Archive for October, 2010

-Away From Keyboard-

It still gets difficult. Life is so much better since I hit rock bottom, but there are moments when I slip. Makes my keyboard happy, because it seems I write best when it gets dark.

It’s in my character, I think. I’m as melancholic as they come. No matter how “over it” I am, I will always think back and hope for what I once had. Even when it wasn’t all that much, it’s more than what I have now- two empty beds, both too big for me.

One cheated, one switched sides, one lost me like a bad habit. One I even managed to hurt, myself.
I miss her- and nowadays, “she” hardly even has a face, anymore. I just… miss, a lot. The gnawing feeling of spending time without easily counters the fading scar, so that the pain settles on a numb level, like a birth defect I am acutely aware of- Anywhere I go.

I am twenty-five and to my panic, outgrowing “boy toy” age. I was always my wet dream to get adopted by some older lady, to show me the complete, undiscovered emotional and sexual package. Or, alternatively, just find a student Ghent is packed with- A generation I am also getting too old for.

The difference between a dirty old man and a normal young one is just age, you know, and the diminishing effect it has on attractiveness.
I’ve gotten a hell of a lot better at being alone and pretending not to be bothered by it. But in the end, I am still alone and still stuck without someone to work for, wake up for, harass, fight with, or send a text message for no apparent reason- not like I ever do that, anyway.

When I was about 12, I dreamed that I would have to choose between my girlfriend at the time, or myself. One of us had to die. It went without saying that I would be the one to push up daisies, but the intensity of the dream made me wake up crying. Because I still had so much to live for: Someone to marry, grow old with, have children with (or the freedom to decide not to),… All permanently attached to some person or other- but someone.

What I’m trying to say is that all these aspects, and more, are essential to (my idea of) successful living. All aspects that I miss now that I’m moving on without.


 

I would post the pictures of our latest production now (yes, the ones I’ve been working on for days on end) but oh, my laptop just crashed.

Again: My laptop just crashed.

After a few months in my possession, my big-ass €1200 Dell laptop decided “Fuck this” and died on me while booting. The hard disk made that horrifying grinding noise you really don’t want it to make, and everything just… froze.

Self-analysis brought up nothing. BIOS set-up: Nada. The last thing that happened to it was my friend opening and shutting the lid a few times, effectively making it boot and shut down four times simultaneously. So- or so I figured, it’s probably just Windows breaking down crying on me, right?

I always believed Windows was “just” an operating system and really little more than a glorified version of DOS, giving you a representation of the organisation on your hard drive.
I really wish someone would have broken the news to me, because the surprise after re-installing and finding my hard disc EMPTY, was a very unpleasant one.

Everything is gone. My music. My pictures. Those pretty fucking essential sound files for the theater production.
Thank Maynard I kept a backup on my hard disk, which was more circumstantial than anything- I don’t usually keep backups. Most of my pictures, including the old ones with quite a bit of emotional value attached, were saved and now have their only copy on there. Lucky break there.

Meanwhile, I managed to bring my laptop back from the dead and decided, judging from the timing of its ditching me, it’s really a “she”. But let’s not go into that.
It’s working, yes, but barely. All the essentials are there: My hard disk, processor, and internet connection- and that’s about where it ends.  Windows won’t function as it should because it requires more advanced graphics than the (apparent) back-up VGA adapter on my motherboard can handle; let alone decent photo editing software. And that means? Photography is out of the question for the next couple months, as well, which is just breaking my heart.

Speaking of which, I am planning to have the thing fixed properly (it’s formatted now anyway) which means I will have to do without for a few weeks after the theater production.
I am dreading those weeks.
Maarten without internet is like chocolate cake without mustard. I don’t think it will be long before I am at a friend’s, or even my sister’s, stealing their internets.

BUT until then, verminophobics rejoice! Experience has taught me that a lack of functional computer works like a charm to get me off my ass and behaving like a normal human being and clean this place up for once. So busy with photography and working, even while at home, has led me to neglect this place like never before.

So in the next two-three weeks, Don’t email me. Call me, and save me from the cleaning!

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The Sprint

My house is the perfect metaphor for my overall status at the time so allow me to describe my living room.

