Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Please Sir, May I Have Some More?

Clearly by the comments no one could get enough Korn in their diet. So here's a bit more. My first "bootlegged" video. (Hopefully of a low enough quality (sound and picture) that none of the band's legal team will mind.)

This was recorded last night in Amsterdam's Heineken Music Hall. Part of Korn's "Bitch We've Got a Problem" Tour.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I'm excited that tonight I'm off to see a concert. My friend Maud and I are seeing Korn perform live at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam.

Mom, Quilly, OC, and most others won't appreciate the music of Korn. Heck, after a quick peek at the video you won't believe it's "music". But I like it.

Tonight's forecast is for head shaking, screaming, hair spinning and bouncing with scattered periods of cheering, clapping, and "singing". If you think you're angry enough, click the video and check it out.

Korn appeared as Guest Stars on South Park on October 27th, 1999. They did a satire of Scooby Doo, trying to solve the Mystery of the Priate Ghosts and saving Hallowe'en for everyone.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Somewhat Altered State

Wikipedia has a depressingly short article on infatuation.

Infatuation is the state of being completely carried away by unreasoning passion or love; addictive love. Infatuation usually occurs at the beginning of relationship when sexual attraction is central. It is characterized by urgency, intensity, sexual desire, and anxiety, in which there is an extreme absorption in another. It is traditionally associated with youth.
I think this other site says it better.
Love relationships usually begin with a strong physical and emotional attraction that produces a somewhat altered state of consciousness. Your brain is saturated with chemicals called endorphins, creating the sensations of intense pleasure that accompany infatuation. The exhilaration and sense of well-being are similar to feelings produced by vigorous exercise or eating something extremely pleasurable, like chocolate.
Any way, I'm going to go hit the weights and then settle onto the couch with a tub of Ben and Jerry's.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where has the week gone?

Once again, I'd like to acknowledge that I'm not keeping up with my blogging "responsibilities". But I'm not apologizing. Actually, I'm more explaining that this might become common.

In answer to the multitude of questions, dinner was lovely. Everything is lovely. Indeed, I think the rain today is making the green of the grass a more vibrant hue than normal. Sure the sky is grey with cloud, but if you look closely you can see the individual whisps frolicing and playing in the sky. And okay, it might technically be a "rainy day" out, but doesn't that rain make the air so crisp and clean and fresh that you're just happy to be alive with every breath!?!?!

Yeah, dinner was lovely.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Off to Düsseldorf

Didn't I just get home? I think I did. And had so little time that there was no chance to say "I'm back" before writing "I'm off again."

Actually I'm going to Essen Germany, taking the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Düsseldorf along the way. Unrelated to Hamburg's meeting on Friday, Monday in Essen is going to be a special little work day. As in, especially painful, long, and difficult.

I have a secret that will get me through the day. A little warm spark to keep me going. I've got a movie night scheduled with a very sweet friend of mine on Tuesday. It's enough to keep me smiling all the way through the impending disaster of my trip to Germany.

I'll try not to let life get too in the way of blogging.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Greetings from Hamburg

I feel bad. I've been remiss in my blogging and for that I should be scolded. So even though, in a more real way, I should be working, tonight I shall also blog a bit.

Being in Hamburg Germany sounds like reason enough to blog. I mean, it's a new town to me. Except for one lunch meeting 5 years ago, it's my first real trip here. And so according to others I speak with, this is exciting.

And yet once again, the only excitement or story-worthy part of the trip was ... the airport. Specifically when I got to Schiphol (Amsterdam) and intended to take my carry-on luggage to the automated check-in and then walk onto the plane. Two machines and three humans later it was finally noticed that my ticket was for Friday afternoon, not today. I was booked to be right on time for my Saturday (???) business meeting?

I blame my frequent flier program for ultimately getting me here. I went to the airport ticket desk to make changes. The lines where HUGE! And you had to take a number. There was no way I thought I would make it. At that moment it was the scheduled boarding time for my intended flight.

But technology can be beautiful, if you're on the correct side of it. I watched the man in front of me press a few buttons and get his number to line up. He looked at the resulting paper stub and the numbers on the board and just sighed. It was going to be a while. Then I stepped up. The machine asked me if I was flying business or economy. "Economy". And it asked me if I was a member of the frequent flying program. "Yes". And then it asked me if I was an Elite member. "Damn Right"!

My number printed. A-3041. *bing* Next on the board, A-3041. I walked right past the line of weary economy class travellers and straight to an agent. The whole process of changing flights took minutes. Barely. And I was at my gate in time to have to wait for boarding. Huh?

Maybe I'm setting my standards too low, but I'm pleased. Heck, I'm ecstatic! Tomorrow's software demonstration probably won't go very well. They rarely do. And the customer seems to be asking for a lot of stuff we don't offer. They always do. But in the end, however it turns out or however happy or unhappy the salespeople are I'm going to be pleased. Heck, I made it! I physically got here. Anything else that goes as planned is just icing on the cake of business travel.

Monday, January 14, 2008


For most, the unknown is a source of stress. Uncertainty is felt as a lack of control, and this is a negative emotion. But I think I'm a bit odd in this regard. Perhaps because I do not believe in the myth of control. Perhaps because I know life will never truly be certain. Regardless of why, when I feel great uncertainty in my life, such as I have now, I tend to thrive off of it. I'm excited, not worried, about all the changes. I'm feeling challenged, rather than stressed, by all the unknowns.

In the next two weeks I'm travelling on three trips. Or is it four? I'm teaching a training course in Denmark right after a meeting in Germany. Or am I? Half the work and travel plans are still not confirmed. And the rest are vague enough as to be uncertain anyway.

