10.04.06: everything's a bit hectic here. between martin's visit, google beating on me and our imminent trip to norway i don't have any time to think straight about anything. i'm going to forget something and it's going to get me in trouble. so messing about.
no help that last night was plagued by nightmares. more like bad dreams. i can't remember them but i can feel the memory, it's dark and morbid and tastes of bereavement. some abstract nihilism, loss and despair. you know those dreams when you wake up wanting to kill yourself, but luckily realise what you're doing just before you pull the trigger.
my aren't i in a dark mood this morning? and didn't i just say i didn't have time to be a cock?
my heart beats awkwardly
so martin has been here, infact he's sitting opposite me right now and i'm feeling bad because i'm being preoccupied. or postoccupied. something. this happened with tommy too, i am a terrible friend.
we met julie after work and went for buffet and beers. yes, buffet again. i am determined to not learn from my mistakes. rather i just can't stop myself from having a second helping of feta and pasta. and unfortunately the crazed belly dancer wasn't quite enough to put me off my food. i felt sorry for her, all those awkward and embarrassed diners, but her smile never fell. you've got to respect her bravery for dancing around a restaurant on a friday night like a crazy person. well, like a belly dancer. after food we hobbled (or whatever it is you do when you've eaten too much) to the pilegården where they've ruined their fantastic drink offers and everyone wanted to chat up my girlfriend.
a dumpster diving rampage followed, but you'll have to wait for that story.
we didn't have much of a plan for the saturday, which isn't exactly ideal when you have guests. our initial plan was rain checked until sunday so it was all a bit improvised. escaping the rain in a cafe on nyhavn we plotted a route through the park to the art gallery, then back through the botanical gardens (closed), jump on the metro and then to christiania for dinner. i think it worked out quite well and we'd only get mildly damp..
then the moment we leave the restuarant it begins to rain. and hail. and like idiots we decide to walk for it rather than return to the warmth and hot chocolate. it seemed like the best idea at the time. the wetness was worth it though, purely for the experience of crossing the stradsgraven bridge. the wind and the waves and that eerie hum created by the bridge and by magic (not physics). y'know, one of those moments when you can really feel the power of the world. and that haunting sound, something between a giant wind chime and the whole lake groaning under the stress of the weather - it finally thawed out and can breathe again, only to be assualted by this.
back home i napped/died to the sound of martin playing mario. when i awoke it was as if the whole house was empty. it took over an hour for us all to wake up, enough time for me to being making tomato sauce. drinking began again with dinner and the obligatory house board game, now arguably improved by the use of two dice. then more beer, some absinthe, and an ipod set to metal. midnight came around and we were on our way to stengade30. the bus takes about fifteen minutes, during which time we met two people we knew on the bus. it's not a small world but you'd be forgiven for thinking so.
we don't go out dancing enough. that's the problem, even better for it being straight forward and it's simple to solve. i dance to any old shit. except guns and roses, i'll never dance to guns and roses. any other eighties or pop crap and i'm away. and it's fine until they play 'killing in the name' and i get too angry. as always. as is to be expected. guys listen, it's about mass murder. why are you so fucking happy singing along and with the wrong words? i manage to not kick anyone, the songs finishes and my hatred is neutralised by some lovely sedative pop. get out your seat and jump around, except it wasn't that song. but nevermind. then someone mistook me for an american but i forgave them.
if i'm dancing i can dance forever, so it wasn't until gone four til we left. so it was gone one by the time we resurfaced on sunday. and there was no way i was going to be cooking as flamboyant a breakfast as the previous morning. it was a lovely looking day though so we headed off out for a lovely tourist boat ride. by the time we reach christianshavn it's raining like a right fucker and we're forced to take refuge infront a bagel shop. i shout insults at the people running past. i'm an asshole like that. it eases up a little and once on the boat the sun is shining again. it's almost perfect weather, if not a little cold.
and it's a good tour too. but let's not go into too much detail. so after sitting still for an hour in the cold we needed warming and found a hospitable cafe. damn good latte and nachos to match, even using fresh coriander. i liked the stripey padded walls, but then i would, wouldn't i? we never really managed to come up with any ideas of what to do so wandered home along a funny route, exploring under a bridge and in a few bins. then to a church i see most days, it teasing at me from down a side street in christianshavn. it was closed but behind heavy iron doors we found the crypt, an underground corridor spanning the width of the church. down the steps and illuminated by faux candle lighting are around fifty coffins. they're just sitting there on the cold stone floor for you to touch, smell, see, and hear. go on, put your ear to one. i dare you. these things don't bother me, not even when visualising each of them actually contains a very real and very dead body - currently in a rather traumatizing and permanent state of decay and disrepair. despite this, hiding somewhere near the end is a row of five family coffins (either that or someone had a rather nasty accident) dated 2005. the parents on the outside with the children inbetween them. you'd be lucky to fit a dog in the smallest.
we played games late into the night, porn on the tele and beer bottles stacking up.
today i've been mostly worrying about getting my site fixed. my love hate relationship with google ever growing more intricate. i feel like they're not invited me to a party, but really it's me who has been cheating.
now i'm rushing around like a belly dancer trying to get everything ready to leave. we have an eight hour coach journey ahead of us that starts at 10pm. i'm half excited and half in dread. it's novel at least.
julie claps her hands at me. well, a week without computer or internet. well good, just a shame about the timing.
okay okay, i'm going. i'm going.
09.04.06: we're having a lot of fun here in copenhagen. but more on that another day. my website has finally qualified for attention from google. attention in the shape of an email sitting in my inbox. one of those emails that's points you towards google's quality guidelines and tells you you've been a slighty naughty boy.
it's awesome but also annoying. it's nice to know they care about me, but now i have to fix up look sharp. well, apparently i do. maybe i should just wait to see which pages they remove for the next 30 days. ahem, maybe i shouldn't.
i had content hidden in a div that had been moved past the left of the screen. external style sheets and all that. do you think they detected it automatically? it wouldn't be hard, it's not like i tried anything clever to hide the fact i was doing it. i can be as crude as i want on my own site.
removing the hidden text isn't a problem, it's all bullshit and was soley to improve my adsense context (something i can do more effectively with google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) anyway). before my adsense i didn't know what i was doing, but that content was funny enough. i figured i'd leave it there until it became a problem. as it did this morning.
my only problem is the hidden links. shameless, i know. they included the following:
now you see why utilising hidden content makes the internet a better place. silly google.
now i have the annoying task of going through all my old pages, sigh. and i'm in norway all next week with no internet or computer.
07.04.06: my posture has abondoned me. perhaps it became bored in the night and fled, leaving me exposed for disection. something about scissor men. this morning i feel like they gave me back the wrong ribcage, and my digestive tract is all twisted through some awkward dimension. my heart feels uncomfortable in its new home.
the cure? to refill our home made pasta supply. and kneeding dough is hard work, but it feels uber manly when you're topless. working those biceps. man versus flour. the height of masculinity. rather i describe this any further and it'll descend into homoerotica.
you can reach an almost zen like state when making pasta - you have to be careful. so i listen to 'the rise'. reclamation process is a better album than you could ever make, i don't give a fuck who you are. they're the new glassjaw. or the new refused. listening to 'the strategy of social futurism' brings a genuine tear to my eye. every time. it's a tear for all of us.
so my mission for the weekend is to convince martin not to get married, not to get a mortgage, not to work for the man ever again and come fight crime with me. i'm quietly confident.
