Archive for September, 2005

Roadies with a sense of humor

In our line of work we often deal with frustrated permanents (roadies that travel with the show) that just want to get things the fuck done so they can catch up on some sleep. They’re rude, and no fun to work with.
 
And then there’s the kind of roadie that has an unbreakable optimism, friendly, a nice guy. Ironically, they get things done much quicker since they’re such fun to work with, you enjoy your work and there’s no time wasted on finding the guy you’re supposed to stick with, a jerk.
 
To the point. I just found a bundle of papers again that I took with me during a load-out (Nandrin Festival). THey didn’t need it anymore so eh. I thought I might learn from it, maybe. I don’t know what it’s called, the first few pages are missing, but it has a description of sound and light equipment nescessary for each show. It was a festival so each band has its own chapter with a list of demands. Usually it’s all very contract-ish and dry, like in the Vaya Con Dios listing (it was all in english):
C. PRODUCTION REQUIREMENTS
 
The Promoter agrees to furnish to Artist, at the Promoter’s sole expense, the following:
The Promoter also agrees to provide Artist’s Production manager with full venue details including P.A. and lighting specifications, stage, venue and backstage plans at least four (4) weeks prior to engagement.
 
  1. Sound (SYSTEM HAS TO BE SET UP AND OPERATIONAL ON ARTIST ARRIVAL)
  • FOH speaker system:

First class, line array or stereo 4-way speaker system capable of a clean, full range response from 20 Hz to 20 hHz

And with sufficient power to maintain a level of 120 dB at mixing position without distortion.

Note: Because VAYA CON DIOS show includes music with large dynamic ranges, we would like to stress that the P.A. System be equipped with ample headroom. For the same reason, compressor/limiters on the P.A. System will not be accepted for either soundcheck or performance!

Only acceptable brands are: V-DOSC, CLAIR BROS, ADAMSON Y-18.

IF THERE IS A POSSIBILITY TO FLY THE SYSTEM, THE SYSTEM HAS TO BE FLOWN!

 

 And so on. Boring and no one understands 2 words of it. Well I do know what ‘flying something’ means, but I still don’t have a clue what he wants, exactly. So I page through the bookish, wet thing. Joe Cocker, Karma Fever, Babylon Circus, Ozark Henry. Boring, boring, although rarely mildly interesting.

And then I turn the page, and it says "IGGY AND THE STOOGES" at the top. Kickass. On top of that, the roadie who wrote this, was without a doubt high on weed. Halfway the first page it goes like this:

 

PREFERRED DESKS:

MIDAS XL4 / HERITAGE H3000 / XL3 / SOUDCRAFT SERIES 5. In that order.

NO YAMAHAS and NO BLEEDING DIGITAL or I will chop it into a hundred pieces, and each of those pieces I will chop into a hundred pieces… so that’s like, er… tenty hundred?

Anyway, then I will douse them into petrol and burn them. In accordance with local and national guidelines on the burning of bits of shit mixer, of course. SO DON’T DO IT. I’m like a big nasty man if I get upset…

We will supply all microphones and vox mic stands. That are easy to throw. And hard to break.

We will need intercom and backtalk mic, switched up unbearably loud in the drumfill. As usual.

Racks & mixers must have lamps. With bulbs in them. That work.

Please supply all microphone cables inc. 3 x 20metre/50ft cablesfor the main vocal lines.

Any questions please contact

Rik Hart! He da man! As they say,

Mobile / cell / handy (phone number here, I’m not going to put it on the net -Maarten)

Efax (same deal. -M)

or email (dito. -M)

Do it now

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MONITOR REQUIREMENTS

 

We need: one {1} monitor man who speaks good English and is not afraid of death.

{Only joking… or am I?}

Also, he needs to know a little about monitors. This may seem a little obvious, but believe me…

For example, in Santiago de Compostella, in Galicia in Northern Spain, they appear to think that if they just ignore riders like this, then supply a fat, bearded hippy with a digital monitor desk (doh!) who doesn’t know shit about eq-ing, and monitor wedges (the little speakers on the floor in front of the artists that give them feedback on how they’re sounding -Maarten) that would be better suited to wedging doors open, and a load of stage managers and PA geezers and promoter reps who shout a lot, that this is the same as actually providing what a band needs in order to do a gig with the best of their ability. And that if they deny that their gear is no good, it will suddenly, mysteriously, become good.

