by Thursday
- 'I'm So Ronery' by Kim Jong-il (Team America: World Police)

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (Sports songs)
- 'Lovely Day' by Bill Withers
- 'Banquet' by Bloc Party
- 'Promiscuity' by Manu Chao

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (Christmas songs)
- 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues
- 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' by Bing Crosby

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (WWE UK Tour, November 2011)
- 'Cult of Personality' by Living Colour (CM Punk's new Entrance theme)
- 'This Fire Burn by Killswitch Engage (CM Punk's old Entrance theme)

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (UFC 138)
- 'Mad World' by Gary Jules
- 'Bebot' by The Black Eyed Peas

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (EuroBasket edition)
- 'Manu Key' by Quai 54 (Feat. Booba, 16ar, Zoxea, Oxmo, Dany Dan)
- 'Celebrate Basketball' (Eurobasket 2011 Lithuanian version) by Marijonas, Mantas, Mia

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (in Portugese)
- 'Danza Kuduro' by Don Omar & Lucenzo
- 'Anna Julia' by Los Hermanos
- 'Garota de Ipanema' by Joao Gilberto e Caetano Veloso
- 'País Tropical' (Live Rock in Rio 2010) by Ivete Sangalo

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (in Español)
- 'Qué mierda ser yo' by Avenue Q
- 'Me gustas tu' by Manu Chao

Road Music: Friends, Laura and Monica
- Laura Bean Record Release Party @ Bassy Cowboy Club Berlin
- 'Strong Oak Tree' by My Baby Will
- 'Desire' by My Baby Will

Road Music: My farewell Soundtrack
- 'Rock It' by Little Red
- 'Big Jet Plane' by Angus and Julia Stone
- 'Home' by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Road Music: Away Anthems
- 'Se Viene el Estallido' by La Bersuit
- 'O Bella Ciao' by Giorgio Gaber

Road music: Calella, First Resort
- 'This Must Be The Place' by Talking Heads
- 'Holiday' by The Get Up Kids (live)

Road Music: Live. Forever
- 'On your own' by James Yuill
- 'Nora' by Marina Gallardo

Road Music: Songs in Espanol
- 'Malaguena Salerosa' by Chingon
- 'La Camisa Negra' by Juanes

Road Music: Life on the Road
- 'Bitter Strings' by The Jealous Sound
- 'The Road' by Tenacious D

Soundtrack for Trigger posts
Trigger: Germany Revisited, Impressions of Köln
- Runnin' (Jay Dee remix) by The Pharcyde
Trigger: Living Island Adventures in Estonia
- 'Born To Be Wild' by Steppenwolf
Trigger: "A moment in time" Panevėžys, Lithuania (2011 m. Rugsėjo 7)
- 'This is the moment' by David Hasselhoff (Jekyll & Hyde)
Trigger: Egotripping II - England, on the road again
- 'On the Road Again' by Canned Heat
Trigger: Crazy Times in Holland, Day 185 - Day 195
- 'Crazy Days Loca People (What the f**k)' by Sak Noel
Trigger: "One hell of a night" Rotterdam, Netherlands (Juli 26, 2011)
- 'Soundtrack 2 My Life' by KiD CuDi
- 'What a great night' by Hilltop Hoods
Trigger: "Qualidade de Vida" in Casa dos Gauchos, Porto
- 'Good Life' by Kanye West
Trigger: The impressions of Porto
- 'Bad Boys for life' by P Diddy
Trigger: Ego Tripping in Portugal - Sintra, Obidos, Ericeria, Coimbra
- 'Road Trippin' by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Trigger: A Memento year - The first 100 days
- 'Sonata for Viola da Gamba No. 1 in G' by Bach

Nov 13, 2011

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (WWE UK Tour, November 2011)

mick foley, have a nice day, smiley faceWrestling themes are 'Songs to be happy to' by nature. They are designed to condition audiences into a mood, chosen to suit the wrestler's persona and orientation as hero (face) or villain (heel).

I originally wanted to choose one song from each show I watched, WWE Smackdown in Birmingham and WWE Raw in Nottingham. Dedicating it to the surprise appearances from each event, the unexpected return of Hardcore legend Mick Foley and 'Diesel' Kevin Nash.
- Listen to Mick Foley's Entrance theme
- Listen to Kevin Nash' Entrance theme

Instead I've decided to go for the Entrance themes of the Raw Nottingham headliner, CM Punk. His original and current themes capture two different kinds of happiness.

