Archive for October, 2005
As this site is Flip Flop Flying with a G, not Flip Flop Flyin’ with an apostrophe, today I’d like to pause for a moment and lament the seeming extinction of the apostrophe in the word Hallowe’en.
I always enjoyed the way it hung there between the two Es. I liked how it added a nice gothic sense of horror to the word that such an event could only benefit from. The apostrophe shielding us from the horrors within, but also amplifying our fears.
But it seems it’s dying out. It’s all Halloween nowadays… when I were a lad it were all fields of apostrophes, not just rampaging gangs of teenagers in Scream masks acting out their mini-protection racket fantasies: give us sweets or we fuck up your house!
It’s only just gone midday in Berlin and already the spooks are working. As I left the flat to go and get my morning coffee – all crusty-eyed, askew-haired, and yesterday’s clothes-ed – I shut the door of the flat as one tends to do when leaving one’s home. The front door is a bit stiff and has to be slammed, but usually that’s no problem at all.
This morning though, I slammed the door and heard a crashing noise. I dismissed it, thinking it was a neighbour dropping something in their kitchen, and went and got my coffee, came home, read some websites, went about my day. Time passed and then, Ooh, I need the loo, I thought. So I went to the bathroom to find the mirror had fallen off its ledge over the sink and was broken.
The slamming of the door had created a vibration that worked it’s way along the hall, past the little chamber of shoes and coats, into the bathroom, and thunk! ruined my morning. Seven years! Seven years! Aaargh!
So, I begin sweeping the broken shards off the floor, cursing my bad luck, but taking things in my stride. Then I take the remaining hulk of broken mirror out of the sink. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck. Shit. Fuck. Bollocks. Fuck. The mirror has made a four-way lightning-shaped crack in the sink. And there’s a hole big enough to put a pencil through.
I peer through it at the floor tiles and let out a sigh. The seven years of bad luck began a second or so after the mirror broke. Now I really will catch bird flu. Then I’ll get hit by a tram on my way to the hospital. And the ambulance that picks me up will have engine trouble and explode. But I’ll be rescued by firemen and taken to the burns unit, where I’ll be treated and have my broken bones put it casts and my bird flu will be sorted by the ace doctors, and all will seem good until a comet lands directly on top of the hospital and kills everyone, (and I’ll die thinking something dumb like, Oooh, I really fancy some Walkers salt and vinegar crisps), and a chain reaction will set off a new ice age and life on Earth as we know it will end. All because I slammed a door. Sorry about that.
It’s not all hate… I had a dream that I met Bill O’Reilly at a party underneath the train tracks on Schönhauser Allee near my flat. As it happens, he seemed to be a really nice bloke, we had a right good laugh. Odd, really, considering most of the stuff that comes out of his mouth in real life.
I hate stopping smoking. It just fucks with my life. Everything I do is seen through a filter of hate, a filter that used to be a cigarette smoke haze. The nicotine may be gone from my system, but I’m still not over its effects. Sleeping badly, lack of concentration, all-consuming thoughts of SMOKE SMOKE SMOKE gloriously filling my lungs. And there’s hatred towards those pussies who smoked half a cigarette a month and claim that giving up was “really easy, actually.”
Do things smell or taste better? I’m not sure.
Do I feel better? Actually, yeh, I do a bit. If only cos my fear of dying has receded a little.
Do I feel worse? Yes, I like cigarettes.
But I have replaced them with a variety of crap: muchos coffee, gummi bears and chewing gum. Spicy things are good, too. Anything that gives my mouth that nnnnggggggh! sort of kick that cig smoke used to give it.
Moments come along where I’m like whatsisname in Fight Club, wanting random acts of pure hate to watch so I can fill the void with something: seeing everyone who ever picked up an acoustic guitar to try and learn Nick Drake songs all lined up in a row and cut in half horizontally with a big fucking chainsaw… that kinda stuff.
You know who I hate most of all, though (and I’m not gonna say ‘me’ even though I am mainly to blame for this cigarette problem)? The person who I hate the most right now is the dude in the current Gauloises poster ads around Berlin, smiling in his haw hee haw Frenchy Parisian lovely street, living his perfect fucking life with a fag in his hand. What a cunt.
Anyway… Minipops, eh? Aren’t they grrrrreat!?
Been living in a bubble this week.
I’m full of bird flu fears, wondering if I should stock up on bottled water and canned goods… yes, that’s paranoia, folks. I’m thinking maybe I can create a harness that I can dangle out of the window so Billy can go toilet in mid-air.
At the same time I’m trying to enjoy the death throes of autumn, as winter seems to be trying hard to grab Berlin by the nuts.
Watching films is good (from the video shop I’d recommend the truly great Peter Sellers film Being There, and the chuckles-filled Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle; in the cinema, Dear Wendy, and if you can stand the annoying stoned students snorting with laughter at any old vaguely amusing visual gag, the new Wallace & Gromit film).
But this here bubble I’m in, it’s been a smoke-free bubble for a couple of days. My 3452367th attempt at quitting smoking fags is nearly 48 hours old. Quite frankly, the mood swings mean I want to kill you all; and were you to tempt me with a cigarette, I’d kill your children too. Grrr. Of course, that’s just the cold turkey talking…
You know what Billy and I get up to when we’ve got nowt else to do? We make silly films. Like this one, a Western called Once Upon A Time In The Spare Room.