I’d just like to say that the next time the Stooges get booked for their festival, I’m going to turn up with some pickled eggs, a small blue vibrator with a jelly dolphin balanced on the shaft, a set of dog-eared ecyclopedias with the volume E-G missing, and a screwdriver that’s been accidentally dropped down the toilet.

And then, when they say, "That’s not the stooges",

I’m going to say "Yes it is!"

And then they’ll say "No it isn’t".

And I’m going to say, "Yes it is!!!"

See how they like it, the fuckers.

 

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes…

We do not have our own monitor man, because in the future robots will work for us and make the world a better place.

 

 

Sorry about that rant about Santiago, by the way. It’s just that battering people is sooo 80s, don’t you think?

The next page contains the information you require.

Bear with me. Not a real bear.

By the way, our guitar roadie, Chris, assures me that the panda is not of the genus "Bear", but is actually part of the "Pig" family. Could this possibly be true? And if not, why would he risk telling me, then me telling the whole world, this half-baked theory? Unbelievable.

next page


 

IGGY’S VOCAL ONLY.

Wedges must be bi-amp, powerful, very loud, uncompressed and unlimited.

Also, can we arrange to have them off the front of stage inside the barrier [there is a barrier, isn’t there?] -on flightcases, possibly? This will make me very happy, like a happy little bunny rabbit.

About Iggy’s vocal – we need lots. The best thing is, make it strong and punchy, a bit like a boxing kangaroo.

Then turn it up.

When you think you have turned it up enough, turn it up some more.

The Four Horsemen of the Apoca-vocal.

 

Mix 2 – side vocal wedges

IGGY’S VOCAL

SAXOPHONE [during the songs marked "saxophone"]

Bi-amp as above; one on stage left, one on stage right, facing towards centre stage,

and switched up so loud it feels like they are eating your ears.

Mixes 3 & 4 – sidefills left and right

Stage left and right fill 

IGGY’S VOCAL

KICK DRUM

SNARE BOTTOM

SAXOPHONE

GUITAR [if the fills are in mono, it goes in mix 6]

For the sidefills, can we have two great big enormous things please, of a type that might be venerated as gods by the inhabitants of Easter Island, capable of reaching volumes that would make Beelzebub soil his underpants, and driven by amplifiers that could provide the power for a Monster Truck Rally.

They should be as far downstage as possible, and only 12 – 14 feet [4-5 metres] from center [centre] stage.

Mix 5 – Guitar wedge. Stage left

SNARE BOTTOM. [I know it’s always bottom. I’m obsessed with bottoms. I make no apology for that.]

BASS GUITAR [just the D.I. please]

Clear and bring like the sound of jackboots on wet cobblestone.

Mix 6 – Bass guitar wedge.

SNARE BOTTOM.

IGGY’S VOCAL

Oh, and during the show, could you just catch his eye and mouth the words ‘I love you.’?

Thanks.

Mix 7 – Drumfill.

KICK DRUM

SNARE BOTTOM

We would like to use the wedges for the drums, please, put them on a box on his left side, with the horns pointing roughly straight down the drummer’s ear canal; and when I say wedges, of course, what I mean is big, powerful buggers; dormant volcanoes, ever waiting to erupt into streams of audio lava.

Mix 8 – Saxophone wedge

ERRRR… SAXOPHONE

 

Here are several quick ways to find out if the wedges you are using are not really very good:

  1. They were removed from the parcel shelf of a 1974 Ford Cortina.
  2. When you look underneath, it says ©The Disney Corporation – collect all 5 from BURGER KING
  3. They can be lifted above head height – by your wife.
  4. Er…
  5. That’s it!

 

 

 

 

BEFORE WE HAVE A LOOK AT THE STAGE, CAN I JUST SAY THAT WE LIKE TO KEEP IT AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE, ESPECIALLY AT THE FRONT? MY INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER ME FOR ALLOWING ROCKSTARS TO FALL OFF THE FRONT OF THE STAGE…

THIS MEANS NO LIGHTING OR MONITOR CABLES, A.C. POWER BOXES, TIN TOY TUGBOATS, TELEVISION EVANGELISTS, TELEVISION CAMERAMEN , SUBSTANCES RELATED TO THE MANUFACTURE OF CREOSOTE, PLASTIC SEAHORSES, BAILIWICKS, CREPESCULES, OR KOOKS.

