Archive for September, 2009
I’ve been trying to stay vaguely unsmutty recently, and have resisted posting a picture of one of the big billboard posters that the CDU and Angela Merkel were using to try and get people to vote for them. Every time I see this billboard of Angie… well, erm, I can’t help but think she’s demonstrating the breadth of her vagina.
Like I say, I tried. But the thing that made me titter too much and forced me to post the above picture was the headline in one of the newspapers today:
With that headline, it’s impossible not to think that she’s giving the driver a quick hand job.
Sorry, we’ll get out of the gutter tomorrow when I’ll be answering the question: Joseph or Marcel? Which is the best Proust.
A couple of soccer infographics today. First, there’s a look at all the teams that are or have been in the (English) Premier League, and which other divisions they’ve been in during since the 92/93 season.
The other one was done after my Arsenal-supporting mate John suggested it: looking at the assembly and disassembly of the undefeated 03/04 Arsenal team.
(And if you’re English and automatically winced when you read the word “soccer,” you can get off your snobby cloud. I used to live up there, and it’s far more fun down here. I’ve learnt that it’s far easier to call it soccer and have everyone understand, rather than leaving the North American people reading these words wondering if I mean the round version of football, or the prolate spheroid version.)
I don’t really like mentioning my birthday on the blog because if feels manipulative. That said, it’s my birthday! Don’t worry, though, it’s a inconsequential birthday: my thirty-ninth. Only of note for being the one before the next one. Anyway, I got the best present from my sister, which I wanted to show you cos it’s awesome. A baseball card. A signed baseball card. A signed Craig Robinson baseball card. Yay!
Obviously, I enjoy that I have the same name as a former baseball player. But it really did make me very happy opening the envelope and finding the card inside; one of those moments where it was all the more surprising because I totally wasn’t expecting it. Time for a birthday cup of coffee, I think.
In ten days, I will finally move into my new apartment. And, importantly, get my stuff out of storage. I really can’t wait to open box after box; to ooh and aah at forgotten CDs, DVDs, books, random stuff. One thing that I can’t wait to see, for some reason, is this little plastic sailor.
I’ve been wracking my brains to think of times as an adult that I’ve been naked in front of people who aren’t either a) people I’ve slept in a bed with, and b) doctors. I can only think of two times: in 2004, during the short dash between my towel and the water when I went swimming in the Baltic Sea; and last year, in the communal showers at the Oregon Country Fair. Somehow, it seems weird that I have such a small tally of public nudity.
I was listening to “America” by Simon and Garfunkel last night, and as I sang along, I noticed that I’d done something, been somewhere mentioned in the song:
“Kathy,” I said, as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh, “Michigan seems like a dream to me now.”
I’ve boarded a Greyhound bus in Pittsburgh. I felt absurdly special at the moment I connected the song to my personal experience. Have you done anything in a place that’s in a song?
I’ve made a resolution to not drop cigarette butts on the pavement any more. It’s a bad habit anyway, but today, as I stood at a pedestrian crossing, I saw a pigeon pecking around on the ground, and he pecked at a butt, and ate it. It’s unlikely that it was a cigarette butt that I’d dropped, but all the same, I felt guilty.
A couple of months old, this one. It’s New York Yankees ace pitcher and big cuddly teddy bear, CC Sabathia.
Days come when I think, just STOP doing this, you fucking idiot, but I can’t bring myself to do it. A chart of my sleeping hours. Three years worth. Different colours represent different time zones.
What the hell!? I wish I could have some idea as to why you’ve been doing the things you’ve been doing. Firstly, the broken glass in my room. I came home quite late after a lovely night out with Donna, I opened the door quietly, took my shoes off when I walked past your room so as not to wake you, and when I walked across my room to switch on the bedside lamp, I stood on broken glass. My foot was dripping blood all over and I’ve got a hole in my best socks. I used up about half a loo roll until it stopped bleeding. Mark told me this morning that he heard you breaking glass in there. C’mon, man, this is the third time this term. I don’t understand. As if that wasn’t enough, well, I don’t think I need to point out what else was on my carpet. Why did you draw something so awful on it? That’s not the sort of thing I wanted to come home to, I can tell you. I thought we were friends… but recently, it seems like you don’t wanna talk to me any more. It’s really confusing. I’m seriously thinking about moving out. I don’t wanna have to tell the landlord what you’ve done, but if this continues, you’ll give me no choice.
PS. Can I have my copy of “Blonde on Blonde” back, please? You’ve had it since Freshers’ week, and I need to tape it for Donna.
Yes, I know, another post about baseball caps… But this one raises questions, not just me going I ♥ Yankees. There are, of course, plenty of baseball caps worn by people on The Wire, but this is a screen grab of the very first baseball cap with a baseball team’s logo on the front that we see in the first episode of season one of The Wire.
Kima is wearing a Birmingham Black Barons cap. Based in Brimingham, Alabama, they played in the Negro Leagues before integration. The makers of The Wire seemed fairly focussed on creating something realistic, and I find this choice of cap for Kima interesting. Was it intentional that the first baseball logo we see is that of a Negro League team?
I’m going through the seasons looking for other baseball cap logos, and so far – seasons one and two – I’ve not seen a Baltimore Orioles cap. Poor O’s…
The beginning of the (American) football season is upon us, so if – like me – you know very little about the game but are kind of interested in getting to know it a bit more, here’s a timeline of the current NFL franchises. There’s plenty of defunct teams from the twenties through to the fifties, but I’ll probably get around to adding them in the future.
Click image for full-size version
This will be the first season where I’ve will be paying attention on a regular basis, so I had to pick a team. And for purely aesthetic reasons, I’ve plumped for the Cleveland Browns. Their uniform is pretty.
