the ultimate small, elongated pipe guaranteed to warp and twist your vision of the world into mine.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tediously in love

For those who haven't already guessed...I have now officially become the most boring person on the face of this planet. My usual excruciatingly bubbly personality (whoot whoot!) has since a few weeks limited itself to conversational topics primarily consisting of combinations of certain three-letter words I cannot seem to get tired of. This preoccupation has reached such levels that people are finally beginning to discover my true nature: that I am in fact extremely, utterly and completely tedious. Except to one person that is...

As I write this I am torn between a nagging feeling that not only is this nobody's business but moreover no-one probably gives a shit, and a beaming happiness that bursts from every pore of my sun-deprived skin. Should I divulge the reason of my sickeningly euphoric demeanor of late or should I pretend that nothing at all is the matter, and carry on talking of spring, the sea and the fact that my three-week countdown has commenced last Sunday? I choose the former. I cannot imagine anyone not knowing already anyway, and despite the fact that that last remark sort of indicates the futility of revealing myself here (because, true that homies, it kinda defeats the purpose when everyone who knows me personally is already in the know so to speak -dammit this feeling is even making me unaesthetically use the word "know" twice in the same sentence as well...see? booooring-), I am not really in the position to stop myself from yelling it to the whole goddamn world.

I
am
in
friggin'
love

So, there, I said it. The word is out now. I was kind of hesitant to spread the rumour, but it has reached a stage that has way passed denial. Denial is a dot to me. Besides, the amount of coincidence in this particular case is astounding to such a degree that it is hard to believe it all happened in the first place.

I have to admit to a dirty little secret before I go on. I bow my head in shame in advance before you read on, as we speak. I have done something totally unlike me. I have joined a dating site of sorts, where for the most part very bored people chat with each other, both in a friendly manner and to gain some sort of romantic liaison from the situation. I primarily categorised myself as a type 1 visitor - I had amicable connotations with all sorts, as I was bored out of my brain with the added fear of my Dutch lapsing to kindergarten level before I got back (which would certainly jeopardise my chances with the opposite sex at my return).

That is until I met this guy. This guy who has managed to knock me down completely, leaving a permanent bump on my already spinning head. Granted, he doesn't give it much of a chance to heal, as he keeps bowling me over every time I speak to him. I think someone should give him a prize. He's done something no-one has been able to do. He has managed to defrost me completely, yielding deliciously sweet lemonade whereas before I only had icy popsicles to offer that froze themselves immediately to one's lips and tongue, literally leaving a bloody mess when attempted to be removed. I don't know how he did it, and frankly I don't need to. I am just extremely happy he did.

The eerie coincidence I was talking about kicks in just about here. There I was, in icy cold Stockholm, desperately trying to keep shafts of ice falling down from the rooftops from cracking open my delicate cranium on the way to the 7/11, when I found out that this guy actually existed, by means of a website no less, and that he was living in my own home country which I am conveniently going back to in a few weeks.
But not only that. That is by no means all. Oh Lord no. It gets better and better. Not only does he live in the same city as I do in Holland, he lives in the same district. Yes my friends, finally I have met a guy that mentally fits me like a glove and who lives literally just around the corner, whilst being in a totally different country, and not only that, but specifically because I am in a different country. For if it hadn't been for the slight boredom on those cold nights in Stockholm, I wouldn't have joined the dating site. I wouldn't have found him. And all that gets extra bearing when I tell you that he, if I hadn't been in Sweden right now, lives 900 meters from my house in Holland. So ironically, if I hadn't gone here and remained in my own country, I would never have suspected that little over half a mile away I would and could find someone so dear to me now.

Life is funny like that sometimes I guess.

Should you wish to know how I feel, I will drop you an aural clue - listen to Lamb's "sun" and feel my heart jump with pure and cynicism-proof glee. Jest me not if you're sceptical. Happiness is all I care about right now. And happiness seems to have taken a shine to me, too. Good happiness. I like happiness.

Oh and dude, if you read this: raggen? haha

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Insanity...of the fantastically good kind

If you thought my last post was euphoric, you should see me now...
I am abso-fucking-lutely extatic

Things are going extremely well, the sun is shining, the grass is growing and the birds are out for sure now... I saw a really beautiful one yesterday. Goddamn it really is spring, isn't it...

