Sunday, December 31, 2006
Post Subtitled: New Year's Eve
This is the most... this is just... this:
and the original video:
this makes my head spin, how advertising can do this... take that song from Donnie Darko and sell a shoot 'em up videogame with it...
London is cold rainy and insanely expensive, but the art and theatre are completely amazing... so I guess we can forgive it, but how anyone could live here is beyond me...
Friday, December 29, 2006
Post Subtitled: Wow, finally found some internet access here in the library.
Everyone has been sleeping a lot so I"ve had to make my own fun:
The locks and waterways were begging to be jumped-over, unfortunately it is very difficult to film onesself doing this, so to compensate I remixed it and refilmed it from the screen with that Justin Timberlake song that keeps playing on the radio, but slowed down,
and again, and again, abstract, etc.
and some scenery with a smaller less-impressive jump:
ANYHOW, here is the post I wrote at 4:15 this morning during a bout of insomnia, I do not remember anything I wrote and do not hold myself responsible for its contents:
Nadine, my lovely finace, just grabbed my skull (in her sleep) with both hands, shook it, knocked on it three times, then released it, or- me, rather. After hours of motionlessly spooning her with insomnia and a head full of worry perhaps she was just trying to exorcise my impish troubled little thoughts while she slept soundly. We are often on the same page like this so I shouldn't think about it too much...
I had been staring into the dark for who knows how long, at one point re-suffering the reoccurring waking nightmare where my conscious being is reduced to the size of a speck of dust floating in the air aimlessly and the room becomes the mass and is pure horrific darkness and vacuum-of-space while I am left to float, observing its vast nothingness for what seems like an eternity without steering or thrust, just floating in infinity forever. That is the usual bad dream, but this time my arm had swollen to the mass of a solar system and I could see the tiny door to the bedroom through the translucent black mass of my own forearm and elbow... so far away and unreachable, that door... massive arm, and Nadine's head on my other timy arm light years away on the pillow next to me...
These dreams all stem from a series of particularly disturbing fever dreams I had at the age of 11 or 12 during a long bout of sickness, positively terrifying stuff I could go on for pages describing it, or- actually -can”t quite describe it, but it comes back around from time to time.
It is early early morning on a day in late late late December still fairly early in the 21st century, I am awake because I can't sleep and I can't sleep because I can't stop worrying and I can't stop worrying because the future is shaky at best. I have two weeks to mull this over while I stay with my folks over the holidays here in the Cottswalds, England, before returning to Berlin for more self-punishment. I do love Berlin, though, and my fiance, don't get me wrong.
In Berlin I have no steady income, no direction, no particular duties when I wake up, no life, no clue, but I do have a bike (which doesn't belong to me but I can use.) The bike is a savior. With this two-wheeled wonder one can whoosh away, play in traffic, and end up lost on the other side of town. It is brilliant...
We have been in England visiting the family for a week now. I am surprised at how surprising England is when you spend a little time here and are able to absorb whatever it it that this country exudes... I was surprised to find that they actually have their own culture... I know that sounds awful, but I suppose I just didn't expect, I suppose... funny how one can expect a place to be so similar just because they speak the same language as you do... I guess I hadn't been to England since 2001 and then before that it was always in strange and very short-term circumstances so I never had the chance to sit back and realize “Oh, duh, this is a real country”... maybe I don”t know how to explain this exactly; for example;
the Pubs out here in the countryside are pretty amazing. Like walking into a Hobbit hole since the ceiling is usually just barely above 6 feet hight and the beams are worn, warped and/or sometimes even burnt with age, but so cozy. Ales abound and they are what they are, not quite beer but drinkable. Football matters, books and television matter, and wow- 80-90% of programming is actually created here and not imported from the USA, that is refreshing, although I'll admit that I have been dissapointed with the BBC.
Jumping with more wierd pop music:
That is all I wrote. We get on the train to London in about an hour and a half, that should be interesting...
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Nadine and I are with the family in Cropredy, England. Just a house with virtually nothing for miles adn miles in every direction besides fields, trees, sheep and other cute little houses. There is no phone or internet and the only connection with the outside world is the telly...
It is a welcome break, actually. There is the Oxford canal with log skinny boats adn locks boats just down the street, we should start charging a toll...
