Songs about Heaven, part 4 (Over Yonder)

I’ve been away for a couple of weeks on travel. It was nice to just be out of the office for awhile and not to be at my desk. It was good to drive away somewhere and be far from everything. Even if it was all about work still.

But what’s more interesting is that I was able to finally see the gorgeous mountains of north Wyoming and south Montana; and experience the beauty of this part of the Rockies, for the first time.

My mouth was open; simply stunned and made speechless by what I have seen. Mind blowing terrains, towering boulders, tunnel passes under the mountain, long and winding roads, buffaloes, hot springs. Even ghost towns that looked like scenes from a spaghetti western. You name it, I saw it. The big bummer is that I forgot to bring a camera. I didn’t think I’d be passing through scenic routes after scenic routes.

So just trust me when I say I’ve seen a corner of heaven. Where the angels wore boots. I really have! It may be a bit of a drive but from where I live, it’s just ’round the bend! Over yonder… if you will.

Oh, by the way, it’s good to be home. Or should I say, it’s good to find it.

Yonder

I’m incomplete until we meet
When it’s over
Seems so far away from yesterday
Now it’s closer

Light shining at the end of the tunnel, I believe
To help me find my way, way back home today

There’s a house over yonder
Never lost, never wander again
Knock on the door, step inside, walk on the floor
Here in the house over yonder

You don’t have to know, just let it go
Free your mind, heart and soul
Go fly away, yet learn to stay
When you hear the voices say

Light shining at the end of the tunnel, do you believe
To help you find your way, your way back home today

There’s a house over yonder
Never lost, never wander again
Knock on the door, step inside, walk on the floor
Here in the house over yonder

How many times we miss our chances
And when we close our eyes
How much more before we die

There’s a house over yonder
Never lost, never wander again
Knock on the door, step inside, walk on the floor
Here in the house over yonder

©2004 Chris Alma Jose

And here’s the video…

Love the fall

My gosh, it’s November already! Although the weather here in Cheyenne has been on the cooler side for a few weeks now, it’s still amazing how time seem to have flown so fast this year.

But I love the fall. The color, the breeze (I can hear the wind howling and pounding on my windows as I write this) and of course, the snow flakes! We’ve had a couple of snow falls already in the past month and I look forward to many more.

Hate to say it though, but this is the time of year I tend to just laze around and do nothing. Just want to bundle up, have a mug of hot cholocate and be glued to the tube all weekend. So I, at least, tried to clear my conscience today by picking up the guitar and attempting to write a tune but… you know how I’ve been on that department lately. So, no progress there, unfortunately.

Lions Park in the SummerThen it just dawned on me, I still have a whole bunch of pictures that I took about 3 months ago. Maybe I could work on those. Do a little magic and put them up on the website. And so I did. The last set I put up was of some kids showing off their bike riding skills. This new one I’m putting up right now is of the park itself. Not a whole lot, just some interesting shots I thought I could inject some emotional value into. I enjoy doing that, by the way. Reason is because I really don’t use photography as a be-all-end-all medium. I’m no slave to f-stops, apertures and shutter speeds, even though I respect the rules. I simply decide whether I like something or not. I don’t have to go by what the specs tell me. The camera is just a tool for me to create a base for my end product, which is simply an image with a personal stamp on it. However I stamp it depends on how I wish to express myself at a particular moment. And it’s never the same way twice. But, painters are the same, aren’t they? Whatever works, I guess.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of sepia-toned photos. And sometimes, I would do a combo b/w and color effect to exaggerate the subject’s importance. Doing all this is very relaxing to me so I don’t mind putting in the effort when it’s called for. However, when a particular photo holds up on its own in my opinion, I just leave it alone. Work’s done there.

Anyhow, I just wanted plug in the new page. Check it out. Next time, I’ll work on the other set… a bunch of macro shots from the botanical garden here in town. Lots more on that one.

But as I said earlier, right now I just want to laze around… so I’ll do that for now, okay?

Weekends in the Old West

Historic Atlas TheaterWow, it’s already August! I’m glad that fall will soon be here. Unfortunately, we all know that summer’s peak is just about this time. So we’ve got about another 3 to 4 weeks of roasting temperatures ahead of us. It’s a good thing the heat doesn’t normally linger too long here in Cheyenne. And even at this time of heatwave onslaught going on all over the country, we’ve only stayed in the 80’s for the most part. Not too bad, I must say.

