Beamed out of Berlin, welcome to the blog I've been calling "Post-Google" since 2005.
I don't post too often anymore and the things I do post are written at odd hours or on my morning commute. This is not fine writing, these are in no way essays - just sketches of thoughts. Works for me.
"I'll send you a link."
Sunday, October 29, 2006
These were the only pumpkins (Kürbisse) I could find in the entire neighborhood.
(the funny-looking one is from France and the other one was lonely in a flower shop). Part of the problem is that pumpkins are food here, and sold as such...
DISCLAIMER REGARDING QUESTION (In Transcript) BELOW: I deliberately asked a question using base/crude vocabulary to break the spell-shock that De Lama Lamina (sp?) had put on everyone, this pretty-much needed to happen.
Matthew Barney at the Babylon Theatre Transcript from Post-Film discussion Wednesday 25 October (preceeding "Barney and Beuys" at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin) (Transcribed verbatim from audio recording)
Matthew Barney: Thanks for coming and I''d like to propose that we have a question and answer after this and talk more about it informally in that I think all those who have organized this consider this an expirament even more-so than the exibition and we've taken some more liberties in making some symmetries between Eisenborg and certain programs during the next month, for instance there will be some films that are projected simultaneously, we're trying some things that have a sprit that I think will be helpful to the exhibition, so let's talk after the films, plese enjoy FILMS of Beuys (2) and Barneys SCAB ACTION and De Lama Lamina are played straight through- Post-film Moderator: There are two mics, one on either side of the room, so whoever wants to ask a question if they might raise his hand we'll pass the mic through.
TAR ART RAT: Hi, yea, gosh I forgot already... (looking as scribblings on hand) oh, I was just curious, do you ever intentionally put humor into your films- (laughter from audience) I mean, not to say-, It's, I've seen most of them and things like the dancing lamb girls, Gary Gilmore's Tiny little weener, the nutsack on the wheel, even the fact that we just watched you fuck a truck, which is not overtly funny but a bizarre idea, does that ever enter your mind in the creation of the films?
Matthew Barney: Yea, I think humor is pretty important, -there's a type of humor that I gravitate towards and it is physical- it's physical comedy and there have been quite a few scenes that were quite literally in the tradition on physical comedy but I think that all of these physical conditions that become either violent or humorous are about trying to think about the dramatic arc of the work and trying to release some of the pressure that is built up so that an arc can take place. This is something in cinema that happens with characters and with dialogue and a lot of the things that I don't really have in these pieces so comedy on that level or humor on that level is probably pretty important. TAR ART RAT: Like a little bit of comic relief... maybe?
Matthew Barney: Yea, -to relieve the pressure.
TAR ART RAT: Cool. Thank you.
(long shuffle as microphone changes hands)
Matthew Barney: One thing I could say is that there was a fellow who stood up while the credit were rolling and was expressing a very strong feeling about the treatment of the animal in the piece and we ended up talking about that it was a special effect and his comment was that he really feels like that should be made clear in the credits somehow- because it was very disrespectful, anyhow he made that comment.
German Audience member: Why did you put your films in the context of the Beuys films? I mean, connected to this question because he is a very naieve whimsical person...
Matthew Barney: Well, I think that it is an extention of an exhibition at the Guggenheim, and so that exhibiton started with the idea of taking works in the Guggenheim collection that are his and mine and make a conversation. Both Nancy Spector and I felt like there are certain places where Beuys - where the life of his work has vanished a bit -he passed away- and I went through the film archive and saw a lot of things I hadn't seen before and I felt like it was important for these documents, whether they were edited films or whether they're were just loose clippings like you saw here, that would bring the acting element back into the work which I'm sure some of you have come to know this but I'm sure was very present when he was alive and around his objects. I guess I feel like my practice is also essentially about the sculpture and that these stories are a way of creating a narrative out of which sculpture can come and of course this is very true with Beuys, so- I think he's the first person who, in my studies, I who felt like I could locate that in my own desire to make narrative sculpture, he's a very strong representative for how this could happen.
(giggling as the mic takes a long time to be passed down an aisle)
German Audience Member 2: I have a question, like, how you feel how you interact with the spectator of your work, for example Beuys, from the action we saw, the spectators were really welcomed into it and really acting in but you seem to hide more from the spectator like in this one you were really not visible to those people and it kind of the same thing in your movies, like many of these things the spectaor is not present, so how do you see that connection?
Matthew Barney: Well, I think that the De Lama Lamina and the film that was made just after that, which was Drawing Restraint 9 which was shot in Japan on a whaling ship, I think these pieces are both coming out of this tenured project of Cremaster essentially where, as you're saying, it is kind-of a closed world where it has aspects of performance I think in terms of setting up situations- physical situations- that happen in real time capturing them on camera, when I finished Cremaster I was craving, I think, the embarrassment of being in a live condition and I guess I'd had a small taste of that as a student in making some performance, so De Lama Lamina was really about diving into that; into a situation I couldn't control. I can tell you that being in the middle of that was very,- I felt... not present as a performer but I felt the presence of the crow against me and it excited me very much, and I think what grew out of that was the Drawing Restraint 9 piece which started with the condition of going onto the Japanese National Whaling ship and making a story on that ship with their crew, that' how that story started, ...in other words Cremaster was much more on an overlying sort of 'filmmaking' in the sense of casting actors, creating sets, having an environment that is very controlled. In my opinion it is very different...
American Audience Member: In your work you combine the abject and the sexuality a lot and I was wondering if you use that purely metaphorically of if you were commenting on developments in society, if you think it's a larger trend? Matthew Barney: I suppose it isn't so different from the question about humor, I think that the sexuality tends to be about transitioning from one state to another within these narrative constructs and I think they're, in my opinion, not about, -they're not an external statement. On the other hand there's a consciousness of how they operate within the piece in terms of this lessening pressure, in terms of how something needs lubrication, all of these works have to do with the notion of taking an object language and giving an object behavior, and so humor, sexuality, a lot of these things tend to be about infusing inanimate things with behavior. American Audience member: I'm really interested in when arts and activism can come together and since you've put Julia Butterfly in this film I was just wondering if you think these kinds of films and your kind of sculptural can have the same kind of social impact that an act like Julia Butterfly did to save a forest or a tree, can your work or the kind of work that you're doing work on the same kind of scale can impact, being a kind of art praxis? Matthew Barney: I don't know. I can say that my intention wouldn't be to have that kind of impact, that's not why her character is in the piece, I think her character is there as a way of describing a duality in Candomblé, the African religion that's very strong where this Carnival takes place, so I'm interested in using one of these deities to give structure to the story and Ogoun is the deity of iron and war, so he's a kind of a creation myth, he's a fertility god- the creator of iron and with his iron he's able to cut down the primordial forest to give rise to civilization, so he's a way of understanding the conflict that with the development of the knife and its ability to create civilization he's also created a weapon that can kill another and so he's used as a kind of lens to understand those balances as both in nature and in the world. Adding this conservation, -this character conservation at the top of the tree- there's another deity called... uhm... ah...