07.04.06: we had a new girl in our language class yesterday. she was spanish so she's lucky. had she been italian, i'd hate to think. but she sat there staring wide eyed, terrified. she looked how i felt on my first day. it's two lessons since then and i wanted to tell her it'll all be okay. i'm that much a veteran already. except i'm yet to figure a technique for the group repetitions. so many voices all at once, all out of time. i fade out or end in whispers. the sounds forming in the back of my throat but not being processed by my mouth. that annoying soft d and the u i just can't distinguish from y and o. it was a good lesson, except it ended with capitalism. hvad laver du? hvad tjener du? what do you do and how much do you earn?
jag laver ikke noget og jag køber ikke mad - i do nothing and i don't buy food. some things just aren't worth trying to explain. especially in danish.
i also learnt "min kæreste stjal min cykel. men jeg bor på amager, så jey løb i skole". it's the last time i agree to anything julie asks me in the morning while i'm half asleep.
look, he's learning something new and wont shut the fuck up about it. sorry.
i've also been playing around with colour histograms in paintshop:
fear and loathing? i want that photo blown up massive. the second photo is a plant in my mum's back garden (and the only thing i did to it was fuck the colours, btw). the last was taken somewhere around christiania. staring at a single photo while carefully manipulating its colours will do nothing good to your brain or eyes though. don't do it kids.
but here's what the original of the first looks like:
unless it isn't obvious that's my mum and julie. we were waiting for the bus outside the arken gallery. i was playing the annoying photographer by repeatedly taking photos until i had the one i wanted. blasted digital cameras getting in everyones faces. i'm glad i did though.
06.04.06: i know it's probably just the coffee, but something about the residents commitee telling us to take down the rainbow peace flag that's hanging outside emil's window makes me really angry. because you know, it's their business and everything. it's not like we don't own the flat, and the garden that backs onto emil's window - a garden that would look real nice with a big fat flag pole.
it doesn't help that ten minutes later there are police snooping around outside our apartment. nor that i decide to play dangerous investigative photo journalist and take photos of them through the slits in the window blinds. having them suddenly look straight down your lense, it's not good for the old ticker.
then across the water i watch more police stop seemingly random vehicles and take them aside. down the side lane sits three cars, each with a bright yellow police office at their window. the traffic lights change, and then again, and then it's another set of three cars.
then i nearly smack my face on a stationary roadworks digger.
then entering the train station through the back entrance and painful faux romantic music plays across the cheap tanoy. romantic like you'd mistake it for french. the stairs rise into the belly of the station thick with smoke, rays falling down through the rafters or whatever the fuck you want to call them. i accidently stepped into a pissing movie. almost got carried away too, before fast-forwarding to 'negetive creep' and pushing through the couldn't give a shit crowd.
then outside i argue in my head with the make poverty history girls, who are constantly failing to stop anyone, them doing an embarrassed jump each time. in my head i shout at them that people think they do their bit with their signature, but they're wrong. that if people cared they'd shop conscientiously, not half arsed. that i didn't vote for bono. and that by the way, bob geldof is a cunt. and don't think i didn't notice what brand of trainers they wore on their feet.
then i go to sit down in myh favourite cafe but am waved across the room by a guy i might know (without my glasses who can tell?), but it turns out i don't. and much to his embarrassment.
"sorry, i thought you were someone else"
"sorry, i thought you were going to tell me something interesting"
the couple have a wspa tshirt out and i quiz them about it. not where it was made, or whether they're vegans, but just out of genuine interest. and also appreciating the random conversations that you find while out wandering, even if they are shit.
then this and then that.
you know how it goes by now.
05.04.06: i'm back at school and the lessons aren't getting any easier. our new teacher began with a barrage of new sentences, filling the entire board with phrases that i barely understood. and then started asking me questions that i struggle to even answer in english, "what are you doing in denmark?", "what did you study at university?", "what did you do in your job?". i don't think feeling like an idiot is any means to an end. obviously it got better as it went on, but the class participation wasn't happening so much and i know i wasn't the only person struggling. i wanted to suggest we get a dog in the class so i wouldn't be the most inept student there.
i enjoy the lessons, and the people are super friendly. it's just i never was good with languages. the entire time i spent learning french i thought la was masculine and le was feminine. russian was a pathetic waste of time. and german was a cancerous mole on my education that i had amputated as soon as possible. coming bottom of the year wasn't exactly my intention, but niether was it an unhappy event. i blame my teacher, who i hated nearly as much as she hated me. she didn't go as far as denying the holocaust, but she did claim that hitler was misunderstood (no, that's switzerland). the nazi bitch.
i had my revenge though, and i guess this is today's funny story from laurence's school years. it was the run up to our gcse finals so i must have been 15 - older to know better - and the summer must have have been rapidly approaching. we were at the end of our curriculum and some of our teachers were becoming more than unimaginitive with our lesson and revision plans. one of whom (the fat physics one. but wait, aren't all physics teachers fat? something to do with gravity, equal and opposite reactions and pies?), he had us putting letters in envelopes to be sent out to old pupils and teachers. it was some invitation to something dull that i know as an ex-pupil i'd never be interested in. our bored school kid antics started harmlessly enough, us placing pieces of orange peel and pennies in the envelopes. but just as we were getting bored with that, people started to find the envelopes addressed to teachers.
i swore to make our teacher regret forcing sweatshop labour upon us (worse, we weren't even getting paid). surely he would be scolded for thinking he could trust a class of teenagers with an effective database of all their teachers' addresses. it's all very evil and everything, but what you have to understand is that the plan wrote itself, i just put the pieces together in the way that any self-respecting adolesent should. in one hand i picked up the envelope that was destined for my german teacher, the hateful bitch, and in the other hand i held a photograph of a cow. it was martin's photo and for some reason he'd left it in his folder, a photo which a few days earlier some other kid (who i picture now works in a meat packers or pound store) had scrawled "mad cow like mrs.dunn" across. i wasn't going to mention her name but nevermind. you see, her nickname was frau cow. i'm sure she knew this.
so the next lesson all is quiet and we're given the "you know what you've done" look from our teacher. and unfortunately some of us did, had it been myself who'd found the photo i would have gotten away with it, but it was the guy behind me. don't get me wrong, i knew i'd pay for my crime. i'm not that stupid. it's just that i had decided it was still worth doing. it's school, what the fuck are they gonna do? expel me just before my final exams? anyway, no one fessed up, even after our teacher said he knew who it was. ha! bullshit. at the end of the lesson we decided it wasn't worth dragging out, it wasn't fair on the class and i didn't want to be dobbed in. you've got to have respect. we went to confess, and it's funny because someone else went up to ask a question at the same time. our teacher thought it was him who was the guilty party and we were told to leave. "actually sir, it was you who wanted to see us".
as we were told off i could tell he was hiding a smile. at the end of every sentence it would begin to show. i can picture him cracking up as we walked down the stairs and across the courtyard to knock on the staff door and ask for mrs.dunn. apparently she had been horribly upset, and wanted far more than the simple apology that we'd been promised. we had to write her a letter apologising (yes, some people never fucking learn). at least she wasn't stupid enough to have us write it in german.
04.04.06: i snoozed my alarm for a whole hour this morning. it's amazing how tiring a whole day of mario can be. i just wish i'd known the a+start trick when me and rachael used to sneak into dixons to play mario after school.
and when i did finally get up i saw that julie had left her packed lunch and it made me terribly sad. i don't know why, maybe it's cos i remember how sad i used to feel when i left mine at home. i don't think it was that easy to switch from sandwiches to hot dinners at my school. they were tight like that. plus you probably got teased for being forgetful. or dumb. or whatever.
so to give tom a proper send off, or to celebrate him leaving, we decided to dine out at the local mexican restuarant. it's pretty authentic, if only in the sense that they're using child slave labour. i couldn't tell the difference between the chimichanga and the enchilda (isn't that what sonic's pink friend is?) at all, but they were tasty. i could have gone for the buffet but there was no way of telling what was vegetarian, plus i've had too many buffets recently and i'm worried i might rupture my stomach. for afters we went for drinks in a smokey christiania bar and tommy didn't notice the fish swimming above the toilet.
after a brief walk exploring the dark corners of another local supermarket (story detailed elsewhere) we followed a large gang of police back through the dark unlit streets of christiania. marching along the outskirts they looked terrifying, but once inside you'd almost miss them. at night the police can only be distinguished by their shiny riot helmets reflecting the flames that lick the tops of the oil drum fires. that and the police are
fucking wide boys twice the width of everyone else.
as you walk away they blend into the shadows much like everyone else. perhaps they should erect search lights
atop of the buildings and constantly point them at the police. as if the police don't hate being there
so i've started leaving my book in the toilet. does this mean i'm reading less or shitting more?