I cannot wait to see what the weather is like back home!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Because there is so much...Beauty

- it's hard to stay pissed for too long.
Luckily for you.
I really did unnerve you there, didn't I? Hehe. Well, you can relax now. Because for some reason, I am ludicrously happy. Filled to the maximum with glee and buzzing enthousiasm! Whoohoo! Look out world, I no longer have control over my facial muscles!
I don't really know why.
No, I lie. I do.
I came back from Stockholm on Monday evening, and when I opened my eyes on Tuesday, I couldn't believe what joyous sight met my weary orbs. Strange things happened in this little place in my absence.
It's spring!
And as a solar powered being, I pick up on these things like a moth to a flame. Quite literally. And although I still need to shift large amounts of mental labour over Easter ("Beware! It's quite a shitload"), I seem to have stopped caring. No stress. Life is good. Too good to worry.
The sun is shining, the sky is blue...I can finally see where I am. The snow is melting slowly, hopefully the grass will soon turn to green (as it's currently a weird brown mass that has been sadly trampled into submission). I can nearly smell the sea, although it will still be a while before the trees will start developing leaves and the famous rose bushes will start budding and blooming. But, I did hear a bird! Warranted, it was only one bird, but still. Why, even if the avian population on this island were to consist of merely one specimen, that wouldn't faze me in my current state. I jump with joy nonetheless.
I mean, it's even warming up! It must be, like what, 6 degrees centigrade outside? Hold on, I might get uncomfortably hot if this thing keeps up...I already have visions of dripping out of the plane in Amsterdam, unable to keep my solid form that must now be compiled of at least 1 part ice to 5 parts of flesh and bone.
Guess something must be thawing my cold demeanor...
Feels like a little child has awakened inside of my chest that has no patience whatsoever and leaves no attempt unused to jump out regardless of the fact that there is a body surrounding it.

And what do you do when you are feeling sickeningly positive? Why, listen to Jurassic 5 of course.

God I love spring.

Monday, March 07, 2005

This is my concern

Well.

I don't know what to say really.

I have been informed that my verbal jousting has reached levels of incomprehensible word density, even to the level of ´I have no fucking idea what she's on about right now´.
Ha. You jest me, right? Have you no clue that this blog is really solely for my own perverted pleasure? No surprises there, you might think. Still, out of a misguided sense of duty, I would like to keep up the pretention that I give a rodent's backside, so here is a version that might appeal to my more verbally and poetically challenged fellow men out there, many of whom I will not be able to count amongst my friends after that last sentence.

Yeah, you could say I am a bit pissed off right now.

But not about the implied fact that I am a pretentious git, by the way. In fact, it has nothing much to do with anything or anyone in particular. But boy, am I geared up.

I am sick and tired of being led to believe things that aren't true. I am sick of being afraid of what isn't there. Living in fear is pretty much equal to living in hell. I learned that the hard way myself some time ago. So bear with me here. I need to get this out.

Once again, the world has managed to show its best side to itself. Fear, anxiety, loathing, hatred and anger are all around us every day. Sure. But you have to remember one thing: they always have been. The only real change is that now we all have (and even want) to know about every rape, homocide, genocide, dirty crusades covered up as angelic acts of fucking heroism. The sad truth is that media shape you - deal with it. Only the acceptance of this fact will keep you sane, and keep you thinking. The thing I am most scared of right now, being in Sweden (where neutrality is taken to a frightful level of opportunistic political correctness), is coming back to Holland. The country that has literally lost its head.

Hell, in stead of looking for it we are just walking around with our neck held high, chest proud, no idea were we're going. Slipping on the blood from the wound we are blissfully unaware of, we end up kicking our own head that lies at our feet as we stumble around in darkness, still convinced of our own superiority.

I have no idea why I used to live under the simplistic impression that my country was a liberal haven where people weren't so easily fooled. Probably for the very same reasons that I am getting so worked up right now. In a way, part of my identity, my self-image has been compromised. My cultural heritage is one that in stead of smelling like roses reeks like a sewer. I used to believe in the fairy tale. We pride ourselves on our famed common sense, that good old pure down-to-earth quality that is supposed to be innate to the soul of every single native, in some weird way confined to the geographical borders of our small nation. Remember that? Common sense? Think before you act? That sort of thing?