Audience Member from Balcony whispers: Oxum...
Matthew Barney: ...ah... what was that again?
Audience Member from Balcony: Oxum. Matthew Barney: One more time- Audience Member from Balcony:Oxum.
Matthew Barney: Oxum, yea, that's right. Sorry, he's the Medicine Man essentially, they say he has a contract with the forest and takes from the forest the droppings from the animals and makes medicine, so thinking about the structure of Carnival: a carnival trail always has a truck it always has a rope, it always has a membership and it has the pressure of the crown around it. I started thinking about how the truck, this character of the machine fetishist and Julia Butterfly all could, in a conglomerate way, express the duality of not just Ogoun but of (incomprehensible: man-made scene?). Those two deities are often in partnership that way. I guess this isn't so different from the way Cremaster starts, the chapters of Cremaster start with a place, then they look for within that place mythologies that are local and available, that my language can attach to. The same thing happened in Baiaia but again the difference has to do with condition, of creating a resonance in that time as well as make a film.
German Audience member: What is your relation to movies? I saw the Cremaster Cycle and I noticed that using a parallel action music and sound as a dramatic mean, that is the first part of the question and the second part is that why don't you distribute your films like movies? As far as I'm informed there exist just a very few copies of Cremaster and they are shown only in museums of they tour very seldomly around, so; Movie and the relation to the movies and how you put your work into the context of the movie industry.
Matthew Barney: Well, I think that what I showed tonight, the SCAB ACTION was the very first video I made as a student and I think from there, I think quite organically these, ah, well in a way SCAB ACTION was much more cinematic than the things that came after it which were much more like real-time trials and were videotaped. Over time I became more interested in editing these trialsinto stories and I think that that continued up to the point that the Cremaster Cycle was made- without ever really having the intention of making a film. The first chapter, Cremaster 4 was shot on video, largely handheld, and I had the intention of broadcasting it on television during the TT races, which take place on the Isle of Man where that was shot, I wanted that to happen the following year and that would be the distribution of this ñ what I considered to be a- side-specific sculpture. I couldn't convince a tv station to do this (audience laughter) so I talked to some theatres in New York, Joseph Pabst Public Theater ended-up offering us a room forgetting up a projector, we projected it and it was an extension of an exhibition not so different from this. After that Film Forum in NY offered to play it on the screen, but they didn't have a video projector so we had to make a transfer to film and that's the only reason it ended up in that cinema, it wasn't really a part of my program to make films, the program was to make a five-part art site-specific piece, (it kind of earth-wormed(?)) a piece of land art superimposed over it, that's how I was looking at it at that point. As the pieces were made and as the opportunities to have them them in cinemas was very satisfying to me to see, whereas it would be very unsatisfying for me to put it in a gallery, project it and have people come in in the middle of it and leave after a couple of minutes, it wasn't intended to be that way, so the cinema worked as a playback mechanism.
The pieces were made after that knowing that they would be in the cinema, I think the cinematic language crept in more and more. It is important to say that it is never stopped being -whether it was a handheld piece or a more produced cinematic work I think it never stopped being a program in sculpture, that's what its always been, to create a narrative line and to make the sculpture from that. They are distributed, there's a distributor in Europe and in America who distributed them theatrically and they've been bringing them back in certain cities year after year which is very exciting for me. They're not distributed on video because they're sold as limited edition sculpture and that's the way they're filmed. We generate the money to make them by using the economy of the art world, we have to sell them in the same way that you'd sell a limited edition sculpture.
German Audience member: I wanted to ask you in which way you see the relationship between work and Beuys work, ah- the work of Beuys.
Matthew Barney: I think it has to do with narrative, of course there are different periods for him. Later periods are more political and there are certain works which are much more specific to Germanic sensibility and I feel less connected to those things in terms of what I'm doing and yet I'm very connected to his use of mythology, specifically of personal myth, the combination of the autobiographical and the mythological and also what I would describe as a kind of a faith that a man can enter a piece of raw material and that object can be abstract ñ I think he's a very important example of how that's possible at the same time in America when minimalism was taking place, it's a very different idea. I feel very close to that.
Animal Rights Man walks up and sits down without microphone and begins speaking: Can you say a little bit about what is the meaning when you do this scene in the film with the monkey. Awfully sad.
Matthew Barney: Sure, I had read the the Golden Tamarind, which is endangered Brazil, they were worried about- other than losing that species, they were worried about losing its droppings because the droppings are important to an antibiotic and this, as I was saying before, this relationship to the deus the Medicine man, the one who makes the contract with the forest, taking just enough to heal, and the relationship that has to the (incomprehensible) who is ambivalent, he's the destroyer and the creator simultaneously. I wanted to make a piece that would attempt to create balance between those different forces in place Baiaia (sp?)where those beliefs are very strong.
Animal Rights Man: Yea, but I have a problem, I don't see there being a critique in this, I live also in South America- and the animal have a soul, and to use it in a way like that, all these people can see- I mean it's not real but it is still there- I don't feel a critique in that, I feel more a glorification
Matthew Barney: I don't know if I can say much more than I've said, I think what you're saying is that balance has failed, but the intention was to create a balance between the destructive force of Ogoun and this effort to conserve of Oxum and the way that that Candomblé uses nature as a lens to understand the rest of the world, that these destructive forces in nature and in culture both- this piece was made when a lot of creative people feeling the need to try to understand what's going on in the world and I think something like Condablay works for me that way as a way of trying to understand the balance. Animal Rights Man cointinues to persist on-and-on finally the artist says politely "Ok, I... think we're done..." but even after the talk is over the man approaches him and continues to talk for another 10 minutes:
Francoise PENG ran away in my grandfather#s garden, and althought I was sad to lose her and we searched adn searched the garden really is heaven-on-earth for a turtle. Just hope she knows what to do for the winter... dig, turtle, DIG! Then sleep. This was the last video I took of her, she'd fallen off the step between the living room and hall in the 1602. Upsidedown turtle in distress... *sigh*
EARLY MORNING SUPPLIMENT, a half baked essay of sorts, unfinished:
The defacement of a very good temporary public art downtown by suburban teenage boys was on my mind while the teapot boiled and the wind picked up in the courtyard through the large open window behind me. Teenage boys... and how they are the second-most vile creatures on this earth, trumped only by full-grown men. (Not for who they are but for what they are capable of... welll, hardly a difference there, I suppose.) This thought was like a bowl of spaghetti being stirred in my stupid morning mind... and only a stupid morning mind can squeeze out such silly analogies.