02.04.06: we've been walking around in the rain a whole lot. yesterday's drizzle was incessant. at the right time at the right angle this city can even look like venice.
in the paludan bog cafe we took our hot chocolate (heated milkshake) and sat next to a blonde woman who was scrawling in a sexy red notebook, pages scattered across her table. i would have take her for a writer had she not left leaving wine in her glass and a third of a pot of jasmine tea. i promptly took the tea and sipped it intimidatingly at tommy while he pondered his next move on the other side of the chess board. surely writers can't afford to be that wasteful.
no one saw me drinking someone else's tea. no one watched me as i climbed the next rung on the ladder to freedom. and we never did get to finish that game of chess.
meanwhile a steak, or something whatever the fuck it is, is bleeding all over the oven, chopping board and all over your best rug by the fire.
it's okay. i just like the imagery.
another brilliant idea was to go hang by the little mermaid and watch the tourists, the fascinating creatures that they are. lining up and taking the same photographs over and over again. the same cheesey poses. waiting impatiently for the previous person to get the fuck out of the way. do they even know what it is or who made it? or are they just taking a photo because, y'know, it's what you do? and what does that even mean? i have no idea myself, but it just felt hollow and pointless. i was dying to see someone do something original, almost calling out for that italian to touch her boob. go on, degrade yourself even further. you've come out this far and climbed onto the rock, you may as well. and then just as i thought everyone's impatience and frustration had become too much to handle, up sweeps a tourist boat and we're the victims of a drive-by shooting. bombarded by flashes, and now no one can get a good photograph - whichever way you point your camera you'll hit a few tourists at least. the mermaid is surrounded on all sides and you wonder why she's forlorn? it's strange and bizarrely compelling. i might hang out here more often. just watching.
we took the bus boat back along the inderhavnen river to knippelsbro. sloshing along in the rain. boating in bad weather is amazing. it oozes passion, even in the most utilitarian of boats.
and if you wonder what's going on with the crap i'm writing, it's because i havn't had time to contemplate or contextualise. and i still don't. you're lucky to be getting more than a simple list of abstract descriptive words:
drizzle incessant venice hot blonde scrawling red. scattered writer jasmine intimidatingly pondered wasteful. climbing freedom. bleeding chopping fire. brilliant little cheesey hollow. degrade folorn compelling utilitarian passion.
anyway, i'm sure we all have better things to be doing.
01.04.06: i've been showing tommy the life here in copenhagen, so naturally we spent a good part of yesterday in studenterhuset drinking cofee and beer, playing backgammon and table football - me consistently being beaten at both, even after recruiting the help of some lost kid who just wanted to a nuisance. he was walking around during soundcheck with his fingers in his ears and i needed the help, even if it was from someone who couldn't see above the table. i offered him goal and he took it gladly, spinning wildly. on average my score slowly improved as he demanded control of more men. when we scored we low-fived, when we didn't i tried to not swear. then when he moved to tommy's team i realised i was strong enough to move the men he was trying to move from my side of the table. he kept smiling and i still lost.
a game later and i felt brave enough to try my newly learnt danish on him. he is only a kid after all, but then if a kid can't understand me who could? i give him my best "hvad hedder du?" and he replies with a stream of strange phonemes ending in yakob (jacob). i deem it a success but don't want to continue, by asking him where he lives. that would just be creepy.
an hour later the woman who i saw thirty minutes earlier slumped in her hands, poor girl i thought, was carried out by paramedics. another girl was crying but i'm sure it was unrelated. the english guy behind the bar didn't understand me when i asked for the backgammon and reffered me to the girl next to him. the bands sounded good but we were too hungry to stick around for them, even if they did sound like a good 'pretty girls make graves' rip off. we'd been waiting a while for julie but as it filled up after eight, and posters were stuck over the door, it had become harder and harder. this part of the story is totally out of context and makes no sense. the place we were going to meet was closed and i don't know why i'm still trying to explain this. it had a happy ending anyway, in the very end.
except i'd eaten too much and lay awake feeling terribly stupid for half the night. and to think the remedy was as simple as a good shit.
the first thing we did in the morning was visit the statens museum for kunst, always a pleasure. then with remarkably good timing (considering we didn't know the time) picked up some food and headed to the most entertainingly painted cinema in copenhagen. it was finally time to watch 'v for vendetta'. and i'll be honest, i really enjoyed it. the parts they changed made sense (possibly more than the original would have done in this context) and the only bit i really missed was the "straight through the mother fucking face" moment (if that even was in the book). hugo weaving and stephen fry are awesome, as is natalie portman, who's finally finished what she started in 'leon'. i also breathed a sigh of relief when the army of v took their masks off. without the unmasking they were just carrying on with doing what they were told, following orders, jumping onto the next bandwagon, just another person's set of ideals without engaging or thinking for themselves. i find it hard to explain properly. but it would have been cooler if evie had properly quoted subcomandante marcos. the other thing that bugged me slightly was how they'd invented an event that enabled the party to rise into power, less of the boiling frog scenario where our current situation can get that bad by you simply not paying enough attention. it relates both less and more at the same time.
i'm talking shit again.
good to see prothero being completely rewritten especially for richard littlejohn though.
and the one thing i forgot is also the funniest - "based on a novel illustrated by david lloyd"
anyway, if you havn't read the book by the time you see the film then leave it a while until you do. but you really must. just wait until the story is locked away in a faded memory, then you can really enjoy it properly.
30.03.06: i couldn't decide what going back to school felt like. if it was terrifying then only because of what it reminded me of. what it was, more like being an idiot again. a retard. using the word like a verbal knuckle duster. i'm the shy new boy who knows nothing of what's going on. the boy who sits in the corner mouthing the words. once in the second year i was scolded for not saying the lord's prayer. i'll be the one laughing when that act didn't get you into heaven. that teacher's probably dead already anyway, she never did look like she was up to much. but as it goes, confusion will drop upon me at any second, just as my concentration slips, as i start imagining what all of my class mates would look like naked. isn't that what you're supposed to do to feel comfortable when you're being interrogated? really it was nothing like that. but i'm incessantly pinching the vein nestled in the bend of my arm, like a junky. a dirty nervous twitch. it's the return of the nervous black squares. except this time they're blue. i have self respect and taste enough these days, i wont be seen dead with a black crystal bic.
no matter what you interpret from the shit above, the lesson was fun and all of the people are nice. or at least they come across as friendly, which is all that matters given the circumstances. i don't care if they're all murderers aslong as they smile while i fuck up my pronunciation. rape whoever you want if you tell me what page i'm supposed to be on. and just as i started to really dig the teacher she tells us it's her last day of teaching the evening session. damn it.
the other thing was complicated and frustrating. unlike any school classroom there is no clock hanging above the door. i've disgarded my mobile phone and havn't been able to stand wearing a watch since i started playing guitar. how can i sit through a lesson without clock watching?
and apart from language school, just hanging out at studenterhuset and getting biro scrawled all over my arm. losing at backgammon, table football and cards. not that i'm a loser or anything. then i got rained on. i thought copenhagen was immune from rain. the lying bastards, you're as bad as the italians.
29.03.06: a few people have asked so i've made a quick and cheeky graph. here's how my economic situation is currently looking:
as you can see my funds are holding up well. you can see the scale but the actual values are unimportant. let me break it down for you. i recieved my final paycheck at the end of december and had a hard think about where my money actually disappeared to. i don't own one of those stupid car things (insurance, fuel and maintenance seem to swallow a good chunk of most incomes) or a mortgage. the only debts i have are to the student loans people and that is only reclaimed when you're earning. of course interest is charged on the loan but it's low and negated by the interest i gain from what remains of the loan sitting happily in a cash isa. i had that well planned.
so, apart from rent and utility bills (which are kindly covered by google) i have complete control over my spending. our dumpster diving activity is a fantastic relief on monthly spend, as is 15p beer. my major vice is still (and always will be) books and comics. and i'm still yet to commit any illegal acts, just incase you were wondering.
now i must go and collect tommy from the airport.
