Archive for June of 2007

June 16, 2007
Evil, Dangerous and Too Drunk to Fuck

In February I went to see Nouvelle Vague in Uebel & Gefährlich, and as soon as I got home I wrote a deliriously happy blog post about it. (I sent a link to their public email address to let them know about the blog, and got a nice thank you note from Marc Collin, bless his heart. He wrote that he told Phoebe, God love her, about how I missed Escape Myself and Shack Up, and they agreed that it would be a good idea to play those songs again. I feel like a superstar.)

Even after a few months to come down from my delirium, I still recall it as one of the best concerts I've ever been to. And just now I noticed that somebody got video from the concert up on YouTube (and I'm sure it's the one, you can see Uebel & Gefährlich's signature razor blade logo up above the drum kit):

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June 11, 2007
Keeping Things in Perspective

Here's an illustration I've been thinking about to help keep in mind what's really worth getting worked up about.

Let's suppose something happens that really pisses you off; say you ordered lamb curry at the Thai restaurant, but the waiter misunderstood you and brought tofu curry instead. We've all seen people freak out over that sort of thing, haven't we? So are you going to make a scene, curse at the waiter, and generally let yourself get all hot and bothered?

Now consider this picture:

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June 07, 2007
Justice on the Soccer Field

Last night, the German national soccer team defeated the Slovak Republic 2:1, and I'm quite satisfied. Not that I'm terribly loyal to the German team -- after over 20 years in Germany, my allegiances are still very much American, although I do think it's fun when the Germans win (provided they're not playing against the US), because everyone here has such a good time when they do. Mainly I'm happy about Slovakia getting beat, and generally anything bad happening to the Slovak Republic, because a few years ago I knew someone from there, someone who turned out to be the most awful human being I've ever known personally.

There are, of course, much worse people in the world than my former Slovak acquaintance, such as Osama Bin Laden, for example, or George W. Bush -- the sort of people you hear about in the news, who are responsible for the death and misery of many thousands of people. But fortunately, I've never known anyone like that in person, at least not that I'm aware of. Relatively speaking, my particular story was rather harmless, if you consider the grand scheme of things, and it wasn't really anything out of the ordinary, just the ancient and familiar tale of dishonesty and betrayal of trust. God knows I've experienced things like that more than once in my life, and I've seen it happen to people close to me, but this was far and away the worst I've ever known myself. It still makes my head spin just remembering it all.

If you're reading, you know who you are, and you know what you are -- liar, coward, cheat, scheming little bitch.

Germany over the Slovak Republic 2:1, hah! Serves 'em right, the fuckers.

June 05, 2007
Rocky I – VI

Sechs Mal alles geben, jedes Mal bis nichts mehr geht. Quälen. Bis alle Muskeln brennen. Sich nach Pausen sehnen. Von unten ins aggressive Scheinwerferlicht geboxt.
Mit der Stärke eines Tigers. Killerinstinkte. Pranken prächtig platzieren.
Ein furchtloses Großmaul, das immer wieder auf die Fresse bekommt. Dafür geht er in die Seile. Runde um Runde. Der Mann gibt, ihm wird gegeben. Ladies and Gentlemen, Rocky Balboa.

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June 05, 2007
Here Comes SureShot

I've already put up an announcement of SureShot's arrival, but now his first texts are on the way. And I'm going to be posting them. Although I sent him the access data so that he can do it himself, he has not yet figured out how to work the computer, like most poets and philosophers (hey champ, if you don't like it then prove me wrong).

So although I'll be posting the next few texts under his name, be assured that they're from him. Remember, if you can't read German, you can always go fish.

June 05, 2007
Nostril Aspirations

Am I intolerant and inhuman because I sometimes can't stand the noises people make when they're doing the things that all human beings have to do?

I've been taking the train regularly between Hamburg and Berlin during the past few months, packed in a wagon full of people for just under two hours each way, and from time to time I find myself viscerally revolted by the people around me. As I'm writing these words, I'm sitting across from a man who, for some reason, breathes only through his nose, and the sound of air hissing through his nostrils has been making my stomach turn ever since he sat down and took his first breath. It's not really an unusual sound -- just take a deep breath through your nose and you'll hear exactly what I'm hearing -- but this guy's nasal respirations are loud, and they're driving me up the walls.

I can tell myself, on an intellectual level, that this is unfair and irrational, and I am utterly horrible; guy's gotta breathe, after all. But no amount of reason can chase away the surge of adrenaline and cold shudders going up and down my spine every time he takes in another nostril hiss. There he goes again; holy shit, that one was loud.

I'm conflicted by temptations that seem emotionally urgent, even logical in their own way, and yet morally repugnant. I want to tell him to just open his goddamn mouth a little bit, so that his breathing isn't so fucking noisy. Can you say something like that? Of course you can't; what an outrageous remark to make to a total stranger. But that's absolutely harmless compared to the other fantasy that I'm entertaining, which is to punch him in the nose as hard as I can, so that it will fill up with blood and swell shut, and then he'll have no other choice but to breathe through his mouth.

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June 03, 2007
Good-looking Men and World Peace

Seen on a woman's T-shirt in the Schanzenviertel this weekend, the text located at a nice place to let your eyes linger and take in the message.

Schöne Männer
Und Weltfrieden

The lady has her priorities straight.

June 03, 2007
Welcome SureShot, aka Tyler Durden

Up until now, Fifteen Minutes has been strictly my own personal blog, a platform solely for my own musings. But I've added a new member with posting rights, so now there's two of us. Gentle Reader, please join me in welcoming SureShot to my lair.

Chances are that some of the content on this blog will be in German from time to time. If you see something here that looks like gibberish, you can always get some help from the fish.

In a few of my prior posts, I wrote about Tyler Durden, who convinced me against my initial resistance to join the boxing school, which helped to save my life, although I've sometimes wondered if he's really a figment of my deranged imagination. SureShot, my new partner in blogging crime, is none other than that very Tyler Durden. I thought he should take that name as his blogging handle, but he wouldn't go for it, thinking that it would be shooting too high, even after I tried to persuade him not to sell himself too short. It's his decision; so from this point forward, The Artist Formerly Known As Tyler Durden is now SureShot.

Welcome SureShot, pugilist, poet and philosopher, who once might have seen the light of God. Share your insights with us, so that we may discover the secrets of the universe.

So I'm Supposed To Sit Upon My Couch Watching My T.V.
I'm Still Listening To Wax, I'm Not Using The CD
I'm That Kid In The Corner
All Fucked Up And I Wanna So I'm Gonna
Take A Piece Of The Pie, Why Not, I'm Not Quitting
Think I'm Gonna Change Up My Style Just To Fit In
I Keep My Underwear Up With A Piece Of Elastic
I Use A Bullshit Mic That's Made Out Of Plastic
To Send My Rhymes Out To All Nations
Like Ma Bell, I've Got The Ill Communications

'Cause You Can't, You Won't And You Don't Stop
Tyler D. Come And Rock The Sure Shot

-- The Beastie Boys

Take second best, put me to the test
Things on your chest you need to confess
I will deliver, you know I'm a forgiver

-- Depeche Mode, covered by the Man in Black

Hallelujah. You're my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ.
-- Choi to Neo