A chronicle of movement aimed at synchronizing thoughts and keyboards with said movement.


Deutschland, ja? Ja!

Sailors of the high seas of the modern world,

We're going to have to say our goodbyes for a little bit, but just a little bit, mind you. Eight days, while I run around Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium with Nils (character profile: old roommate, great buddy whose barrel-chested approach to appearance is matched only by the wonder for life that resides within that barrel-chest).

If you're playing at home, we're gonna start in Munich, sweep through the Black Forest, flow along the Rhine into Koln and Dusseldorf, traipse into Amsterdam and rent bikes (maybe with streamers) and settle into Brussels and Poperinge, Belgium to finish up. Figure 2-3 days before we're chased out of each city for being gypsies.

So when I come back, there will be ample Wurst und Bier und lustige Dinge! Ich liebe sich!


Impressions and more word use

A post without a mission...
It's observation time!

-- Anytime you turn on British TV and there's someone who's overweight on it, the show invariably is about this person's desire to lose weight. Next week they're plying THE HALF TON MAN out of his flat.

-- The British communicate almost exclusively with their eyes while they're on the street. Don't say hi to anyone, merely look up and blink and carry on. Then cover your face with a paper while you're on the Tube. In such a culture*, cosmopolitanism can't really exist. It's all individuals doing their thing. You need ideas bouncing off one another in a public setting in order for such a dynamic culture to foment.

*They're actually good people when you get to talking, not much different than Americans or Spanish or Italians or Russians or people from New Jersey. One of them asked me to be his bodyguard a couple weeks ago because he said his friends were getting "flabby."**

** I had to decline the offer. We can't take money here, acc. to our visas.

-- Also: the culture's obsessed with race. Issues that we had to deal with about 140 years ago, they just felt after WWII. There was a long story on Michael Jordan the other day based on the fact that he was "the first black athlete to be accepted by America."

-- In the past week here, they just banned smoking in all pubs and clubs, made PINs necessary for every purchase and will vote for legislation against "glorifying terrorism." Some nails legislation, if you ask me.

I'll try to come up with more adventures this week, but I gotta pile up some stiff £s before they change over to €s for my WEEK IN GERMANY WITH NILS NEXT WEEK!


Belle and Se-BA-sti-an

Sorry for the logjam, babies babies. The weekend brought the fun and the funk and all types of cool, or at the most modest, many types of cool. So we're back to Friday....and the Belle and Sebastian concert!


Ten feet from Stuart Murdoch we stood, admiring the vein that articulates itself along his right temple whenever he rocks out a bit too hard. And, having rocked out too hard during a very unexpected "Your Cover's Blown," he grabbed his side, leaning forward into a ray of golden light and saying, "ahhh, I pulled somethin' a bit durin' that song. Maybe, does anybody know a bit o' massage?"

This girl in the front row, leaning against the metal rail, thrusts her hand skyward. Stuart looks at her, laughs and says, "oh wow. Maybe, after the show, come backstage and you can massage it out. It'll be great.

"Well, for me."

This girl was Darcey, the one who bought me the tickets for the show. From this point forward, she, being adequately charmed by one of the world's premier charmers, imagined what vicious and terrible knots she would begin to hammer out as they discussed marital plans and the permutations of holiday-parent visits, year-by-year. In a flash, she became the envy of the circa 3,000 women in attendance and the majority -- no, the entirety, of the 2,000 or so men.

This includes me. We are in a fight.

But anyway, it may be natural to regard a fine show as the best show you've ever seen, when you're employing such criticism on the night of the show. A few days after, though, it's still pretty close. For those of you who know Belle and Sebastian, just add an ocean of energy into each one of the songs, pulled together tight by 12 musicians that ran from the regulars (even though there were 3 guitars), to a 5-person string section, a trumpet and a guy who shook those egg-looking things that have rice in them and make a chka-chka-chka sound. Outside of the 6-7 songs they played off the new album, they tore most of the funky and wild songs from their legions of LPs and EPs, including a bunch off of Tigermilk ("She's Losing It" highlighted), "Your Cover's Blown," "Le Pastie...Bourgeosie," and a really punctuating finale with "Sleep the Clock Around" off of Arab Strap.

For those who don't know Belle and Sebastian (Mom), I'll send you some. You'll love it. They're really precious.

The Mexican restaurant lured us inside with the promise of free garlic bread. It delivered.

Yup. Going inside.

Darcey's quesadillas contained spinach and tomatoes and whispers of cheese.

And then we went inside! And watched two opening bands, both of whom had no songs over two minutes, spit out their songs like Vacuum Cleaners of Death In Reverse.

Failed picture, but a good chance for anyone handy in Photoshop to blend some faces.

Stuart Murdoch, who bears an uncanny resemblance to this kid that refused to participate in gym class games in high school, prompting Sue Butz-Stavin to allow various students to attack his forehead with a barrage of red balls.


During "Another Sunny Day"

Stevie, the other dude in the band -- Jonathan to Stu's David

I liked the way the light wrapped around these guys, seeming to tug at their sleeves and soar onward. This picture at low exposure.

I think this was during "We are the Sleepyheads." (I'm sorry for the unoriginal captions, but I'm just very impressed by my camera being able to make things look as cool as they were)

"Fox in the Snow." Notice that Stuart has donned a hat.

"She's losin' it...you know she's losin' it...oh yeah she's looo-oo-sin' i-i-it"

"If you dance for much very longer, you'll be known as the boy who's always working (working!)"

This is right before he hit on Darcey. He stole a kazoo from a friend and then let the crowd sing the first verse of "Judy and the Dream of Horses"

All 12 of them after erupting through "Sleep Around the Clock."

So we set off to dance...


The non-post!

The wireless internet in our place hasn't risen from last night, apparently. It occasionally sends out a few spurts of signals, just for good measure, but hits the snooze button directly after doing so. Thus, my connectivity meter is looming perilously in the red, walking along a taut string that could mean any picture-filled post could topple at the next whim of the internet machine. And while I could waltz down the melodramatic and sinuous hallways, false poetic and gluttonous on words, I'll avoid it. We've all got things to do, like cook with the pasta sauce and garlic and tomatoes and cheese that I just bought. So yes, come to London. I'll cook you a pasta dish with sauce and cheese and other adornments!

So we'll let the Belle and Sebastian post marinate in the bowels of my computer right now, but I'll just say that it was better than the beer fest. Second just to being born. Second to dying, too. <--- (they, 12 of them, played that song during the show).