Unopened mail is stacking up behind the screen of my computer. Letters with little plastic windows, which means they have bills inside. Cables are tangled between them: USB, FireWire, Mini-jack… Furthermore, a roll of tape, toothpicks and sea salt- still in the shaker, mind.

My pyjama’s are in a heap at my feet. Light green flannel with tiny cartoons on them, made by my grandmother (I’m not shitting you). Another letter or two. A cd case dangerously positioned on the floor, clinging to its fragile, costly content. Beside it, under the protection of a chair, an USB controller for Virtual DJ. On that chair, empty yoghurt bottles and a booklet “Engelsk” I borrowed from a far-away friend and didn’t remember to return in time.

More cables. An empty Aquarius bottle. A cardboard box with paint cans. A book, “Professional Audio…” Something- there’s a sock in the way. Two large speakers that work, two smaller ones thrown apart that stubbornly refuse to- along with the Hi-Fi chain beside them. Clothes litter the place, camouflaging my backpack thrown where-ever, a neatly packed tent, a wooden board.

If you were to tell me I urgently need to clean my place before I scare off visitors or give them some nasty infection, I’d roll my eyes and say “duh.” This place is a pig stall, because I bring trash of whatever I grabbed to eat along the way when I come home, sit down for five minutes and take off again, minus the trash. That’s how it’s been going for about a month now, with one (1) single sunday somewhere in between where I took the time to take it easy, not nearly in a fucking mood to start spring cleaning.

It has been dirty here in the past, but I’m really pushing it this time. Hell, I’m starting to disgust myself whenever I have the time to sit and look at this place, which luckily isn’t often at all.

 

What I am oh so occupied with lately is school, first of all, but as a close second the new theater production I volunteered for. Building an epic set in record time takes some real effort, you know. The time I didn’t spend in Brussels, I was soldering electro magnets, calculating the necessary wattage for 450 LEDs or hanging up 26 channels worth of lights.

Lately I’ve been successful in pretty much everything I’ve started, and in a over-confident mood I promised I would do several things I really never learned how to, let alone in this short amount of time. I didn’t know magnets need DC current! Every time I think I get it right, there’s something I overlooked and I have to start over again. The director is getting a little frustrated with my standard “tomorrow” answer.

In the end, I pulled it all off, but at a cost. I had to cancel pretty much all my plans, letting down my friends, colleagues, and in the end, even the people at the theater. I bit off more than I could chew, but somehow I managed.

I’m rather proud of myself. I showed above average skill with computers, electronics, technics both light and sound, and pretty much everything that needed done. I even had the time to shoot some pictures- more on that later. But what matters most to me, is that I had something to do, someone to be. This city lives and breathes and it is wonderful to be part of all that. As usual, people declared me insane to accept this kind of stress without payment, but what else am I going to do? I was born for this. I need some occupation or I’ll grow mad, and I’ve seen that proven in the past.

Today, now that the rush is nearing a finish, I can catch a breath and do my laundry. I can’t remember if I had a dog, maybe I’ll buy some dogfood to be sure. I deserve a cookie for what I did, and a degree for what I learned. I wonder what’s in stall next.


From Scratch Again

“You’re like one of those guys with the machete.”

– “The who with the what?”

– “The guy with the machete. You know, in the jungle? Single file, the guy takes point. Being all manly and violent and cutting everything out of the way. And nobody says a thing because you know, they have to get through. But in the back a trail of destruction is left behind, and they weren’t the ones who did it.”

 

Okay how about this:

The reason I’m an asshole to people I work with is because I’m on an endorphin high and I want everybody to be. Not because I want to share the buzz, but because they’re interrupting mine. Until the job is done or I’m tired enough to give it a break, I want shit to work and I want them to work with as much speed, danger and laughs as possible. If you get in my way at this point or make me wait for whatever reason, I get short and loud with you.

It’s yet another theory but I think I nailed it this time. After a fairly long hiatus in stagehand work, I worked together with my classmates in a church today, building a theater production. Although I tried hard to contain myself a little, I frequently let slip blunt comments that I regretted immediately after.

What the fuck, man? This urge is so strong, and I don’t want to be a dick. But we’ve been through this.

My twelve-step plan in three easy steps:

– Apologize.
– Ask for patience. (I should just put that on a fucking tee shirt)
– Act like a fucking adult.