The defacement and ultimate closure of the temporary public art installation was only a fleeting thought, but one that kept dive-bombing repeatedly, like those sea-birds, or rather one brain-damaged sea-bird who keeps missing the fish. I imagined the teenage boys in their rock band t-shirts entering, surveying, and destroying just for the adrenaline rush. I suppose this as cheaper than extreme sports, what with the equipment and all... you didn't have to have $2,000 worth of gear to eff-up a sculpture.
These thoughts will come back to me over the years, I'd imagine, like all thoughts and memories tend to do... even the cleverly hidden ones, the ones only triggered by smells or images. Nearly all thoughts are doomed to return, however -it also seems that they have a lifespan, much like a VHS tape. A few, however, seem to become stronger and more brilliant with age. Perhaps someday in the near-ish future science will classify the chemical make-ups of memories and thoughts and we will understand why some fade, some grow or strengthen, and others change over time. Obviously something in the formula there, an equation perhaps that (for reasons of self-preservation or even some kind of complex bio-chemical coping mechanism) the thought or memory is assigned to a preservation equation by how it will affect the brain and therefore the being long-term...
TO give such a situation a scenario, think of a teacher assigning her students to tasks or groups, or a general assigning his troops to various regiments: (Loud, gruff voice)
"Sanders: you're going to be with the airborne mechanics; Templeton: you're with the deep-sea detonator-defusers; DuPree: aeornatic research and development in uncanny weather conditions and without power; Pyong: laser-booby-trap detection; Williamson: well-digging;" and so-on and so-forth...
There was also an enormous rusty blocky sculpture up in a park near my house which young men often scrawled their tags across in a thick while (was it?) chalk? The problem with this was theat the chalk stained the semi-rusted surface (I think it was a kind of controlled rust situation for appearances' sake. I wanted to put up a sign... I don't know what it would've said... but a sign that would try to reason with these kids, say "hey, defacing art with art is... well, it just isn't working out, fo writ on the dumpsters."
Something like that.
Legitimacy in art is another real woodpecker of the ol' brain. Legitimacy, hmm.
RETRACTION from yesterday's post, my father pointed out that the fireworks were most likely in celebration of the end of Ramadan, NOT just kids causing mischief. Duh.
Monday morning: today my goal is to find a library... not sure if I should bring a laptop... laptops are rarely seen here, whereas on any given day in Lladro (on 15th in Seattle) 1 in 3 people was cruching away on a keyboard oblivious to the world. I have yet to see a laptop in a cafe here, even the ones that boast free wi-fi ( a rarity). Hmm.
Post titled: ON Cellphones, Handys, Mobiles or whatever you may call them
I do now regent not having downloaded a ridiculoulouly stupid ring tone to my phone, like Jay-Z's Dirt off your shoulders (note, sitting in a Vietnamese resteraunt here last night waiting for our take-out I did happen to hear ì99 Problemsî playing in their speakers, heh)
But I'm happy not being addicted to the constant connection for the time being. Furthermore, the very existence of cell-phones in America seems to be an issue of (literally) importance for many young people and business folk.
The line of thought being: "I'm on a phone, talking while walking or while in a bookstore, therefore I am IMPORTANT" Perhaps this is a natural evolution of the individual within society: the need to feel important... and why does my phone battery last for 4 days when my razr only lasted one-and-a-half?
Further: Beside lack-of-cellphone-oppression I am pleasantly otherwise out of the loop which is interesting. I tuned into the BBC radio briefly yesterday and the talk of Iraq and Afghanistan seemed impossibly far away, even though I am geographically now much closer to those countries. What does seem close is local politics. The huge deal yesterday about weather to extend the U-Bahn (metro) life 5 further, or the protests on reformpolitik or whatever, and other issues I don't yet really understand.
At the video store I had no idea what was new, since things are arranged by category/them and not alphabetically and all new-releases are movies that have come out withing the last year, it was impossible to tell, but there were many oddities I might not have otherwise come across.
The flea market yesterday was fascinating. Huge and full of oddities. Nadine bought a beautiful magenta scarf that must've been 7 feet long with three large pom-poms on wither end. I found a much-needed double-male earphone jack wire which is useful for recoring directly from the computer to my digital audio device. Everything was very reasonably priced, and when we get an apartment of our own furnishing it with great stuff won't be a problem... I guess we just have to decide on a time period. (1930's-70's, somewhere in there.)
It was the first time I can recall having been in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, beautiful but strangely enough I had my first encounters with what might be considered ìhipstersî and that was a big turn-off. I find myself avoiding (if not growling) at english-speakers here. (With the exception of the the Brazilian couple we shared a table with for Coffee, cake, pommes, soup, wine after the flea market and, of course, the nice german-speaking englishman at the party the other night, -there were even some canadians across the room (whom I assumed at first were americans) who I specifically avoided... I don't know why really, just a phase perhaps. Clean break between the old life and this new one. Guess I'm (subconsciously?) wanting to be thoroughly be out of the loop.
We bought a bike lock for Nadine's other bike, which is brilliant because it means I can now bike around town with the thousands of other fahrradfahrer. Bikeriding, as I've said before and will say again, is so liberating. Quick transportation that puts you in direct contact and interaction with your environment... how beautiful is that? No ginormous hills here to deter you either, it's all pretty-much flat. This is an issue I wonder about, it it really the geography that deters bike riding in any given place? For example: how Holland has one of the (of not THE) largest cycling populations and their country is flat as a pancake... hmm.
Either way it allowed me to quickly return the Rotes Curry take-out which was NOT with Tofu but mistakenly with chicken, and return the movie (Shopgirl) before midnight. As I said, a ìdayî is a workday, so to keep a movie overnight one has to pay for 2 "days" grrrr. Shopgirl was much better than I'd expected, (had expected a romantic comedy) it was pretty harsh, and Jason Schwatzmann's character was a bit too annoying at times but overall it was good. We initially were going to rent to the Constant Gardener, but decided it was too brutal for a pleasant Sunday evening.
We went to to an interesting party with Nadine and Susanna's friend Timo, the Conductor. The house was on the entire top floor of an old building across the river from Universal corporate and BASF, and only two blocks away from one of the four remaining Wachsturme (is that the right word?) Watchtowers for the old wall with little slit windows for snipers to shoot from.
Now, where the wall was is an ARAL gas station ans a floating bar, (floating swimmingpool actually which Timo took us to see even though it was closed. It is a part of an industrial-looking arts and culture area on the river called "Arena"
I think my favorite word of the week is "spießig" is means something to the extent of: uptight-conservative-lame, somewhere in there. And the so-called speißig schräbergaertens. The little houses on little plots of land out in Westend/Neu-Westend by the stadium, acre after acre of little house on little garden plot, with little shouse that people actually life in around the perimeter... and I am completely fascinated even though they are total "speißig".