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I am sitting in the heart of darkness, the middle of a shopping mall balcony in Potsdamer Platz 5 days before Christmas. For a hundred meters or so there are floating trees and cascading lights hovering above the Shoppers below, a live of computers could be seen on the catwalk and lo-and-behold some sucker put in 2€ and left with 50 minutes still available on this computer, so it is a wonderful warm feeling using the internet for free in this consumer wonderland.
I have complained about Potsdamer Platz before and I'll admit that I came here straigh after work with the specific purpose of distracting myself from worldly concerns... alas, it backfired of course. Walking through an entire Christmas market with its 1,001 amazing smells just makes you insane, and being here in a huge and amazingly well-decorated shopping mecca makes you realize HOW SAD IT IS THAT THERE IS NO POINT TO LIFE IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION. Now, that may sound stupidly pessimistic, simplitic, naieve, onoriginal and reduntant- but it has been a full year since I've had that splash in the face of Christmas shopping madness... and once again, it strikes me like a rock in the side of the head: TO WHAT END? Paying even 20€ for a shirt is a joke considering what a shirt is, yet people still insist on paying 120€ and upwards... to what end.
To what end. TO wwhaaattt end... really.
The pursuit of material goods seems to be the end, and Western life revolves around these absurd and pointless pursuits... oh how dumb and simple we little ants are... it is truly horrifying...
OK, I'll try not throw myself off this balcony for a second and just calm down.
Sometimes this just sinks in and it isn't a pleasant thing.
The ski slope is still oustide and young pink-cheeked teenagers are paying a lot of money for a 20 second inner-tube ride.
I still can't believe someone payed €2 to use the internet for less that 10 minutes. Jesus Christ what is wrong with us, and that you you idiot for making this venomous blog entry possible.
there's always Adbusters to whip this dead horse
Nadine and I saw an amazing dance/theatre production last weekend called Isabella's Room, see TRAILER. That's all I'll say about that but if you ever get a chance, do see it.
Monday, December 18, 2006
it is special because it co-stars a live houseplant and live ladybug
I was reprimanded at work for being too casual with clients. Seimens can go fuck itself, thank you very much.
Anyhow, in other matters I FINALLY got the animation we made to load:
KLEINES WOHNZIMMER, KLEINE BRUDER
Nadine did the scupture and made the furniture, I did the room, music, filming. Hopefully there will be more to come.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
This just in from issara regarding deadly toys. We actually played with lawn darts in the 80s, they were rad.
Recently discovered Creature Comforts, pretty darn good:
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
small observation though:
AMERIKA=CONVENIENCE AT ALL COSTS
in german there is a word for when you get a song stuck in your head: ohrwurm (ear worm). I'm ve had this song in my head for almost a month now adn can't get rid of it.
Before there was recorded music (or music at all) did people get birdsongs or nature sounds stuck in their heads?
I also get words and conversations stuck in my head- does anyone else have this happen?
Nadine is in Stuttgart for a photo shoot so I fell back on the stash of LOST burnt dvd's, plowing through them until I realized that Season one episodes 21-24 were nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere, all over the internet, everywhere and found it but the files weren't compatible, ugh.
Skipped ahead to Season 2. Which is fine because they say "previously on LOST..." and then there's a montage.
These TV people are deviously clever. All throughout college I couldn't understand people's addiction to shows, the ritualistic gatherings in the communal areas to "find out what happens" but I guess ever since The Amazing Race and 6 Feet Under at the 1602 my resolve has crumbled. THANKS EMMA! (That isn't sarcastic, I think...) LOST is a good show, I cried when Charlie almost died and when Jack's fiance´ got feeling back in her legs. So, yea, these TV mwathafawkas are clever and they've got us all hooked, I didn't realize that until I found myself desparately searching the internet for the episodes adn came across all these fan boards adn chat forums... which I thought was sad, because people really care... like I, now, kind-of care (and have definite opinions) about imaginary people in a television program.
Oh desparate world.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
DISCLAIMER: I'm tired and disoriented so this post is weak!