THIS WAY IGGY CAN RUN AROUND IN HIS CUSTOMARY MANNER, LIKE A CRAZED RUNNING-AROUND-TYPE-THING, AND WE CAN ALL RELAX IN A HAZE OF SELF-SATISFIED PANIC. JOLLY GOOD! THANKS.

 

(And then the map of how the stage should be organised. -M)

 

The cool thing about this, is that I understand most of it! I didn’t understand 3 words of what the others wrote, but I can follow here. It’s both amusing and efficient, like they all should be.


“The Art of Cold Blooded Murder,” by DJ LPB

Whatever happened to my ability to snatch at people? I used to be so good at it. 2 words and I could make Anyone cry. Now I just apologize for feeling that way. Fricken’ wuss!? When did I start giving a fuck? In boarding school I Got Paid for making someone’s ex cry. I felt great about it, too. After I left that place I figured I might want to watch my mouth a little more, but I still had the words ready for whenever someone found it nescessary to pick a fight or call me a girl Again (long hair).

Now I couldn’t tell someone to fuck off without having to think for words, in which time I’m already verbally buttfucked, of course. I wouldn’t, neither, I’d just say I’m sorry for wanting you prisonraped and dead. And Actually Feeling Bad About It.

I think it’s just part of growing up? When I hear "adults" argue I figure I won’t have much competition anyway. Discussions that have no point and fallacies as arguments. Ah fuck ’em.

 

You won’t hear me say this about anything before careful consideration and deep thought, but mosquitos, are hellspawn. And they should all die. Every. Single. One. No creature, not even humans, are so annoying, so utterly amazingly irritating. Those unnescessarily loud horseflies come close, those rabient (is that even the right word?) rottweilers on steroids at the end of my street that find it nescessary to greet me every time I get home come even closer, but mosquitos top it off.

The good thing about that however, is that our bathroom is full of ’em. They never get the time to sting (when it’s warm, they can’t sense you as clearly and wait until you relax and your body temperature starts to rise) and I get to smash a few of those little bastards every time I use the can. Great stress reliever.

Another good part about ’em is their predictability. There are no warm rooms at night in nature so they always get confused and make the same stupid mistakes again. I learned this in boarding school where my little room was officially declared a battleground of good vs evil. First of all, they always wait until you calm down. Your breathing slows, and your body temperature rises, so they can clearly sense you. They can hardly see, only bright lights. I read somewhere that has something to do with the moon. Instead, they sense body heat. That explains why they start moving in once you’re almost asleep, that sweet, warm cozy place of thoughts running wild like little bambi deers frolicing over plains, all shades of green white and brown. The knowledge that you are safe in your warm little bed, covering you like an additional blanket. THAT is when they move in. The little shits.

In boarding school, I was prepared for this. I stayed awake, concentrating to hear the high-pitched buzzing of mosquitos unaware that they are flying for a last time. When you hear/feel them land, scare them off and wait some more. You want to lure them all out. Then, gently get up. No need to do it super slow, mosquitos will Always sit on a wall within one cubic meter of the heat source. Simply turn on the light et voila, you have them all lined up for you to murder in cold blood. I prefer doing it by hand, because then you can feel them break under your palm, and if you listen closely, you can hear them scream. So.. Sweet. Also, it’s not always easy to confirm the kill if you do it with something else. Some dumbass did it with his pillow. The one he slept on.

When squashing a mosquito, Do Not rush towards them in anger and crash your hand someplace near where ever they were sitting. They Will escape and you just lost yourself 30 more minutes of sleep.

The art of killing… is a zen religion. Attacking is anger is worse than not attacking at all. You must concentrate on your chi, your essence. Hold out your hand, ready to strike, 30 centimeters from your target, at most. Concentrate on your hand. Keep in mind, speed is essential. Speed. Clarity of mind. Concentrate on speed. You are the praying mantis, locked on and frozen before the lethal strike. From my experience I can say counting down is a bad idea. It will make you twitch before striking, and any martial artist or professional killer will agree that this must be avoided at all cost. You will start slowly, moving towards your prey, and speed up. That is not the way. You must be at full speed within the first millimeter. Don’t set a time to strike, feel when you are ready and strike that instant.

Force is not important, most of the time a mere touch is enough, and besides, it will keep your victim (with possibly your blood) from being smeared all over the wall, and you will wake other interns when you bash the wall like that. And, the wall might vibrate, sending the other mosquitos off. If you have had little training, however, brought tissue to clean up (gotta have that in your lonely little room), and have no other interns to worry about, sure, smash ahead. It feels good, especially accompanied by a cthulu-like battle cry and accompanying "YES! YOU FUTILE, INFERIOR BEINGS! FEEL MY WRATH!" but again, keep other interns in mind.

And that, young grasshopper, is how you kill a mosquito. You might think I was kidding most of the time but actually I am surprisingly serious. I hate them, and I take pleasure in killing them. I specialised myself in it, and now I’m working on catching them in mid air, which is not as difficult as it sounds. The trick is to do it right the first time, they’re set to "scan" mode and not alarmed, and they will fly slowly. Although this whole zen crap doesn’t sound like anything, try and keep it in mind. This concentration thing also works with opening a jar or something: just focus on your hand, take deep, slow breaths, and you’ll be able to use much more force. Chi science for all kitchen purposes, yay. Tomorrow: pressure points in the bedroom. The options are endless.

 

I’m not a bad guy. I mean well. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but… okay. But, sometimes, I can be a regular self-centered asshole. Not on purpose, but it’s enough to hate myself to near death for a couple days. Principles, ethics, they all fly out the window, and what is left is pure egocentrism. I’m what matters and what I want must be done. And when you wake up the next morning and realise what you have done the day before, the only way to get up is to swear on your butt naked soul that you’ll never make the same mistake again. Of course, there will be other mistakes to make, but it’s a system of deduction. By the time I’m 560 years old I’ll be perfect. Until then, I’ll remember the mistakes I made, the people I hurt, and hate myself for it.

 

From this day on, I shall be known as DJ Little Pink Bunny. Or DJ Vermin. I haven’t decided yet. Believe it or not, I’m planning to throw a party. At practically every party I go to I look at the DJ and think "oh but I can do better." So now it’s time to prove it: I’ll be playing. 2 turn tables and a microphone, yo. No playing the same song twice in one night, no fucking ‘make a train and act like a retard’ Plop theme songs. No Kung Fu fighting, no ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (I detest kids that make fun of Elvis fans and turn around and worship Kurt Cobain. HE’S DEAD!), no sticking to a genre that obviously scares folks away from the dance floor. My party, My style, My music. Unlike some seem to think I have a very broad music interest. I like good techno, drum ‘n bass, hardcore, hell even jazz.

I found a place to rent and the soonest date available is october 14th, that should give me some time to prepare. It’s more or less against my principles but if you want to have Some diversity in music you’ll end up spending zillions on music albums, so for the next few weeks it seems like I’ll be pirating like never before. Too bad they don’t have an mp3 player of any sort there, then I could queue a few songs and hop on the dancefloor, myself. I guess I’ll have to switch places with someone for a few songs.

I have no idea what to expect. Not the slightest. I hope it turns out well. If it does, I might do it more often.


Once you pop…

Part of growing old is to see people around you die. Someone told me this years ago and I recently thought back on it. I’m only 20 years old and I’m already confronted with it; people my age, people of my father’s generation, heck even newborns disappear one by one. I wonder if it’s natural for someone my age to be seeing it like that. 3 people in the last month alone, each from a different generation. Kind of scares me a little, aren’t people you love supposed to be immortal? They don’t just die like that, so we can take them for granted and say and do things we’ll never regret, because they will always be there. No need for them to know that you love them, no need to tell them. There’s always time for that. Always.

So we live on, shaking off the doubt if they will be taken care of after they die, or that they knew they had nothing to regret. Take a deep breath and tell yourself death is a part of life, and try not to wonder who’s next in line. Try your best to feel safe again, ready to take those close to you for granted again.

Luckily we’ll probably never reach the situation where we run out of loved ones. A child born yesterday could be the nurse that will take care of you when you’re old and demented. Or maybe the bus driver that drives you and the rest of the rest home to the beach on your annual day out, making you so excited you shit your diaper. As long as humans reproduce like bunnies there will always be people to love. And this paragraph has absolutely no point.

 

1/8 people are unable to fall in love. Or was it 1/12? Yeah, 1/8 were gay. Doesn’t matter. They know and are able to feel the concept attraction and love, but lack the hormones to literally be, "in love". When we were told this in biology class, everybody went "oh my, that’s horrible. How sad." and so on. Including me, young and naive. Now I have grown to envy them. If you don’t know what you’re missing it’s easy to live without, the only difference is the burden they don’t have to carry.

Of course, that is, if they know. I can imagine someone hating himself because he can’t figure out why he doesn’t love his girlfriend the way she loves him, thinking there’s something terribly wrong with him. But if you would know and manage not to care, that’s a big weight off your shoulders.

 

Ever had those moments where you just wanted to.. burst? "Scream until you choke out your soul" someone described it as before. I should get myself a punching bag someday. So far Tool and Metallica have helped me through those moments, but wanting to break your father’s custom-made speakers is a little inconvenient when you’re not home alone. They don’t like you punching walls. They don’t understand at all, and that makes us the freak. Makes us wrong.

 

Pointless Yet Fun Fact: Around 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 neutrinos from the Sun will pass through your body while you read this sentence.

Also, Webcomics Rock.

 

 

So there. A whole post without mentioning the appartment we still haven’t found, or broken relationships. Irony is my middle name.


Million miles away

I take it less personal than most think, but you can’t help feeling a little rejected when people go through a lot of effort to keep you out of their house. It isn’t the first time it happened, and it won’t be the last, I’m sure. "It’s nothing personal." It never is. It’s just because, you know. I’m like this and you’re like… that.

There was a time not too long ago when I looked "normal" in others’ eyes. No mohawk, no outgoing "fuck you, too" message. I had to lose those for boot camp and following med school, and I must say it had a pretty interesting effect. Everybody suddenly starts liking you. New people you meet, relatives sharing with you just how happy they are to see you "look so nice". All this changes the moment you look any different than they.

Everyone looks at you differently, starts talking differently. This is especially noticeable with relatives, even some friends. Inside you’re still the same small personality, but people just assume you’ve changed entirely because you look different. All of a sudden the world divides into 4 categories: People that don’t care, people that start liking you all of a sudden, like the drunk kid yesterday that couldn’t stop lecturing me about the punk movement and the meaning of life; those who look at your feet when they talk to you (Hard for me to notice because I’m looking at Their feet most of the time), and then there’s the select group that crosses the street when they see you, and simply start disliking you for no other reason than your appearance. Theoretically last time wasn’t because of this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were. At least you know it’s not because you’re an ass, but because the person in question is the kind that you choose to offend with the way you look. Nevertheless, rejection is painful.

 

If I’d ever have a son, god forbid, I would call him with me on his tenth birthday. Then, I would pick him up and hold him upside down for 15 minutes, so all his blood flows to his brain and he turns purple. All this to make sure he remembers it for the rest of his life. Then I would tell him: "Son. If you ever end up in a long-term relationship and it ends, Do Not try to "stay friends". Do Not offer your support and accept hers, for it will be the end of you." Then I would drop him so that, 30 years from then, he would say "Hey father, remember the time you held me upside down for 15 minutes until I turned purple and then you dropped me and I was in the hospital for a month?" And I would say "Yes, son, I remember. Do you also recall what I told you that day?" And he would say "Yes I do, father. I remembered your words and lived by them, and it made me the Nobel prize winner I am today. I gladly take the wheelchair with it. At least I get pityfucked more than you now, father." And I would laugh and shoot him and myself.

No, seriously. Terrible, Horrible idea. Because before you know it, you end up at a party with her, sleeping over and you two are the only ones still up and there’s only one bed left. So after 15 minutes of a yes-no-yes-no discussion about wether you’ll just sleep on the floor (I wanted to, she didn’t want me to) I gave up. There is absolutely no point in going into such a discussion with a woman. I did, however, ask for a sleeping bag. No Chance in sweet and sour Hell I was crawling under the same blanket as her.

I had to get up around noon, and I had 8 hours of sleep left. 3 of those were spent wide awake, in constant dilemma, quite literally small-scale warfare in my head. The other 4 hours I slept, on the floor. I rolled out of bed and slept alone, like I’m supposed to. And all that night, I Didn’t Fucking Touch Her, not a finger. This scientifically proves I am not human, no, I am a creature built from stone and hellfire, with a raisin-like heart through wich pumps not blood, but a black, thick liquid of evilness. A bit like a homosexual, only without the little hand. A real flesh and bone human, with feelings, lacks the will and muscle power it took to lay still, and do nothing. Listen to the clock ticking, relieved that each tick means that the night is getting closer to being over. Feel her breath, warmth,… Knowing what you’ll feel if you’d only reach out.

