Archive for April, 2011

Sheeple

Go to heaven for the climate, and to hell for the company.

-Mark Twain

yeahsheepI watched the city lights switch on, today. You know it’s always a cool feeling when you notice that flash and know that the street lights got your back tonight, like every night; but it’s something else entirely when you’re looking down on the city when it happens.

There’s a new scaffolding structure in the city center. It covers the roof of a late-medieval building used as a school, and runs down the front to provide easy access. Aside from helping the workers get about 7 floors up, it also holds a skin of a strange plastic material that cinches on extremely tight and serves as a temporary roof while the building’s dome is being repaired.
How do I know all this? Because I went up, bitches.

Gent has been the playground of a small army of light architects (as in “Fuckit, reading is hard. I’ll become a light architect”) so if there’s something Gent has a lot of, it’s asshole students. Oh and fancy streetlights.

The “three towers” (eat it, LOTR) were the first to get a makeover and now feature three different tints of light. At first I thought that didn’t make sense but if you think about it, they’re built in different types of stone anyway and they would just look the same, which would be a shame because they really do have their own individual character- anyway. These lights all warm up in different ways so after the initial flash, they all begin changing colors subtly until fully lit. It’s quite the show.

Not to mention, you sit there watching the whole town change color. The sun hasn’t fully set yet and there is still an afterglow, but with the golden specks of light everywhere, you suddenly really feel like the night has fallen.


People read this shit, and it’s keeping me from writing. Friends, acquaintances, even my former boss knows that I write, and what about. In itself it’s kind of flattering, but it is also a major problem, because with every new reader I have to adjust my material.

Yes yes yes I write for myself and bla bla and bla. But the fact that people read this is keeping me from being as honest and blunt as I would like to, which is a shame because there’s plenty I’m carrying, that I won’t get to vent. Call me a hypocrite, but ask yourself if you would- knowing full well that not everyone will appreciate you putting their personal issues for the world to read (anonymous as I might keep it) and you’ll be held accountable.

Personal thought is one thing, but this is a form of communication, which means putting on a mask and watching your tongue. It’s a shame but that’s just how it is; if one day I might stop caring about my friends and family and insist on dying alone, then I’ll start writing things truly as I think them.

A couple friends (hi guys!) recently advised me not to care and start speaking my mind a little more. After I gave them a brief example however, one of them mentioned that the question might be “How is it possible that you can be so mean” so my guess is that if I really had the habit of being direct, they wouldn’t be my friends to begin with.
I think they were just aiming for the shock factor, and hoping to get some unrefined feedback on their persona like I mentioned before we would all appreciate.

But seriously, it can’t be that unusual that I just don’t want to upset anyone unnecessarily? Okay granted, I have done so in the past but I never said I was anything more than mere human.
I wish I could, but what am I supposed to do?? I try to be as open as I can be but we’ve all got our secrets, don’t we? I know for a fact that it would help me immensely dealing with things, but I just can’t expect the whole world to ignore the asshole that I really am and continue to buy my friendly (HA HA) exterior?

So here: I’ve missed my childhood friend like crazy but my trust is broken and I just wouldn’t know what to say to him, anymore.
I don’t call my father because I was as bad a son as he was a father, and the regret builds with every day I don’t pick up my phone to call him.
I am stupidly in love, have been for quite some time.
I think my friend needs to face the fact that another life depends on his own, and he needs to get his act together, and stay away from the kind of computer games that he enjoys too much.
I think my other friend’s girlfriend is fucking hot, and I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t told her ‘no’, before they were together. Luckily I know there is no way it would have worked out.
I think last performance, which was the final project of a student actress, at De Vieze Gasten was beyond bad; I don’t think she will pass because of how nervous, spastic, and flat-out horrible she was. And that top made her look like a hunchback
RAAHH
HAPPY NOW? Now let’s all globally forget this shit and note that for once, I did show some flat-out honesty (actually this is still quite nuanced) where it was due.

Call me a coward if you must, but I don’t see you spilling these things in public. Try it, and you’ll see how difficult it really is.