-returned to MINIBAR, (the bar that is the size or your kitchen) with Rob the other day, nice little place- gemutlich, with (what I discovered were) mild-mannered prostitutes hanging around the bar (looking like dressed-up 19-year-old sorority girls after a house party)and people do not hesitate to smoke joints at the bar. In fact, on my bike ride to work yesterday through Kreuzberg after I passed through my third cloud of pot smoke I realized that people here just kind of smoke in public here and no one seems to care- little groups of men chatting in front of a storefront or cafe being quite harmless in the early afternoon or a couple of Turkish teenagers giggling on a dog walk. Which made me think: the young muslims aren't supposed to drink but apparently smoking pot is ok, so why wouldn't the US DEA work to provide more angry jihadis with pot to ´chill them out? I know this is the most juvenile and naively stupid idea ever, but I was frozen trying to survive a long bike ride so what can you expect, really?
SIDE NOTE: I'm Re-listening to that this american life about the Beaver trilogy (a rerun) (but brilliant) (if you can ever see the Beaver trilogy, DO! It played at the Grand Illusion in Seattle a few years back...)
Anyhow, I am now a corporate monkey calling radiologists in the states to interrogate them about their SIEMENS super crazy hi-tech MRI etc. equipment, it is a grueling sucky job but it is a job I can do for a bit before we head off to England for Christmas. Nice international co-workers from all over, though, that is cool.- Besides, I have somehow avoided being a corporate a** monkey up until this point- but knew I couldn't avoid it forever.
Meanwhile the monotony of the work is backfiring in my brain (this always happens- taking wierd Photos and messing with them digitally, speaking of corporate monkies and their remixes:
) and am having crazy lucid dreams, bouncing around town pretty care-free in my free time, and Nadine and I are getting along very well- she has a photo shoot in Stuttgart for the next two days so I'll have to find somehting to do with myself- maybe hit up some art exhibits with the Swedish guy I met at work.
UPDATE: JAN 8, 2007... I have actually been enjoying the SIEMENS JOB, it isn't that bad...
This post isn't as interesting as I imagined it to be.
Anyhow, I am now considering writing an article on the phenomenon of Depeche Mode Partys in Berlin (and surrounding former East) - there's a HUGE Depeche Mode Party every other month- this needs to be explored.
P.S. in dedication of my flirtation with a huge multinational corporation, I'd like to take a second to include:
Artist: Mos Def
Album: New Danger
Title: The Rape Over
(Boogie man business)
All white men is runnin this rap shit
Corporate force's runnin this rap shit
Setae israli is runnin this rap shit
We poke out the ashes for a chance to cash in
Cocaine, is runnin this rap shit
'Dro, 'yac and E-pills is runnin this rap shit
The rape over, turn your face over nigga
No god in disguise it's me, game over
Hey lil souljahs you're ready for more?
But don't ask what you're fighting for
They thought that you sur--vived the gunfight, the drama, the stress
You get in the line of fire we get the big ass cheques
You gettin your choice to pimp
Make your choice and fall in
This is austral B I, take that cock in your behind, Beatch
Hit the streets and perform for us
Hold hard and bring it on to us, fucker
I let you sip, comes an army, get a Mercedes
And kick back and let you pay me, my Mack is crazy
I leave the, knife and fist fight filled with glamour
Yeah, take a picture what this platinum point the sledgehammer
We over-do it add the fire and explode it to it
We're so confused with one rap music
Mtv, is runnin this rap shit
Viacom is runnin this rap shit
AOL and Time wanna (be) runnin this rap shit
We poke out the ashes for a chance to cash in
Cocaine, is runnin this rap shit
Hennessey, is runnin this rap shit
(??) and sexual is runnin this rap shit"
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I donät know if I have gone-off on my hatered for Damien Hirst, class-act-hack and über-artstar, but he does have a cool art collection himself on display at the Serpentine gallery in London til late january... I love John Currin's stuff, though.
as I was saying: damien hirst is the most annoying, talentless little sh*t ever.
gods? where are you to smite him?
critics?! should't you know better?
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
the real pain in the ass was covering antique furnitire with the images, then re-attaching all the little metal frills...
I kind-of fell in love with thes icky photo of Pamelan Anderson.. eewww.
and photos Justus sent from the party...
link to circleculture gallery blurb
Disclaimer: this post is a bit dull but I have interspersed it with coordinated dance sequences. and bloopers.
Per John's email regarding Susanne's discontentment with my remark at the end of the last post, I find myself wanting to retract the statement about Germany not having as much creative output as America, but then again the US has a population nearly 4 times that of Germany, plus other factors- like... what? It is a silly statement really, and impossible to prove or disprove simply,... I'm not sure what else to say. It seems to me that America cranks out more films, books and art than any other country- and I have encountered more folks there working on their own little music projects/bands stories and or books and design work, textile stuff, etc. Then again it is just as full of droll dreary drones as most any other country as well. Hmm. Over the years I have noticed that most of the books I read and the music I listen to has been produced by the United States or England followed by Germany, France... and that is about it, with a few exceptions... Central/Latin America, perhaps?