Apparently not. Ratio has fallen, and it's not getting up any time soon. In its stead an army of backward little children has risen, lead by their underdeveloped instincts and a disconcerting disposition towards screaming their fucking heads off whenever they feel like it. They feed on chaos and thrive in confusion. Their religion consists of willful ignorance and shallowness, their bible is sensationalism and media hype. They feed on the rotting carcass of ratio, feasting on whatever is left of sincerity and true compassion for other beings. They spread the disease of apathy and paranoia. And they are winning ground. The only way to stop this insane ride to disgust-ville we are headed on is to think, and then act.

When bombarded by horrifying news of high school blood baths, bombings that are executed in accordance with United States prime time television airings, random beatings and shootings in whatever social circles of society, rapes, murders, terrorism, and whatever the hell is the latest headline, just breathe. And think. Why do you know this? Who is telling you this? And what is it making you believe? Don't get me wrong, I am disgusted by every single life that is being destroyed or irreparably harmed in every single headline that I come across. But as cold-hearted as it sounds, you have to rationalise, put things in perspective. If you don't, you go insane. Or you grow rigid and bitter, like a crusted cynical shadow of a person who at some point in life has had to protect himself from the rest of the world by simply not letting it in anymore, and now cannot open up to the world around him even if he wanted to. I want to stress that rationalising and not going along with the latest media hype or telethon has nothing whatsoever to do with a lack of empathy. Empathy is not the same as sensationalism.

I know I am hardly one to speak. After all, I live in the world too. I am hardly holier-than-thou. I too am corrupted. And you probably know and have realised every single thing I am writing about already. But it never hurts to be reminded. Being away has taught me one thing: our country is suffering from an almost permanent panic attack, along with a great part of the rest of the planet. Question is, will we bend or break? Yes, I worry about these things. Genuinely. Every day, until I go back - and join you.

"Lots of people are crying about the coming Apocalypse. Here, here … a little bit later….and we shall become witnesses of … The death of one human being is the Apocalypse. Apocalypse is the War, and we all live in it."

(courtesy of Maxim Bashev on http://www.artaldo.com/)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Idiosyncrasies

I am not even going to say hello, for fear no-one will notice; my voice sending aimless waves of sound into the great unknown - only to be returned by soulless echoes. I am alone. I have yet again managed to completely ignore and disrespect all wishes and anticipation of those who actually care about what I have to say. I know. I have not updated my blog, my portal to my past, the umbilical cord that attaches me to familiar memories and loved ones of once-upon-a-time, for over two weeks. I hang my head in shame and shall chastise myself until the end of...February.
Yes.
But what have I been doing in the mean time, you ask, your little orbs darting with curiosity. I am happy to report that I have not spent these past weeks idling. I have fallen ill, recuperated, seen some of the island, bought cigarettes for desperate minors, had lunch, had dinner, fell two times on separate occasions without having consumed a drop of alcohol, and managed to secure a trip to Stockholm, possibly two. Now that´s what I call an eventful fortnight.

On a more personal note, my mind hasn´t been sitting still, either. Doing all this research has done no favours to my mental state, for I have now found myself fighting off the constantly nagging temptation of consuming everything that has even the remotest of ties to Anime, and I am not kidding. Especially the hit series Cowboy Bebop has me enthralled to the very point of obsession, prone as I am in my feeble mind to taking healthy fascination where it really shouldn´t go. I have no idea why this happens. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my current soundtrack to the whole Sweden experience is Amon Tobin's ´Proper Hoodidge´, a track that wouldn´t sound at all too out of place in your run-of-the-mill Cowboy Bebop episode. Or perhaps the motivation can be traced to the fact that I currently seem to share the main protagonist´s hairdo for some reason. Except mine´s a reddish brown, instead of a mossy green. But, hey.


Now just compare this to a recent photo of me and tell me you don´t see the resemblance.

