Lift Off

Times are a’changin’ and everybody’s feelin’ it.
The worlds that make up my life are shifting, from my job to critical choices made by close friends. It’s fascinating to watch, but at the same time inspiring. I think it’s time for some change. In fact, I think I’m overdue- not that I mind.

It’s ironic in a sense, since drastic change is pretty much what my whole little life is built on. From downtown squats to the army and from the dungeons of SIDMAR to the skies of Werchter; hell even my social life is laced with controversy. And here I am, thinking it’s time for a little change.

What I have in mind most of all, are career choices that urgently need to be made. Urgently, in the sense that I’m slowly beginning to push on thirty and I have no plan with my life. If you think you don’t know what your future might turn out as, imagine a case where you never even bothered to worry about it- until today.

I have a number of ideas playing in my head. They are rough sketches and I may proceed with them, I may not. At this point however, I really would like to, but bear in mind, I’ve never studied for any of this. This is what I would like to do if I could have it my way, but the odds of things falling into place as I would like them, is scarce at best.

Boo hoo.
Sucking it up:

  1. The Crew Chief option. This is actually what has been playing in my mind for around three years now, and what I’ve been promising my employer to do. “Get a driver’s license, and the door to crew chief-ness is open.” And I said that I would, just… Not right now. Too many things to do first, places to see, people to do. I didn’t want to get tied down too much, still don’t.
  2. My own way. I am in the process of enlisting for a course that’s supposed to be a pretty big deal. Out of around two hundred interested, only twenty get selected to do the course. The plan is to be one of them, or, another such group. The idea is to learn “Stage technics”, which boils down to the basics like live sound, light, studio recording, electricity and all that. I pretty much learned all I can from my current job and it’s starting to become less of a challenge, so I feel ready to grow further. What could be an option later on is to get my own sound/light equipment, and start a small business on my own doing parties and such.
    Good thing about this idea is that it can grow progressively; I can start with the absolute basics and when more is required, I can rent it or, if funds allow, buy and expand. There’s no reason why I would get into serious financial trouble as long as I keep my expenses modest- small amounts of equipment at a time.
  3. Photography. Yes, I am still serious about it. More accurately, event photography. I’m beginning to think more and more, that I have what it takes to become good enough to ask decent amounts of money for my work. No time soon, mind you, but soon enough. For a couple days’ work, I can collect enough to take the next step in this plan, which is a new body/lens/flash/tripod/whatever and grow further as a photographer. Again, this process doesn’t take insane funds and given enough patience, I can get by without big-ass loans. Once I have the basics, I may even be able to keep some cash.

The more insightful among you might notice that all three could be combined, relatively easily even. Photography won’t take up more than a few days per month (I expect), so I can mainly focus on getting my driver’s license and build from there. Getting that degree and starting as crew chief won’t be compatible, but don’t necessarily need to be.

So the whole tree leads back to that single cocksucker of an issue: A driver’s license. Not looking forward to that, I must say. I failed my theoretical exam once already and though I told myself to try again right away, I postponed it a couple days. I was twenty-two then. I’ll get to it.

I was explaining all this to my father the other day. Him and I never got along very well; I blame him of being a worse father than I am a son, and that’s saying a damn lot. Needless to say (but still said), my surprise when he voiced his support was great. Not that he ever broke my ideas down, but he never really seemed to care.
Surprised as I was, my jaw dropped completely when he offered to support me financially. My father is much like me in that sense: Broke. He doesn’t have the money any more than I do, but still wants to cough it up under one condition: that I am going to spend it on the lens I had been so excitedly talking about. €800, on the table in front of me. Just to get me going. I literally didn’t know what to say.

So, I thanked him. Repeatedly. Opportunist that I am, I accepted the money and will spend it as promised: on the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens, a jewel of a piece and the logical next step after my “nifty fifty” 50mm f/1.8. A lot of things like external flash and tripod will have to follow after that, but I kept that silent in the awkward kind of gratitude that follows such a gift.

While it never really held me back before, the unexpected support of my family is a welcome one. It gives a confidence boost that shouldn’t be underestimated.



