Archive for November, 2005

Roadies and Groupies

We just did the Bloodhound Gang set. Never in my life have I seen such perverted, twisted sicko’s.

They didn’t seem all that bad at first, but during the show they showed just how far an artist can go without being locked away and neutralised. Especially the bass player, that guy must have a screw loose. During one show he chugged a whole bottle of Jagermeister, puked in a bucket, four times, frenched a couple girls from the audience, and pissed all over the scene. I’m not even kidding, this dude has the biggest bladder I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s a fricken horse. He pissed all over the lead singer (Jim), in his hat (you guessed it), a couple of items on the stage and then the lead singer again. Jim didn’t even seem to mind, they were only just past halfway the show and he finished wearing the same clothes. You’d think, oh my hindfucking god that’s disgusting, don’t let him near me, but I Saw the girls on the front row, with half-open mouth, just orgasming where they stood.

 

 

When we stepped outside to load the truck, there were about 8 to 10 girls standing outside, in the cold, waiting for the band to show up. Security didn’t even bother sending them away, instead they hung around them like flies around shit. During the whole load-out they stood at the exit, watching us demonstrate how Not to load a truck, they stood there, shaking in the cold. When the band finally came out, just as we were leaving, the girls flocked around our Jimmy, and he went "Okay, what have we got here?" and squeezed one of the girl’s arm like he was checking what kind of meat was on the menu tonight.

 

So, my guess would be they made it onto the tour bus and would eventually go home by train from whatever town they were stopping next, leaving behind a trail like a garden slug. How rock ‘n roll.


Line’s Border and its Borderline

Okay so sleeping over at your ex’ is a bad idea. Thanks a Lot for telling me before I manage to fuck up. No no I didn’t do anything wrong aside from breaking to news to my girlfriend in my own, subtle way. If emotional incompetence was a crime, I’d be in death row. But hey, she’s still my friend and sleeping over was never an issue before.. I guess I should watch my step a little more.

 

I had quite an entertaining day with my father. He’s in love with the city of Ghent and he regularly organises trivia trips for friends and colleagues. I came along and helped a bit, and in exchange (and for my birthday) he paid for a vest for my trip to Norway. That’s €100, mind you. 20 hours of work. And it’s still a pretty cheap one, I expected to pay at least €200. But it’s got everything it needs, so why pay more.

We went to have dinner at my aunt’s the other day. When she heard I was going to camp out in Norway this winter, she looked at my father with the most serious face and said, "Your son has lost his mind." Strangely, she is the very first to say that. The reaction I get the most is ‘Really? Why?’

Why Not?? Jeez, did Einstein discover his theories asking himself why? And without them, we wouldn’t have all kinds of neat stuff like atom bombs. Descartes, Bruce Willis, Darwin, Ronaldo, did they get anywhere with asking why? I didn’t think so. So stop asking why, damnit, it’s not helping.

 

The contiuous dying of people around hasn’t even slowed. Relatives of friends, colleagues of family, more and more people I know are losing people close to them. I’m starting to get a little worried. I mean, of course it’s a terrible thing for them and maybe I shouldn’t be complaining, but I’m really getting a bit spooked here. I’ve heard of more deaths the past few months than I have in all my life.

There’s little else for me to do than pay my respects and secure myself when I’m climbing trusses. If death really is "a part of life" and all that crap, I’m pretty sure it’s the most shitty, fucked up part of all. So good luck to both those who leave and those who are left behind, both of you will need it.

 

Another casualty: my computer has finally died. I couldn’t even reformat it anymore, it was ready to explode. We took it to the shop and it should be better now. It were hardware problems as well as software, so I couldn’t have fixed it anyway. I could have found that out Before months of frustration and misery, but no, my superhero complex demanded that I would fix it on my own. Real smooth.

So as soon as I get internet back on, we’re back in business. Whatever business that may be. Why I should put it back on at all, remains a question. Meh. Maybe I’ll find another twisted I-know-I’m-addicted-but-I’m-liking-it role playing game to kill my social life. Man I sure miss those days.


The better life.

