Quickie

Woke up late – played with comp, worked on designs for the band Arcanum’s web site. Then: Fuck me, is it that time already?

Standing in line for the play yesterday I kept thinking ‘what a weird place to stage something… what weird creatures we are… some have a need to perform, some have a need to see performance… kids must have started it… who did the first play?’

Hotazel

I went to see the Dogtroep perform their new show ‘Hotazel’ in the Amsterdam docks today. Dogtroep are a theatre company who perform on – preferably unusual – locations.

Hotazel (a town in South Africa that is ‘hot as hell’ deals with loss, death, and man’s inability to control nature.

We were shipped to the grounds on a special ferry that landed at the foot of the stands. The foyer was set up in a huge deserted cargo wharf. Outside, Cranes surrounded the ‘stage’. The ushers were actors too.

The group call their performance a ‘harmony of violence, coincidence and survival.’ I don’t think the audience quite realised what they were watching. Every death in the play made them giggle and laugh. Maybe they didn’t know the group’s key actor and their lighting technician died, drowned in France, last March.

It’s late (2 am), I’m tired… more tomorrow.

This and that

Headache & stomach probs stopped me from sticking it out in line for tickets at ‘De Parade’ tonight. So after a quick ‘Spanish’ meal (lamb cutlets) I cycled home.

Watched a young George Clooney in a very bad film when I got home. He was on another channel simultaneously, in E.R. He looks much better now – gawky, skinny back then… his hair was too black as well. Clooney is my worst vice these days, I guess. I even made a page one time.

Stopped by on IRC for longer than planned, chatted with one of the old regs. Didn’t enter the channel… I haven’t been on there for a record breaking time. It’s all or nothing for me. I either smoke, or don’t smoke. And I either do or don’t hang on IRC. IRC is vile. It stops me from being creative, sucks up my time and energy, makes me lethargic and turns me into a whiny, bored and boring 12 year old with bad territorial behaviour. ‘t Was nice chatting to Mr Hubris (about work, journalling and the lack of holidays), but I hope I won’t be drawn back there too much.

I finished re-reading ‘High Fidelity’ by Nick Hornby. Didn’t like it as much as the first time, but maybe it was still too fresh in my mind. In my current mood it just convinced me of how impossible and selfish we all are.

I’ll talk about my problem with Paris some more in the near future. And you can be sure Dublin will come up some more.

Trip

I’m planning a trip abroad. A long weekend somewhere in Europe, with a friend. It could be anywhere. I like going to cities, I prefer it to my trips to the country. I don’t like the loneliness of the country, I need the cling and clang, the sounds and smells of the city. They make me feel at home away from home, or at least most of them do.

Paris is not my city. Paris is a stand offish tart of a town, with hordes of uncouth men between her stockinged legs. Men that smack their lips at you, clack their teeth and sniff at you, hissing and whistling and staring. Paris doesn’t invite you in, Paris leaves you outside looking in. Paris makes you feel small. She can’t cook either – her food is downright disappointing. Paris definitely is a woman… and she and I don’t get along.

I love London. London’s a long lost friend. London’s a warm hug of a town, swilling with beer and a slap on the back. London is old world hospitality… the charm of the Irish with a touch of exotic, the ochres and purples of India, sexy businessmen sipping capucinos in the street at midnight. London’s got a wink in it’s eye, it’s a lad in a cap, a cat in a hat, a surprise of a town.

Cities in Belgium are like my relatives, so familiar and yet so different. There’s Brussels, your great great grandmother, and Antwerp – your little brother, the black sheep. Bruges, your uncle who chose the cloth and Dinant, your bohemian cousin. Gent’s your alcoholic sister-in-law, you gotta see her at least once a year.

Dublin’s my ex husband. I can’t stand the little fuck. Screw him and his family. His father was a prick and his grandfather before him. If I could, I’d forget about Dublin all together. I’d forget about the good times. The nights we went out on the piss. The afternoons walking down Exchequer Street, me with my head in the clouds and Dublin with the sign of the cross on its weathered face. Past Molly ‘how’s yer tits’ Malone, up to the Trinity Gates, down the dribbling Liffey to the Docks, I took the ferry back to Holyhead, head up high but leaving part of me with Dublin, last time I said goodbye. He’s welcome to it, I don’t want it. I’m not bitter about Dublin. I took part of him with me. I’m sure he doesn’t even realise.

On my stereo:
Page & Plant –
No Quarter

Dead pledge

There’s something stressful about going into your bank and talking ‘money’. You sort of dress up a bit to look trustworthy and hope you don’t look stupid.

So there I was, sweating in my jacket. Of course the weather gods decided today was a good day to start summer. When I arrived there was a note on the door saying the computers were down and they couldn’t help us until they were fixed. I went for a stroll around the block.

I found found myself going by the Royal Carre Theater, and the little theatre cafe opposite the back stage entrance. It put a smile on my face, as this is where – nine years ago – I had my first ever argument with G.. I’d never been back to that cafe. It still looked the same.

When I got back to the bank, the computers were partly fixed but the inside of the bank looked like Beirut and my account manager hadn’t had his phone connected yet so someone had to go see if he could see me.

‘Mortgage’ is a weird word. ‘Mort’ obviously comes from Latin mortuus, which means ‘dead’. ‘Gage’ is ‘pledge’. I wonder whether this has anything to do with the feeling that you are sticking your neck in a noose when you’re getting one.

Well, I knew nothing about them and now I do. Mr Bank Manager smiled, was friendly, poured coffee and spoke the same language I do (always a plus). He gave plenty of examples to make things easy to understand. Everything seemed attractive and rosy and no problem at all. My ‘free lance’ status didn’t bother them at all.

What bothers me is that now that the bank has caught a whiff of my desire to become their slave they will probably be on my case very very soon with other appoinments, more smiling faces and a dotted line to sign.

‘Do you make decisions logically or emotionally,’ I asked a friend on IRC earlier today. ‘Emotionally,’ he said. So do I. I choose emotionally between different colour sweaters and always end up with the wrong one. Imagine a 250000 guilder sweater.

So it’s ‘danger de mort’ – so many choices, so hard to choose… and my flat mate tells me, like she does all the bloody time, it’s my turn to clean the kitchen. F.O.A.D.

Poor lads

There was an article in the papers about U2 not making much money over the last ten years. Investing in a bowling alley project in Germany proved to be fatal because they never were granted permission to build the things. Their lawyer/financial advisor Ossie Kilkenny III was sacked over it.

I find this all very amusing. ‘U2 so busy making music they forget to make money.’

I think it’s endearing.

Over the fence is out

I heard a story today when I visited an old school friend, about one of our PT teachers at the time. Apparently he’s been accused of sexual harassment.

We both remember him walking through the girls’ locker room when there was no need for it. But although some girls seemed to object to it at the time, we didn’t have a problem with it. In those days you wouldn’t get done for sexual harassment on those grounds.

Times have changed a lot. People are more prudish, more aware, more vocal and more paranoid. Back then we were more relaxed and more naive.

I liked that teacher. When he helped us during gymnastics I wouldn’t be afraid of falling.

On the train, in the carriage next to me, 5 spotty teenagers were being loud and obnoxious. They were blowing shrill little bird whistles. Everybody was annoyed, but nobody said anything. We’re all afraid to say something.

Why don’t they get done?