28.03.06: the short story is that the weekend was great, the long story is all the words that follow:
the majority of our journey to england is a somnambulistic fuzz in my memory, but arriving at stanstead was full of mini delights. english weather is supposed to be notorious, but after three months of no weather here in denmark i hadn't realised quite how much i'd been missing it. we had to wait half an hour at the coach station, time well spent enjoying the breeze and the drizzle. the air was damp and there was a warm wind blowing. nowhere drizzles link england. it's miserable and dreary and it's home.
a series of inconveniences meant that we were three hours from my parent's house and could only get as far as cambridge without assitance. i had planned to slip into silent slumber for the whole journey, but it never happened. i've never been good at sleeping on planes, the air being too dry and the seating distasteful, but the coach would have been perfect (killing you with too much heating) had it not been for the self-obsessed guy sitting right behind me with his unstoppable story telling. he didn't stop for one second of the hour journey. and it didn't help that he was american. i was about to turn around to punch him and tell him to stick the "fundamental lynchpin" of his proposal up his fucking ass when i realised i had my walkman. mono wouldn't drown him out, and nor would sigur ros, but the kinney and ultrasound did. it appears i have become the sleepless.
from cambridge to rugby we travelled in style - in the back of my parents silver vw van 02. all i wanted was a cheese ploughmans sandwich. and finally reaching rugby all i wanted was a whiskey and bed. after the lack of sleep the previous two days i must have died several times that night, wrapped in purple silk. i don't think i would have minded too much. the cheese, pesto and mushroom oat cakes that made up our breakfast were worth dying for. the morning also involved seeing my nan and showing julie the beautiful wonders of rugby, or "drugby" if you'll believe the graffiti (and you should). the only thing missing from our jaunt through town was a trip to the (annoyingly titled) town fryer, the best chippy in rugby (even if it was better when it was called neptunes).
the second mission of the day was to visit coventry (the asshole of the midlands) to find a biology dictionary for julie, a comic for me (my secret objective), purchase indian food and to collect the ever amiable aimee. all went successfully without hitch, so the funniest thing i can tell you about coventry is that there was an advert for it in my inflight magazine. "coventry - location location location" and claiming vivacious ethnicity (fair enough) and historical architecture. yet coventry was literally bombed to shit during the second world war (take one look at it now and you'll concur with my use of 'literally'). fifty years is not historical, it's just enough time to erect an ugly concrete husk of a city.
meanwhile, grilly was beginning his own eventful adventure. a story that would be hilarious if only it hadn't meant he arrived at our party three hours later than hoped. the crux of which involves him missing rugby, ending up in milton keynes, going back to coventry (passing rugby again) and then being stuck there for over an hour. oh, how coventry ruins all our days.
the party was awesome though. with the guests slowly trickling in and the beer flowing nicely. there were viscious, but ultimately boring (thanks to ben and corey for being so damn good) games of buzz and then the whiskey bottle fueled rampage around town's dumpsters (you know where to go looking for that story). the night finally ended around 6am, although with the clocks going forward who could actually tell? there was no stopping the approach of dawn and i hadn't slept enough already.
lying awake the following morning was the highlight of my trip. the open window letting the morning flood in. cool refreshing air without the need for a duvet. the distant sound of a sunday football game being carried on the breeze. a dog barks or some children scream and shout, whatever. then the gross possibilities for breakfast when i can finally roll out of bed.
i was wasted all day, but that was okay. after we'd left aimee and grilly to fend for themselves in coventry we visited a local conservation area. i sat in the cafe drinking my coffee with a teaspoon, as if it were soup, and watched the rabbits playing in the light rain. the cafe closed and we walked around the grounds, inbetween the lakes and ponds, me wearing a huge pink poncho and groaning every few meters - from lack of sleep more than excess of alcohol.
it was a slow day but nice and relaxing.
inevitably, we then had to get back to copenhagen, and now loaded down with books, food bags and bamboo. getting to the airport was quicker than anticipated so we had plenty of time for scheming. the first problem was at check-in where they confirmed that we weren't allowed to take the bamboo because of the soil. the second was the regular announcement that you are allowed only one item of hand luggage while going through security, and with the bamboo we had four. we figured the best plan was to just try and lie or blag whenever necessary. taking the plants through security was no problem - they just laughed at us and asked if they could search me, always fun unless when asked if you have anything sharp on your person you reply "only my wit". which is one of corey's jokes anyway. no one said anything all the way up to our actual boarding, security proabably thinking that if we weren't allowed them then someone else would have stopped us already. once on the plane i asked one of the cabin crew where i could put it. this is bamboo that's nearly as tall as me. he shrugged and said wherever as long as it isn't in the way. we pissed a few people off before finally securing it in the overhead locker. incredible isn't it how easy smuggling is?
landing is rough and miserable. it appears we have bought the weather back with us. it's too hot inside and wet outside (good for the bamboo at least). then we miss the bus by one minute and have to wait twenty minutes, leaning against a sickening advert featuring four unhuman-looking teens. i can't believe the season changed so suddenly, over a weekend.
now i'm tired and my bed is calling me. i'm slightly hesitant, from fear of not being able to sleep, but it's not like staying up is going to help me. anyways.
24.03.06: i'm in england for the one weekend. so, er. there you go.
i've put my slippers on backwards twice today. what does that mean?
and who would have thought it would have taken us three months to realise how awesome the italian pizza place is that's just across the road. luckily we already discovered how awesome the ice cream place is. we went in yesterday and they were playing vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot, sparklehorse's first album. they didn't have pistachio anymore but they did have white chocolate and hazelnut (that's two). i still crave the licourice but you have to branch out.
anyway, i think four paragraphs will suffice.
23.03.06: i found a vagina effigy in my bread roll, which in turn i'd found in the bin. could it be the virgin mary's? are our dumpster diving activities being blessed? or is saying that going to get me in trouble? i did have second thoughts about eating it. i mean, perhaps it's a sign. and perhaps it's time to bring up my kunst/cunt theory. perhaps it's also time i started a "things that look like vaginas gallery". perhaps none of the above, cos it really isn't. although:
shoot for the moon, that's what i say.
i just finished reading 'la perdida', by jessica abel. it's a wonderful (weird word for me, but it seems to fit) story about a young woman moving to mexico city, and the most convincing fiction that i've read in a long time. it feels like an autobio-graphic-novel (did i just invent a new word?). it isn't surprising though, since jessica moved to mexico herself, although seemingly under different circumstances. but then why is it dedicated to harry? now i feel compelled to read her mexico diaries to find out. anyway, i found it quite touching, involving and insightful, i highly recommend it. it beats reading craig thompson's whining masterpiece again at least.
anyway, on with my own journey of self-discovery.
i was walking around town and my head was filling with words and i had to write them down. not necessarily good words, more like urgent ones. i was listening to age of panic (three times, actually the sick man remix). the song has you down. finer words have never been spoken. and i was noting the location of the 'v for vendetta' posters. freedom forever? it can't be left alone. you know that book is an incredible piece of literature right? infact it's the greatest book that i don't own. a ludicrous statement, but hey.
so i'm in a cafe now, a student dive where most people are speaking english, almost encouraging my longing to be a student again, which is insane - can i not find my own purpose? anyway, i'm in a cafe and it's full of students talking english and my pen is irritating the cut between my thumb and finger. the cut appeared a couple of days ago and seems to have no intention of healing. my right hand is dry and hard and i wonder why i spend all morning in my kitchen when i could be here. my morning is from 10am (depending on quality of sleep, and last night i slept rough) to 1pm. longer if i'm engrossed in eating fruit or making vaginas out of bread rolls. i'll check my mail and my website - my traffic and my income. at this time the sun shines directly onto the kitchen table and it's warm but sad. because with weather like that i should be swimming in the sea, rolling down hills, running in the fields. my lungs burning and heart exploding. but when you finally make it outside the chill shocks you and it's not so sexy and romantic. although it still makes you feel alive, and it stings the back of your throat as you rush into town dragging too many layers of clothes.
now my candle goes out and my small round table has that gone-out-candle smell. you either hate it or love it right? it's one of those. i guess i hate it. i need another coffee. and none of my student friends are hear to get me a discount so i hope my website is getting a lot of visitors. i swapped my dead candle for a live one on the what was then unoccupied table next to mine. now that one's gone out too and it smells again. there clearly is no hope.
too much coffee though. it make you piss too much. at least they've painted gender symbols on the toilet door, and it's nice to know i've been using the correct one all this time. gone are the days of girls asking me which toilet to use though. shame. i also like this cafe because they have a local english paper. i can learn things like the average number of text messages children send is upwards of 60 a day. but it's okay because ditte laursen, a university youth communication expert (like a thing exists), says text messaging can be a positive supplement to oral communication. gud 2 no ne way. she also finds text messages a way of affirming friendships, ultimately limiting the feeling of being alone. i guess it's true - we're all going to hell.
but how the fuck am i supposed to concentrate with all these drums? how am i supposed to be decadent and bohemian while a band soundchecks? this band though, they sound like pulp fiction. they should be smoking and packing but they look like wimps. even weezer could take these guys. and this isn't exactly the setting to finish 'last exit to brooklyn'. the last chapter is a work of genius. so i'm gonna go read it down a dark side street while i wait for julie to finish her work.