With what I assume to be an unusual lifestyle like mine, going from one temporary situation to the next, it is frighteningly easy to lose yourself in hello’s and goodbyes. Couchsurfers, colleagues, acquaintances, volunteers. So many people that I once connected with, and got to know well in some cases, I will never see again. Because they are on the other side of the world, literally or figuratively.
I’ve always had a kind of puppy complex that tears my heart out every single time I have to say goodbye. That is, in part, because I put much effort into adjusting to them. A vague term, I know; and maybe just another one for saying that I easily grow to love people near me.

I miss the theater group. There, I said it. I miss being part of the project, I miss being greeted with a genuine smile every day. I miss the interest I had in all of them.
Nicely on cue, “normal” work is picking up (I’m writing this between three shifts rather than sleeping) and I’m surrounded by familiar faces again. Which is fine, don’t get me wrong. It may be a little tough to get into the routine again but I’m eagerly awaiting a busy summer.

In short: I’m hitting that “black hole” after an intense experience, that the actors frequently spoke of but I never really worried about. I didn’t think it would be this bad. Seriously, if I had it like this every time I see people come and go, I’d be far less motivated to get around them to begin with.
So! What’s the perfect cure for nothingness? Somethingness!

Norway: My home away from home. On the seventh, four of us macho troupe are going macho hiking in the macho cold and mountains for ten-ish days. Fuck yeah.
They’re the same people I walked across Scotland with exactly one year ago, it’s something we’re planning on doing on a yearly basis. This time, I hope to be better capable of keeping up physically, so finger crossed on that one.

I wish I could casually say that we’ll be able to waltz in and out and get a couple nice snapshots on the way. Truth is however, that I’m not as confident. We did a bit of calculating and we’re counting on 12-14 kilo of equipment each, which is roughly the same weight that made me limp for a full month last time around. And that was considered hilly terrain, as opposed to mountainous which we are facing now. We’ve brought back the pace a little, but I’m still in doubt whether we’ll make it- or to put it better: whether I will make it.

I haven’t put much effort into packing yet, but I should get to it. Toothbrush, socks, the usual. Oh and shorts for the night because it’s minus six fucking degrees there as we speak. Boo hoo we’re all going to die.

So yah. Fingers crossed and knees well oiled. Wish me luck!



What kind of freak of a Belgian doesn’t drink alcohol, anyway? We have beer for tap water and all I drink is orange juice, which by the way is coming out my fucking ears.

I can count the number of people that I know who don’t drink alcohol, on one hand; and that is after two friends of mine quit recently. Kudos to them; noticing that society’s liquid equivalent for fun at a party is a bad influence in your life takes a sharp mind and healthy self-awareness. Because what is sure as hell won’t include, is understanding of others. And, I have to admit, I too had the initial reaction of, “Really? Why?”

I’m a big fan of the word “Why,” and even more of the combination “Why not.” I think I’ll look up if there’s a facebook fan page on both of these.
But when it comes to the decision of not drinking alcohol, the dumbshit question of “Why not?” is probably even more misplaced than when pregnancy is involved. Drinking yourself into a stupor is dead normal, but not doing so requires a valid and very interesting reason behind it. Not that every “drinker” does it to get drunk, but you wouldn’t ask him why, regardless.
When I am offered a beer, which is roughly seven times per twenty minutes, I respectfully refuse. No, thanks. I don’t mention that I don’t drink, because the surprised face and awkward question that I can say along by now will be inevitable. Still, I have yet to come up with a method to keep others from pointing at me saying “He doesn’t drink alcohol.”

So why, then?
I don’t really have a reason not to drink alcohol, to be honest. I just don’t have a reason to drink alcohol, either, and since it tastes quite disgusting to me, I actually need one to pour that piss down my throat. Back when I was a kid, I was told I would “need to learn to drink to enjoy it.” That might be a valid reasoning for others, but not for me- I don’t need to like a damn thing, thank you. So, I never learned, and beer still tastes like a detergent-and-sand mixture with gas in it. Have I mentioned that I don’t drink anything carbonated, either? It hurts my throat.

I’m sorry, alright? I seriously don’t give a crap about single, double and triple distilled beers, red white or pink wine, cocktails, combo’s… It just doesn’t excite me. And while I could use some social lubricant from time to time, it just doesn’t seem worth it.


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