CM Punk's current theme evokes a feeling of naive bliss, the type of childlike joy one gets when immersed in a comic book or feel when meeting a star one admires:

VIDEO: 'Cult of Personality' by Living Colour (CM Punk's new Entrance theme)


His original theme on the other hand embodies a more mature exhilaration. Its like when you're in a nightclub surrounded by stunning women, overwhelmed by pleasure but tempered by adult concerns of doubt, frustration and guilt. Where, cloaked by the loud music you let out a euphoric primal scream. Uh... but maybe that's just me?

VIDEO: 'This Fire Burn by Killswitch Engage (CM Punk's old Entrance theme)


This distinction between the two kinds of happiness is interestingly mirrored in the two wrestling fan types - Marks and Smarks (Smart Marks)
What is your definition of a Mark and a Smark?
A mark is someone who enjoys the show for what it is. They are able to suspend their disbelief and watch wrestling for what goes on [onscreen and they don't care] what goes on backstage. A pure mark is unaware of the scripted nature of the program and believes that wrestling is a legitimate competition.

A smart mark (Smark) is someone who is aware of the staged nature of the show but can still suspend their disbelief to a certain extent...

A smark is someone who thinks they know everything about the business. They tend to put down marks and others who can suspend their disbelief while watching the show. Smarks tend to nit-pick and question every decision a wrestling company makes...
- My collection of Wrestling experiences featured in my 'Memento Year' exhibition
- Find the entire 'Road Music' Track listings here
- Read a glossary of Pro Wrestling definitions here
- Marking out to wrestling, Comics and Comedy in England

Nov 11, 2011

Coolspotting: Nerding out in England - Comics, CosPlay, Video Games and Wrestling

nintendisco, london
'Nintendisco' @93 Feet East, London
Day 272 - Nintendisco (London)
- '93 Feet East' in Shoreditch, where I celebrated my birthday with great friends
- Nintendisco was celebrating its own birthday, turning one
- Participated in the SNES StreetFighter II tournament, Losing a tight one in the 3rd round playing as T-Hawk against Guile.
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london, comics, expo, excel
London Comic Con @ExCel Arena, London 
Day 274 - London MCM Expo (London)
- The ExCel arena was simultaneously hosting a Comic Convention and casting 'Britain's Next Top Model'. Beauty and the Geek.
- Saw an opening during the morning rush and snuck in. Notables include sampling the new Streetfighter games and sitting ringisde for UK Indy Wrestling fed, FWA (Frontier Wrestling Alliance)
- Nabbed a "StreetFighter UK Fight Club" tshirt that was being thrown into the crowd.

The night was capped of by the finals of Euro Cosplay 2011
- Personal fave in competition: Inquisitor Lord Hector Rex from Warhammer 40K, Lithuania
- Personal fave in the crowd: Dudley from StreetFighter IV
- The 2011 winner: Skeksil Chamberlin from Dark Crystal, England

Go to the official London MCM Expo page
Go to FoxyChan81's Flickr album - Euro Cosplay 2011

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ufc 138, chris leben, mark munoz, birmingham
UFC 138 @LG Arena, Birmingham
Day 279 to Day 281 - UFC 138 (Birmingham)
- Rashad Evans and Ross Pearson in-store signing, Dudley (near Birmingham). Got a photocard and my flatcap signed.
- UFC 138 weigh-ins. Befriended a former Arena security guard in the queue, with his connects we got to sit in the gated area alongisde Fight Club members, press and fighter entourage.
- Accessed the members-only line to meet Ross Pearson and Octagon girls Arianny and Chandella. The lock: Security guard asks "Are you a member?". The password: "Yes".
- The Birmingham hostel was full of Fight fans from around Europe. I was offered half-priced tickets but it was still too rich for my blood.
- Unbeknownst to me UFC President Dana White had tweeted they would be handing out free tickets to the show at a designated location. Seeing dozens of burly tattooed men, clutching their mobiles spiked my curiosity. I was at the right place at the right time.
- I sat next to fans who paid £160 for their seats. After winning his undercard bout, Michihiro Omigawa and his trainer sat behind us with their fam.

Find UFC 138 Results here. Find UFC 138 weigh-in highlights.

