Own life

Let There Be Light

And there was Light. And God saw the Light. And it was Fucking Rad.

I signed my contract yesterday. After 2 separate temporary contracts they officially hired me and though nothing changed outside the drawer of some worker at the HR section, it felt like a really big deal. On my way to the city hall, I remember thinking, “Last chance to back out, now. The choice is made right here.”

But really, there was no honest choice involved. This is the way things will go, the continuation of the events that I set in motion when I decided that I would be there for my son, and that have only picked up in speed as I set my shoulders behind them. Today, I can beat my chest and say that I am almost there- almost to the point where I can face myself and say without shame,

I am a father. I am a stage technician. I have done the things necessary to lay the foundation for the life that follows; my own and that of my son. What happens next, nobody knows, but I can face it with my head held high.

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The Arrest

Oh hai.

As predicted, I pretty much just ran out of time to write. Between the job, Czech Republic and the girlfriend, I pretty much have zero time for anything else and if some statistical anomaly would occur (usually triggered by me texting ‘I need to be alone for a bit’), it is entirely dedicated to building a factory in order to launch a satellite into space, or watching my friends take a bullet while saving the earth from alien inv- games, yeah. Computer games. I might elaborate on my internet addiction later once I get over the shame.

I am actually at work now, if you could call this work. The job consist of that of a single dad at his kid’s birthday party: Putting in a vaguely inappropriate dvd and running for the nearest computer for some mental escape while the kids sit and stare. Just upscale by about a hundred kids and you get the idea. I’m not watching the movie because it is literally about cancer. I don’t feel like cancer today. Or, ever.

What I do feel like, is telling you about the one time I got arrested for begging.  (more…)


The Photo Frame

My grandmother asked for a picture of my son, and that’s how it began.

She loves him so much, it’s endearing. It would seem that with every passing generation, she loves the next one more. Since he is the first of the third one down that she can see growing up, she is absolutely smitten with him.

I chose 3 photographs and printed them out, forgetting to render them in AdobeRGB so the colors looked terribly faded and I chose too large a size to be of any practical use. But she had them at least, one in a picture frame and the others curling up on her living room cupboard.

As happens easily with photos of children, they are now outdated. He couldn’t even walk back then, and his face has changed. I figured she would need new photos soon, if she still wanted to feel that closeness that pictures can bring her. I was already dreading the whole process of getting that digital image on paper and delivered at her house in a timeframe small enough to not make me feel like a failure of a grandson.

Just how easy would it be to have one of those digital photo frames for her, I thought. But then I’d have to remember to carry a memory stick with updated pictures, and we all know how easily those get lost. The probability of her being stuck with the same old photos for months was still high. So how about one that updated over the internet? They’ve been making these horrible things for ages now, and although their popularity has all but faded, surely some clever little employee somewhere must have come up with the idea of putting a wifi adaptor inside one of them?

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Pointing the Finger

2016 sucked, I think we can all agree on that. For me, it was marked by 2 milestones, moments that I remember like they were yesterday. It proves my bad memory because the last one happened just today.

The first was the death of Lemmy. I wasn’t just a big fan of his band Motörhead, but greatly looked up to the man himself, more than I realized. His death was a blow strong enough to make me take a long, hard look at my life and discover that his influence on it was significant.

The second was the election of Donald Trump for president, news that made me call out “You are joking” while I was completely alone. From the very beginning, I considered his victory a possibility more than my peers, because it would be the perfect cherry on the irony cake that had been baking since the last few American presidents. And if life taught me anything, it is that fate loves it some irony cake.
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Saint Nicolas Itself

Although I work for a single organisation these days, I do get around. The “Cultuurcentrum Sint-Niklaas” that is the overarching city service and the instance calling the shots, is active in 3 separate locations throughout town (they hate it when you call it a town), ranging from a fully functional, well-equipped city theater to the shittiest parish hall you’ll find in any sleepy hollow. If not here as part of the crew, you’ll find me flying solo at the “Museumtheater”,  the in-between venue in terms of size and relevance.