20.03.06: i'm quite proud of my homemade pasta made from 100% dumpster dived durum wheat flour. so proud that i was up all night taking photos of it:
in the morning it was all over the work surface, and i don't really have any place to store it all, but that's okay. i'm making my own pasta, what are you doing?
right now the internet is down and i'm starting to worry what i'm going to do if it isn't up before i can't find anything else to do. i'm not a junkie, just that there's things that need doing. emails to write, bank accounts to sort out, adsense to correct, tickets to print out. can't you feel the walls beginning to close in?
it's nearly spring though. to the left is a piercing blue sky and a fresh breeze. but to the right it's a dark cloud looming and a bitter cold. the sunlight comes from the left and catches the birds as they swish and swoop, bright dots against the grim coloured sky. then one of them flies down onto the ice and takes up my whole apple core just a second after it skids to a stop. and for the first time the lakes look like they might actually be thawing. they froze over a week after i arrived in copenhagen and have stayed like it since. the patch of water where the ducks and swans huddle is freezing less often, and you can see it growing a little each day.
it may have been a cold three months, but it's saved us from the rain at least.
and since i linked to an article the other day about google in court, i may as well do it again. although to be honest i doubt this one will even make it that far. oh, the lameness. google is just another company with another website. it's not their fault if you treat them as anything more than that.
18.03.06: it's three years since we invaded iraq. the third anniversary since we debased their country. so we take to the streets again, like it might make a difference. because it would if no one did. and it would if everyone did. and every little helps, right?
i met up with other protesters and peace watchers outside the american embassy. it was a good atmosphere, with a few police on one side of the road and a couple of thousand people on the other. of course there's a good atmosphere, it's a peace protest. but i just want to shout "peace mother fucker!". as if i actually would.
the march took us in a huge circle just north of the city centre, with a stop outside the office of the man who made the most money from the war in iraq. it then went along the side of town, past kongens nytorv (where you can go ice skating, but not today), and stopped outside the parliment building a few hours after it had started.
the first half of the march was relatively quiet, compared with the barrage of drums and shouting you get in brighton. those drums terrify me, but yes they are cool as fuck. as it moved on (or maybe as i moved to different ends of the very long march) it became a bit rowdier, with megaphones and chanting and carpet guy with his stereo backpack - distorting because it's too loud (raised fist). other people i met were a guy decked out in guantanamo bay gear and clutchin american flag, and the girls responsible for the 'big brother is watching you' stickers. i gave them one of my 'you are under surveillance' stickes for their efforts. the communists flag carriers were also very cool. standing around with their huge flag poles, topped with a gold hammer and sickle and so heavy that they have to be slotted into waist supports. these men are hard and rugged and look like they should have cigars sticking out between their gruff beards and moustaches.
i spent most of my time looking for things i could climb on to get a better view and ended up covering myself in mud as i slid down a small but viscious hillock. let that be a lesson to you. the other thing i nearly broke was a bin/sign combo, but it was mostly broken anyway.
i vaguely heard that other protests around the world had better attendance, but since i havn't been able to find any media coverage of it.. i have no idea.
sandwiched on either side of this you have me and julie going to dinner. first at the vegetarian restuarant in christiania and then for vege buffet at rizraz (yes, like 'riff raff'), both of which are a bargin. there's a very special feeling you get when you have a whole buffet to yourself.
later in the evening we watched 'la haine'. just to prove a point. i love mathieu kassovitz and vincent cassel. they're french. i love france. they're so passionate.
and this whole case is a fucking disgrace. at least it hasn't ended as badly as it could have done. it's worth noting how google stood up for your rights here, while the other pissants didn't.
17.03.06: reading 'flex mentallo' first thing in the morning probably isn't the best way to start your day. but then i suppose it saved me from the nightmares induced by reading grant morrison last thing at night. it makes me sick that they wont reprint flex though, cos there's no way i'm lending my copy out. how are the good people going to read it?
so there is going to be no neu-pwei. not how you would have hoped at least. pwei rip? whatever. anyway, you can download two of the tracks that they were working on at the pweination. one of them is okay in a it-sounds-like-prodigy-but-better-but-worse kind of way. i don't think i'll ever get over dos dedos mis amigos.
and as for æon flux (cos i'm exciting about having the æ key on keyboard). it was a tenth of what it could have been, and not a hundredth of what æon flux was (you do the math). rather annoyingly it wasn't so bad that i could be justified in screaming blue murder for the next few weeks, but what difference does it make? yes it's an opportunity lost, but an opportunity that was never really there to begin with. i feel obliged to go into details though, and i'll start with the terribly cast lead roles. what was it exactly that happened to their relationship? it has been replaced with a shit plot device that didn't even make any sense. their characters have been flattened and compacted to fit into hollywood fleshsuits (sorry), and all their dynamics are lost. i missed trevor and æon, without them the film is meaningless. the monicans have become nothing but terrorists and all depth removed from their world. all things original, intelligent or philosophical have become nothing but a cool effect or weird gun. i'm just glad i didn't pay to see this. i hope you don't either.
at least they don't eat 'eggy in a basket', god forbid. that kind of shit could ruin a film.
i might go and read flex mentallo again
16.03.06: i had an interview this morning and i'm now enrolled at a local language school to start at the end of the month. i'm yet to determine how flexible the lessons are but each week i'll either have two evening classes or four day classes. it's all quite exciting. and who would have thought that learning a language for free would have been so easy? the hardest thing was explaining what my masters was, in the end she wrote down 'information technology and biology'. probably not that inaccurate.
yesterday i was cool. i sat in student cafes drinking too much coffee, writing articles and reading pseudo-beat literature. all i need now is cigarettes and a bad drug habit.
and for that guy in the toilets to not have dragged me into the far cubicle to show me how badly someone hadn't flushed.
i do have a vague and quite shitty beard though. if you could even call it a beard. i like playing with it, why i havn't shaved it off yet, but i imagine it'll go before anyone gets a chance to see it. unless i really am more attached to it that i previously thought.
anyway, i must be off. it's not such a nice day for peace watch, but here i go anyway.
15.03.06: so let me tell you about the paludan bookshop, which i think we decided is our favourite cafe & bookshop in copenhagen. you can find it on fiolstræde, just down the street from the economic institute of copenhagen university.
it looks like a reasonably standard cafe/bookshop until you've wandered down a couple of narrow stairways and explored around a few of its wooden corners. buried in the building's basement, under nasty yellow strip lighting, is a maze of book shelves and twisted sculptures. a disfigured mannequin glares at your through its broken eyes as it leaks blackness onto a grubby table. doll parts are bound together with taught string and package tape, they hang not quite lifeless from the wall. these nightmarish and pained mechanical creations, if they moved it would be terrifying. it's the darker side of lewis carroll:
these are the works of franz thomsen, and everything i know about him is written in danish. perhaps i like his work so much because it creates life from junk, in the same way that i live out of bins (i say this with a dirty smile on my face) - because we both find inspiration in dumpsters. or perhaps it is the perfect symbiosis between the art and its location, both working together to create a mystifying whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts.
i have to stop writing before the wind changes and i'm stuck writing pretenious art wank forever.
when i went back there a week later there was only the books. like that was all that had ever been there. this is the magic that we're missing in our modern day lives. there should have been a brick wall or starbucks where the bookshop was standing just days earlier. like the creatures you catch in the corner of your eye which are gone a second later. a less certain and more malleable reality. i could go on but i think the wind is dropping.
having said what i just said, i really shouldn't have told you where the bookshop is, but nevermind.
now i might have to go and watch the labyrinth.
