Flip Flop Flying

Archive for December, 2016

3,167: Disorientated

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I woke up this morning disorientated. In my dream I had hung out under the U-Bahn tracks along Schönhauser Allee, trying to use cocaine. I was unwrapping a piece of paper containing the drugs, but it was windy, and I was aware that it would be a tough thing to do. Also under the tracks were One Direction. All in a car, during a pause while making a video. Harry told me he had epilepsy. And Billy was with me. When I woke up, I had the tired eyes, where they feel heavy and puffy and don’t want to open. A quick flash went through my head, because I don’t really remember feeling that so much in Mexico City. I wonder if it’s a dark European winter thing that causes that in me. But mostly even though I was awake, taking my morning photo (see below), my brain still thought something was real: that Billy was with me. I called out to him, because he wasn’t on the bed. I was awake, I knew I was awake, but I still thought Billy was here in this apartment. As we have all said at some point in our lives, I wish my dream was real. (Not the cocaine bit, obviously, because that is a horrible boring drug.)

Other business
I made a decision when I got to this apartment that every morning I would take a photo. There a tiny balcony, so every morning, I open the doors, stand on the door frame-y bit and click. It’s a nice habit, I think, mostly because it means I’m actually (but only just) outside first thing in the morning, breathing fresh air. And I like the idea of being inappropriately dressed in cold weather to really feel the weather, cos obvs, I do this before getting dressed so I’m usually there bare-footed in my t-shirt and underpants. Here’s the ones I’ve done so far. I intend to keep doing this. The payoff obviously comes when it snows. Please please snow, Berlin, I want it so bad!

Buenos días.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Buenos días

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Guten morgen

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Guten morgen

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Guten morgen damen und herren

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Two songs. I’m starting to realise this isn’t uncommon, having two songs (usually by the same artist) going back and forth in my head. This morning it was History and Drag Me Down by One Direction.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

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Written by Craig

December 13th, 2016 at 4:08 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,166: Embedding the week

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A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Bathroom graffiti

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Hello ladies, fancy coming for some falafel?

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

Other business
This thing with numbering every post on the blog that I’ve been doing. Feels like a conceit (checking thesaurus: self-admiration, arrogance, smugness) but it’s deffo helping. It helps me see progress. And I’m still at a stage where keeping going is something I have to force myself to do at least a couple of days of the week. I’ve been sticking to the five-posts-a-week on the whole. Four posts a week here and there, but that’s fine with me. Four still feels good to me. Point is, I guess, I can now look back at 48 blog posts from the last two months, and I like that already that’s enough to give me a feeling of what was going on in my life at the time. And for me, that totally makes it worth the effort to keep going. (I have to keep reminding myself of this, thus the last paragraph.)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Youth by Troye Sivan. One of the best songs of the year imo.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Sharon Stone

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Written by Craig

December 11th, 2016 at 5:27 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,165: Plans subject to change

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You make plans, you meet up
hi-ya, hallo, *hug*
blah-de-blah, U-bahn
Züruckbleiben bitte!
Bit of a change of plan, not going to that burger place
Okay, cool. Well, let’s go somewhere else instead
Turkish place? Yep. Cool
Kottiwood?
Falafel
Which sauce?
Scharfe
Mmm.
Danke! Tschüß!
What time’s that thing start? Half nine. *looks at watch*
Let’s have a beer at Möbel Olfe now, then?
Chat chat chat. This and that
Noch ein Berliner bitte
Noch ein Berliner bitte
Noch ein Berliner bitte
Pay the bill, where’s this place, then?
Not far, on Skalitzer Straße. Should be around here somewhere
Not here, maybe it’s back there, or here
Wrong door, up the stairs. Different place
Fuck it, let’s just stay here: Siegessäule night at Monarch
Cheers! Joan Jett, Prince, excellent music all night
Drunkenly inventing a convoluted handshake, playing table football, chatting with strangers
Time to go home, though. A bit drunk
Let’s get the U-bahn
*goes to U-bahn*
No trains, too late
Taxi? No, too expensive, let’s get a bus
Bus to Warschauer Straße, then the tram
A nice wee chat with strangers on the bus
17 minutes to wait for the traim, not the traim: the tram, typo
the night tram the party tram
A beer to share from the späti
Four photos/two euros from the Automat
Click click click click
Photo reminder of great night with great friend
Tram, chatting away drunkenly, woman across the way is smiling and laughing at our stupid conversation
She’s Sarah. Half German/half British
We chat all the way home with Sarah
Off the tram, little walk.
Okay, get home safe. Tschüß. *hug*

A wee bit of artwork

Noch ein Berliner bitte

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Better Best Forgotten by Steps. Third Steps song in the last ten days. Who’da thunk it. Well, there’s a simple explanation, ackchewelly: I watched some Steps reunion from British telly on YouTube. So, in this song, when they’re singing about relationship business, it occurred to me that Faye, Claire, and Lisa all sing a bit, and all seem to be singing about the same sort of thing. Are all three of them going through the same thing at the same time? That’d be quite the coincidence. Maybe it’s just fiction, though. You’ll be telling me that all songs are fiction next. That’s the post-truth world we live in.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Total Recall (1990 film)