We’re in the process of planning a bachelor’s weekend for a friend who’s getting married this summer. We, being myself and four dozen more friends of his- I never realized just how popular this guy is.

I’m not going to go into the details of what we’ve got planned so far, but suffice to say this must be the most awesome weekend any guy can have with his pants off and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t think I could have wished it any better myself- Or could I?

I never thought of myself as a cliché (who does) but it turns out, all the things I enjoy would be considered typically male, since they all include something of the technology, violence, or heavy machinery categories, not including and fetishes because they’re deemed inappropriate. Hypocrites.

So how would these friends define me, and work out the theme of my bachelor party? Since you know, everything is about me. We always try to take a few character traits and exaggerate them, and then build the whole trip around them. One friend’s adventurousness sure backfired on him when he had to measure the width of a lake with nothing but a rope that was too short.

I certainly know what I hope they’ll do: Two days of this (can you believe that shit’s legal?) and I’ll die a happy man. But I wouldn’t care not knowing, because I know they’d make it into an awesome day, it’s something they’re amazingly good at. Hell, all this planning makes me wonder if I should pass by Russia on my way back from Lapland and fetch me a bride on the go. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind hitch-hiking to my place. Heh.

Bet your ass they’d use my awkwardness around chicks to make me talk to random skirt on the streets, discover a new confidence, and regret tying myself down. I might just divorce and start again, earning me another one of those weekends. Oh man oh man, I’m just full of great ideas tonight.

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By the numbers

In today’s edition of “unpopular opinions,” because “I don’t particularly like children” and “Truth is destructive” have already been done, I’ll move on to the next subject:

I don’t have much against nuclear power.
I think the reason that so many people are joining the “NEIN GEGEN KERNKRAFT” movement nowadays can be analyzed to a few different points.

First of all, radiation is something very mysterious to most people, and I’ll be honest, including myself. And as the wise men say here, “Unknown means unloved.” It can’t be seen, it can’t even be felt, but come close and you’re fucked. I’ve seen footage of helicopters covering up the Tsjernobyl falling straight from the sky with no apparent cause other than the operator simply losing consciousness.
People can’t grasp what radiation truly is and how it affects us. What radiation sickness is and how it can be treated, or how pills could possibly work against something as intangible as light.

Secondly, the things long-term radiation does to the body look horrifying. I watched a documentary made by a photographer wanting to capture what he calls Tsjernobyl’s children (watch that if you have a strong stomach) and it blew me away. Generation and generations of people were disfigured and misshapen, all due to something they didn’t even know existed.

Regarding all those things, I suppose it’s only natural to be terrified of nuclear power. Not to mention that the power plants constantly have to be cooled by water which is then poured back into the rivers, and the constant nuclear waste they give off.

Now, in order to back up my argument, I’m going to state a few facts. If you think they’re wrong, you can provide counterweight in the ‘reply’ box below.
People are easily affected by visual stimuli. Seeing monstrous children would make anyone scream bloody murder and ban anything that caused it. Combine that with the fact that for the average citizen, there is simply no way to check how much radiation they are exposed to, and in two days you’ll have the whole world holding their government at gunpoint, demanding the termination of anything nuclear.

clickyPeople seem to believe that any radiation at all will cause you cancer tomorrow and result in horrible death. The chart to the left here (click it) shows otherwise, and I’ve found many more like it so I am inclined to believe it accurate.

When taught in the army what radiation actually is and how pills do help (look it up, fatass) it becomes much easier to grasp the nature of the danger and it becomes far less frightening.

Voices are raised that alternatives for nuclear power must be found. They seem to forget that back in the days, nuclear power was the alternative, to fossil fuels. What’s going to happen when people find out the chemicals involved with making solar panels (not to mention their shelf life), or the kind of production and maintenance required for wind turbines with equal capacity? More alternatives?