Flag waving indeed, and that can be saved for football matches.
Meanwhile the daily battle(or baffle?) in my mind over the most trivial of things continues... for example both Nadine and I ran out of contact lens solution today and I had to go hunt some down. I Went to Schlecker, a commercial drug store chain that isn't a drug store at all because they don't have drugs and if you want contact lends solution you can order it and it will arrive in 2 days. Same story with dm, another faux-drugstore chain. What DO they have in these places? Hair dye, 500 types of creams, soaps, facial masques, herbal teas, herbal alcohols to drink or sniff, hair bands and one rack of bad music (not ìhair bandsî but recent pop) and candy... I did finally track down the coveted and much-needed lens solution at an Apotheke (Apothecary- ACTUAL drugstore) and then came back to rant at Nadine about the whole thing who just laughed at me.
When I first began actually writing in this blog I had a photo of myself with an eye patch, which was actually a result of the very same such problem but in ICELAND which was 10 times worse. My hard lens cracked because I put it in a little glass overnight because nowhere in Iceland was there a contact lens case to be found. Ho-hum. If it is any consolation- in Ireland and the Netherlands it is even more difficult to find such things... and this is the first time I've ever missed that stupid Walgreen's on 15th or even QFC...
Listening to the most recently available-to-livestream This American Life show over at ye olde internet center I almost laughed out-loud when I heard of this guys dilemma when he got a job as a german interpreter for some visiting Austrians at a Ford Car plant. The Austrian German is very different, and he basically excused himself and ran out of the job because he couldn't do it. Not only did he not know the needed vocabulary but he could barely understand the Austrians. (This is like the visit to Nadine's family AND the jobs I've been doing over the past few days when someone will bark directions at me in passing and I'll have to induce what the project actually is based on what there is left to do. Words like molton (soundproofing fabric), frosch (actually meaning frog, also meaning the clamp you use to make a loop in steel wire) and all the others I've already forgotten... oh boy)
Over dinner I was explaining to Nadine that it is difficult for Americans to understand that two fellow countryman could be speaking the same basic languange and not understand one another. For example someone from Boston can talk with someone else from New Mexico or Louisana or Tennesse and they may have to listen a bit harder but it is the same damn American English all around, whereas here for example if Nadine speaks Hoch Deutsche then her grandmother won't understand ñ or if any one extreme dialect encounters another there will be much confusion- not only in pronunciation but in sentence structure and even altogether different words (Potato= Kartoffel in German and Grumbeer in Pfalzisch) exhausting, isn't it?
Just a few observations on all that. Meanwhile my brain is working in all sorts of funny ways. Sometimes I think I have German comprehension down pretty darn good but then realize that I actually do really have to focus, take a second to process it all, then piece it together.
It is late but for some reason I am wide awake. Today my mind was all out-of-sorts. I frantically emailed, called and sent fotos for getting into a casting for a commercial featuring international people but in the end they didn't end up calling back which totally pissed me off because it would've been easy money. Guess they'd already met their quota of white english-speakers. Nadine had an audition for a role in a Fassbinder production at the Deutsche Theater so we really hope that works out. This evening she wasn't feeling well so she had me go out and get some Prosecco champange which is ìgood for circulationî and this is one of the reasons why I love her- -
Got a job interview for a position of some sort in english-language business relations, sounds weird but if it is a job I can do steadily for the next few weeks then I might go for it.
I also realized today that I am offically 'out-of-the-loop'. I just found out about the Kramer racist thing, and I didn't even know Jay-Z had another album coming out (which is already out). Or Tom Waits. I've actually been trying to lay-off NPR here, just because... can be a bit heavy.
However I am not 'as bad' as many Americans who have been here for years with FAQs like ìWhat's a blog?î or ìCraigslist- what's that?î heh.