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wwe, smackdown, birmingham
WWE Smackdown @LG Arena, Birmingham
Day 283 - WWE Smackdown (Birmingham)
- After making an unexpected return to WWE, prodigal son Mick Foley graced Birmingham with his presence
- Three grown men were in full costume beside me, Papa Shango, Sgt Slaughter and someone I couldn't identify. When I inquired, he declared he was Razor Ramon. He told me Security confiscated his toothpick.

Find pictures of WWE Smackdown in Birmingham here

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cm punk, wwe raw, nottingham
CM Punk in Nottingham, England
Day 285 - WWE Raw (Nottingham)
Betraying his fan favorite persona onscreen, CM Punk is notoriously prickly to his admirers. This was on display in Nottingham. His in-store signing before the night's show was hurried and perfunctory. I also witnessed this animated exchange as fans gathered around the departing tour buses after the show:
FAN: Can you sign my shirt?
CM PUNK: (taunting) Throw it over the fence.
FAN: (unsure) Are you going to sign it?
CM PUNK: Where's your pen?
FAN: (pleading with others) Does anyone here have a pen?
CM PUNK: You want me to sign your shirt but you don't even have a pen. You're not very smart are you? You're a douchebag!
- Kliqster Kevin Nash makes a surprise appearance, teaming with 'Awesome Truth' in a six-man tag against Cena, Ryder and Kingston
- 3 kids in front of me persisted with their puzzling chant of "We pee on you!"

Find pictures of WWE Raw in Nottingham here

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mick foley, stand up comedy, uk
Mick Foley UK Comedy Tour 2011 @Glee Club, Nottingham
Day 286 - Mick Foley: UK Comedy Tour 2011 (Nottingham)- I spent the night visiting the Comedy clubs of Nottingham. Visiting my second venue that evening, I happily stumbled onto Mick Foley's sold out Comedy show. Missed out on the performance but was able to meet the man after the show and get my flatcap signed.

Find the official page of 'Mick Foley: Stand Up UK Tour 2011'

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Nerds Gone Wild!
I often get asked why I like wrestling, my standard response is that it speaks to me intellectually. I enjoy the charisma, psychology and manipulation. Experiencing the show live, I realised I'd overlooked its obvious appeal - watching wrestling makes me feel like a kid again. For maximum enjoyment you need to completely buy into it. Its about surrendering, not being jaded or acting self conscious. The same goes for the fantasy in comics, the roleplaying found in Cosplay or the immersion in Video games. Considering my travels have largely been in pursuit of happiness it was a pleasant epiphany.

awesome truth, wwe, miz, r-truth
'Awesome Truth: The Miz and R-Truth in Nottingham
Its been a fun few weeks marking out to all these cult pursuits. During the show in Nottingham, heels Miz and R-Truth delivered a wrestling promo that encapsulates the feeling:
After manipulating the audience with a microphone sketch, 'Awesome Truth' admonishes the crowd

MIZ: You're all puppets! And we are the puppet masters
R-TRUTH: (singing catchphrase) That's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...
MIZ: (singing) ...and Iiit's Aaaaaaawesoome!
The Kids are Alright
- Coolspotting in Frankfurt and Barcelona
- Coolspotting: Subculture in the South of Spain
- Coolspotting in Netherlands
- Coolspotting in Netherlands Pt II
- Coolspotting: Nerding out in England - Comics, CosPlay, Video Games and Wrestling
- Coolspotting in Berlin
- Coolspotting in Istanbul
- Coolspotting in Sydney
- Coolspotting in Melbourne

Read more Wrestling posts:
- Road Music: Songs to be happy to (UFC 138)
- Road Music: Songs to be happy to (WWE UK Tour, November 2011)
- Coolspotting: Nerding out in England - Comics, CosPlay, Video Games and Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts in South America

Nov 5, 2011

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (UFC 138)

One of the fun parts about watching an MMA card is listening to each combatant's choice of motivational "Fight Music". I was fortunate enough to score tickets to 'UFC 138' in Birmingham, England.

chris lebe, mark munoz, crippler, filipino, brimingham, ufc 138
The following songs were the respective Entrance Themes for Chris 'The Crippler' Leben and Mark 'The Filipino Wrecking Machine' Muñoz who featured in the Main Event.

VIDEO: 'Mad World' by Gary Jules


VIDEO: 'Bebot' by The Black Eyed Peas


- Find the entire 'Road Music' Track listings here