Also fascinated last night when I heard an englishman speaking fluent german, I'd never heard such a thing, his accent was unreal. Like a character in a movie, the pronunciation and tempo of the drawn out leisurelyly-spoken words were as if he was speaking proper british english, but instead a very different-sounding german was coming out of his mouth. He looked a lot like Jim Liner except 5 years older and with frissier curlier hair and a smaller body. I think he lived there in this huge old apartment which nobody seemed to know who lived there and who didn't. It lookd like the Royal Tennenbaums house-meets-Blader Runner or something, beautiful old plaster moulding and woodwork now chipped and crumbling with age but still cheerful and beautiful. Holes in the plaster where brick shown through or holes in the ceiling where tiny planks were peeking through. JOLT Oh wow, it was a quiet Sunday morning until about thirty seconds ago when one of he neighbors started blaring Queen's We Will Rock You which, of course, echoed all throughout the courtyard. The funny thing is that is the only song he played. Now it is quiet again... maybe it is his morning song... On and off the past several nights there have been huge fireworks going off from the roof across the courtyard, I have no idea what's with that- bored Turkish teenage boys, perhaps? But around midnight big 4th-of-July worthy fireworks start exploding and flashes of colored light come through the window... 10 minutes later it may start up again or may not... I have yet to get it on video. We're going floh-marketing today, Iäm very curious about that...
Post Titled: Domestic Carpetbombing now in-season.
Ive only been to the mecca of domestic bliss known as "IKEA" (eee-kay-ah) once before (in Saarbrücken with Nadine long ago) so on this,my second trip, yesterday morning I seemed to feel the need to document the entire experience... not that it isnät doncument-worthy, it was just overwhelming, especially if one isnät used to such mega-shopolises. colorful, though I liked that. We tried out a dozen beds, like in a movie or something...
Ok, but the paintings- jesus. 59€ for some mass-produced sh°tty litho, which IKEA so delicately pins the pricetag THROUGH on the display. Wow. hmm... dothey even merit a complaint letter for that one? Nope, waste of time.
Fighting traffic all the way while sucessfully navigating with a detailed tourist map we found on the ground (the car was borrowed, we usually arenät driving here) we made it to the Olimpienstation which is super fascist, pribablz beause it was built by Nazis, but it is imposing nevertheless, Iäll get closer fotos someday... but for now:
The river just before I got caught and fined on the U-Bahn:
APPARENTLY here a day is not 24 hours, but actually 9-5. Same with the video store, rentals are 2 days if you rent the movie and bring it back the next day... which is complete bullsh°t. In other words, a "workday" is a day, so when I buy a 7-Day ticket for the metro it is NOT 24 hours X 7, but rather just 7 wordays... I donät know whether Iäm goingto pay the fine, I was stupid to give them my actual address here, but you never know witht hese faschists. heh# Either way it was embarassing, and I didnät bother arguing, but the FIEN is almost the smae price as a month's ticket, so it is pretty awful, really. I was mad at myself AND the man for hours. La dee da.
There is a huge protest down at the Brandenburger Tor tonight, I'm debating about whether to attend just for entertainment value, I donät even know what is being protested, workers rights or something? Taxes?
Post titled: "A day of patiently learning" OR "The customer is usually wrong"
My mission today was simple:
1.Find a bank that doesn't charge outrageous fees for me to do business with
2.fix the faucet in the kitchen.
I failed pretty miserably at both. And how is it that I always bump into American hip-hop groups in the most random places (like in the money exchange office being virtually lead around by the hand by a huge Turkish bouncer-looking guy), really odd but it seems to happen without fail. Oh, but I did get fotos of that Ingeborg Bachman shrine I'd attempted to describe the other day:
Regarding the faucet... (oh, the faucet!..)
Since it's installation two months ago the hot water hasn't worked.
On my third trip to BAUHAUS (German equivalent of Home Depot only much smaller and with an even more useless staff) I brought fotos to show the guy:
Me: "Here is for on and off, and here is for hot an cold and here is under and hot, cold, cold and another for the washing machine."
Bauhaus: "AH, yes, it looks like there s"ould be a boiler connected to the third line, where is the third line connected."
"To the underside of the faucet, but to what- I donät know..."
"Then it's wrong, installed incorrectly. Where's the boiler?"
"I don't think we have a boiler because there's already a hot water faucet below"
"Well it looks like it is set up for a boiler."
"Yes, a little boiler for the hot water"
"But this faucet here coming out of the wall is already the hot water..."
"Then I don't know why it is set up for a boiler."
(Other Bauhaus worker wanders over and looks over my shoulder as I show them the digital fotos on my camera once again of the faucet, sink, and below, the entire coversation is repeated, this time with the third guy included, who says basically the same thing as the first.)
Me: "Do you have any suggestions?"
Bauhaus 1: "It is wrong, incorrectly done."
Bauhaus: 2: "Yes, this must be, it is wrong."
Me: "So, should I just buy a new faucet?"
Bauhaus 1: "You probably should, yes, because this one is totally wrong."
Me: "Oh,.. ok, thanks... (to myself)...sh*t."
I hadn't brought enough cash for a new faucet (those suckers aren't exactly cheap) which would mean a fourth trip to Bauhaus, even if it is only a few blocks... totally absurd.
So, yea, that was a learning experience.
Nadine came home and taught me how to make sushi. We went to several little stores to collect what we needed (it is very hard to find ripe avocados around here, they're all virtually lime-green) and went home to chop, build, roll, slice our way towards dinner. Such a fun process, and pretty simple, I'm surprised more people don't do it more often...
We randomly found a copy of the "Die Tiefseetaucher mit Steve Zissou" (The Life Aquatic) in a dvd case, watched it while continuing to work on our little project, which we made some progress on.
Nadine spilled a bottle of water on her laptop, which we were able to save by quickly turning it upside down and then padding-down/hairdrying, but it made me wonder: Companies test the lifespan of a single key, how many times it can be pushed, etc. but the can't bother to make a waterproof laptop surface, I mean human beings are GOING to spill things on their computers, this should be a priority, shouldn't it? Or is it an option you can add at extra-cost? I have no idea. Either way she and I are having a competition to see who is clumsier, my theory is that she is and her theory is that I am... we shall see, heh heh heh.
(above: first two fotos are from the neighborhood, 1: our backyard, sort-of, and 2:Südstern church down the street, then 3: what the heck? They were selling LED-embedded tiles at Bauhaus, did I miss something?)
Post titled: "Holy Cow, Batman, we've confused business with culture!"