Labels: language dance culture
Monday, December 04, 2006
I got another call: a time and an address to be at if I wanted to work, so 9 am on SaturdayI went to the Postfuhramt, a huge old (East German?) complex with a maze-like interior and an inner dome in a central tower. Inside was a Karl Lagerfeld photo exhibit and two huge halls (one with the dome and another an ancient "Turnhalle" with crumbling plaster, praint and huge stains and holes in the wall/paper everywhere. The place was completely transhed and stank like crazy when we arrived but a crew of Russians cleaned it within an hour or so...
Over the next 13 hours we completely transformed the space to hold the Lachapelle afterparty for the opening of his show at the Hemut Newton Fouindation. This was different that the show I hung the other night above the PUMA flagship store in Hachischen Höfe three days ago, gotta check it out. Apparently there are three exhibits around town at the moment? no idea. Anyhow, when the workday was over we were already in the building (past all the tight security) so most of the crew just hung around an attended the event thus bypassing the need for an invitation, etc. to get in. I think we did this subconscioúsly- dragging the project out until even AFTER the party started so we could stay and drink free booze as an army of models, corporate sponsor-richies, elites and photographers/artists arrived by the hundreds.
I met many interesting folks, including a guy named Justus from a band called Love as Laughter, who I only met because of the insanely long bathroom lines, adn the slowness of the urinators. I proudly finished in 15 seconds pronouncing "Hah, edpedia'd that- no, that's a website..." "Yea it is!" and we romped around for the next few hours, finding his friend who had arrived off the plane from Vancouver with €30 in his pocket five months ago, squatted and was now a photographer who was invited by the big-lipped blonde woman in the banners..
Anyhow, this was all very unbelievable... I was dead tired afterwards, returning homw on my broke-ass bike, explaining things to Nadine (who I'de been frantically texting: "Come HERE, dress chique and bring me a suit jacket!" then and hour later "Never mind, too late - secutirt is too tight." She had take a nap so missed them, but later saif my favorite quote of the day:
"I am not some VIP bitch."
This party basically put any party or wedding I've ever seen to shame. Iäm guessing it cost at least somewhere between €150,000-€200,000... what can I say... Justus took a bunch of fotos, so maybe he'll send them but for now all I have is the MORNING AFTER images (when we returned the next morning, the place was trashed. the 20-foot-tall tipi made out of 80 or so blow-up dolls had been ripped to schreds, ther were empty bottles of everything everywhere and I even found the guest list amongst the rubble.
On a side note I am feeling level-headed these days. In Seattle I was on-edge, unhappy with my life in many ways and just going in circles of angry frustration. Here I am generally calm and in a good mood,... I don't know why exactly... It may have something to do with my stereotypical theory that America is uncomfortable in its own skin, cut-throat and really only a good place to live if you desire to be rich and/or famous and are willing to work yourself to an earlier grave... of course that is a pessimistic view, and there are many things I think that the USA does better than anywhere else, i.e. write, create, report, etc. Germany may not be nearly as creative or crazy but it is just more lax and overall,,, more human... my father seems to be convinced that Europe is the Titanic, I -on the other hand- think that America is aspiring to become the Hindenberg... I guess only time will tell.
Friday, December 01, 2006
I found mmyself whistling in the sunshine at 11 am this morning at Alexanderplatz very happy because:
A. I just hung a David LaChapelle photo exhibit all by my lonesome.
B. I made a bunch of money doing it
C. THis was all very surprising and life-saving.
I was sitting around Thursday night when Robert called again saying "Hey, man- you free tonight, I got a job for you, might go until 3 or 4 in the morning."
I got to Haechischen Höfe 20 minutes later to learn that we were going to be assembling a David LaChapelle show revolving arouind the new book above the PUMA... which is wierd, because I'd just expected to be changing lightbulbs like last time.
In brief: We did a lot, I'll have to go back and take photos the space looks crazy. I worked from 10pm until 11 am when David's crazy entourage began arriving before the interviews, dropping all their purses and jackets as soon as they entered the space, hands on faces or in the air "OOOOHHHHWW, DAAAAVID is going to LOOOOOVE this HIS prints look so much better than in the muceum" and on and on spouting the american art-fag-haggiest sh*t Iäve ever heard. Leaches. They had no idea that I could understand their every word, and by this point I looked like a zombie puitting finishing touches in the huge floor decals.
We built a pretty great space. The workers... Ok, my brain is fried, I might elaborate later...
THe good things was that I returned home with a new Monatskarte for Nadine and I worked, so happy just to be doing something, much less building and hanging such a show...
Ok, going out for Viatnamese to celebrate...