After a frustrating early morning watching the Yankees lose and only having a few hours sleep, I woke up feeling inexplicably good. And, surprisingly, considering I’ve had a day where I’ve been running around doing chores, that good mood has continued. I’m going to give the credit to Scott Walker. I woke up with his sumptuous song The World’s Strongest Man as my Ohrwurm. Aaaah, what a song. It’s like being wrapped in a warm blanket and being fed Belgian white chocolate truffles by [insert name of your fantasy foxy person here].
Even being in the launderette didn’t dull my mood. Mainly for two reasons.
Firstly, there were four people in there including me. Of those people in a German waschsalon, three of us were reading the British newspaper The Guardian. That made me smile.
And whilst reading said newspaper, I noticed that the manager of the English football club Bolton Wanderers, Sam Allardyce, not only looks a bit like Meat Loaf, but also … flick flick flick towards the front of the newspaper … he looks like Tom Cruise in this deeply unflattering photo.
La de da… now, gotta go to Kaiser’s, the supermarket equivalent of shaving with a cheese grater covered in dog poo; let’s see if the good mood can battle its way through that.
I’m having one of those should’ve-stayed-in-bed days. I woke up around 10.30, and it was a wake-up that felt too sudden, like my head was struggling to keep up with my body. First thing I managed to do was step in dog poo that was right outside the front door of the house. Then, still cursing, I stepped out right in front of a cyclist and nearly injured Billy and myself. I forgot to buy cigarettes and had to go out again. And guess what? I stepped in the same poo again.
I’d quite like to get a haircut today, but the way things are going, I’m not sure I should bother.
Things I’m wondering today:
1. Is possession really nine tenths of the law?
2. Which was the first film to have someone die and then their friend/partner/lover is knelt next to the body and screams an echo-ey “Nooooooooooo!” while the camera swoops off up into the sky?
3. What’s the ratio of normal people to doctors on flights? What are our chances of someone answering the call: Is there a doctor on board?
4. I remember seeing this film on TV ages ago, when I was a teenager in fact. As far as I remember it was about the occupants of a village who thought they were living in the USA, but really it was a Soviet experiment somewhere in deepest, darkest Russia. When they found out, they tried to escape, of course, to the real USA. Anyone else seen it? Anyone know what it was called? I did think John Travolta was in the film, but after checking IMDb and coming up blank, I’m once again confronted by my memory’s ability to fake stuff.
Anyway for your enjoyment today, some quick pen drawings I did the other night while I was watching a Yankees game. Mainly it was an experiment to see how my skills are these days; secretly it’s a pitch for next season’s alternative baseball cards. Could be better, could be worse…
I seem to be into this fellow at the moment. Not sure where he’s going, but he’s going somewhere. And I kinda like the idea of developing him in public, here, rather than doing it all offline.
Today is a public holiday here in Germany. It’s the Tag der Deutschen Einheit, the day celebrating the reunification in 1990. Not that I’ve noticed anyone celebrating so far. I’m sure most people would be happy to celebrate by going to Ikea or somewhere, but those shops ain’t open today. As it is, it’s a perfect day for a) trying to watch the partial eclipse, hoping that the clouds would part for long enough to see it (they didn’t), b) doing a painting of one of the fellows I did pencil drawings of over the weekend (see below), and c) going back to bed and watching some DVDs (which will be happening a few short moments after I click the ‘Publish Post’ button).
Another thing from the bowels of my computer’s hard drive today. This was done in November 2002. It’s a little animation featuring my… what’s the word I’m looking for?… umm, glorious singing. The idea was to do a very very miserable sounding version of a hit record. Judge the results for yourselves.
And to complete the weekend’s sporting emotions boys: Hohumyankeeslostbutitsnottheendoftheworld Boy.
This time meet the English cousin of Happyetc Boy and Pissedoffetc Boy: Furiousthatfuckingchelseabeatliverpool Boy.
After a couple of months of watching Yankees games til 4 or 5am on a three inch Windows Media screen on MLB.com, I got to see a game on a proper telly last night, and it was perfect timing, too: Yankees beating Red Sox 8-4 and taking the AL East title in the process. Woo.
My Orioles supporting mate and I trekked over to the Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz – a sanitized mall – to their open plan “American sports bar”, Play Off, to watch the baseball on their tellies.
It was a very odd place to be doing that: while you’re engrossed in an important game, there’s people wandering by shopping for perfume, candles and socks. All in all, though, it was a good evening. We met three other Americans who were there for game, (they wanted the Yankees to win simply because they didn’t like the Red Sox), shared a few pitchers of beer, got drunk, then came home and, as I hoped I’d be able to do, drew a picture of Happybecausetheyankeesbeattheredsox Boy.
And now that the Yankees have won the title, maybe they should play tonight’s game against the Red Sox in clown shoes… you know, just to rub it in…
I did this drawing in the early hours of this morning, I call him Pissedoffbecausetheredsoxbeattheyankees Boy.
Hopefully I’ll be able to introduce you to his nemesis tomorrow, Happybecausetheyankeesbeattheredsox Boy.