I was sitting in a performance-reading/ self-DJ'd-lecture tonight from an author called Thomas Ernst who has recently written a book called "Pop Literature" (which follows the development of contemporary German Literary world) when the audience began complaining about the export of American crap-culture during the Q&A it dawned on me that "Whoa- wait, we're confusing 'culture' with the bi-products of business, OR to clarify, the stereotypically most-disliked things about America (McDonald's, etc.) are really just the result of hyper-successful business practices (or happenstance/dumb-luck? for better or worse) not 'culture' in the true sense of the word... things like McDonalds are nasty annoyances which we have to deal with as well."
If there was a widespread annoying business which originated in one country and ended up in virtually every other then the reaction to such a best would surely be the same... but... actually, this is a dull topic.
(Fruitstand at Kottbusser Tor and the author fielding questions) Stadtbad Neukölln
Nadine and I went to the local neighborhood Schwimmbad this morning which was like something out of another world. Besides the barcoded tickets (which were completely unnecessary since the people who work there just sit and read anyhow) the place hadn't seemed to have changed since 1930. Columns, arches, murals and mosaics of people abounded, everything a bit browned or oxidized with age, but classic... swimming seems to have done wonders for my foot also, (which I am still sure is permanently damaged since the accident in January since it effing hurts all the time).
Nadine went to pick Charley up from school and I proceeded once again to wander the city, this time through the area surounding Kottbusser Tor U-Bahn station, which is a slightly rougher-around-the-edges neighborhood than ours, and even more heavily Turkish. Graffiti is literally ALL OVER Berlin, but this area in particular was more colorful than most. I even noticed one of Shepard Fairey's large OBEY giants on the side of a building, one which I assumed was several years old because of the image. Walking through the labyrinth of streets looking at the walls and wondering if/how the graffitti issue would ever resolve itself here, it doesnät seem likely in the near future. One scrawl on a wall read "Sauberere Mauern= Höhere Mieten" (cleaner walls = higher rents) which seemed way too... true(?)... My policy towards graffitti is basically the blanket policy: support small establishments and don't destroy/deface property or steal from your 'class'mates / peers (which would include houses, small businesses and ordinary citizens like yourself.) Ethics nowadays is a multi-multi-multi-faceted beast...
Post titled: "If you don't have anything nice to say..."
While Nadine was at work yesterday I wasn't quite sure to do with myself, which was only a problem for a half-hour or so, because I just hopped on the U-Bahn (Metro) and got off at any stop that sounded good, then walked a few blocks and went back under to the trains, popping up again elsewhere. Before long I had effectively groundhogged a good northern portion of the city in this way. Stumbling back up on Hackescher Markt I decided to wander further through its streets and ended up happening upon a neighborhood full of small art galleries, many of which were worth visiting AND open on Sunday (which basically nothing is, actually.)
SIDETRACK/DISCLAIMER: (Just to get this out of the way) SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH if you'd rather not read me whining about an art exhibit, SKIP THIS POST actually, except the last paragraph I'm mostly just slinging complaints/praises regarding local art exhibits, but there are some good links).
Iäm having way too many observations daily now to actually write them all, so I just try to expand on a few... and touch on the rest.
Get get the worst out of the way: The last temporary-museum show I visited today was ìHannah Arendtî in a place (or was called?) ìDenk Raumî (ìThink(ing) Roomî) and unfortunately, it was unbelievably annoying. I only went to it because I was riding high on the KW wave (stop while you're ahead, duh.) and I saw the name: Hannah Arendt and thought ìHmm, that sounds important, I've seen that name saying important things- (blah blah, stupid presumptuous brain!)î The only saving grace was that I payed student price of 2 euro. (Damn, this international student ID is like gold- you can buy them at STA travel whether or not you're actually a student, which may or may not be legal/ethical, but whatever.)
Upon entry to the dilapidated (literally-every room had paint peeling of the ceilings big times and cracked 1950's-60's patterns of linoleum peeling and chipping off the floor... from the getgo this reeked of silliness that we are supposed to take seriously (a favorite trick of German Academia, I think). Upon entry a chbby band painfully polite blonde boy in his early 20's wearing a too-tight blue suit searched my , taking his job very seriously, as I went through a full-sized airport-style metal detector... (in retrospect, this seems ironically fascist and completely unnecessary). But, the thing was that this so-called art exhibit was really just a building (whole building that might've formerly been some East German Government building or School, hard to tell) this peeling rotting building (an aesthetic I am actually quite fond of under other circumstances) was FILLED WITH WORDS AND QUOTES. Hannah Arendt speaking was the basis of the exhibit, so whether it be: -two rooms of discmen crudely screwed to painted plywood tables held down by cut sections of bicycle innertube each playing long selections from her lectures
-televisions set up in what looked like tiny soviet alcoholics' living rooms on each floor looping old monotone television interviews with her in black and white
-OR 20 televisions looping 20 professors reading and ENTIRE tome of hers outloud all at the same time
-a reading room on the top floor at the end of the exhibit which offered 100 of her books for you to sit there and absorb at your own leisure
-an entire room full of full page text quotes from her books (citing page numbers, too, mind you) all printed in gray ink on laminator plastic-paper.
it was way way way too much verbal and audio assault, and that's not even mentioning the rooms of poorly thought-out art. I seriously doubt anyone who had anything to do would ever read what I've just written, but if they do, then: ìI know what you were trying to do but it shouldn't have been an art exhibit, it needed an 8-part t.v. Mini-series. Ok?î Oh, and there was a installation room that encouraged visitors to smoke, there were three enormous space-aged chrome-dome ashtrays and the only light was coming from three different colored boxes... a couple chose this room to have their own private make-out session, which was the most interesting thing I saw in the whole exhibit. Enough of that.
The FIRST place I hit up was a sweet little place called Circle Culture Gallery. Current exhibit was of many small imp-like circle creatures on wood panels which, when I realized they'd been silkscreen I laughed (clever boy!) because there were hundreds of them, and the random splatters and forms in the cloud-like background paint fooled the eye into thinking that each figure was actually drawn, but silkscreening made for a uniformity which was offset by the random placement and overall chaos of these many characters. Heck, there were even 4 snowboards for sale with his designs, not bad really, several of the pieces had sold, good deal. I was tricked for a split-second into thinking that Sophie Ellis-Bextor (when she had brown hair) was sitting behind the desk. Must´ve been the jetlag plAYING TRICKS ON ME AGAIN. (NOTE: LATER DISCOVERED ON THEIR WEBSITE THAT THE EXHIBIT WAS IN correlation with the Pictoplasma show which Iäm totally kicking myself for not attending because it ended two days ago, scheisse!)
Next: KW (Kunst Werke) which is a HUGE building full of well-done installations that I'd almost completely forgotten about just because it is so far out of the way... but it is pretty great actually.