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Written by Craig

December 9th, 2016 at 2:53 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,164: Prints and stuff

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Nearly Xmas, innit? Fancy a bit of me all over your walls without having to hire an assassin that lures me to your living quarters and blows my brains out all over your lounge wall? Well well well, ladies and gents, get yerself over to my page on Society6, cos I done got looooooads of prints of stuff that you can buy. A decent chunk of them are baseball-themed, but don’t let that worry should you not be a fan of the old fancy rounders, there’s a fair bit of other stuff too. So, if you like my work, have a wee look, eh? Maybe think of it as throwing a few coins in my guitar case. Thanks, me dears. Here’s a few examples.










Here’s that link again, save your wrist and fingers a bit of scrolling back up the page: Society6

Written by Craig

December 8th, 2016 at 9:41 am

Posted in Artwork

3,163: Kraftwerk cactus

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I’ve done loads of Kraftwerk-themed drawings over the sixteen-and-a-half years that I’ve been doing the site. They’re kinda perfect for projecting ideas onto. Daft Punk are similar, to a lesser extent. A well-managed aesthetic and very little personal information allows for that, I think.

Which is to say: I’ve done another bloody Kraftwerk-themed drawing. This time of a prickly pear cactus, with each pad thingy designed to look like one of three of Kraftwerk’s looks.

This blog post is brought to you by GotNothingToActuallyWriteAboutToday Industries.

A wee bit more artwork
Another painting of Mauerpark.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Last Thing on My Mind by Steps

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Mexico City Metro

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Written by Craig

December 8th, 2016 at 9:18 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,162: Mauerpark

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Mauerpark (literally “wall park” in English) is my local park. I’m right next to it, I can see it from the window. And it’s felt like my local park for a long time. Whenever I think about a park, it’s Mauerpark. I used to go to this park twice a day with Billy. It’s not particularly pretty, but it that doesn’t really matter. In a way, it’s a better park for it. Back in the day, it used to be a parade ground, a train yard, and most recently, the death strip between the walls keeping East and West Berlin apart.

When the wall came down, locals basically took over, planted some trees and started using it as a park. I remember being told that is was something that nobody asked permission for, but I could be wrong. Even if that is wrong, though, I like to think that after a divided city, locals just ignored the rules and thought, fuck it, this place is public space now.

Like every park, it has tons of uses. Mauerpark these days has some sort of karaoke thing in the summer. There’s a flea market right next to it on Sundays. There are buskers, kite-fliers, dogs, kids, joggers, people drinking. And while it’s arguably nicer in the summers, winter was always my favourite time to go to Mauerpark with Billy. Fewer people, (no buskers!) and Billy could have a good old bomb around, and I wouldn’t have to worry so much about him being friendly to a human who didn’t want to be friendly with a dog. My friend James once told me the good thing about the grim weather in Brighton in the winter is that it makes you feel like you’ve earned living at the seaside when the summer comes around. I feel similarly about Mauerpark. The nice morning walks with Billy in the summer would always feel like a reward.

Ever since the opportunity came up to be stationed in this apartment, I’ve been excited to be back here, back next to my park, (and everyone else’s “my park”). I did a bunch of painting in the summer of jungle, based on sketches and photos I took in Belize. It’s something I will return to, but it also feels useful and good (and something I want to do) to spend some time repeatedly drawing and painting the same landscape. And Mauerpark is gonna be that place for me.

Here are the first three paintings. All are gouache and coloured pencil on paper, and 24 cm on the longest sides. There will be more of these.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Lush Life by Zara Larsson.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
List of metro systems

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Written by Craig

December 7th, 2016 at 2:22 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,161: Being back

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This time last week I was waking up, my first morning in Berlin. And the week has absolutely flown by. I’ve seen a few friends, had some fun nights out. Done some drawing, some painting (see below), some walking around the neighbourhood, been to the park most days, enjoyed the cold weather, enjoyed life. Last year, though, I was back here for a total of three weeks in two stints. And those weeks felt packed, absolutely rammed with stuff. I was sweaty in my coat from constantly walking around, making sure I took in the whole city, back here for the first time in over five years.

This time, though, I’ll be here for a bit longer. The need to rush, to spend time on the U-bahn every day going to parts of the city I wanna see, hang around in, that need isn’t there. But my brain also tells me that I should do it. And therein lies the problem. My brain is also telling me to be cool, to spend some time in the park, to do some drawing, some more painting. Oh, and think again about those bigger projects that I never got around to this year that still feel like good ideas.