And life outside of work has taken on a strange feel. I've got high hopes for a personal situation that is bound to cause changes. Although the chances of heartbreak are far greater than of happiness, I'm still buzzing with positive energy.

And energy seems to be the crux of it all. Uncertainty and change are like types of energy floating around. Some times life has more, some times less. But I think, maybe, just perhaps, I believe, that this is useful energy. That it can be tapped and harnessed. That in times of change, our reactions can be as positive or negative as we choose them to be. So in this turbulent time, I'm choosing to be positive.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


There's an old line associated with sailors lost at sea. "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink." Today my apartment felt a bit like a dry island far out at sea. I awoke to find no water. At least not any water in the pipes. Outside it was pouring down rain, and at the foot of the apartment block there was an obvious "leak". A small river flowing out to the street.

So the water was all around. And there was not a drop to drink. Save for the option of facing the sky with your mouth open. But that wasn't going to get the coffee made!

Truly, the morning was saved by the 2L of water in the fridge. 1.5L of which went into the first two pots of coffee.

The water is back. Hot and cold. I can cook and clean and carry on with the day. But it's fun to be reminded, right when you think you have your life in control, that some parts of it never can be.

--- Update ---

And it's gone again. I think my water company has been taking lessons from the cable company.

--- Updated Update ---

Okay it's back. The work day was ending so whatever the problem, fixed or not, they've at least turned the water on for the night. Just showered and barely have time for groceries before meeting friends. Doh.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What I was listening to

I first heard DJ Krush in Bern Switzerland, 6 years ago. After a week's work, I stayed over the Friday night to fly Saturday. Everyone else in my group left Friday, meaning I had to explore on my own what had to that point been a very boring town.

And Friday night in Bern isn't much better than Saturdays in Luxembourg. Eventually I gave up and returned to the same restaurant/bar the whole class had been eating dinner in each night. I sat down at the bar and started talking to one of the employees I'd met a few days earlier. He was talking to another friend, and they welcomed me into their conversations. The uber-kind barman gave me a drink on the house, and we all talked. And the music played and it was the first time I'd hear DJ Krush. And we chatted and we drank and the barman brought drinks and it was fun.

The big question, I remember, was what language we were listening to. We didn't know! It turns out the answer is Japanese, but I had to look that up on the Internet later.

I was having fun. But I suddenly realized how much fun I was having when I commented on how all the customers at the bar were employees. Who's looking after the restaurant?

"Oh we've been closed for 2 hours," The barman says. "We sometimes stay late and have a few on the house on Fridays."

"Won't the owner get upset?" I asked.

"I am the owner. Another drink?"

And we had fun, and listened to the music. And after about the third playing of the album I asked who owned it and, after some haggling, bought it off him on the spot. He thought I was nuts. I swore that by morning the artist's name would be gone, but if I took the CD home I'd never forget it.

As it turns out, it was a day later when I discovered the CD stuck in my coat pocket. I hadn't remembered. And yet, it's one of my top ten favourite albums, and there's just so so much that I'll never forget.

That's just what happened to be playing on the stereo. DJ Krush, playing Candle Chant featuring Boss The MC. From his Zen album. I got my copy in Bern, one cold winter many years ago.

A Chat and a Cookie

There are a lot of good aspects to being single. Sure, there are more positives to being in a good relationship, but being single is cool. And perhaps the very sweetest nicest most wonderful parts of being single, are those rare, rare, rare moments when you meet someone and think... before any words or vows or DNA is exchanged... just think that maybe, you've found a reason to not be single.

What can be said about that moment? The possibility. The angst and anticipation. Oh that it could be bottled, how wealthy would one be? But how poor would your life be if you bottled the moment and sold it?

In English we lack a word for that moment, that feeling. In Dutch its called verliefdheid. It doesn't translate properly, but it's used such as "Ik ben een beetje verliefd."

It's amazing what can change in the course of a chat and a cookie.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Luxembourg is Pretty

Luxembourg is pretty, which is great because otherwise it's pretty boring. I found that out by joining in on a last-minute road trip this past weekend. And that was pretty cool! I don't normally just hop around Europe for the sake of visiting new countries, but this time I did. And I'm glad as I was really impressed by the beauty of the land and the city.

Shame about the nightlife on Saturday night though.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Welcoming Two-Thousand and Eight

I don't normally treat the New Year as a deeply introspective time. I have enough "real" events in my life occuring on a regular basis such that I have ample opportunity all year round for deeply instrospective thinking. This means that I don't normally make resolutions or join a gym in the first week of January. This year, however, a lot of the events occuring seemed to coincide nicely with the New Year and all it symbolizes.

As I said, I won't be joining any gyms this month. But I will be liberating my own fitness equipment. I will now have the space to use it properly and safely. And I'll no doubt set some lofty fitness goals and then attack them. Exercise is addictive, and exercise at home is a wonderful luxury.

Christmas with friends in my own home. That was cool! Spending my New Year's hangover time painting newly purchased furniture. That was cool! Scrubbing, by hand, the floor of my new room to make it more mine. Cool. And this coming Sunday's New Years dive... well that'll just be f'ing cold. And very cool.

But that is what is happening. The bigger question is what will happen? What will 2008 bring, what do I want from it, and how can I steer things to make my goals happen?

I honestly don't know the full answers to any of those. But I have a feeling, deep inside, below the hangover and lunch-time hunger, that's telling me I'm already on track. What ever 2008 holds I think it's going to be a nice year. May it be good to you also!