Last night, I hung out with a few friends. We went to a sushi place, drank warm sake (the dude making sushi was raising a toast every two minutes for the next hour or so) and then saw an old-fashioned melodrama at the historic Atlas Theater downtown. Really cool! Never been to that kind of melodrama before. It was like being inside a theater from the late 1800’s. Yep, it’s the old west at its proudest form! Rowdy and riotously funny! Although, it looked like I was the only non-white person in there, no cowboy heritage to show whatsoever. So yeah, it was a little nerve-wracking, to say the least. Good thing my friends were there to comfort me! He!

Frontier Days ParadeAnyhow, back to the weather… this weekend has been torturous. For me, at least. I was out having breakfast at McDonald’s this morning, I ended up staying inside til almost lunchtime. I must’ve read every article in the Sunday papers including the classifieds! But last weekend was another story. It was so nice I was out and about almost the entire time. And Saturday especially. I was in front of the Capitol Building watching the Frontier Days Parade in the morning. It’s always a good idea to bring a camera to those kind of events. The week before I took some shots at the fairgrounds but it was so hot so I didn’t shoot a lot. This time, I was a shutter maniac! And I’m happy to say a lot of them turned out really good. Some folks have already told me that they’ve attended this parade every single year of their lives but yet, have never experienced it the way they’ve seen it in my pictures. Gee, I must’ve done something right! My ears are now clapping!

Go check it out and see what you think.

Indian summer

Man, has it been hot for you this weekend or what? It’s probably not as bad as it is for other places like Phoenix or Dallas, but it really gets annoying when you’re up in the rocky mountain region and it gets in the 90’s. I miss the snow, I tell ya!

Anyhow, I was gonna mention that a few days ago, I stumbled on my high school’s website. Gee, when I was in high school, it’s like… what’s a website? And it brought me back to those days when we were cheering our basketball team to silly anthems like “The Fight Song,” “The Victory Song,” and the one that really stood out for me… “The Indian Yell!” I remember it being so bold and great and all. I was proud! Especially when we were winning, it made all the more sense. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t now as it used to. I don’t know if it’s time or what, but the website had an audio copy of the song, so I listened to it. Gawwwwd!!! It was awful! That rendition just made me wanna puke! It was so silly, they were probably using a drum machine to recreate its infamous drum riff that was as memorable as “We Will Rock You!” It sounded so mechanical and had no feeling! The cheering squad was drowned in deep ridiculous reverb you couldn’t understand what they were saying. Maybe it’s just the recording engineer in me. I don’t know, but… yes, I’m gonna stop being critical now. Thank you.

Frontier Days '07But the reason I mentioned this is that because this weekend, we kicked off an annual event here in Cheyenne called Frontier Days. It’s a fair that has an indians and cowboys type of thing that celebrates the old west, and it happens every last full week of July. It’s a big rodeo event too. The biggest in the country, in fact. But they also have the big acts in music coming out to play. So I went to check it out, just like I did last year. This time though, I brought a camera to see what I could take back home with me. Well, I was able to shoot a little bit but it was torture. Yeah, if it wasn’t for the temperature being in the mid-90’s, I probably would’ve stayed all afternoon and shot some more. But I couldn’t last more than an hour before passing out. So I left and missed the rodeo. Oh well, I can’t see myself on a rodeo event anyway. Can you?

But at least, I got me some pictures just walking down Frontier Park. No, it wasn’t a walk in the park at all because of the heat, but the Indians were definitely worth the short stroll.

So, enough said… check out the pics!

Jackson in June

Hey there… I’m just gonna be here for a second. I’m breaking out the popcorn and turning off the phone. The long awaited 4th season of The 4400 is about to start in an hour from now. Yes, I’m a big fan. No question about that!

But I just want to share a couple of pics from my trip to Jackson real quick. It was awesome. We went up the Tetons. What a gorgeous piece of artwork, those mountains!

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

It was the first week of June and it was foggy and in the 40’s. Ha! I love it! I wish I had more time (and money) to spend but the place was more luxury than I can, or want to, afford, really. Dining was insanely expensive! How does five bucks for a small glass of OJ sound to you?

But I’m glad I got to go and experience it. The conference was a week long deal. And my schedule was so hectic I didn’t get a chance to swing by Yellowstone either. That was a bit of a bummer.

But enough complaining. Okay, I’m outta here. Oh yeah, I’m not missing Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels either, just in case you’re wondering. I got it set on record! He he!

Later…