In the lobby on their magazine shelves they had a copy of Umelec, a Czech art magazine I really like (because of its sheer weird-ness) but hadn't seen in years.
The building consists of one main level- a room of convention-sized proportion and 30-foot ceilings, full of motion-sensor timed projection and video installations by Natascha Sadr Haghighian which were text-based, but potent. Favorite quote was:
"In such a war, a war against idolatry, ridicule will be our best tool... Acting like sh*ts will only make us become sh*t"
Also on this floor was a 15-minute film called Hospital Bone Dance by Judith Hopf and Deborah Schamoni which I think might've been about the German (socialized) healthcare system. If you've seen the Daft Punk ìAround the Worldî video- some scenes were vaguely similar, where seriously injured people get up and dancing to crazy aphex-twin-ish music and I found myself laughing out-loud alone in this huge room at the ridiculousness on screen. (I think it was supposed to be funny-?)
Lots more video and sort-of interactive work on the 3 upper floors, including an entire room of 12 projections of college-age American boys on the beach all singing ìWe had fun,we had ___ we had seasons in the sun, but the time that we had- etcî all life-sized. Third floor was build small, the ceiling and floor were rebuild to be only 6 feet tall, and after going through several rooms and hallways one encountered this bizarre film about out-of-control bread dough going through various mechanisms and coached along by a seriously obese hawiian woman and her co-workers. The dough traveled through the ceiling, dropped to a palate, grew, outweighed the palate, kept growing, then when through a hole in the floor and was passed along to a black rubber conveyor belt and finally vacuum-packed and shipped out in doughballs. The sequence somehow ended in acid dripping off the hawiian woman's toe, but then in real life it came through the ceiling of the first room of the exhibit and kept burning a hole in the linoleum floor in another tiny room. I haven't actually invested so much time in watching the entirety of each film since the Bill Viola show at the Getty in LA back when, which it a good sign... however I still find myself questioning whether or not people know what the hell they're really going for using this medium... but that goes with every meduim, I suppose.
In the Alexanderplatz U-Bahn station there was a huge weird homemade shrine to Ingeborg Bachman who died in 1973... I have no explanation for this, but will include a foto when I remember... who? Why? Some poet, but why in the u-bahn? Was she killed there? But who kills an old woman in the Metro station?
Also wandered the Orangienburgerstraße and Gippstraße, and one other- encountering many a charming cafe (the kind that would be cliche in a movie but are just cozy in reality) and a full-on old-school ballroom with crumbling building front and uncollected luch plates and beer glasses on the little round lawn tables, wish I knew how to dance for real...
Today Nadine and I started an exciting little project, but spend the most of the afternoon hunting down an art supply store that was actually geared toward landscape and architectural model-making, which was actually amazing, hadn't seen anything quite like it before. We bought small sheets of thin-ish corrugated zinc and plastic, foam-rubber balls, clear plastic balls, a lightweight white modeling clay, strips of thick colorful felt and a several rolls of bizarre colored plastic-paper, and went home to build and sculpt for the rest of the evening into the night. Good stuff. Now it is 4 in the morning, I'm back in the kitchen sleepless from either jetlag OR the sleepless matress, I'm not exactly sure.
Either way I got a great short story half-written, based on my old landlord from the 1602, hopefully if ends as well as it began. I haven't written a short story in years...
I am sitting here late late (up with jetlag, (in the kitchen bearing-chattering-grin from the chill inside/outside) while Nadinechen sleeps soundly in the bedroom) and writing this post in Open Office because these is a Security-Enabled wireless connection SOMEWHERE nearby that I obviously can't get to... but would consider putting posters up AROUND THE BUILDING to get on that guys connection,shoot- the telephone line is a bit limiting... but I really don't NEED such decadence, I just got spoiled at ye olde 1602, augh. Twas good, though, that ol' Wi-Fi, ooh, how sweet it was... now: no moble phone, no internet at my fingertips, lordy! anyhow, yes I was shocked to see my wireless window pop up here in the kitchen but not in the rest of the apt) mainly because I just assumed that no one in this neighborhood had such a service. If it weren't for the mobile phones, tell-tale fashion and cars then one might think this place existed was anywhere between 1975 and 1990. (*ears prick up from noises in the stairwell*) Ah yes, the nightly middle-of the night loud shuffle run of the person upstairs all the way DOWN the staris and loudly out he front door, that seems to happen like clockwork...
But, by the way, I love it here, Iäm in my own kind of heaven- today we went first to the installation by the Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang at the Deutsche Guggenheim Exhibit was composed of (a mini-tsunami) of 99 life-sized wolves (constructed from sheepskin) welling-up and flying from one room to the next and then crashing into a glass wall. (I'll include fotos here soon). Drawings made from exploding gunpowder... pretty Amazing stuff... and can't wait for the Barney/Beuys Austellung to come soon soon.
We wandered my old haunt Hackishcer Markt (ìDie Hackescher Höfe) and I was shock at my disorientation, the entire neighborhood had bee infiltrated by Hugo Boss, Acne Jeans, and two-dozen other high-end boutiques but still had a solid grip on its own charm somehow. The last time was there (December 2001) it was still mainly (pretty-much) dilapidated but fascinating, now it is a shopping wunderworld of well-lit minimalism and expensive kitsch-wear, all half-restored-half dilapidated and lively as hell.
<NEUROTITAN, Iäll have to reccomend it to Marianne for the next Cult of Youth issue...
We went to a warm cozy little spot called Zum Rosa (Weinbergsweg 26) for some "NY style cheesecake" which was brilliant (and I#m not one to eat such dessert things), I babbled while nadine flipped through the most recent ìGALAî (equivalent to People? Or Us?) and then too the U-Bahn back just in time to catch The Science of Sleep, which I enjoyed immensely the second-time around (despite not having the experience of Michel Gondry standing two feet away from me for an uncomfortably long duration at the bar afterwards, which happened at SIFF last Summer.) But yes, damn charming movie. Both Nadine and I got a bit sad later because we felt like we wanted to/could've DONE something like that if only our lives had worked out as such (she Charlotte Gainsbourg, and I the gorgeous creatures/animations) but I tried to emphasize to us that "we've still got many years left in our youth, -just have to keep working!" which is true. These creative fields are funny like that, I feel like you really have to do your time if anything is to happen... EVER. Nadine did bring up a good point, though: pretty much ANYONE could've done what Charlotte Gainsbourg did in that movie, and better at that. Alas. Nadine also made an observation I hadn't really noticed: "It's a sad movie, he's crazy." Yes, the main character is crazy, I guess I didn't think of it that way... and the outcome is actually less clear that I remembered...