It’s odd how I only feel like rambling when I’m feeling sorry for myself. Seriously, Things have been looking up for the last week or so and all of a sudden I stop writing. ‘We noticed how humans define their surroundings by the misery they’re in’, a computer program once said in a movie. 3 points if you can guess which one.

So that’s where I am now. A careful optimism grows.

 

Friends asked me who the hell I was and what I’d done with Maarten. I noticed before I was changing somehow, now my friends are starting to see it as well. I don’t know where it comes from and which way it’ll go, but there’s not much I can do about it so I’m just enjoying the ride. I guess it’s about time, too. Being the antisocial cynic was cool and all, but it comes with a price. There were times when I got home, so sick and tired of staring eyes. Always those people, looking down on you, challenging you to glare back with a face saying "what are you looking at". They’re still staring, of course, but I care less. I’m too occupied with my own happy thoughts.

 

And oh yes, I turned 21 this week. Big party, all my friends invited, lots of music and dancing and sex. Ha ha. Yeah right. Nah, I just don’t see what the big deal is. If I really want to throw a party I’ll pick the date myself thankyouverymuch. I’m still the same kid I was last week and I refuse to act any different because the system demands I should celebrate this glorious day on which nothing at all changes and children still starve and we’re still bent over and abused.

My girlfriend however (I still have the disgusting habit of calling her my ex but I’m working on that) managed, as always, to make it a pretty special occasion. For further details you’ll have to pay €8/minute. To be honest I wasn’t at all looking forward to it, mostly because it’d be my first birthday in 5 or 6 years I’d have without her. Eventually every bit of excitement it brought, came from her. She can do that, don’t ask me how.


entries of confusion

Dear God no, what am I doing?? Where is this going to end? Instead of being a good girl and getting back with her prince she knocked on my door and asked again. She said she broke up with him because she wanted to try over with me. And where the fuck does My opinion come in? Why was it all settled before I even heard of it? And why, why the fuck, did I say yes??

Yes of course I love her, in my own way. Always have, that was never the problem, at least not from that point of view. People who’ve seen me from up close know what a fucking wreck I’ve been the past year. Anything but that again. I just felt like I was on my way back…

What am I gonna do?? Love just isn’t my thing. I can love someone, but it’s all relative. I never felt like I gave anyone the love he/she deserved. I hardly even know what love is, aside from bunched up hormones that make you Weak. Mellow.

She oughtta stay away from me. This’ll end in tears or a corpse in the mud. But she won’t, and I’ll crave it like the needy boy that I am. She was the first and only person that truely knew me. She knows my history, she was part of it. And now she wants my future. But do I want hers?

Her parents are gonne looove this. They were always a big fan of me, like all "adults". Not to mention a few people on my side that would likely slap me a bright pink if they could. And the thing is, they’re probably right.

But in the end, it just comes down to us loving eachother. I’ll try not to burden her with my doubts and fears, they’ve always been a part of me and I hate to bother people with it. Especially her. And even I, in my endless reasoning and overthinking, just want to rid myself of whatever’s holding me back and love her like she deserves. Even I can’t deny actually having feelings. (yuck.)

 

I just saw a shooting star, talk about irony. She was just saying yesterday she hadn’t seen any this year and that’s too bad because she had plenty of wishes to make. Good thing I’m not superstituous, I might be making more wishes I’ll regret.

It’s a miss, sometimes. No fairy tales to believe in, no God to ask for guidance, no "omens" that give you hope. I have a thing with crows, since they stand (to me, anyway) for death and rebirth. Also, I have a necklace with the symbol of the first chakhra, always around my neck. It stands for the point where you are connected to the heavens. At first I wore it because I’m an atheist, which makes me my own god and my entire body this connection point. Nowadays it has far less spiritual and more emotional value. Believing in yourself and having faith in your own character is a very good philosophy when it comes to surviving in boarding school and take on challenges, but when it comes to emotional resilience it’s a big fat zero. What god shrugs his shoulders and says "I give up", or doesn’t know the answer when you present him a difficult choice?

