Monday, July 24, 2017

A Trip to Peru and Unexpected News

I've been missing in action for a while, as I've put off blogging until I let the dust settle on some things.

A few weekends ago I visited some friends in Tacna, Peru.  It's along the border with northern Chile, and it's not really known as a tourist destination.  I caught an early flight from Santiago to Arica Friday morning and then got a taxi across the border.  One more taxi from the Tacna bus station got me to Allison and Alex's bright pink house with a blue door.

We became friends in Santiago, so getting to see them in another part of the world was really great.  I enjoyed walking around town with them, playing Settlers of Catan, and eating delicious food.  Allison had made some butter cookies, and they were perfect to go with tea and catching up.  On Saturday night they also had a barbecue, and it was so nice playing Setters of Catan while enjoying good food and warm weather.  We continued playing as the sun went down and then sat around talking.

The weekend flew by, and before I knew it I was back to Santiago on Sunday evening.  Although it was a short trip, I'm glad that I took the chance to visit them and get out of Santiago for a bit.

In the past two weeks I have been hit with 2 pieces of unexpected news.

The first one is that Photobucket (a website that lets you upload and store your photos) changed its policies overnight.  Before now I was able to store my photos on Photobucket and then use a link that they provide to put my photos up on my blog.  Photobucket has decided to change that policy, and so if I want my photos and videos that are on my blog to reappear again, I need to buy a premium membership to the tune of $40 a month or $400 a year.

While I can understand that businesses need to make money, the fact that this change occurred overnight with no warning and that there isn't a more affordable option really frustrates me.  Almost all of my photos from the past 8 years have been linked through Photobucket, so essentially the visual element of my blog is gone.

I have the following options if I don't want to pay Photobucket:

1. Download my photos and videos from Photobucket, and then upload them to a website that does something similar for less money.  In that case, I would have to take down all the broken links to photos and videos and reupload them from the new site.  For 7 YEARS OF BLOG POSTS.

2. Donwload my photos and videos from Photobucket, and get my own website and see if I can import my blog there.  In that case, I would still have to reupload all the photos and videos and hope that there would be enough storage for them.  

3. Leave my blog as it is.  It would break my heart to do this, but I'm overwhelmed with the amount of work it would take to restore it on another site.  

At this point I don't know what I'm going to do.

The other unexpected news was the death of Chester Bennington.

For anyone that doesn't know me, I'm a huge Linkin Park fan.  I first saw them when they performed at Rock am Ring in June 2001 in Germany.  I bought Hybrid Theory and have been hooked since.  I've never been one to really fit into social groups or have an easy time expressing anger in a healthy way, and I've gone through life feeling misunderstood and written off by others.  At times in my life, their music has eerily given me advice on working through difficult situations.  I remember sitting in German class in college with Don't Stay stuck in my head.  I was incredibly stressed out and unhappy at that point of my college career, and despite trying to work through difficulties of getting a degree in music it was at that point that I realized I had to change my path.  I then changed my course of study to Spanish, German, and Education.  My mother passed in April 2007, and a few weeks later Linkin Park released their album MInutes to Midnight with the song Leave Out All the Rest.  I saw them in concert in Los Angeles a few times, Philadelphia once, twice in Santiago, and I got to meet them before a concert in Las Vegas in 2008.  I had tickets to the August 1st show, but it has been cancelled.

As someone that has dealt with his share of mental health challenges, it breaks my heart to see someone take their life.  Despite that, I'm really working towards focusing on the positive impact Chester had on the lives of so many people.  He survived being abused by an adult male as a young child.  He turned to drugs and alcohol in middle school and high school to cope, but then he found music.  Being a part of something bigger and pursing his dream of making music gave him the chance to channel his energy and use music to express what he had gone through, but ultimately he lost his battle with depression on July 20th.  He took his life on the day of Chris Cornell's birthday, a friend of his who he really admired and had taken his life earlier this year.

If you look at their newest album One More Light, you can see some eery references that might have been alluding to his suicide if you look at the song titles:
Nobody Can Save Me
Good Goodbye
Sorry for Now
Talking to Myself

It's still hard for me to believe that I won't ever get to hear Chester sing live again.  It's a huge loss for not only Linkin Park fans but also the history of music.  Despite that, I'm trying to focus on the positive impact Chester has had and the memories I have from seeing him in concert.

I'd like to post some tribute photos from concerts I've gone to over the years, but thanks to Photobucket that will have to wait for another time.

I don't like to end blog posts on such a down note, but these things are a part of life.  Now it's just a matter of finding the positive and focusing on it.


  1. So sorry to hear about the photos on your blog. I usually upload each photo directly into each entry on blogger. I think they have a limit of about 10 gigs, which I'm surprised I haven't topped yet myself.

    Also, I totally sympathize over Bennington's death. My favorite songs were "Leave Out All The Rest," "In The End," and "Numb".

  2. great article. thanks for sharing. keep it up

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