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. Read the rest of this page »

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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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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“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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There’s no business like show business. It is unique because it aspires to be: When a carpenter goes to see a show, he doesn’t want to see the same shit that he does all week. We still use the industrial standards but with every new thing that is designed, people work hard to up the ante.

It should come as no surprise then, that you’ll find many things and expressions used nowhere else. We have silly names for them, like pickle (a control box for electric motors), a lamp (light bulb), a banana (a line array of speakers), a kabuki (a curtain that falls by remote control), a snake (thick cable that runs from the sound desk to the stage), I could probably come up with dozens more if I put my head to it. And then there’s the abbreviations like FOH, PA, HQI, and so on.

But some of them are special and deserve some further explanation, conveniently giving me the excuse to talk about my job.

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The Sarcasm Paradox

There’s few things in language that are celebrated more than sarcasm. And rightly so, an on-point sarcastic quip can tickle a special kind of fancy for a special length of time. It shows intelligence and comprehension of the less-than-obvious. It is, in itself, an interesting subject, can be used to gauge someone’s tolerance for criticism and many people just can’t GIVE IT A FUCKING REST.

“I was hoping for a battle of wits, but you appear to be unarmed?”

Yes, sarcasm is all these things, but there’s a good chance it doesn’t really mean what you think it means. What sarcasm is not, you see, is a free pass to be a dick. Saying the opposite of what you actually mean with a roll of the eyes and stupid grin is not clever and funny, and neither is it sarcasm. It is little else than obnoxious. It doesn’t show any intelligence on your part and if your words aren’t taken well, it isn’t because the person on the other end is intolerant. You’re just being insufferable.

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The Ivory Tower

In an attempt to escape this feeling of a society down the drain, I’ve started doing voluntary work again. While most organizations just ask for money that I don’t have, a few of them are more than happy with a handyman or, as the case may be, translator. They’re still in need for those this day and age, go figure.

One of those jobs is something I’ve been meaning to do and was very excited to, and that’s logistics work at a refugee shelter. It’s a repurposed resting home where war refugees from different countries end up, while waiting for the green light to stay indefinitely.

I’ve always been very careful mentioning this in the many discussions that I go into regarding refugees. Even if I succeed in not using it as leverage to push my opinion onto others, I can imagine it will seem so. All in all, it is irrelevant. I’ve had my opinion for much longer than this and just because I spent 2 days at the most humane shelter of them all, doesn’t mean I have any authority on the matter.

Why bring it up now, then?

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The New Fatherhood

Tonight’s party started out with seeing an acquaintance again, after quite a while. From the first moment she got to talking about this guy she beat up the night before, because he had been repeating “I’m going to rape you” to her and her friends as they were leaving a bar. Even after the police came, she continued to slap him and wouldn’t give back the clothes she tore from him.

It was hard to wipe the grin off my face as she told me. Violence might not be “the answer” but a rape threat is pretty damn violent in itself. If you want my opinion (and everyone does, right?) he had it coming. What he did was way out there and perhaps now, as he is treating his burst lip in jail, his penny might drop after all. I later commended her for sticking up for herself and her friends.

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Growing Pains

I hate this. I hate it.
This ugly world. The people in it. You, who can’t stop touching me with those long fingers of yours. Wanting, expecting, demanding. Making me work for money so you can take it back from me. Telling me I can’t climb cranes, that I can’t carry my tool on me.

I hate being told “you’ll hear from us” and that hopeful, powerful feeling that turns sour like rotting meat over the days that pass in silence. I hate this rat race, this necessity for not just being good enough, but being the best, so that I may be selected from the masses. I hate re-writing my resume for the sixth time just for you, so that it may look appealing enough for me to get a change and fake interest in front of you.

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