And when you’re about to die, you’re completely screwed. Buddhists, Hindu’s, Christians, they all have at least a chance of coincidentally believing in the right God and ending up in heaven. Athiests are double fucked here: first of all they don’t believe in life after death, so that means you should be Really scared to die because that’s when it all ends (take my word for it, it’s a lot worse than it may sound when you actually fear for your life), and if there really is a god, he’s probably quite pissed off because you chose to believe in something as weak and stupid like your own fleshy self.

Still, I don’t understand people that can believe in something that, wich the tiniest bit of thinking for yourself, instantly ceases to make any sense at all. Or instead of creating their own image to strive to and thus creating a heaven of their own, they choose to follow a dusty old book full of controversy and shady practices.

In the end it doesn’t matter if there is life after death. At least not in life itself. It’s all just for peace of mind when death is inevitable. When I’ll have cancer or there’s a set of headlights coming my way, I wish I could say "the Lord is my shepherd, I fear not."

But no, I had to think for myself.

 

Okay that’s the fifth time I spent 3 hours on the road to go to the shop that has my camera. And for the fifth fucking time, they were closed again. Although today is supposedly my fault, it’s the 11 of november, ANOTHER goddamn holiday, so I could have guessed they’d be closed. The second I catch them with their doors open, they’re gonna get a big, dangerous version of me storm in and strangle one of their employees until they give me back MY camera. They have my number, they have my address, Is It So Bleeding Hard to let me know it’s in Like They Promised!?! I don’t expect to get it back anymore, actually. I’m sure they sold it as a second-hand that was never picked up after repairs. There’s one little tiny problem with that, though. I can prove I paid for the repairs, and I know they can’t prove they notified me Because They Didn’t. So either they’re going to get me a new camera or go knock on the door of whatever fuckwad has it and take it back from him, killing him in the process if nescessary. If not, well, it’s their pretty faces on the frontline. I. Get. Nasty.


“The thunderbirds, are Go!”

Bus is paid for. No turning back now. This oughtta be good.

Ironically, I’ll be going alone. My friend will be coming a few days later. Thanks to him I Just managed to get my paws on a 25% discount on a bus straight to Oslo. If I would have booked 1 hour later, I’d have missed it. There was one condition, though, and that was to book a date before 22nd of december. I didn’t want to spend Too much time on my own (it’ll be hard enough as is) so I went for the 21nd. I’ve been having trouble finding a place to sleep though. Either they’re fully booked or they’re only open during the summer. Meh. I’ll find something eventually. I hope *cough*

Things seem to move so fast all of a sudden. There’s tons of things I need to do before I take off and although it’s still a month and a half I’m worried I won’t get it done in time. The good part is, thanks to the European Union I won’t have to bother with travel passes or other papers. At All. Imagine that.

I did some quick math and I figured I’ll need at least €1000 before I even take off. There goes a year of savings. On the other hand most of it are expenses I won’t have to make again, like a sleeping bag and such. Yes I do have a sleeping bag but I doubt I’ll be any good with something I’m cold in when sleeping over at my friend’s. A good vest, which I shouldn’t hold back on either, will cost me around €300 or more. No kidding. Sweaters are €100 each. The list goes on.

What I am excited about however, are the handy little tools. I’m often told to shut the fuck up about the things I can do with the stuff I have on me. I have a strange obsession with being prepared, which comes from both the DartMUD game, where my character had a backpack full of gear he needed for the many search-and-rescue ops he was on, and my terrible memory. I never leave house without my leatherman, cell phone, notebook (and pen), lighter, batteries, clips to hang stuff together, tape, and since recently a small first-aid kit (been looking for one for years). And my discman, of course, but that’ll get me killed in traffic rather than save my ass if a nuke would drop. But I gladly make an exception for music. I used to carry spare clothes but I lost my pack at work once and now I’m carrying a shoulder bag, easier to use but smaller in size.


I got a message from my friend saying ‘I’m not going’. He has his reasons, if he’d care to have them on the net I’m sure he’d write his own log. Norway suddenly seems a whole lot bigger and lonelier. All the initial reasons for going are gone now, aside from me wanting to pack my bags and piss off. It looks like I’ll have to camp somewhere either way, motels are fully booked the last days before newyear. So I’ll be camping alone. Jolly.