I'm still pinching myself here to be living with the most charming and lovely creature I've ever met, to quote David Byrne: 'How did I get here? This is not my beautiful House! This is not my beautiful wife!' Ok, so it is Susanne's apartment and Nadine and I aren't married just yet, but it IS all quite amazing...
Hmm, I'm still not used to seeing couples on the subway, cute young couples each with an open beer in hand prepping for a Saturday night (yes, drinking in public goes practically unnoticed... I'd forgotten.)
We came home and retrieved two bottles of some Zwyiec (Polish favorite) and watched her DVD from the Jusian Smith video that she was in which had arrived in the Post earlier, clever video, really.
The German immersion thing is going surprisingly well, not only has my language come back but I am learning quickly, and absorbing things constantly. It'll be awhile before I'm really good, but I'm happy with my progress. The only english I'm even 'speaking' seems to be in this blog, hmm... (hence the long-windedness?)
Ok, must try to sleep again now, ugh. Brain hurrrrrts.
DISCLÄIMER: THIS POST WILL MOST LIKELY ONLY BE OF INTEREST TO PEOPLE I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH
I took a hiatus (sp? I've never actually written that word) from ye olde blog last week, so to re-trace my steps:
I spent my last night in the D.C. Area visiting with old friends Nicole, Chris and Demetri. This was a pleasant surprise because in the past everyone had been way too busy to meet, so I guess I just expected that it wouldn't happen...
Nicole picked me up at the metro in downtown Alexandria (I think) then we went to Old Town Alexandria to a pretty good little spot (reminescent of all the Irish pubs we spent time in growing up- minus the flatscreen baseball, of course) called Murphy's.
STrANGELY ENOUGH IT WAS trivia night in the pub (ironic given our somewhat competitive pasts when it came to certain academics-) ,and we thought we were doing really well- hell, I even remembered Kyle McGlaughlin's name, but no NO we ended up not making the top 4 (or 10!) shoot, blow to the ego there... I was ecstatic to see everyone, just to be surrounded by people whom I knew and who knew me- I mean fundamentally knew where I came from and basically who I was. The last several months in Seattle (or years?!? With the exception of Elise's Wedding, Manuel and Vernon's visits and then Jamie and Nicole's Wedding) I was always around people who I'd only recently met, which made for a lot of explaining- which I usually never bother to do anymore just beacuSe it it too annoying.
(case-in-point: "Dude, I thought you were German-?" Issara thought I WAS German the entire time I lived there until I mentioned the paperwork I was doing to move here. "No, I'm American, I just was there for Jr. High and High School, then on and off throughout college, basically. My parents worked for the government"... tryexplaining that 1,000 times, I gave up awhile ago).
My point is that it is good to be around old friends sometimes, especially DoDDS kids to recharge and get a perspective on your own life. Also strange how everyone has stayed pretty much themselves: Chris is still high-end gadget obsessed, messy but messy with nice stuff (hard drives adn neckties) strewn all over the place, boy-ish, intelligent and interesting and constantly doing things that literally make you say "what the fuck, Chris-?" (Like how we sat around watching LAST YEAR'S ROSE BOWL recorded digitally from on-demand while we talked later at his place- who does that?!? I mean, we all basically acknowledged that it was absurd, but that's Chris and we love him for it.
Demetri is doing well, I was a bit worried that I'd find a shell of a man after a BIG break up but he seems just fine, despite a newfound cynicism- which gives him a pleasant edge. I've always appreicated how his mood switched constantly between near adolescent playful aggresssion and sleepy-grumpy boy, but then he'll turn around and pontificate about the craziest sh*t, like that new webdesign format for companies- what was it?.., shoot, I don't even know.
Nicole seems very well also. I email with her more often than the other two so it was less of a "howthehellhaveyoubeen???" experience with her, but it is great to see her happy with Olin, and she's hardly changed a bit- still the charming, chain-smoking, good-looking girl she always was. I hope things work out with the two of them, he seems like a really good guy... and by the end of the night we'd had a half-dozen pints and I think he commissioned me to do a painting, but I'll have to double-check. Nicole is actually one of my first patrons, she's got a set of Sharks in her bathroom (from the cartoon Hammerhead sseries) and some others from long, long ago- she tells me the titles and I draw a complete blank. Odd how one can completely forget ever having made something... how is that possible? But find it to be much like how the details of a book fade over time and then you can flip through later saying ìOh, yeaaaa- duh, I remember that.î The same works for me and sketchbooks. Strangely enough I threw away most of my sketchbooks before the move, I just didn't value them anymore...
Olin and Nicole headed out, and Demetri and I proceeded over to Chris' in Vienna for, yes: last year's Rose Bowl! (which was weird because apparently Matthew McCaunahey is Texas' Mascot-, yea. I didn't know that., and Will Ferrel was doing the spots for USC... what a strange match... in reality...
My camera was out of batteries that night and I can no longer send any fotos from my phone so IT'D BE GREAT IF ONE OF YOU COULD EMAIL ME SOME IMAGES, yo. Good to see you, kids.
In an attempt to stave-off jetlag I walked around the new neighborhood and was completey enamoured. (I also discovered that I now live in "Neukölln", not "Neu Köln" as I thought- which wouldäve translated to "New Cologne" which was particularly to remember)
I am a minority in this area as far as I can tell, the neighborhood is bustling with Turks, Arabs, indians and white folk all pretty well integrated. Most of the kiosks have small froups of middle aged Turks chatting loudly and gesticualting, and there are doyens of cafes and bars full of old men talking and smoking over tea or beer. I know it is a commonly accepted theory that the native German people are breeding themselves into extinction (or un-breeding, that is, NOT having children at a high enough rate to equal the death rate) but I donät really think that can be as dooming as it has been made out to seem... (more on that later after I do a bit of research)
Pretty much everywhere you look there is someoine riding by on a bike, people of all ages going about there business calmly crusing by on large-wheeled street bikes, which is ideal. All the streets have a bkie lane between the sidewalk and actual car-street. In Seattle (or much less, NYC for example) biking was like war, the cars ruled the streets and getting anywhere was borderline life-threatening but here I haven't seen anyone wearing a helmet, but there doesnät seem like a need for them. It just doesn't feel as dangerous... This morning Nadinechen and I took Charley (the 7_year_old English≠German girl whom she looks agter 2 days a week) to the centrally located and very old≠famous Zoologischer Garten (the Berlin Zoo) which was basically mindblowing as far as Zoogoing experiences go. From the getgo the proximity issue comes to mind again: the animals are CLOSE, I've never been 10 feet from a rhino or a dwarf-hippo before today, but the small plots where the animals live/graze are only separated from the visitors by a 4_foot deep dry moat. You can view the creatures up-close and personal... However I'll have to admit that many of the living environments for these animals were sub-aub par compared to what seems humane... the monkeys and chimps in particular are stuffed in spaces that look like huge gym showers with toothpaste-colored tiles completely lining on all the three 15-foot walls, a few thick ropes for them to swing on and a beck or two,(the orangutan was obsessed with trying ti unscrew the bench and kept sucking on locks and metalwork) maybe an array of industrial-looking seatbelts hangning from the ceilings and some fluffy straw on the floor but these animals look more like they are being kept in a high-security asylum (think Arkham) as opposed to a friendly zoo. Come to think of it, there isn't a trace of nature in the entire monkey house, which may account for the impression I got, namely: that these monkies would be suicidal if they only had a smidgeon bit more self-awareness...