But I can’t allow myself any slack. No time for being "only human". I can’t fail on this or I’ll hurt her and myself more than I can imagine. She has her own prince-on-a-white-horse now, and I’m the bad guy in the story. The ex. He loves her and she loves him and I’m sitting by the sideline hoping that they break up soon. Not because I want to start anew with her (my human side is screaming in agony as I write this self-imposed bullshit), that’d just kill us both, but just because I want her attention, feel loved again.

Satan himself would be proud. My training is soon complete and he will have his captain for his undead armies. One without feelings and emotions. Either way, I’m going straight to hell for it.

 

Meanwhile, the search for an appartment continues. This is getting pretty old, isn’t it. I found a few very promising places, but it seems like the owners aren’t too interested. Can’t blame them, I don’t exactly look like good housekeeping material. We should ask our lady friend for help again, she was a lot better at this. Mostly because she knows how, but probably also because 99% of appartment owners are male.

Men are pigs. I know this because I’m a man, myself. In case this was a little vague. And those who aren’t pigs, are dogs. Not the puppy type "hug me" creatures, no, the low-life leghumping kind. I should call her sometime soon, we’d have a place in no time. And if we’re Really lucky, she’ll sleep with him and he’ll cut some off our rent. It all depends on how much we pay her, probably. Whichever is cheapest works for me.

Pigs, I tell you.

 

Why do people, by the way, keep asking if I’m gay? If you would have asked me that a year ago I’d have torn you open in your sleep and eaten you. Nowadays, I don’t mind, which strikes me as a little odd. I actually do not feel offended when people think I’m gay. Maybe I broadened my horizons a little, or maybe it’s out-coming time for me.

To answer the question, however: No. I am not gay, as far as I know. Right now I’m pretty convinced about this, but hey, some folks only find out after they’ve been married for 20 years. So maybe I should get married and find out. And God kills another kitten. Why won’t anyone believe me when I say marriage is evil? And don’t dare say it’s for the money. Marriage for money is like buying a plane company to get free peanuts.

 

Two friends of mine, twins, got a turtle for their birthday. Yes, a turtle. In a funny plastic little tank with a stupid plastic little palm tree in it. Their faces when they said "Uhh…. Thanks.." were so hilarious. They honestly couldn’t care less about a turtle, they only felt sorry for it being kept in captivity. They even considered just stomping it to death, which would have been fun, too. So another friend adopted it, and he let me know the little thing is still alive and kicking. He has a small appartment with a balcony, and he wants to let the turtle run free once in a while. Kind of gives a new meaning to "walking the turtle", doesn’t it. Hee hee I’m so funny.

Come on, you go to a birthday party, and come home with a turtle. And, explain that to your vegan girlfriend! But eh, the turtle itself is no bigger than a thumb, so imagine how big its brain must be, considering what a small head it has. And Then try to imagine how big the part of his brain used for memory is. The little bugger can’t remember where he comes from or where he was going to. But hey wow, is that a plastic palm tree??

My friend named it Calimero, loosely inspired by the non-stop whining of a drunken girl saying "Name it Calimero! Calimeroooo!"


…Just to play the king…

Funny stuff at work today. We had to set up a stage for a classic orchestra, right outside the royal palace in Brussels. (For the more developed among you: Yes, Belgium is a kingdom and yes, our king has a palace.) Nice spot, with the palace on one side and a big park on the other. And plenty of passers-by to whistle and yell at, although I’m less explicit at this than most of my co-workers *cough*.

After a few hours a colleague asked where the hell those chemical Dixi toilets went to, that are usually placed at every production. I joked about it and told him maybe to go ask the nice policeman who was standing at the palace entrance if he could use the "royal restrooms". And we all laughed and got on with our work.

Now, a large part of the palace now functions as a museum about our royal family and little did I know, Roadrunner seemed to have made a deal with… -I don’t know, the king maybe?- to actually use the bathrooms inside. We could simply walk past the long line of tourists and "vive le roi" monarchists and step up to the cops, who let us pass as if we were the king himself. That’s a first time for me. The police aren’t exactly my friend.