The smoke rising from nuclear power plants isn’t smoke, it’s water vapor, Which isn’t radioactive any more than normal sea water is. The same goes for the coolant water dumped into the river- the only pollution is of a thermal kind, which is easily solved. And then, there is something few people know:

Nuclear power plants give very little waste.
What they do give, is divided into a few categories, such as very low level waste (VLLW) just like your own household waste, low level waste (LLW) and high level waste (HLW). LLW takes up 90% of the waste, and contains less than 0.1% of the radiation. These are gloves, helmets, tools, and so on that contain less radiation than the rocks of Cornwall, which contain higher levels of natural radioactivity.

HLW is the nasty shit, what you’re taught to be afraid of. It takes up about 0.1% of the total waste, and is produced when the nuclear fuel is reprocessed into new material. It is concentrated, ground into powder, poured into glass, and encased in steel. This makes it “passively” safe, meaning that no one needs to keep it cool or whatever for it to chill and not fuck us up. And here’s the classy part:

“It is understood that the amount of HLW produced by Britain’s nuclear industry in the last  years would take no more space than about seven double-decker buses.”

Double-deckers. How British.

The shitty part of course, is that this filth stays radioactive for tens of thousands of years. So in Finland (I think), they hollowed out a mountain to store it all, a process which they can repeat plenty of times until some other power becomes popular.

What we should really worry about is the ILW (intermediate-level waste. If you’re not going to do your homework, I’ll keep things hidden from you for dramatic effect any time I want, thankyou) which I suppose takes up around 10%. Now for this problem, a solution still needs to be found. There are no facilities that process it but luckily it’s still safe enough to just cram into the power plants’ basement until those arrive.

So, ladies and gentlemen, that is why I don’t particularly disapprove of nuclear power. Yes, there are risks. Yes, there is pollution. But if you consider how effective nuclear power is, and how little the pollution and risk (2 major accidents in 40 years is manageable, in my book), it’s hard to find an alternative doable on the scale these power plants can provide. Wind and solar energy just can’t cut the enormous output of a nuclear plant.

Of course we will have to search for alternatives in due time, but there’s no need for this sudden mass panic and obsession with less effective means long before they really become feasible.

I would like to point out that I’ve had this opinion since I was about 17, and I’m not just trying to be interesting here by disagreeing with the masses.
I used
this as my source because it easily combined the data I had already acquired elsewhere. I’ll applaud you if you would actually bother to read it before going into CAPS LOCK mode, thanks.


Since this blog’s clunky move to WordPress, I can follow the statistics on my specially designed statistics screen, which now hangs mounted permanently to my wall. It feeds me the numbers of how many visited my awesome website, where they stopped by, how long, how interested they looked, what their names are, their bank account numbers, and masturbation score. It’s a fascinating side effect but I don’t think “the numbers” really represent reality.

It states that on a good day, around 5-10 people visit. This can peak up to 25 on a day when I post, 35 when I get the title right. But those are rare occasions.
On March 26th for example, I had 5 views. 3 on my homepage, 1 on the author
bio and 1 on trespass. But that means that when someone clicks on a link, that gets counted as another visitor. 2 visitors used Google to get there, both using the term “Vermins nest”. My guess is that about 2 out of those 5 actually read anything, and that’s being optimistic.

Why do I care, you ask? The answer is I don’t, not really, but it is kind of interesting. And it made my eyes go wide on April 1st, when suddenly I had 76 pageviews listed.
It was because of the
post concerning the pictures of Doel. How do I know? Because in the second paragraph there is a link to be found concerning a nun’s tits, and no less than 45 visitors had used the search term “tits” to end up on the website. Two used “house of night series nun” and 1, get this: “Jesus the fucker”. Not shitting you.

I suppose that will teach me sneaking in nuns with big knockers into my classy writing. The climax came on April 10th, when my chart looked like this:

SEARCH VIEWS
tits 66
is is [sic] normal for a child not to mention their parents name once a… 1
side by side 3d tits 1
indian nuns hot 1
tiny tits fucked badly 1
berserk anime tits 1
big tits chinese 1
sharp tits 1
dİrty fİrst [sic] 1
atta nest 1
Total views referred by search engines 75

Blah.
And I guess about 2 of them actually read anything, and that’s being optimistic.

And here I wonder why my site got blocked. Bet your ass it will get blocked again tomorrow.

