Jim Guittard’s Place

Man Almost Decapitated by Bus Door

Posted in Bulgaria, Life by guittard on July 11, 2009

Today, I was riding a city bus in Sofia, Bulgaria. The buses are fairly old but that doesn’t bother me. My girlfriend and I had been walking in the rain with umbrellas and got on.

We got on and I casually noticed an old man walking past me for the exit of bus at the back. I didn’t think much more about him until about two minutes had passed. My girlfriend and I had punched our tickets and were sitting. As we were sitting, I heard some screaming that sounded muffled or not very loud. I looked around and saw that the old man was stuck in the bus exit. His head was the only part that was out of the bus. The door was completely shut.

I immediately stood up and went to see if I could open the door. The man was screaming outside the closed door. I screamed at my girlfriend and she and other Bulgarians screamed to “Stop the Bus,” and to “Open the door.”

The bus stopped and the door was opened and the old man jumped off immediately to the rain and I suppose was okay. I was rather disturbed by seeing this. Makes you think about everything around you and to be on guard.

Advertisements

In economic downtown, more across Texas, U.S. choose to volunteer

Posted in Bulgaria, Life by guittard on April 24, 2009
06:54 AM CDT on Monday, April 20, 2009
By MARK NORRIS / The Dallas Morning News
norrism@dallasnews.com

Applications are up for the Peace Corps, Teach for America and AmeriCorps as Texans turn to service organizations in increasing numbers during the economic downturn.

The state numbers mirror national figures that show year-to-year increases beginning in 2007. Initial numbers of applicants this year are far outpacing those for any previous year.

Jim Guittard, who returned in late 2008 from a two-year mission for the Peace Corps, isn’t surprised.

“With the economy the way it is, people are looking for other things,” said Guittard, who lives in northeast Dallas. “They’re searching for a more satisfying or fulfilling life.”

Officials with the Peace Corps are still tallying the number of applications received in February, but according to the Dallas office’s Shannon Borders, it will probably be a record for one month.

AmeriCorps tripled the amount of applications it received in February this year compared with last.

Kerci Marcello Stroud, Teach for America’s regional communications director, said more people mentioned the economy during the just-completed application period than in years past. Some applicants told her the economic downturn made them re-evaluate what was important to them.

“There’s a growing interest among young people to engage in public service,” Stroud said.

The vast majority of applicants for AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and Teach for America are recent college graduates.

Of the 35,000 applications Teach for America received this year, 25,000 were from graduating seniors. The remainder was split between graduate students and young professionals less than five years removed from graduation.

Sandy Nunez volunteered for Teach for America after graduating in spring 2007 from the University of Texas at Austin. She thought about joining the Peace Corps or other service organizations before deciding she could be most effective teaching children in underperforming schools.

“It seemed like a very appealing way to get involved,” said Nunez, who is about to complete her two-year commitment in the San Benito schools.

She recently decided to stay on for a third year, saying the state of the economy was a small part of her decision.

Borders said the Peace Corps targets recent college graduates. The median age of its volunteers in 25. There is no age limit, however, and 5 percent of the volunteer force is over 50. The oldest current volunteer is 84.

Guittard joined the Peace Corps 10 years after graduating from college. He had worked at an insurance company among other jobs and decided he wanted to take his life in a different direction.

“In college, I had considered the Peace Corps,” he said. “I didn’t want to have regrets in my life, so I decided to go apply.”

Guittard wound up teaching English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years and taking away an appreciation of how tight-knit families were and how tough his students’ lives were.

He said people who apply need to have the maturity to handle being the situation they are entering.

That vetting is part of the application process, said Borders. She said the biggest surprise is people finding out it can take six to12 months to complete.

But it’s worth it, according to Guittard, who said, “I learned a lot and I’m more appreciative of what I have.”

jim-guittard-dmn-juan-garciaJUAN GARCIA/DMN
Jim Guittard taught English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years.

Hate Mail For “Busted In Bulgaria”

Posted in Bulgaria, Music by guittard on February 19, 2009

music_freakie wrote:
Thursday morning

total junk!