This sucks man. I was really looking forward to camping with the two of us. Two know more than one. And who will I discuss life with around a campfire? Who will I tell ‘we should do this again sometime’? And if I may sound selfish for a sec, who will I split equipment cost/weight with? Bah. He was looking forward to it, too. He was going to see old (or maybe not so old) friends again, celebrating newyear with them and stuff.. Which reminds me, I’ll more or less be stuck there with people I don’t know at all. I’m curious how that’ll go.

 

Well, I went shopping again. More "serious" stuff this time.

  • 2 fleece sweaters: €70×2 = €140
  • Pair of shoes without draft holes in them: €100
  • Decent gloves: €50
  • Isolation mat for sleeping on: €90
  • That’s about it. It was all I could easily carry home. So that comes down to um, €380 and I haven’t even gotten to the essential gear. Honestly, I don’t know what posesses certain people that makes them go shopping without the slightest remorse. My fricken’ heart bled every time I had to pay. €100 means 20 hours of work for me, mind you. 20 hours of taking crap, dragging and lifting flight cases, listening to the backstreet boys, loading trucks, climbing trusses, I could go on like this for quite a while. And when I get home I see the newspaper full of ‘strike here, protest there’. I’d like to see Them spend 3 days building a festival with 4 hours sleep a night for less than minimum wage. I think they’ll be behind their expensive-ass little desk with free pencils before you can say "okay that was the load-in. Everyone back here around 11pm for the load-out!". Fuckers.

    What was my point again..

    Ah yes. Fortunately there was good news, too. The boots cost me €50 less than I expected, and the fleece sweaters €30 each. And! Among the goose-feather filled sleeping bags I found a synthetic one that not only lacks the ghosts of dozens of dead geese haunting you at night, but because it’s less capable of reducing size it’s only half as expensive, with still the same isolation capabilities. The weight is about the same, so hell if I’ll pay an additional €150 for a few extra liters of space in my backpack.


    Stupid Plan #14

    For this month’s edition of "let’s-come-up-with-a-plan-that-makes-others-laugh-in-your-face-and-you-can’t-figure-out-why" we have another trip ready. No staring at americans as if they were monkeys in a zoo this time, although I really was looking forward to travelling to a land where europeans are considered Sexay. No, we’re going up north this time. Way north, to Norway. The idea was to crash at youth hostels and travel around but a friend who is probably going with made a cool suggestion: a camping trip! Yes, in Norway. Yes, in the winter. Don’t ask dumb questions please. Sheesh.

    Besides a good opportunity to freeze my little bollocks off, I think it’d be good training for any future trips. Also it’d give me the chance to gear up. I experienced first hand how difficult a bivouac (I found that word in the dictionary but it looks so stupid to me I’m doubting if it even exists) can be in boot camp, and I cincerely doubt if it was nearly as cold there than it will be in Norway. We’re still planning and discussing, but I’m stressing that it shouldn’t take longer than 3 days, since we’re not at all experienced enough to be camping any time longer. Even for the most experienced of bivouac’ers (heh), camping out in fricken’ Norway is a great challenge. Only staying for 2 nights will allow us to change clothes every day, and won’t require us to rely on nature for drinking water and food. I learned how, but I’m not quite willing to let my life depend on testing the theory. Maybe some other time and definately some other place. In short, I’m quite confident we’ll Survive 2 nights. Any more, I’m not so sure.

    But we’re optimistic. I really think we can pull this off if we’re properly prepared. I’m even willing to make it a bit harder on ourselves: not bringing lighters or matches, I might even go without flashlight, although that remains to be seen. I best not bluf myself into trouble. I’m probably underestimating how hard this is going to be. Without the right preparation and know-how this is an extremely dangerous thing to do. I had the training for it, but boot camp in may in Belgium can hardly compare to the wilderniss in the winter in Norway huh.. I know the theory, I know the tricks. Not losing fingers or taking a crap at night is another story. This Is Not your holiday vacation in the wildpark in Buttfuck, Germany.

    Gotta love how that sounds, though. If it were up to me half the world would be at our feet begging us not to go because it’s all so dangerous. And we, hard-boiled young men, we go anyway, risk our lives ‘n crap, and come back in all our glory and a manly 4 o’clock shade. Heh.