So now I’ll have to wait until the Doel post falls off my front page before my stats make sense again. Come to think of it, I think this post just might break the calculator altogether.
Whoopsy.


Drama Queen

Quite the writing pace, hm? I guess I feel inspired. I’ll leave the reason up to you to fathom.

Working on light stencils, I think we’ve been working for about 36 hours coming up with ideas and techniques, building the boxes, making the stencils and taking the actual shot, for around four pictures that really worked. Naturally, it’s a shame when people think it’s photoshopped, but what’s even more baffling is when people ask why it isn’t. When I described the painstaking process of adding color to the whole, someone asked me why I didn’t just use photoshop layers. In fact, why I didn’t just use a layer for the stencil itself; surely there would be some brush or other to add the glow effect?

Several people suggested this, and every time I am at loss for an answer. They’re quite literally asking me why we bother making something genuine if imitation is so easy, these days. To me, the answer is so obvious that it’s basically a non-issue, so when someone doesn’t seem to get it, I don’t really know how to begin to explain.

Not that I don’t get where they come from. It’s not a coincidence that none of those people actually knows how to use photoshop, because you know, it’s such a bother to learn all that so why do it? Surely there’s easier ways.

I’ll give you an easier way: Think of something, or find some idea, think it’s awesome, spend some time considering how fucking great it would be to do something like that, and then forget about it. Let someone else do the complicated stuff, and sit the fuck down and whatever you do… Don’t. Easy, innit?

I wonder then, if these people never get some kind of urge to do something. You know, something creative, something worth showing the outside world and saying, “I created this, every step of the way.” Or you know what- not even that, just… something to pour your self into, fuck what “they” think, anyway.

There are two things (besides the obvious) that I can do that can genuinely make me happy: Writing, and fiddling with stuff. Not because it’s easy or convenient, but precisely because it isn’t. It’s not the end result that matters, it’s the way there. It’s the knowledge, skill and power that we derive from it. Have you ever made a three-dimensional trapezoid? Neither did I, and fuck me is it difficult. That’s shit photoshop doesn’t teach you.

Come on, surely there must be something creative you like to indulge in. Do you draw, make music, code, solder, build things? Would you prefer it if you just had some computer to do all that for you? I really think that if you do, you’re better off dead because you’d be nothing more than an empty vessel. Creativity is what makes us human (yes, so are some animals but not with our kind of determination).

So why did I just not use photoshop? Because I felt like spending weeks developing the idea, days coming up with applications, hours making the equipment, and standing with my feet in the water taking picture after picture after picture to get it right. That’s why, duh.


Sonova bitch and here I thought I had some decent stamina left.

I went to play soccer yesterday with a couple friends, the first real exercise I’ve seen since the World Trade Center was still standing. I used to play soccer in boarding school, and besides making a very decent goalkeeper (I had the guts to jump in the path of cannonball shots) I could do sprints very few could keep up with. I’m still used to that.

Did you know that most addicts overdose right after rehab? They jump back into their known routine though their body can’t handle it anymore.
Same thing happened to me, but you know, playing soccer. Same thing.
I would do sprints and moves yesterday I am technically no longer capable of, and then sort of collapse, gasping for air. When someone asked me if I was alright I thought for a moment and shook my head. My spleen was about to rupture and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Such drama for a save that didn’t even cut it.

So that was yesterday, and today I helped a friend in the process of building a veterinarian office for his wife, moving first a container worth of debris and then 50-something sand bags of 40 kilos each. My muscles right now, are killing me and it’s not even the next day yet. My “bad” knee is protesting and I’m not even hiking Scotland, and my abs sting with every move.

I suppose that’s just what 9 months of sitting down does to you- Now I know. I think I’m going to start working out, which is by the way something I have never done before. It’s not that I am below average, I’m just at a point where I can’t do what I want to do. Fuck that.


Life Among the Dirty: First Impressions

At this very moment I’m “working,” i.e. sitting in the sun with fuck-all to do and some attractive ass for a view. Life is good.