14.03.06: call me weird but for some crazy reason i love bananas on a hook:
and also the revelation that julie's japanese tea contains popcorn and puffed rice. simple genius. now all i have to do is stop myself from munching on it when she's not looking.
my journey into town this evening was slowed by the christiansborg bridge opening to let a ship through. it was rather majestic as it slid through between christianshavn and christiansborg, and intimidatingly large. i'm only mentioning this because i was so impressed at how many bicycles were queuing on either side of the bridge, waiting patiently for it to be lowered again. i counted over fifty on my side alone, and this is at 7pm. viva le vélo.
the canal below was a mosaic of ice.
and anti-kalk tastes surprisingly sweet. or maybe the surprise is that you're tasting it at all. it corrodes your tongue in the most curious way. if only i'd drank battery acid as well i could make comparisons.
thank you olive.
13.03.06: peace watch duty again today, but this time we got to hold fort on our own. it was cool to have some responsibility and be trusted, i know it's not that a big deal but it still felt special. it was a good day so i took some photos for prosperity, whatever that means:
just as we arrived a chinese guy was leaving. he's currently working in germany and had taken two days off to visit copenhagen. the first thing he did was see the mermaid (pfft) and then the parliment, where he found the peace guard. he liked the idea so much he ended up staying for two hours. isn't that heart warming? er, it's just nice to meet someone who is actually willing to make eye contact when you talk to them. most of the kids you approach will stare into the distance or chuckle amongst their friends.
grilly, on why we used to be so offensive to people:
"i've realised why offensive stuff is funny: because we know nothing is sacred, it's funny that people think certain stuff is offensive, and the more scared people find something, the funny it is to point out that it's just a rock, and also defile it and annoy them, the morons. or something.."
anyway, don't you have something better to do?
12.03.06: it's been such a photogenic day, i can't believe i left my camera at home. but nevermind, these things happen. now i'm lethargic and apathetic and any other ics you can think of, but this is what sunday is for (no, not church).
right now reminds of the old days when i only updated my website at work. so lets rewind to where i left off - the otherside of the weekend, and it's friday afternoon. night has settled in and i escape the house into town for the second installment of the ghana dancing men, this time dancing to the dandy warhols. a funky jiggle indeed.
we failed to buy kidney beans. but this isn't interesting.
back home i taught julie how to play othello and she kicked my ass, retribution for my ruthlessness at backgammon, no doubt. i should learn to be less cruel.
saturday was also a lovely day. still cold though. the perfect day for trying to make pasta without egg. it was a bit strange but the sauce was dynamite. a lovely candlelit dinner. and sometimes you just have to chase your girlfriend around the apartment with banana smeared over your face. although really, any fruit would do. then we listened to loud music to get back at the french kids in the flat above us. i insisted we should continue drinking at a respectable establishment in town so we went to my new favourite pub. it's called pilegården. and isn't that just the most awesome name? it's a saturday night and they do two for one beers before midnight (or maybe it was eleven). we left after too many and staggered home with a crate of empty beer cans we found lying around. had we been sobre we would have left them for someone more needy, but that doesn't mean the next person would have. and emil is very generous with beggars anyway. anyway.
what happened today was we had to get up too early. it was like, half eleven or something. what kind of sunday is this? we had breakfast with katrine as she's leaving for spain (i'm unsure as of the details) at a buffet on the otherside of copenhagen. they had a huge print of my favourite dali painting, and really meaty croutons. also apple crumble and vanilla custard. we had to walk halfway home to walk it off. maybe it's something about the light, i don't know, but walking dowmn the street everything looked fascinating. maybe it's because i didn't have my camera. you always discover the best graffiti when you're without one. we took a long-cut through the snowy graveyard and saw hans christian andersen's grave. i was going to joke that we should go and find it, not realising that it was actually there. nearer into town one of the lakes had frozen enough to walk on. there was also running, cycling and cartwheeling. i fucking love walking on the ice. it was sick though, all those couples. and there was me making it worse, who would have known? i lay flat on the ice for a while and all i could see was sky. the perfect blue. and then there was julie, upside down and orange and red, looking proper like a 'kodak colour' advert. i'm too tired to try and capture the moment properly. which is a shame. and soon after that we found a deep crack that span the whole lake. explain that.
i think i have the basics down. and i really need to take a piss. not to be vulgar or anything. but before i go, the other detail i need to mention is i started reading hubert selby jr. he makes me want to be a writer like spider jerusalem makes me want to be a journalist. perhaps i was on to something when i refused to use captials, paragraphs or punctuation - it was just me and the lonely full stop.
10.03.06: it's been nasty cold outside. not nasty like a donkey punch when you need to be looking your best. or nasty like accidently leaving your soiled wank tissues on top of the radiator. or even nasty like being collateral damage at six years old, cut down by "friendly fire". it's more like watching it on tv, chilled to the bone but feeling alive.
anyway, look what i got:
i've been munching on 'candy' from afghanistan for the last week or so. this stuff is amazing. one bag is some weird dried strange berries. julie doesn't really like them but i swear they're the best thing ever. the label states something like "how can healthy treats look so much like tobacco lungs?". suitably grim. the other bag is apparently full of something like sugar coated chickpeas, but i'm not convinced. we bought them from the fair trade shop in town (run by a very pleasent fellow) for 20kr a bag. not cheap but well worth it.
i need to quit linez though. i need to get off of the shit so bad. i thought with a score of 878 i'd be safe and never have to play again, until emil went and beat me again in the early hours of this morning.
also, and probably most importantly, i'm in england on the 25th and 26th of this month. i'm not travelling south at all (sorry, just not enough time) but if anyone wants to hang out i'll be residing in the usual place. you know you wanna.
09.03.06: last night's recordings, a trilogy of dreams:
i'm travelling back up north to birmingham in what is often a train, sometimes a plane, and occasionaly both. my company also regularly changes, as it does in dreams, although the group that sticks with me the most vividly is one of my old school classes. something terrible has happened, but we don't know what. some accident or attack. all we have are the small bits of information and disinformation coming in from a retro bakelite radio, plus our own speculation and rumours. my imagination shows a barrage of burning rocks falling from the sky. it shows destruction of american cities. it shows unprecedence and chaos. given the possibilities, me and my crew are remarkably calm, more interested in unravelling the mystery than contemplating its consequences. moments before arriving at our destination we discover a lethal chemical has found its way into the water supply and every inhabitant of the city has died. we're safe to wander the silent death ridden streets so long as we don't drink the water.
me and a friend i never knew are playing in a freshly ploughed field, and i'm much younger than i am now. something falls from the sky and we are enveloped in thick suffocating smoke. we try to stumble from the gas cloud but every time we emerge from it the cloud spreads to encompass us again. a voice over explains that my friend will not survive the attack. moments later i'm on the other side of the field staring up into the clear sky as raygun gothic planes fly over. bombs begin to rain down all around us (like space invaders) and i'm running. everyone is running. despite its futility it feels better to run than simply wait and hope. people are screaming, confused as to who is attacking and why they would want to. i escape with only minor injuries from shrapnel and seek refuge in a mall. for some reason it feels safer here, capitalism will protect us right? but alarms start to wail and the barricades come down. the shopping center is flooded with panicking police and it's mere seconds before people start shooting. shoppers dive for cover, looking for any kind of bulletproof shelter. i crawl into a small service hatch and down a refuse tunnel which ends at a metro station. a group of us jump onto a train and i'm suddenly back on my journey to birmingham.
i'm out shopping with martin in a milton keynes style shopping resort. i recognise it from some previous encounter and can't help feel uncomfortable. the police are bulky and terrifying, they stand beside every attraction. i tell martin we have to go check out this amazing (and rather dangerous) slide they have. he doesn't believe me how exciting it will be so i show him the script of how this plans out. he really can't believe it, "we each get killed three times?" he asks me. the piece of paper he hands me back is covered in numbers i no longer understand, there are far too many decimal places. then an alarm goes off and the police run off. i can hear the whistle of bombs falling and a distant part of the shopping complex explodes and collapses. we try to use the slide but the power has been disabled. the guy in control of the power switch is benny (from mars) and he refuses to disobey a direct order. we decide to jump and that's when we die for the first time.
and one might wander why i have trouble sleeping at night..
08.03.06: i'm tired. and i want to make this quick, but i know it wont be.
two days ago i wasted my day reading and writing. it had got dark already and i'd achieved little. i used to go weeks without doing anything. it wasn't fine, but it was okay. now if i do nothing i really feel it. i guess i have to justify my days. anyway, i decided that going into town to meet julie when she finished work at 7pm would satisfy me. i was late, so i ran, so i was early. this happens every time.
so i walked through the shiny city streets, wet from snow that simply refused to settle. the crowds were dwindling as the shops closed for the day, it was that peaceful time before they begin to fill up again with the rowdy nightlife. the streets are beautiful at this time. there's a fat church on strøget that i quite like (and you can always buy burnt almonds from a friendly man infront it, along with all kinds of dried fruit and nuts). the church has barely managed to retain its land as the city's shops have closed in (hungry for real estate and floor space), but there's enough yet for me to still go exploring in the crunchy untrodden snow around it.
behind the church is a gorgeous, dark and lonely playground. it has snow-covered tyre swings, a graffitied tube for a slide, and a crude snowman with sticks for arms standing on a park bench. at the back is a small wooden playhouse that i totally fell in love with. the door would be just big enough for two to squeeze in and sit at the tiny table, their knees pressing tight together. accompanied by a candle, thermos and a small picnic (stored in a tuperware container) it would make for a perfect pocket of quiet in the centre of the city, and the most romantic meal i could imagine.
unable to make this happen i have to be satisfied by writing about it instead.
i waited behind julie's shop watching men from ghana breakdance on a small television in the window of shop that sells african memorabilia. they jumped around the sandy beach in their reds, yellows and greens to unheard pitchshifter remixes and random breakbeat until julie arrived. it was quite the scene.
then yesterday was julie's day. so i'll let her describe it to you.
now all we have left to cover is the lessons and events of today. twelve to three was peace watch duty and we finally got our proper badges (no ceremony necessary). as well as meeting a proper commie we also learnt about the 'lobby pig', an unofficial stone statue placed outside the parliment (on the circle of grass, or snow as it is currently). when the people are happy with the government the pig faces the parliment, if the people are unhappy then the pig faces away. you can probably guess which way it's currently facing, and it isn't changing any time soon - that swine is frozen solid to the ground.
hanging around at nørreport some guy approaches me and asks me if there is a protest going on. because we look like protesters, right? i told him i knew of none, but i told him it was womens' day (and wished him a happy one).
perhaps he meant the hoodlum kids who were doing a 'sit in' in superbrugsen.
but when is men's day? why, every day is men's day
06.03.06: cloud atlas page 64 and it's finally becoming readable. it happened so slowly that i almost didn't notice i was beginning to enjoy it. once again i have an excuse for getting out of bed so late.
actually i'm surprised i survived the night. katrine cooked us "dinner" around her place (which is now her old place, or something likewise confusing), which consisted of pancakes, waffles, rice pudding and fruit tart with chocolate sauce, jam, coconut, banana and cheese. a definate shock to the system. the sickest feast. thoroughly excellent.
anyway, i want to go and do something worthwhile. i've already spent too long playing linez today. fuck that stupid game. i hate it so much for being so damn difficult.
05.03.06: every morning i'm in the shower and i shock myself because my fingers smell of condom. latex is a nasty smell, and every morning it takes me a few seconds to realise that it's actually garlic i'm smelling. how does that even make any fucking sense?
we saw clawfinger at the rock last night. i've never been a big fan of them but then i've never really listened to them either. getting out is good. and we met two very interesting characters. perhaps they were there because clawfinger lyrics are easily misinterpretable ("he likes to sing along but he knows not what it means"?), or perhaps they were just into the music. wearing their white shirts and talking loudly about jerry lee lewis. they liked emil, they even bought him a pint. it's weird because emil doesn't normally get on with the extreme right wing. and one of them kept spitting/spraying everywhere. i'd like to blame it on his big lips, but it was more likely the beer. he really was annoying though. this conversation sticks in my brain:
guy: who said "may jew rotten burning yell"?
guy: who said "may you rot and burn in hell"?
me: er, i dunno
guy: it was johnny cash. i love johnny cash. he was as american. i love americans. and i love the english. fuck denmark.
me: why fuck denmark?
guy: denmark has no pride.
i concentrated really hard on how much i needed to piss, it was all i could do to stop myself
from laughing. they'd already almost started a fight with some people behind us and i wasn't
about to point out exactly why he shouldn't be loving bush ("i love england and america.
you have bush and blair. i love bush. i respect him for standing up for what he believes in.
y'know?"). no, but anyway. (oh wait, like hitler or stalin?)
i left the gig wanting to see pitchshifter and sikth. i collected my coat from the three tiered cloakroom manned by a single woman with a ladder (hence the long queue), and was glad enough that we'd managed to lose those crazy fucked up guys. then someone we know (a friend in low place) gave us free mcdonalds. those fries made me feel dirty inside, no matter how free they were. the ketchup now resides in our fridge and there isn't a chance in hell i'll be touching it.
it's still snowing this morning as we carry three crates worth of empty beer bottles to the shop. we spent the money on breakfast. i can tell you that rosemary in your mushrooms is the way to go. and the secret ingredient? soy sauce of course.
now it's time to resurect the vacuum cleaner.
sunday is also shaving day, and i fear by the time i can grow a respectable beard it will be white.
04.03.06: the night is captured in snapshots and fragments:
- traffic stop lights and the moon make a perfect picture above the canal
- shiny wet surfaces, bad coloured lighting, dirty scaffolding and graffitied chip board - the city emanates more cyberpunk than you thought
- the snow hanging from a tree in a desolate market place, wide church in background
- steam rises from the pavement and everything is white apart from the slush
- a vicious snow fight, but a snow fight none the less
- becoming obsessed about a flickering light halfway up a building's exo-stairway
- two snowplows dance togther in a city square, rearranging the endless supply of falling snow
- every pub should be candle lit (marionettes not necessary)
- americans talking about abortion and sperm being alive, i want to join their conversation but is it because they're talking english or because i want an argument?
- the 500kr note is decorated entirely in yin yangs (and i notice this morning that each of our oven hobs also contains a secret yin yang)
- once again i suck at table football, where is gabriel?
- the angry youth, hurling a restuarant's burning glass entrance decoration at a stationary bus. oh, the rage
- a seagull tries to land on ice that's way too thin. the pidgeons are much more sensible, as they congregate around the subway vents.
not to dramatically change the subject, but what are you supposed to think when a family invites everyone in your house over to dinner (on a saturday night) but excludes you. specifically. i'm not bothered by it as such, but it is a little weird. if not (exceptionally?) rude. oh, people..
and i do belive we missed pancake day.
but i will never tire of porridge. no worries.
03.03.06: the evening was a success. the creamy mushroom tagliatelli was exquisite (possibly pushing it a bit far) and the whiskey was exceptional ('cellar 13' courtesy of my parents). billie holiday provided the musical accompaniment and then 'edward scissorhands' for the remainder of the evening, my favourite tim burton film without a doubt. for some reason, i don't know what, the line "stop it or i'll kill you myself" has always stuck in my head.
as for 'ghost in the shell 2', i don't know what i thought of it yet and so don't have much to say. obviously that's a bit disappointing, but not enough for me to say i was disappointed. if that makes any sense. i couldn't get the sound working properly when i watched it (voices kept moving between speakers) which is annoying, but apparently is some crap to do with some other shit that i don't care for. it's all cool.
and incase you're in doubt i'm still enjoying the snow, if not just for its memories of the minor victories won by being wee and waking up to a world softened by a glistening white blanket. even if it's a hassle for you, you shouldn't refuse to let it remind of you the joy it used to bring. personally i couldn't be happier while stiring my morning porridge and staring out the window to a courtyard full of snow. and what better way to take out the garbage than have speckles of snow dancing around you in the slight breeze.
it really does look special outside. and not in an edward scissorhands way.