I should join a SWAT team in my spare time to get my kicks- or learn to skydive to matter-of-factly dance music inches from death. Perhaps paintballing is a safer alternative? Friends know me as a mint tea drinking, dead calm individual but when the adrenalin kicks in, I’m a regular douchebag. There must be some way to vent that? Perhaps I should ask somebody in the know, though I’m pretty sure they’ll just prescribe me fucking pills again.

 

 

Speaking of pills. When I was a kid, they made me go to about four or five different psychologists, psychiatrists and Maynard knows what else, until they gave up and put me on ritalin after the diagnose literally failed.

They made me sick. Rather than being able to concentrate, I sat there shaking and sweating and, oh irony, distracted. In the end, I hid the pills between my fingers as I pretended to take them, and threw them away. Best decision I ever made in those sixteen years or so.

I still failed in school, repeatedly and consistently. I never studied for longer than fifteen minutes and didn’t pay the least bit of attention in class. So after a while, although doctors never got it right and their method didn’t work, I began to believe them. What else was I to think? I knew I wasn’t stupid, but what else was I, then?

This month I learned, to my great relief, that they were wrong- and, as a result, so was I. It appears that, in contrary to popular belief, I can sit still on a chair all day and listen to what I’m told. I can face fucking forward and pay attention.

Where I picked up these skills, is a big goddamn mystery to me. If it hadn’t been, I might have started getting this ball rolling a long time ago.
No, it turns out, I am actually the smartass of this class. I constantly have my finger up and make nerdy remarks to prove that I understand the constant teacher’s drone better than the man next to me.

Respect for those teachers is a new little feat, too, although I am convinced that is mostly because that respect is now mutual.

In short, and I never in a million years thought I would say this: I’m enjoying going to school again. The stuff I’m learning is fascinating. The people I’m learning from spent a lifetime collecting the knowledge they pass on, and what’s very important: They still use it every day. My colleagues (classmates, whatever) are a cool bunch, even the retards among them, and it’s a pleasure working with them.

What more can I ask for? At this pace I might just get the hang of this “school” thing I never got.

Imagine that…


Heart Felt

NO TIME TO WRITE BUT I’M WRITING ANYWAY.

Shit’s passing by so fast I’m getting a whiplash just looking at my agenda. Holy shit yes, Bob has an agenda now. Between going to school, working for two separate theater productions simultaneously, making preparations for a party I’m deejay’ing and a few hours sleep per day, there’s little time left for a life of a satisfactory kind. Not that I’m not enjoying myself, mind you.

Why that is? Because I can finally put my competences to use. A whole lot of the things I know and can are being put to the test, from what little I learned in Industrial Sciences class in making an electro magnet from scratch, to musical knowledge in the music I’m collecting.

But there’s so much more! Don’t get what the electro magnet is for? Don’t worry, I learned to use this 3D modeling program to draw it out for you- I can even make the parts move. Need your music thoroughly edited to make it fit your play? How’s this? Perfect? Good.

On top of that is the shitload I already picked up in school, already. From audio equipment to Ohm’s law, we’re barely twenty days in and already I can put these things to good use.

But god, I wish I could split myself in two sometimes. Shit’s nearly going nearly tits-up at the theater, and I barely have enough time to get my own contribution in order, let alone help the others. Where I was once welcomed as a hero, I am now… well, absent.

I’m enjoying myself, but I’m in the red and I can’t keep this up for long. Luckily the ongoing productions aren’t going to last forever and in due time I might get some time for myself. Thing is though, I quickly get tired of free time so I try not to complain about a lack of it.

I’m doing well and I can tell. I have no problem concentrating in class because it interests me enormously, and I have the feeling I’m building towards something. What that is, time will tell, but I can’t wait.

Magnificent!

I changed websites, some might have noticed. They made me do it, or I wouldn’t have. I’m a Microsoft bitch.

Yeah yeah, this and that feature and ohmigod privacy options and yada yada. Content stays the same.
Some entries apparently lost their category settings. I don’t feel like going back four years or more to correct them all, so consider posts before this “hopelessly jumbled” until further notice. Much, much further.

Please notice that to the top right, you can see a link to the “Trespass Photography” part of the site, which I encourage you to visit and share with friends, family, and attractive young women digging photographers.

Oh and all that jazz can be found right here:
https://verminsnest.wordpress.com/
How sexy is that?
Very.