I can let myself go completely and rant on about the utter genius that is this series, but no. I will constrain myself. I need composure, dignity. Must not let on that I have only seen 1 episode, but seem to revel in admiration nonetheless.
Moving quickly on from this completely inappropriate and useless tidbit; besides noticing the fantastically superfluous fact that I have Spike Spiegel hair, I have found myself in a bit of a bind of late. Call it a rut. Yes. You heard me. I, undisputed ruler of all things and people that can be called fickle, have come to the conclusion that my brain needs teasing. It´s not that I don´t have enough things to entertain myself with, what with the research internship and all the cultural novelty surrounding me and all. I just need to...do...something...
Thing is, and I continue to object to any muffled expressions of the words ´pompous git´ by the way, I have found that what I lack is a way to really express myself here. Not being able to do something creative (temporarily discounting being imaginative with theoretical discourse and using my hands and feet trying to explain myself verbally to the locals) has done me in in a serious way in the past, and it is slowly but surely creeping up on me now. I just feel frustrated, my focus shifts inward, my head feels numb and heavy.
But lo! No fear! For I have discovered something truly magical! A childhood friend, long since forgotten, has been reintroduced to me. Meet my sweet, trusted, crusty old pal: writing.
Yes, writing.
And yes, I am fully aware that what I have been doing for the past 15 minutes is also writing. Numbnut.
But what I mean, and tell me if I am getting disproportionally excited about this, is that I have discovered creative writing. No boring (excusez le mot) papers, no witty comments on my daily activities, just thinking up stories. It´s like a magical combination of pretending that you´re someone else (as in acting), and using your own voice to describe it (as in singing).
Plus: it´s remote! If it´s stupid, I can always blame it on a very systematical and surprisingly coherent series of typos!*
* This strange tendency of mine towards distance has settled its tendrils in other areas of my life for as long as I can remember. It´s the same reason I hate phone calls but just love the delicate art of text messaging.

So, what to do with this new-found knowledge? Start writing. Possibly fan fiction first, to get the general drift again before I create some characters of my own. I cannot believe how happy this is making me. Perhaps I´ll even invest in a course on the matter. Imagine writing storylines for games... Just thinking about the things that need to be considered (such as a strong arc and multiple story lines allowing for the choice of the player) is scintillating to my senses.

Besides, this cold and windy piece of rock floating in the middle of the Baltic Sea is quite an inspiration all on its own. It´s like one of those cities in RPGs that is perpetually covered in a thick layer of snow, the locals having adapted to the cold in very weird and mildly disturbing ways - so that they strangely enough dress in just T-shirts and other items of summer clothing under their incredibly thick winter coats, snow boots, woollen hats, insulated gloves and ski poles. Occasionally the odd pedestrian comes sliding by on the insanely steep streets, having slipped on the lethal combination of flattened snow that has in some parts melted and turned into ice, lightly dusted with more icy fractals. Bulldozers gracing the streets on a regular basis, ploughing through the snow and heaping it into huge black and brown piles on the side of the road, this place holds the delicate balance of post-apocalyptic earth entering a new ice age, and a picturesque RPG wonderland where you feel you should barge into every home you walk past to ask if they have any clues how you can best save the earth using your Mana.

I is truly happy now.
Maybe I´ll even write some Cowboy Bebop fanfics. Set in Sweden.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Mardi Gras!

It´s Shrove Tuesday. Apparently. And whilst the German, Dutch and Belgian parts of the planet like to dress up, throw candy at each other and get ludicrously drunk, and the Americans like to get evenly hammered and take their clothes off, the Swedes prefer the Christian approach.
Besides, they do all that other stuff in their spare time already.

Shrove Tuesday, better known as Fat Tuesday, is a weird tradition. Being the last day before Lent, the basic idea is to start eating all the foodstuffs you can get yer grubby little mitts on that fall into the high-fat, high carb category. Basically, everything the good Lord forbade. And, just for the record, these people look at me like I am the epitome of bad health when I mention that we, in the land of Normal People, like to put chocolate sprinkles on our bread. Really.
Lent, by the way, is the day that fasting starts - for those godforsaken heathens of you still in the dark: that´s when people from days of yore stopped eating. Until EASTER. In a brave and slightly idiotic attempt to still uphold this somehow lovely naive tradition, some Swedes do actually cease digesting food, or at least try to. But, as always, when you have to give up on something, you had better damn well make sure you are filled to the absolute brim, and preferably on the brink of severe nausea, before you start. Better hate and part than love and part. Or, as I like to put it, snack fest 2005. Binge tot the Maximus!