What is this sticker against?
Is it against baseball caps?
Is it against New Era baseball caps?
Is it against New Era baseball caps with the sticker left on the bill?
Is it against New Era New York Yankees baseball caps with the sticker left on the bill?
Is it against white New Era New York Yankees baseball caps with the sticker left on the bill?
Is it against all non-traditional New Era New York Yankees baseball caps with the sticker left on the bill?
Is it against baseball caps being photographed on blue backgrounds?
Is it against photographs of baseball caps full stop?
Whoever this Kism chap is (and I doubt it is the KISM that broadcasts classic rock to the Bellingham, WA area), he needs to be a bit clearer about his cause.
I’ve known today was coming for twenty-two years. For most of those years, though, it was vaguer than that; for most of those years, I’ve known this this day was coming at some point in early September 2009. It must’ve been about seven or eight years ago that I worked out the actual date. I remember doing it, too: sat in a bus shelter near Treptower Park at night, waiting for the bus home, and I got my notebook out and started adding. A couple of months ago, I checked on one of those Web sites that tells you how many days are between two dates.
14,231 days. That’s how long I’ve been alive as of today, Monday the 6th of September.
My father died on Sunday the 19th of July, 1987. He was 14,231 days old. Today, I’m the exact same age my father was when he died. Tomorrow I will have lived longer than he did.
I’m not entirely sure why it has felt like this, but this day has been a black cloud over me for the past couple of months, ever since I got back to Berlin. It’s something I’ve thought about every day. It’s affected my mood. Even when I’ve been kinda relaxed, there’s been a nagging there, and I’m pretty sure it’s twenty-two years worth of hoping that I will live longer than my father. And what goes with that hope, is the thought that I wouldn’t. The last couple of weeks have been stressful. I’ve spent a lot of that time feeling close to the end of my tether.
Mostly, though, it’s made me think about my dad on a far more regular basis than I have done in a while. I hate that I normally wouldn’t think about him every day. I guess it’s probably about ten, twelve, fifteen, maybe even twenty years since I’ve thought about him every day. It’s horrible not to think about him. But it’s still fucking hard to think about him. It’s not as raw as it was back then, but it still hurts. And it’s selfish, too. A lot of that feeling is about twenty-two years of stuff I wanna talk to him about. Twenty-two years of “Do you like my new drawing, Dad?”
Our lives have been very different. When my dad was my age, he had a sixteen-year-old son and a fourteen-year-old daughter, a wife, a mortgage, and was working hard providing for his family. I’ve got a ten-year-old Web site, a couple of books, and some stories about drinking ayahuasca in a Brazilian forest.
I was determined that I’d never blog about my Dad. They’re my feelings. No offence intended to you, the reader, but blogging about this… I worry that it cheapens it a touch. But I felt like doing it when I woke up this morning. Tomorrow, when (if…) I wake up, I’ll do so without a feeling I’ve had for all these years. I will wake up without that black cloud. And with the realisation that I’ve done it: I’ve lived longer than my dad. And I hope that with that knowledge, there’ll be some sort of, I dunno… feeling that life is special. At the moment, I don’t wake up thinking that every day is a gift. Maybe now I will.
Anonymous commenting now turned off. Apologies to those of you who used the anonymous comments function to quickly make a comment, but I’m getting tired of people being snide without showing their faces. It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but, like that thing next to the bin that needs throwing out, never got around to doing it. You can still use your Google account or OpenID thingy to make a comment. Have a good weekend.
Shop in the Alexa shopping centre, Berlin.
I’m not particularly good with heights. I’m staying at a friend’s place until I can move into my new apartment (in a couple of weeks), and it took me a few days before I even stood at the edge of his balcony. I still don’t feel comfortable doing it. It just doesn’t make me feel safe. Yesterday, some men started putting up scaffolding because they are building a fifth floor on top of this four floor building. (Yes, it’s been loud.) This morning, I went out to smoke on the balcony, and this is what I saw. I’m sure the colour must’ve drained out of my face at the same time. No way I would ever do that.
There’s a New Era baseball cap store in Berlin. I’ve got more than enough caps already (36), but I wasn’t wearing one on Monday, and I caught a glimpse of my shit hair in a shop window, so I walked into the New Era store, telling myself that I’d just have a quick look. But it was way too easy to convince myself that I should buy a new one. A New York Yankees 59FIFTY On-Field cap. Because, even though I’ve got four other Yankee caps, the only one I have with me (the others are either in a suitcase at my Mum’s house or in a box in Bellingham waiting to be shipped to Berlin) is the one with the commemorative 2009 Inaugural Stadium patch on the back, and I quite fancied a regular one.
Anyway, I motion to the wall of 59FIFTY On-Field caps, and ask the guy for a Yankee cap, size seiben und… and my mind couldn’t find how to say “five-eighths” in German (yes, I know: big head). He prompted me, “In English?” I told him my size. He opened the magic wall, and inside were shelves of different sized caps. And then he said, “You want it in this colour?” in a way that inferred that I could get something way more exciting than the blue-with-white-logo cap.
“Of course,” I said. As he walked back to the counter, a monologue continued in my head. Of course I want the On-Field cap; do I really look like the sort of person who would want to propagate this absurd fashion cap trend with red Yankee caps, multi-coloured Yankee caps, and, God help us all, camo Yankee caps. Of course I want the dark blue cap, you fool; this is a New York Yankees baseball cap, something to be proud of, not just a piece of tat to plop on my head to complete a “look.” And while I’m here, that two-tone grey Giants cap you’re wearing is wrong. It should be black with an orange logo. And you can take the sticker off the bill, you juvenile doofus.
“Can I pay with Visa?”