This is my very first time as an intern so I’m not perfectly sure how to handle it. It’s kind of like voluntary work, except things are expected of you and “no” is not taken for an answer. That bites because I do have other hobbies- friends of mine have asked me to film for them again (the first production is now finished and will be published shortly) and I keep missing out on capoeira trainings. I hope we can come to some kind of agreement but I did say I was going to do this to the hilt, and not be a tourist here that walks out when things get uninteresting. I’m supposed to carry part of the responsibility and work independently, but on the other hand I don’t take Tuesdays off like the other technicians here so I do feel I’m entitled to a few days off in those two months.

unIMG_6179The head technician here, whom I will continue calling “mentor” because it sounds simultaneously corny and awesome which is exactly what he is, is a tall man nearing his fifties, with long white hair and cowboy boots. He spends all day not giving a fuck and has 9 children- pretty much what I hope to be when I’m his age. And like everybody else here, there’s something quirky about him, though I haven’t quite figured out what it is. It could be that he’s the type of person who will say a random word of his current train of thought (quite like me), so conversations will go like this:

“There’s a meeting tomorrow at 10, you’re expected to be there.”

-“No problem.”

-“Manatee.”

-“Vuvuzela.”

unIMG_0223The company is located in the poorest part of town (looking about the same as the best parts of Brussels), which has a unique kind of charm and comes with an infinite supply of odd individuals dropping by, especially now that the sun is out. While I was taught to ignore these “marginals” since I was a kid, they seem welcomed here, with surprising results. I feel stupid for putting so much energy into trying to fit the “normal” mold while here, that’s just another way to be- and certainly not the most interesting.

Many of these people are artists, or at least consider themselves to be. And while I try hard to vent some inspiration through creativity, I noticed a fundamental difference in their way of thinking. My mentor for example, is an art photographer and will collect a small army of naked women in a park to have them perform some wiccan ritual with dead goats. When I was looking through his pictures and held them up asking what he did with them, he gave me a stare. “I photograph them.”
That’s just what he does, without proper reason or motivation other than to “make art.” It’s not that I am jealous (keep telling yourself that) but it certainly isn’t my way of working, which might explain how he manages to collect an army of naked women in the first place. Did I mention I want to be him when I grow up?

unIMG_0193On technical level, pretty much any choice of internship would have been better than with the Gasten. The budget is low and equipment is terribly expensive, so is kept to a bare minimum. There’s theaters scattered around the city with gear far more professional and frankly, representative for the market today. Maybe, just maybe, I could have made a better decision there.
I’ve been working as a stagehand for 6 years, in the biggest venues Belgium has to offer, dragging desks the size of a king sized bed. I’ve seen my share of penile compensation and if I ever have the skills to work with those, I guess I can call myself an accomplished technician but I won’t have any more of a job than I would have here. I started this whole thing hoping to find some alternative for life on the road. I wanted to work with people rather than equipment, for a change. And here? Just the kind of people I was hoping for. This place, with all its technological shortcomings, is in many ways richer than the rest of the city combined.


The Time of EVE

I just finished watching “The Time of EVE”, an anime film about androids- what else. I am no particular fan of Japanese cartoons but horrendous graphics aside, they aren’t afraid to make you reconsider what you take for granted. They like to fuck with your moral compass, and often at the end of them, you find yourself thinking the world might not be so black and white as you previously assumed.

EVE is no different. It doesn’t ignore the fact that human-like robots would have epic moral repercussions, and suggests a world where three major groups have formed: Those who promote the use of androids (and allow themselves to bond with them on an emotional level), those who treat them like any other robot and those who oppose them.

The plot, in a very similar way, revolves around three storylines. The main one, the least important as though it is about the narrator, tells the story of a high school kid who falls into the second category. He owns a “female” android and treats “her” like shit, like an object. The second storyline, the one most in the background but still the most important, is about his friend, pretty much an android-hater. And the third is about the bar they run into, “The Time of EVE.”

In a society where robots are indistinguishable from humans, and have higher capacities in every possible way, it would only be normal for us fleshlings to feel threatened. As a result, androids are easily distinguished by a halo (called a “ring”) above their heads that displays their status and a bunch of Japanese stuff like “I WISH I COULD FUCK” though I’m just guessing that. Also, they obey Asimov’s Three Rules of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

These are in order of importance. Easy enough.
Trivia: Before Asimov’s time, all literature and movies depicting robots involved them going berserk and destroying what they could because they saw it fit. Asimov found those stories “unbearably tedious” and introduced the three laws, only to have them scanned for
loopholes and endlessly raped by directors. Oh, irony.

EVE for once, is not about robots breaking the laws- quite the contrary. If related at all, it is about the interpretation of robot behavior though those laws- to figure out why a robot behaves like it does.
Instead, it is about a bar where outside laws like wearing the “ring” no longer apply and androids and humans are treated equally. All robotic behavior is dropped and some androids even adopt a child-like behavior. And nobody, not even the androids themselves, can keep robots apart from humans.

What ensues, is a little questionable, to say the least. Robots fall in love, or at least act in love, start to believe they’re human, and lie to their owners (which is not listed in the rules) about going there.

Okay, so- Bottom line is, that a kid was raised by an old-school robot and unavoidably gets attached to it. But then it is ordered by the kid’s father to stop speaking because of the secrets they both share, and does so despite the child’s crying and begging. The child loses faith in all robots and ends up as the protagonist’s android-hating friend. Spoiler alert by the way. Whoops.

In the end, the kid is proven wrong. At the bar, the robot does speak in order to defend his life (breaking the second law in favor of the first) and thus proves that ohmigod, it loves the kid after all and even ends up saying so. Spoiler alert again. Ha, ha.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is false logic. Sure, everybody roots for the friendly, sexy robots and feels for them when they apparently have tear ducts, but seems to forget that without contradicting itself, the movie simply proves that while surprisingly complicated, these androids are still machines that function as programmed. I even found it very clever how each of these androids’ behaviors is deducted to their programming, like the security android who refuses to have itself fixed because her mental anomalies would be discovered and she would be scrapped, leaving her owner vulnerable and potentially harmed. Aww, real love, right? Wrong.

I’ve said this before: If you make a robot that looks sad, it isn’t actually sad. If you make it look sad for a good reason, it still isn’t actually sad. It’s imitating human behavior and no matter how convincing, that still doesn’t make it human. When a child-like robot cries because its mommy (some tower crane, I dunno) is demolished, it doesn’t give any more of a fuck than your toaster watching you have a heart attack. Robots are not human and never will be, per definition.

So where is the line, then? In all honesty, I have to say I don’t know, and I don’t think there is any way of knowing because of how convincing emotional communication is. If you would replace part of a human’s brain by a computer, would that make the person in question inhuman? When is he “dead” and replaced by a laptop? Could his conscience he copied and a second entity be created, or would that be imitation?

Nobody can tell. It’s a dilemma that can’t be solved objectively. But, if there is one thing that I’ve learned, is that problems can also be tackled through subjective means.
There are two extremes in this case: Either assume that you can never be sure and simply disregard any form of emotion that isn’t your own (and even second-guess your own), or simply “love all” and include the “grey zone” where the difference is hard to tell, into the things that you consider worth bonding with.

If you look at the effects of that choice, it seems logical to decide on the latter, because you don’t want to end up a sociopath. I think we’d be better off simply accepting any shown emotion, imitation or genuine, as “real” and act accordingly. However, this too can have dire consequences.
The example in the movie, where emotional bonds are instantly cut and the child is left heartbroken, is a good one but certainly not the worst. We have to consider that a robot still doesn’t have anything like free choice, and its show of emotion is still programmed by somebody who chooses to do so, because it benefits him somehow.

If you were to adopt a robot child like in the move A.I. (Jude Law and Nu-Metal, bitches), and it would start screaming every time you mention the name of a competing manufacturer, it wouldn’t be long before those names gained a negative annotation. Our feelings would be played and programmed through those of inanimate objects. Don’t think this is above their morals- or have you forgotten the millions of smiling faces on every cardboard box at the supermarket?