I ended up there pretty much from the very beginning, when things were hectic and the crew was spread thin across all locations and more, and I just kind of stuck there.
I like it. The work is less one company to another and more human. Also the director is less likely to say, “Oh didn’t you get the email, we need 50 chairs onstage to seat our choir.” The others don’t like the place too much so I am often democratically selected to run the productions there. (more…)


Now and Forever

Welp I may as well shut this thing down, because I’m fresh out of things to write. This here, this is my life now. 7 days work, 7 days Czech Republic, 7 days work, 7 days off. Rinse 7 times, repeat indefinitely.

This is how I grow old, and old I am growing. Where I used to wonder what country to visit next (if not Norway), I now have money on my mind. Where I would practice my back flip, I now have to worry about tooth decay and cancer of the colon (how does one muster the courage to see a doctor about that??).

I am an adult now, and I worry about adult things. I have an opinion about immigration issues, and I watch car commercials with interest. I am both startled and extremely bored with this new person I’m becoming. (more…)


Compressed Reality

In a year I am too lazy to research, the internet was created and stuff happened and now it’s 2016 and more stuff is happening. The web is now big beyond anyone’s comprehension and has all but become self-aware. Already redundant copies of it are under construction, giving it a fractal nature that effortlessly replaces any pieces of it that might get lost. Not only will the internet continue to exist until all pieces of it are erased, it will also stand through time as back-ups are made at regular intervals. The amount of complete internets stored on computers world-wide would surprise you.

This creates a brand new universe parallel to our own meatspace: One where the physical objects might not exist, but the information about them is stored in accessible databases. Like scaffolding around a building, a structural network is built around pretty much everything in sight of humankind, but also like that scaffolding, it is useless if it can’t be accessed from the building itself: Our reality. Ideally, access points become so many that the support structure becomes part of the building itself.

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Keys

Most people live on a weekly basis. A lot of the things they see and do, repeat themselves when Monday starts. Unless some holiday occurs where they get the day off to spend in front of a television, they work like a little horsey for 5 days so that they can consume like a piggy for another 2. Rinse, repeat, retire, die.

Despite my holier-than-thou attitude, I am not so different from this cut-and-paste American dream. The only difference is that my repetition isn’t on a weekly basis, but a monthly one.

Just like theirs though, it starts on a Monday, with an alarm clock murdering my sleep in cold blood and forcing reality upon me. And I too flick some water on my eyebrows (stubborn bastards) and climb in my ‘98 Opel to drive to work. 5 minutes late as usual. Whatever I do, I can’t seem to fix that habit.

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Saint Nicolas

[Note: This post took me over a week to write and relative time references in it are inaccurate.]

If you follow me on Facebook (and you should because I’m interesting af) you might have noticed my latest status update: I found work. And not just any work, no.
When I got back from the United States, I had quite the task ahead of me. Despite all my promises and symbolic efforts, I had made zero progress towards a stable income and a sound financial support for my baby momma. So I got right to work and lo and behold, along came the mother of all job openings: Stage Technician in the city theater of Sint-Niklaas, half an hour drive from home. I applied, together with 30+ other people, 2 of which I knew from classes and work. It was a rat race like no other, with 3 rounds of exams. Within the first 5 minutes, 4 applicants got up and left. The exam was hard.

I made it to 2nd place. In other words, I didn’t get the job and I would get included in the reserve. I tried to take the rejection positively but honestly, it really bummed me out. If it wasn’t for my job coach slapping sense into me, I would have lost motivation for a lot longer. I’m quite embarrassed of that now, in retrospect.

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Input

“Could just be a fear of commitment. But you should know about that,” She said.
I blinked. She caught it.
”No? You don’t think of yourself as a closed off person?”
-“Oh I know I’m a closed off person, but I never thought about it as a fear of commitment.”
-“Really?” I could tell she was worried about hurting my feelings. “I just heard it’s a common thing with, you know… people who lost a parent at a young age.”

When it was first brought to my attention that I tend to keep people at an arm’s length, I shrugged it off. “I am an open book,” I said, and in a way I still believe that. You can ask me anything and in 95% of the cases I’ll have my answer ready for you, since I tend to overthink stuff and am always trying to figure something or other out.
“But I have to ask.” Yah. Can’t answer unasked questions. And I turn around and stroll on, comfortable with the idea that I am a stranger to my girlfriend.

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