Most isteresting was the petting zoo section. It is full of goats, sheep, ducks, donkies, geese, human-children and is completely unsupervised. not a single zoo-worker in sight for the entire half-hour while kids were hugging creatures with horns. I couldnät possibly fathom this ever existing in the united states: imagine the chaos, kids and animals alone in a ring... (Ultimate Fighting Kindergarten Version?) it's just uintinkable, but here it worked. Kids discovered boundaries with the animals and were learing to respect their autonomyö but there was the occasional goat fight, horns clashing and ramming and wrestling adn all, I just watched wide-eyed waiting for a baby to be gored, but it never happened... and once again somehow I don't think it would. No helmets, no supervision, what's going on here?!?! Oh wait, people are actually humane and fairly reasonable here- whew, I almost forgot. not to sound too much like a Euro-supremacist (because there IS a lot to complain about as well) but I love the way many things just work here, they function without fire-codes and lawsuits and kids fall down and scrape their knees but thatäs the way itäs always been, well- except in the USA since the last few decades of the 20th century. Normally I wouldnät bother writing these thoughts, but it hit me pretty hard today... couldn't help but notice... ah, and now a funny subtle little topic: brutality. In the wild cat house the animals were fed whole (were they live?) rats and mice, which they proceeded to GORE and drag all over their pens right in front of dozens of small children. I watched an adorable "Sandkatze" (looks like a cartoon-version of a house kitten, small strawberry blonde with a disproportionately large head) slurp rat intestines as if they were spaghetti, then cough up a sandy hairball. The tiny jaguars did the same, ripping apart the mice and dragging the innards all over, chewing and regurgitating several times over. I've never seen this at a US zoo, do they do this stuff in the back feeding room or what? Or do we just take death to the back room overall? (Thinking slightly jokingly "Before 6-Feet Under it was almost like death was imaginary..." yea, thanks roomers!) ah, ok, thatäs enough for now. Iäm in the slightly chilly but lovely old old aparment room with a great view of the neighbors apartmets , the sun is down, and Nadine just walked in the door with chilled skin from the walk-U-Bahn farht home. We might head to a little arabiian spot down the street, get some falafel or something with the old men... or make the couscous I bought adn just hang out here and listen to music and goof off all eveing,... either way: bis bald.
Survived the trip to germanyland, now wandering the oh-so-familar haunt of Berlin, everything is in motion and old-new-minimal-maximal. (and this keyboard is all different, too, even. so there WILL be more spelling errors than usual, I assume). D.C.
Got my special treatemnt by the good ol' boys of the TSA in Washington Dulles, super-search! Hoorah, hoorah! Yes, United Airlines selected me for the "extra-special" search, my own special line and a private appt. with a male TSA striptease expert, yao! Texas Business man behind me after waiting for 25 minutes in line: "Is there some kind of hold-up, what's goin' on?" 15-year-old-looking-bored as-hell-TSA worker kid: "They're screening and searching people, they'll get to you."
and since Francoise's amazing escape I didnät even need to worry about bringing her after all... she's a free turtle in my grandfather's garden, which is heaven-on-earth for turtles, believe you me...
BERLIN and now what? Nadinechen and I are just happy and silly now, and there is nothing planned except to do do do a lot lot lot but nothing in-particular.
The wohnung in "Neu Köln" next to Kreuzberg ist super schön, tall ceilings, minimal things, and a courtard with all our neighbors where basically everybody can see what everybody else is doing and nobody seems to care one bit- which brings us to the matter of proximity. In the airport in Frankfurt I was reminded of how close it is to be to everyone around you- much closer than usual, perhpas this stems from having 93-plus million people living in an area the size of montana... people come right up to you and just stand there, people bump into you and donät even realize it, alles ist kompakt and personal space is reduced to a 6-inch force field or less... Also something I forgot: a "non-smoking airport" only means that people just canät smoke wherever they want... but still smoke in about 50% of the building, heh.
So, helloooo jetlang und hallloooo liebling, ALLES Fängt An...
too much to try to write, but in a nutshell: Washington DC is fine fine fine, I am having a good time reconnecting with my grandparents who are REAL (honest hardworking fun) people- imagine that?!? It is just nice working all day in the huge garden (I've been getting muddy in since I could first walk) and then having dinner with them out on the porch to the sounds of crickets and frogs- sounds I canven't heard in years, LOUD crickets and night evening choruses - yea- it is winding down quickly... I fly out in about 36 hours. Nadine suggested going to Denmark for awhile as soon as I get there, sounds like a delightful project... kann uberhaupt nicht mehr warten...
My recent postings have been pretty dull and nostagic, so to compensate audiovisually... here are a few more dancing videos: DISCLAIMER: IF YOU ARE A FIRST-TIME READER MY SO-CALLED DANICNG IS A JOKE, I#M A DORKY WHITE-BOY, AFTERALL.
more dancing. like,... too fast for slow r&b... clearly, uh, channeling Justin Timberlake or something... clearly.
finale: got into a fight with the shower curtain...
POST TITLED: Happy Bastard attends Sad Bastard Mondays
Since Michael Vermillion's Sad Bastard Mondays was moved to Havana (much much closer to my neck of the woods) I decided it would be a good place to have a sendoff, -which it was. Over the course of a few hours- Franc, Emma, Elisabeth and PK, Tash, Nanc', Candice, Rob, Clayton and Stacey, Greg and Dominique all showed up.
The genuis of SAD BASTARD is that Michael plays tons of good sh*t. The staples being Screamin' Jay Hawkins "I put a spell on you" ... and a bunch of others I can't quite recall...
Tonight is my last night in Seattle which is kind of hard to imagine... I've been here on-and-off since Sept. 1998 and have done a lot of growing up, but I feel like now is a good time to leave...
I'll miss all the people and cultureal advantages of being in such a little-big city, and hopefully everything will work out in Berlin... or I'll run off to Turkey...
sharp like play-doh...
This blog began in Seattle in 2005 and relocated to Berlin in 2006 where we still are to this very day.
QUOTES OF THE FORTNIGHT:"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain