mandag 19. mai 2008

For The Return

Can this be my theme song?


torsdag 15. mai 2008

Trees Outside the Academy

Listening a fair amount to Thurston Moore's solo record Trees Outside the Academy. I've floated in and out of Sonic Youth over the years and brought Daydream Nation and Murray St. with me. Moore's 2007 release isn't a huge stretch from his band's recent work, but he's replaced some of the pure shredding/noise for an acoustic guitar and violin. Which is not to say there is no shredding as J Mascis shows up on a fair bit of the songs. Anyway, it is a great album and it is also getting me back into Sonic Youth.

Here is a charming preview video of Thurston working on the record complete with Kim Gordon appearance for a hair cut.

I also just saw this video for the first time a few days ago. Was this Spike Jonze's first music video? And yes, that is a young Jason Lee skateboarding.

tirsdag 6. mai 2008


The countdown is on...
-In three and a half weeks I'll be home. With Cate. In Seward.
-This is the last real week of class. Next week we have one class day and an overnight cabin retreat. It has been a fantastic and fulfilling semester, and I am ready for it to be over.
-It is full-on Spring here: leaves are out, flowers are blooming, the tourists and beggars have arrived, folks are wearing T-shirts, and I'm skating all the time. It is so beautiful!
-People have come and gone. Hana is gone. Weibtke and Isi visited and are gone. We had a great party! I was definitely sad to see them all leave again. I really did have a great time with them last fall, and I will miss them.
-May Day was rad but I was hungover and the weather sucked. I was disappointed at missing the rally on Youngstorget due to party and hungover-ness. Still, Veebs and I saw thousands of people marching down Karl Johans Gate in support of unions and causes.

My mom and sister are in Scandinavia! Right now they are in Stockholm, but over the weekend I welcomed them in Copenhagen. We had a great three days there together. It was my fifth visit to the city, and it ended up being almost like a 'best of' trip. The weather was just gorgeous for two of the days, a rarity in my visits. The weekend was fairly busy, and here are some highlights:
-Arriving early enough in the morning before my family to take a trip to Christiania. I had only slept a few hours on a bumpy bus and the fresh-air of the leafy-green community restored my soul. Coffee also helped.
-Surviving cold and wet weather through a walk of the main sites of the city and taking the fam to Riz Raz.
-Going to Christiania with the fam (and them loving it). It was a beautiful Saturday with kids and pups everywhere. We also had a delicious meal at Morgenstedet, one of my favorite restaurants in the world.
-A magical evening at Tivoli. In addition to its regular visual goodness we also saw a ballet of Thumbelina and a lightshow over the pond. That goof Cynthia liked feeding the fish.
-That goof Cynthia and I went out for a few beers in Vesterbro. I was aggressively hit on. When Søren finally realized I wasn't interested he exasperatedly said, "So you're not a pirate? Why do you have a beard if you're not a pirate?" Then he told Cynthia she was beautiful, kissed her on the cheek, and left. Jokes were definitely made about stealing booty.
-We took a walk along the lakes surrounding the inner city and through Nørrebro. We lounged in the charmingly overgrown neighborhood cemetery, then ate yummy sandwiches at Picnic and drank yummy Caffe Mochas.

Like I said they are in Stockholm now. They come to Oslo Thursday night, but we leave early the next morning for a weekend in Bergen.

søndag 27. april 2008

The Wound-up Chronicle

1. Public Enemy - Welcome to the Terrordome
2. Dinosaur Jr. - Little Fury Things
3. Sonic Youth - Titanium Exposé
4. Joy Division - Warsaw
5. Black Lips - O Katrina!
6. Hüsker Dü - Dead Set on Destruction
7. Against Me! - Turn Those Clapping Hands Into
8. Iggy Pop - Neighborhood Threat
9. Atmosphere - Panic Attack
10. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Baudelaire
11. Billy Bragg and Wilco - Feed of Man
12. The Flaming Lips - Slow Nerve Action
13. TV On The Radio - Young Liars
14. The Cure - 10:15 Saturday Night
15. Crooked Fingers - Destroyer
16. Bob Dylan - One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)
17. Nina Simone - Sinnerman

18. Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel
19. The Pixies - Cactus
20. Brother Ali - Freedom Ain't Free
21. St. Vincent - Your Lips Are Red
22. The Beta Band - Human Being
23. The National - Murder Me Rachael
24. The Velvet Underground - European Son
25. Tom Waits - Innocent When You Dream (78)

fredag 25. april 2008

Split Open

Mark this day in your calendar folks! Today is the first day I have ever been struck by Elivs Presley's music.

And a holy shit. This song will be a counterpoint to the rest of this post. Just a warning of shift in mood...

This week has been full of warm sunny weather. It has probably been the best stretch of weather I've had being here. Seriously. And it has made me enjoy this city much more! It changes so much when there are actually people out on the streets and in the parks!

I have been taking advantage of the nice weather by going out on two extended skate sessions which have left my muscles sore, my body bruised, and me happy. :)

Isi is here! She is visiting this week! It is great! And Weibtke is coming! This makes me happy! I miss her tons. VEEBS!

My mom and sister are visiting in a week! I will be in Copenhagen with them, then they will go to Stockholm solo. A short rest in Oslo followed by a trip to Bergen. Then lots of Oslo. I am very happy about this! It seems so soon and kinda unreal.

5 weeks left! Again, June 1st grill out. I want you there! All of you!

onsdag 23. april 2008

Belated notes on remainder of trip

-I went to a karaoke bar last night in Warsaw. It was nuts. Most songs in Polish, although there was a rendition of "Lovers in the night." I actually went out with two of the students, a first this semester, but left after only a couple and sadly missed joining a rendition of the Beatles' "A Little Help from my friends."

-Krakow was incredibly beautiful and now ranks fairly highly on my Euro cities list. There is a beautiful old town (the city was one of two large cities now destroyed in WWII) and a hip formerly-Jewish quarter. There were a ton of young folks everywhere and not too many tourists. Or at least, city residents outnumbered tourists even in the old town. I recommend this city!

-I had a gigantic room overlooking a beautiful part and beautiful theatre. And I had a patio. It was overwhelming actually.

-Visited Auschwitz. I became numb probably a quarter of the way through. It was a physically and emotionally exhausting experience. Birkenau can only be understood as a factory of death, which is just so frightening...

-We also met with the Judaica Foundation (a centre for jewish culture), had superb guided tours of Kazimierz (above mentioned formerly-jewish quarter) and Nowa Huta (a
Commie built workers utopia), and had a workshop with the All Different/All Equal campaign.

-I had many fine polish meals. I can not believe how much I enjoyed Polish cuisine, and it wasn't just the price. Tasty meats and delicious soups. Yum Yum.

-I was physically drained in Krakow from the continued sickness. I started taking some prescription strength meds and finally picked myself back up. Still, it was disappointing that I spent so much of this trip sick. The program required a level I couldn't always provide, and I missed out on some of the fun I could have had traveling.

-I had a lot of fun hanging out with the students and without any of the problems that arose last semester. This group is comfortable enough with themselves, the program, and me as TA that we can be together as human beings. Yay!

-I finished reading Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" and Cormac McCarthy's "All the Pretty Horses." They were both a bit heavy for travel reading. Faulkner was mind expanding. McCarthy caused reflection.

-I bought a new skateboard because my old one broke days before leaving. It was made by Habitat Skateboards and proceeds for it go to "educating the marginalized peoples of Guayaquil, Ecuador." That is a direct quote from the deck. I tried to find a photo of it to post, but no success yet. The deck graphic includes a map of South America highlighting Ecuador with a tree growing out of it, a funky bird, and numbers drawn in chalk (like in a a school, y'know?). It is a very HECUA TA skateboard.

These were the things that stand out now. Unfortunately this doesn't provide anything like a travel diary but it gives an idea of my experience. Perhaps that is all you want to read anyway.