In order to prevent major mistakes tomorrow, it’s best if we answer these questions today. But nobody takes them seriously, so why would we?

Either way, see this film. The graphics aren’t half bad (3D rendering WTF) and neither is the storyline. And Maynard willing, it will make you think.


Caposation

Casual conversation among acquaintances is exactly like a game of capoeira, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Just like talking, capoeira is a form of dialogue, with questions, statements, and reactions. While usually harmless, every kick or punch must be met with a dodge or block- preferably in a graceful manner and with a counterattack.

Ring a bell?
The main difference between capoeira and small talk, is that I have some kind of talent for the former. Conversation on the other hand, gets me off balance each and every time. Only of the quick and casual kind, mind you, I don’t do too badly when the subject is one either of us gives a flying fuck about.

The analogy is dead simple: Imagine running into somebody on the street. But you know, they’re on the other side and you’re both kind of in a rush and it’s not a she.

“Yo!”

-“Hey, man!”

I can handle that. Action, reaction. They kick, I dodge. Easy peasy, Japaneasy. But just as I want to face forward again to see where I’m going, they proceed with, “How are you??”
Seriously, you overly social salad tosser? I just passed you by and you ask how I’ve been since we last met, which was by the way two years ago, when I had a different house, girlfriend, degree, haircut and social fucking status? That’s low, man. That’s fluidly-continue-said-kick-into-a-tackling-move low. Any decent capoeirista could step out of this one but oh that’s right, this ain’t capoeira and I ain’t worth a damn at this.

Let’s see, how am I doing? In the mean while, form a few thoughtful vowels to keep his question hanging. Yesterday was fucking awesome, but the day before that was kind of a downer. Which one would be representative of –Oh wait never mind, he’s gone and all I said was “Phew gee hmm um derp derp”. Way to go, mongoloid.

So next time, hold an answer ready. Plan ahead. anticipate their move and counteract it smoothly like this is something you do on every corner of the block. And speak of the devil, there he is! “Hey!” –“Yo dude, howya doin’?” –“Can’t complain, thanks!” Aaaand he left. And 4 steps later I realize I didn’t even ask him how he was. I dodged like a fucking pro, and then did nothing- just passively kept on dancing.

So now my standard answer has become, “Fine, how’re you,” just like my first dodge-and-counter move has become esquiva-queixada to test my opponent’s speed and skill level. Fuck honesty anyway; if they actually cared, they’d stop for a moment and look me in the eye rather than shout “how are you” over the shoulder.

What the hell kind of question is that, anyway? How could one possibly begin to describe his entire state of mind in the 2.3 second time frame? You’d probably learn much more about his life as it is today by asking “How’s the left foot?” but the only answer you’d most likely receive would be “Phew gee hmm um derp derp.” But that’s okay, we can’t all be capoeirista’s.


I began this elaborate rant on the past weeks yesterday, but then I got bored and gave up. Suffice to say that my class and I had to organize a festival as the ultimate test of our skills and to teach us that showbiz doesn’t end at our job, and that we nailed it. I was complimented on the projection that I installed, showing my pictures of
Doel in the background during performance, and later on live footage of the performance itself. Also, I had little problem handling the job of stage manager, but I could have done much better as a light tech- I relied on automations way too much.

After we were globally thanked and congratulated with our work, I was personally approached and told that I did a mighty fine job. Been a while since I felt this proud of myself.

So now I started my internship with the Vieze Gasten, which I will, without a doubt, keep you updated on. So far it’s been awesome but I’m having second thoughts on my next job: I’ll be doing the sound on a Roma gypsy wedding- not shitting you. They told me it’s the perfect opportunity to bring my camera and shoot pictures, but I’m not so sure. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt but after having several Czech and Ukrainian couchsurfers over, all with a very clear opinion on Roma gypsies, I can’t really tell what to expect. Then again, my boss might be right and this will be a one-time opportunity I can’t miss out on.

Ta daa. Life-changing events, in a nutshell. If I could cram this into a 4-second conversation I might be able to spill it next time I spot an ex-colleague in town.

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