Guittard wrote:
Monday afternoon    

Music_Freakie, how can you say my music is “junk”? Did you listen to a complete song of mine? You are not listed as a listener. You DO have good taste in music. So if you really listened I’m sure you’d like it. Your loss, not mine. Jim

music_freakie wrote:
8 hours ago    

jim, john or whatever, i DO think you record junk!!!! i can’t remember your name sa well as the something you recorded. i have the right to express freely my opinion – TOTAL JUNK, NO SORRY TO SAY THAT! didn’t know you were so sensitive abt your JUNK / u probably have some mental problems so consult a shrink/ and noone cares if you’d go on recording more of that shit! what makes me angry is that u pretend to make some BULGARIAN musicand put ugly pics on the stupid cd covers which i find INSULTING ME PERSONALLY AS A HUMAN AND BULGARIAN. FUCK YOU, you are junk and you record junk, stupid sob!!!

music_freakie wrote:
7 hours ago

self-conceited highly complexed man, make an appointment with your shrink, they could help you.yeah, it is JUNK, SHIT, GROSS. it sucks.i express freely my opinion of likes and dislikes following the exemplary standards of american democracy:PP /puke/

Guittard wrote:
5 hours ago    

Cursing out complete strangers that has to be really admired. I will not quit! You can trash talk all you want. Yes, artists are sensitive and if you were honest you would say what you are really mad about. It isn’t my music. It is something else. Sorry you are in such a rage. I never pretend to be Bulgarian. It is a unique culture that I cannot do justice. I recorded the songs as something positive. I am glad about spending some time in Bulgaria.

music_freakie wrote:
5 hours ago     violating my rights to choose which is good and which not is not a virtue.you are not my mentor. sensitive, no i meant sissy, actually. don’t quit, it’s up to you, but don’t push me into your puke. i still think you do something which i can’t name music, do it as a hobby and be informed that noone knows you around.JUNK JUNK JUNK.get out of my page and never come back or i’ll kick your pseudomusic-a*s out off it. |  

Guittard wrote:
12 minutes ago    

I never said you had to like my music. I just thought that human respect and kindness was in order.

Hate mail helps I think.  Any press is good press.  Look at this:

bulgaria-tag-at-lastfm

Take a look at who’s number six at the lastfm player.

Jim Guittard Talks With ‘Tangra Mega Rock’ Radio

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Psychedelic by guittard on November 14, 2008

stachkata-1_0001

Back on September 30, 2008, I was interviewed for Sofia, Bulgaria Internet Radio Station ‘Tangra Mega Rock’. Radio DJ Vassil Varbanov ran the show. Various tracks were played and I got a chance to explain the real scoop behind my 3 Psychedelic/Folk-Rock albums, living in Bulgaria as foreigner, and my previous work teaching as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Pernik. The Albums are:

2008 ‘Busted in Bulgaria’
2004 ‘The Notorious G.I.D.D.’
2002 ‘California Daze’

Listen here for radio show.

Tangra Mega Rock

Link To Tangra Mega Rock

You can download all three albums for free at:
Free Albums

“Busted In Bulgaria” Album Commentary Podcast Part 2

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Psychedelic by guittard on October 25, 2008

This is part 2 of a series of commentary about my album, “Busted in Bulgaria”, that I recorded while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Pernik, Bulgaria. From April 2006 to July 2008 I taught English in the Bulgarian high school. It was while confined to my Post-Soviet style block that I documented my whereabouts through song.

The songs comment on life outside America and are in the Psychedelic and Folk-rock genres.

In this episode are the following tracks:

1. Listen To Your Voice

2. Rico

3. Pernik

4. Stachkata

5. Survival Mode

6. This Is Random Song

7. What’s Your Role In Life

8. Don’t Know Jack

9. Raga Train

10. The Sun Shines Today

Stay tuned for other commentaries on my albums.

You can listen to Part 2 of the podcast here:
Podcast 2


You can subscribe to my podcast at ITunes under “Jim Guittard”.

“Busted In Bulgaria” Album Commentary Podcast Part 1

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Psychedelic by guittard on October 24, 2008

This is part 1 of a series of commentary about my album, “Busted in Bulgaria”, that I recorded while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Pernik, Bulgaria.  From April 2006 to July 2008 I taught English in the Bulgarian high school.  It was while confined to my Post-Soviet style block that I documented my whereabouts through song.