This feels like a fundamental issue within my brain: needing to calm the fuck down, and concentrate on one thing. I think it’s visible in the art I do. It’s all over the place. Some pixelly stuff, some iPad drawings that all kinda have a different style using different apps, some notebook drawings, some paintings. My work could be that of three or four different people, and I feel the need to trim that down.

It felt like a good idea to be more flexible, to draw in whatever style was best for the idea, but I’m starting to think that was balls. I guess that’s what I am enjoying (especially in Belize in the summer) about pencil drawing: my style can’t hide or fart around there. It just is what it is. Brain on paper via hand holding a pencil.

So today’s post is more of a reminder to myself: just do your thing, fuck face, do the Craigest thing, that’s the only thing that’ll make you happy.

A wee bit of artwork
Falkplatz. Gouache and coloured pencil on paper. 18 x 24 cm.

Other business
On Kastanienallee, I walked by three teens who were chatting, laughing, and listening to Young, Wild and Free on a phone. And it really felt good to see and hear that. Like, yep, the kids are gonna be alright, they got life sorted. And I’m starting to wonder about my generation’s anti-millennial schtick: we’re just jealous aren’t we?

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld. Sometimes, there’s a song stuck in your head and you realise you are powerless to resist. Aside from being utterly wonderful, there’s no point in resisting this song. You won’t win once it gets stuck in there.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Moscow Metro

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Written by Craig

December 6th, 2016 at 2:50 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,160: Ten unconnected thoughts

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1. I nearly fell asleep in the bath tub. Such things aren’t common in Mexico, so the last time I had a bath rather than a shower was when I was in London last December. Figured I’d have one on my first night in the apartment, didn’t even think about that I feeling a bit tired. I’m obviously out of practice. Found myself nodding off.

2. I’ve got to a point with some words where I forget which is the British English and which is US English with a word like practice/practise. I made a conscious effort when doing the baseball site to use American English, thus the problem.

3. If you listen to Yeah by LCD Soundsystem, and close your eyes, you can totally imagine that David Brent dance.

4. The smell of other people’s food preparation in an apartment building always smells better than anything I cook.

5. I found this written on my phone: “Nicki Minaj as Yves Klein prints.” I guess this is what I must’ve been thinking.

6. Channel 4 News on YouTube. They should totally disable their comments. It’s a cesspool of awful people.

7. If you spoonerise the name Des Lynam and add an ‘o’, you get Les Dynamo. (I just read on the Wikipedia link, hyperlinked in the previous sentence, and read that he voted for Ukip. Urgh. Fucking Ukip voters. They’re bloody everywhere. Scum, the lot of ’em.)

8. During football matches, I always really enjoy the moment when a substituted player slaps the hand of the coach/manager.

9. In the drizzle of Berlin yesterday, I saw a wet, red, English cocker spaniel. Up close it didn’t, but from a few metres away, it really looked like Billy.

10. Hmmm, I only have nine.

A wee bit of artwork

Continuous line drawing. Artists pretend this shit is impressive but I'm drunk as fuck and did it. It's fucking easy. Never trust an artist. They're arseholes.

A photo posted by Craig Robinson (@flipflopflying) on

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I very specifically listened to a few songs late last night that I thought might have the ability to dislodge the recent LCD Soundsystem dominance of my stuck-in-head songs. Didn’t work. Tribulations. But before I’d even had chance to pour a coffee, I had also had Verrückt by Mia. and Uptown Funk go through my head. The former of those is a German band. The song came out in 2002, and it totally reminds me of still being relatively new in Berlin (I first moved here in October 2000).

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Stalinist architecture

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Written by Craig

December 2nd, 2016 at 3:12 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,159: Russia’s greatest love machine

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Back in October 2006, a whole ten-years-and-a-few-weeks ago, I took a photo of a bit of spilled paint that, to me, looked kinda like Rasputin. I walked down that same street again yesterday. The spilled paint is not only still there, but has hardly worn away at all. Look! (2006 on the left, yesterday on the right)

A wee bit of artwork

Other business
I bought a “mouse mat” yesterday. It’s a pretty modern thing. Bleeding edge tech stuff. What it is, right, is a rectangle of kinda foamy plastic with rounded corners, about 22 x 18 centimetres. It’s dark red. Almost burgundy. (It was also available in black, yeller, and a nice calming blue.) And you use it because it helps the laser light thingy inside your mouse register a surface more smooothly. And it cost just €3.49. I don’t often give tech tips, but this “mouse mat” is a steal. Get on it, brothers and sisters. It’ll change your life.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I had a fitful sleep last night. There was me thinking I’d been cool and tough, sorted out my jetleg on that first day. Nope. Fell asleep watching YouTube around 9pm, woke up at 2.30am, awake til 5, asleep until 11am. Even within that time, I was tossing and, indeed, turning. And all of that time, there was a megamix of LCD Soundsystem songs in my head. The one in my head, though, when I actually got out of bed was Drunk Girls.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Wedding-cake style

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Written by Craig

December 1st, 2016 at 4:39 am