And let me tell you, I never took a more luxurious leak. The toilets themselves were made out of fricken’ marble. And there were butlers there to help you finish off and wipe and stuff. Okay no that’s a lie but it would have made quite a finishing touch. I could see myself 6 times (which was hardly stimulating) with all the mirrors there.

It’s nice to know where your tax money goes, isn’t it. At least I got to piss on the toilet seat mwu ha ha.

 

All this was overshadowed by something very odd that happened to me that morning, though.

I had to get up at 5.15am, so I though it might be a good idea to go to bed early. Only, for the last couple weeks I went to sleep around 4am, so as a result I couldn’t sleep at all. That lasted up till around 2am, where I decided to just get up, get ready for work, and wait. I slept one hour, at most.

I must have fallen asleep behind my computer around 4.30. I had set my alarm clock just to make sure. I don’t know how long I slept, but it seemed like my alarm went off just as I actually started sleeping, in R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement, dream state) phase or whatever you want to call it. When I got op and started to get ready, it felt as though I didn’t wake up at all. Very weird, I never in my life experienced that before. It didn’t get better when I tried to shake it off, it only got worse. My stomach turned and I suddenly felt very nauseous, and the room sort of started spinning. I couldn’t think straight anymore, all I kept thinking was "This is so not funny this is so not funny this is…" I felt like I was going to throw up so I stumbled outside. It was 5 in the morning, dark outside, everyone was still asleep. The last thing I remember thinking (besides "this is so not funny") was maybe to sit down and try to relax some.

Next thing I know, I had collapsed on our driveway. No one saw me and I’m lucky I didn’t fall asleep there, would have given our neighbours quite a scare, and my co-workers a reason to kick my ass again. I don’t know how long I was out, but it couldn’t have been more than 2, 3 minutes. I was still confused, but my mind had cleared up a bit. I stood up, the nausea and dizzyness completely gone, and just, went to work. I still don’t know what the hell happened, I had eaten something about 15 minutes before and I didn’t feel anything remotely like it for the rest of the day. It’s the first time I passed out since I got an electric wire against my head, and that was 10 years ago. Scared me a little.


The Acorn.

Someone once asked me why I picked ‘Vermin’ as a screen name. Actually no one ever did but let’s just say it happened. So, I called the lads ‘n lasses from Blue Sky Productions and told them how things are. And This is what they came up with. That’s me right there, hanging from my tongue and stretching to impossible lengths to get what I want, and still not getting it. I almost feel sorry for the lil’ runt. Almost.

If you’re any interested in the sabre-tooth squirrel’s adventures: Here‘s where you want to go. Great movie, too.

 

Ssoooo.. what time is it? Oh wait I remember. Ass-kicking time. No more excuses now. No more waiting. Next week, my friend and I will have a place to live, our private little hell. New beds to hide our demons under, new closets to put our skeletons in. It doesn’t matter much what the place looks like; I know we can make it a home. We are alike, aside from differences on the outside we are almost the same. Someone to rock with, someone to crash and burn with. It’s a turn I can’t see beyond, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. But I don’t care. I can take whatever comes my way. "Like a bullet through a flock of doves."

 

It’s still surprising how little my ex has to do to get me on my knees. She only needs to look at me in the wrong way and I’m a mess for the rest of the week. There are three facets to the crap I’m going through: The past, remembering holding her, loving her, knowing what she looks like under those clothes. The future, the slowly dawning knowledge that maybe we’re not meant to be together, that we won’t grow old together, no matter how logic that seems when I’m near her. And third and most of all: feeling so damn weak and dumb, unable to just, Get Over It. I’m aware that I seem like a 16-year old adolescent that can’t get over his girlfriend dumping him. Boo Hoo and life no longer makes sense.

My more recently ended relationship, however, has turned into what Maynard James Keenan would call, "Passive". Haven’t seen her since about a week before she broke up, has only returned messages to the question "Why do I feel like an idiot expecting to hear from you", responding "I’m busy." Last time was about 3 weeks ago, maybe more. I’m supposed to see her tonight at a party, I’m not quite sure I want to go.

 

Oh look at that, another paragraph about past love. Somebody call From Autumn To Ashes, I think I found a theme for their next album.