Yes sir. It really starts with one (or more) of these little buggers, called ´semla´:


hark at the local delicacy comprised of a sweet bun, whipped cream and almond paste. enough to give your teeth a bit of a jiggle. not to mention your heart rate . and if that´s not enough, in some parts of Sweden they put these things in bowls of simmering milk.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Semla, future ruler of mankind. Do not laugh at his appearance, for he can turn on you quite easily, transforming the normally oh so pleasurable practice of eating into a path of hardship and turmoil - increasing with every bite. This little bub comes in various shapes and sizes, and today I encountered a big one. Being an eager devourer of all things new and cultural, I decided to get me one of these babies, which were being distributed in the cantine I very conveniently found myself in at lunchtime. But little did I know that old Semla here isn´t the easiest of snacks. Let´s just say that he is certainly no Pringle. In fact, I´m not even sure he doesn´t top me in the food chain.

My God, I am still stricken with intimidation at the thought of another one of these. In one of my usual bouts of childlike enthusiasm - which almost never turn out well - I decided to take on the miniature mountain positioned on the paper plate before me, and put it straight to my mouth. I didn´t regret this choice at first, as it started out reasonably well: the bun itself isn´t so sweet, the bucketload of whipped cream isn´t either. So far so good, or so I thought.
But sweet jesus, when you´re halfway reaching the centre, you realise that you have in fact come to the little axis of evil of the pastry world, where almond and sugar have mated - only to produce wretched little lovebabies of glucose horror. Holy mother of God! And they´re having a party with the rest of the ingredients! Don´t take me wrong, it still tasts relatively ok, but there comes a point where each of us, no matter what personal inkling you may have towards sweetness, has met his sugary match. It´s a disconcerting feeling knowing that your body takes over before your mind fully realizes what it´s eating, leaving a nasty feeling of subdued nausea where your original bravery, enthusiasm and appetite used to be. This was when I switched to the supplied spoon, which I could now totally understand the meaning of, and carefully resigned to scoop a few additional bites out of the now grotesque looking Semla. I don´t know if it was a result of slight hallucination due to severe glucose overdose, but by this time the piece of hollowed out pastry resembled a huge, widely opened mouth with teeth made of splatters of rich cream and strings of almond paste-ridden crumbs. I made the very wise choice to leave the table before it started talking or - not unimaginable - devouring itself.
In light of my recent experience I would therefore publically and openly like to bow to Semla, King of Pastry, for slaying yet another feeble-minded and weak-stomached earthling. It won´t strike me at all as odd as one day in the not-too-distant future the evolutionary buck will be passed to one of these mothers to take over the reign of the ecosystem of the earth.
I pray I never in my life will encounter one again.

Looking back on it though, it does seem like a well-suited farewell to food. All food. Generally. For about a week.

I think I´ll call my first-born Semla, just out of sheer respect.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

snow is your friend

hello dear all,

So much for the blogging impetus, eh? Well, I guess I am as much to blame as anyone, but this internship o' mine is just plain hard graft! Sure, it's located in this beautiful Disney-esque little city, but look closer and you'll see that those sweet little cobble stones are nothing short of sure-fire traps of doom, who's sole purpose in existence is to take you down to their level, and take you down hard. So far my mortal coil has not yet seen these little harbingers of destruction from up close, but I have up to now experienced an average of 5 near-slips per day: with the added dread of plummeting to the earth carrying such appliances as MP3 jukeboxes, mobile phones and -let's not forget- the laptop. One can understand that being on the streets thus gives a whole new meaning to the word breathtaking.
In all of this I have learned a very valuable lesson: snow is your friend. It may sound silly, but in Scandinavia you need those little white fractals of ice firmly and amorously embracing the soles of your shoes. When walking along a pedestrian track you should therefore always reciprocate by carefully placing your feet on the patches of snow, lovingly ignoring their grubby appearance. You may be tempted by the clean spots of clear street, but beware! Do not go to the light! These apparently safe zones of paving are in fact completely invisible mini glaciers, solidly frozen to the surface of the road so as to lure you into believing in their false sense of security. I imagine they have on their conscience many a broken bone, the little bastards.
And so, my reader(s): today's advice is to rid yourself of the thought that clean is safe! In fact, the grubbier the path, the better: so as not to pollute the Baltic sea with salt, they just throw around sand (and its big brother: gravel) in a random pattern in this corner of the world.

Do avoid the yellow patches, though.

Swedish television, for those of you who were waiting for that post, will be discussed at a later date, due to the writer's current disposition of trying not to fall to her untimely death at the age of 23.