The songs comment on life outside America and are in the Psychedelic and Folk-rock genres.

In this episode are the following tracks:

1. Breaking the Language Barrier

2. Gangster 

3. Hoola Hoop Girl 

4. 8A Class 

5. Be Real True 

6. Babas On Their Bench 

7. I Wanna Go To The Moon 

8. Kakvo Pravish? 

Stay tuned for part 2.

You can listen to Part 1 of the podcast here:
Podcast 1

You can subscribe to my podcast at ITunes under “Jim Guittard”.

TO THE EDITOR: Bulgarian Teachers

Posted in Bulgaria, Society by guittard on October 26, 2007

The teacher is a human whose work is to teach somebody something. The Bulgarian teacher from the olden times leaves a big mark on teachers nowadays in the way to transmit culture to the students.

Because of those teachers in the olden times, we retain our nation and culture.

Every human passes through the school system and takes from it: knowledge and goodness. Only a teacher knows how much it takes to give the best to the student. Not everyone can be a teacher because even now there are teachers who don’t think about the way that they give information to the student. The teacher wouldn’t make mistakes if he or she knew what he or she was doing.

If a teacher is good with us, we will remember him for a long time. But we won’t remember for long the teacher who is always angry and bad and doesn’t provide much of a good experience. The human who gives all of his self and all that he knows, this is the Bulgarian teacher.

Many students don’t give much energy to learning, so they, too, are a good reason for a teacher to be bad. Nobody thinks about how much the Bulgarian teacher is giving and what he gets for all his work. The students and other people don’t think about what they are given and what they get from the Bulgarian teacher.

They are the people with big hearts and knowledge and little payment.

Why don’t we think about it?

Albert Krumov
11th grade
Simeon Radev School
Pernik

(I helped my student write this to the Sofia Echo about the ongoing Bulgarian teacher strike.)
http://www.sofiaecho.com/article/to-the-editor-bulgarian-teachers/id_25729/catid_27

To Sir With Love (A Must See Movie)

Posted in Bulgaria, Life, Movies by guittard on July 10, 2007

The 1967 movie is “To Sir With Love.” I recommend it highly. It’s about a black guy (Sidney Poitier) who goes to teach English in this rough (Bulgarian like) school in the outskirts of London, England. He throws the books out the window after much trial and error. But this inexperienced teacher keeps at it. Groovy music too. Seriously.

Truck Explosion Shatters Windows in Pernik

Posted in Bulgaria, News, Pernik by guittard on March 6, 2007

PERNIK, Bulgaria (News.bg) — A truck with 3.2 tons of amonium has exploded in Pernik.

Three people have been injured. So far there are no reports of fatalities.

One man has pieces of glass in his eyes. Another man is in hospital with a serious head trauma, officials announced.

The emergency management unit in Pernik said a truck loaded with ammunitions has exploded

Pernik. Three people were injured in explosion in the residential area of Iztok in Pernik, the National medical coordination center reported. One of the men, aged 49, has a trauma on his head, and was received in the hospital of Pernik without danger for his life. The second man, aged 49, was received in the eye department of the hospital with pieces of broken glass in his eyes. The third person has cut wounds. So far there is no information for other injured people.

(Everything is cool here. I heard the explosion just before noon and my windows sorta shook but nothing shattered. All is intact. Students of mine were concerned about checking their blocks. I let them go. Oh well. Jim Guittard)

Source: (http://international.ibox.bg/news/id_1045889789)

Shturcite (BG Legendary Band)

Posted in Bulgaria, Good Music, Music, Rock and Roll History by guittard on February 2, 2007

My girlfriend turned me onto the Bulgarian rock band, Shturcite, and amazingly I met Petar Gyuzelev, a founding member of the band. It was just last weekend in Sofia at a church. Petar plays the guitar and sings. I spoke with him in my bad Bulgarian and he understood me. I asked if he was in the Shturcite band and he said, “Da.”

Then I told him about living in Hollywood and playing with the son of Roger McGuinn. I asked if he knew of the Byrds and he said yes and then we talked about David Crosby and his other band. It was cool to rap with a legendary Bulgarian Rock and Roller.

Here are some clips I found on Youtube of the band.

Rock In Past Tense

Kletva

Rock’N’Roll Music