    Okay, but am I really going?? I don’t know. Again, I’m letting it depend on others too much. I was, in fact, planning to go alone at first, and do city trips and maybe, maybe go camping in the wild for a few days. I had it all planned out, leaving around the end of november, city trips through Norway, Sweden and Finland. Even asked information about cheap ways to travel. I asked a friend if maybe he’d like to tag along, not expecting he would, and he said he was going to celebrate newyear with a friend there anyway. What do you know. So actually I’m kinda going with him instead of the other way around, but I’m staying longer to explore the cities there. That was the plan, anyway. Now I’m not so sure I’ll even bother with that, packing for both city trips and outdoor camping might prove difficult. We’ll see.

    In the mean time I’m gonna put the logs of the trip in a different section so they’re easy to find/ignore. The first one of these can be found below this one.

     

    Meanwhile, life goes on. Been spending my days in Ghent so I can keep myself busy. Busy busy busy, that’s the idea. Don’t look back.


    testing, en to tre

    I’m gonna do this. I don’t give a rat’s ass about how utterly crazy and stupid it sounds. I have the payment for the bus all filled out, I just need my father to sign for his credit card (I’m repaying him, of course) and it’s settled. Fuck. I’m really gonna do this. And the backstreet boys claimed they were crazy. Heh.

    So! I went shopping today!

    • Kindle wood
    • A magnesium firestarter
    • What we thought was an automatically heating blanket
    • A "fuselierschupke", being an infanterist shovel
    • A small Nederlands-Norsk Norsk-Nederlands dictionary

    The wood, firestarter and blanket were for testing, so we didn’t end up counting on it up there and it turns out to be something completely different. And a good idea, too.

    The kindle wood, finger-long wood sticks, is okay, but since we have pine wood there that burns easily I doubt if we’ll need it.

    The firestarter is something pretty neat: you scrape off magnesium chips with your pocket knife and then set them on fire by running the blade against the other side, shooting off sparks. You may or may not know, magnesium powder was used for old photography flashes, the ones that go PHOOM and produce a lot of smoke. In other words, magnesium is Extremely flammable. Very odd for a metal. It worked to put paper on fire, but wood gives problems. The magnesium burns too fast and the wood doesn’t get hot enough to catch fire. I’m gonna try a few more times but I think we might be better off using matchers or a lighter. Less macho, but I suppose it works…

    Testing the blanket proved to be a very good idea: it’s no blanket at all. The package said "body warmer" so we figured it’s actually big enough to warm your body. Wrong. It’s actually a 15x10cm patch. I put it in my sock and it’s keeping my feet warm right now. Well, Foot, just one. The package said it generates heat for 12+ hours. That is a Very long time for a chemical reaction, so I’m curious to see about that. It’s been active for 2 hours now and the heat hasn’t faded, although it seems somewhat irregular now and then.

    The shovel, I just had to buy. It’s the exact same kind we used in boot camp and I recall it’s a great tool. You can fold it up to a very small size, you can turn the blade 90° forward to hack through frozen ground, hell you can even use it to bring down small trees. Incredibly handy.

    The dictionary.. well.. I hope to learn a word or 2 before I take off, so I can at least say ‘thanks’ without having to look it up. To be honest Norwegian sounds exactly like a cross between english and a west-flamish accent. In fact I can understand it better than the accent.

     

    Temperatures there are said to be higher than -10°C, wich is a relief cause I thought they’d be worse. And it doesn’t Always snow in Norway! But how do they travel then, if not by sled? Much investigation will be required. How do people live, side by side with mooses, with a diesel powered generator in each town and a B&W tv that plays re-runs of ‘Saved By The Bell’? How do they milk their angora goats at -10°C? And… Who cares?

     

    My friend and myself have been quite amused by the Norwegian language. Some words seem to be directly stolen from flamish slang. And did you know there’s a place in norway named ‘Hell’? They even have a town with the norwegian word for hell, which is.. *looks it up* ‘Helvete’. I Just Have To Visit Those and send a postcard there. "With Love From Hell".