02.03.06: i used to think that badly lit corridors and the toilet were my key locations for recieving much needed and sudden inspiration. there wasn't a single programming problem i couldn't solve at uni by taking a stroll. but this morning i realised there's a place i've been over looking this whole time - the shower. be it ideas for the new dumpster diving blog, ways to better target my ads to search refferals or fixes for a site that i built months ago. the shower is a truly magical place, and the toilet should be kept for reading on. clearly.
i still haven't got to watch 'ghost in the shell 2', which arrived yestesrday (i've waited long enough, an extra day wont hurt), but i did get funky with my new pasta machine. get me, making my own fucking pasta. you'll have to suspend your awe at my awesimo for another day though, as we are yet to cook with it. failure descending upon our kitchen is still a possibility.
and if your into analysing dreams then maybe you want to email me and tell me why i keep dreaming about going back to school. and school reunions? i couldn't say these are the last people i would like to meet again, but the prospect is a little off putting. not enough to ruin my breakfast at least.
now, about that pasta..
01.03.06: the observant will have noticed this already, but i have another new blog, and this one has me really excited. we've been container raiding for about a month now and have kept it vaugely tracked on mine and the regiciders blog. but i felt that our adventures and treasures were worthy of their own blog, and so i present to you - dumpster diving, a blog odyssey. i'm hoping it will develop and flower into something wonderful, i have big plans, but currently it's mostly lists and photos of the bounty we've retrieved from our local bins. perhaps it will help convince you that rummaging around in bins isn't so gross and i haven't totally turned into a tramp. or perhaps it will even inspire you to try it yourself. after all it is easy, fun and free. things for you expect on the blog in the future are things like guides to finding your own dumpsters, calculations of money saved, proper descriptions of what we've done with all the food, useful hints and tips etc, raucous riotous adventure, mystery solving and crime beating, free party invitations and semi-nude bin photos. also actual dumpster smells.
you can't wait can you?
i spent most of today on peace watch. you may mistake the peace guard for old hippies and eccentrics but they're awesome people and full of fascinating information and stories. emil met a fellow conspiracy nut and was totally made up. this guy was handing on leaflets for a documentary asking where the 9-11 pentagon plane evaporated to. i'd say he was amusing to watch, as he ran after the school kids on tours and passing politicians, but something about the word 'amusing' is way too condescending. some of the people who pass us are pained by our presence though. you can see their noses subtly rise and their glares darken. teenagers will walk off embarressed when one of their friends stops to read a poster or listen to what one of us has to say. it's all very strange, you'd be mistaken for thinking people didn't give a shit.
about 9-11 one guy told us to "forget about the past, look to the future". i think he meant bombing iran - i heard on the grapevine that they need liberating. if only they would hurry up and develop nuclear weapons they may just stand a chance.
last night we watched two documentaries, one about civil disobedience in copenhagen and another about carlo giuliani. i really hate watching protest footage (especially from genoa). i don't know why but it kinda fucks me up, it makes me properly anxious. even paul kingsnorth's beautifully written account of the g8 protest in his 'one no, many yeses' deeply disturbed me. i remember reading it on the plane back from milan (some random irrelevant information for you). i didn't get much out of the films as they were in danish (or italian with danish subtitles), but i never realised that the actual shooting of carlo was captured on film. i'd always thought there were only the ten-or-so photos. chilling.
but by now i've been distracted by the paul kingsnorth's idea for a politicians' big brother and am going to have happy dreams of george monbiot castrating richard littlejohn and sowing jeremy clarkson's face together. it may turn into a rather grim nightmare but i'll be happy for a few minutes at least.
and happy new march.
28.02.06: i lay in til after twelve this morning. after the busy weekend i really needed it, and not helped by the lack of paracetamol at 1am and 5am respectively. by the time i'd finished my shower i could still feel the pins and needles in my left hand, which show how heavily i slept since julie left at half nine. showering felt good but now i feel lousy. i'm sure a free fruit smoothie will help me no end.
also my new rubiks cube, for the non-believers:
now i can't believe how much it is snowing outside.
so my parents came to visit, and we did a bunch of stuff. it's hard to know what to do with people when they visit but i think we managed quite well. i figured it would be a good time to do things i've wanted to do for a while, such as going up the round tower. you may have seen it, it's very round. up the inside is a cobbled spiral and from the top you have some pretty good views. it's a shame though because they've put up a double fence so that people wanting to take decent photographs can't. you'd also struggle if you wanted to commit suicide. back on the street, if you go around the side you can go into the church part of the building as well (and that's free), which is quite sterile but has this funky organ thing.
after the church we went to what is clearly the coolest bookshop cafe in copenhagen. i can't believe i hadn't already been in there, having walk past it enough times. but right now i don't have to time to write about it (more like sort out all of my photographs of it) so maybe another time.
later in the evening we tried our best to get a drink in several local bodegas but none of them would have us. they were closed, hired out, or just too damn smokey. there's a place by our local netto that has been calling us in for a number of weeks now, it looks lovely and cosy but rather expensive. it turns out they have the best beers and the nicest decor. it's also convenient for investigating what edibles netto has thrown out once you've finished your refreshing pint.
the next day we travelled a little south to visit the arken museum of modern art. it's a quick train ride from copenhagen station and then a cheery walk from there, but on a less than nice day you might want to take the bus. the arken building, that looks like ship cutting and stretching out of the land (from the right direction at least), was designed by architect søren robert lund when he was only 25. it's impressive, and even if you don't like it you couldn't fail to find it interesting:
looking at photos of it elsewhere i'm thinking i missed the best angles, but nevermind. the perspective in the main gallery is daunting. at each end it converges to a point but with the roof rising at one end and falling at the other. the curve of the inner wall is sick. and the people all the way down the other end of the gallery look so tiny. they have a no photo policy so i'm lucky to get any inside, especially of the sexy toilets. (i accidently locked the door, but took advantage of it by taking a couple of photos while no one would disturb me). give me a good reason to keep the safety on and my camera will stay zipped tight away, otherwise it wont. but anyway, their current exhibition is a large set of aboriginal paintings (they have no permanent gallery). think warm and earthy colours and lots of dots, arranged in circles and swirls. after a while they became a little repetitive, but the good ones are almost hypnotising.
back in copenhagen we took a wander through christiania, ending up at the organic vegetarian restaurant, which i can now highly recommend. inside it's warm and homely and their food is delicious. they have limited space and the tables are dotted with hippies and bohemians. we found a place just fine, i'm sure you can too. best salad i've had in copenhagen, i swear.
we spent the night playing cards and drinking strange alcohol. like the way it should be.
the rest, as they say, is history.
24.02.06: there's a rock club in copenhagen that they imaginatively titled 'the rock'. it conjures a kind of nasty image, of eyebrows and then the worst movie i've ever seen, but i was in the mood for metal and a new hang out. a couple of us went down there (thursday is the good night apparently) and drank some very cheap beer out of pitchers.
it wasn't particularly metal but you'd recognise the crowd. a few bands were playing but they went largely ignored in the other room. then there were suicide girls in the toilet. stickers that is. and it was so bright in there. a sliver of mirror running around the wall meant that no matter where you looked while pissing you looked yourself right in the eye. i like that. it feels manly.
going out drinking with emil is dangerous though. his drunken antics make you feel sober. so sure, i'll have another beer. let's go shout "germany" at the band.
on arriving home we discovered that our bounty (taken from behind netto) had been covered in detergent or shampoo. this is seriously not cool. i spent twenty minutes washing everything three times, trying to get the slippy shit off every thing and every surface. then this morning, after a terrible nights sleep, the chemicals have totally got into my head. everything smells like washing-up liquid and feels slightly greasy. i know it's my mind playing tricks on me but it's driving me mad.
i washed my gloves but i can still smell it on them. it's a total fucker.