Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm on you tube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pht0ZEB_z8w&eurl=http://www.crooksandliars.com/

I was interviewed about the first amendment in Hollywood in early march and they actually used 2 words of my 2-minute interview with them. I'm at 00:09 mark saying "peaceful assembly"...

I love the dude, when asked what he loved about America, said, "California."

I was most disturbed by the policeman, when asked about the 1st Amendment, said, it was "a myth"...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Austria?

There's a story where a man kept his daughter locked up for 24 years and fathered 6 children with her, all while his wife lived upstairs???? His wife and he adopted 3 of the children.

Glad it's rainy today, keeps me from going out...

Why do I like it here so much?

Well, it's Monday morning at 11.25am. I don't have to work today. True, it's not a normal thing but still, here I am in pajamas, drinking what's left of my cold coffee from 2 hours ago and working on a small performance that I'll be doing a slam supreme variety show tomorrow. I also am going to clean my room, do a workout, figure out what I'm teaching at 8am Tuesday and chill.

Next semester will be much different for me. I have lost one of my jobs for next semester because I don't teach fast-paced enough. It's a real bummer for me because I really enjoy the class but that's how it is. So next semester as of now does NOT have enough work to pay for my monthly bills (actually it does but it would be tight!) so I'll have to find some more work in the fall. No big deal, but it was a rude reminder that my work is tenuous.

Today's word of the day: rough music, meaning the louds sounds sailors made on boats when they were discontented. I'm not sure if that words applies today, I feel pretty relaxed and not so discontented. I'm just changing my mentality a bit, even thinking of travelling LESS next year, I know, but seriously, to about "only" 10 weeks next year. I don't know how I could possibly be content only having 10 weeks of holiday a year but I also thought about actually investing some of my money into one of my books and trying to get it on amazon.com so friends and family could buy it. I'll keep ya updated on that too!

So even though work may get a bit more difficult for me, I still enjoy having the freedom to live as I wish. THAT is why I like it here so much...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

South San Gabriel

I saw a concert in Swamp last night. My friend Gregg and I befriended the band before the show and bought cds and stood in the front row of the small bar which held about 50 people or so. It was a very intimate show and the music fit accordingly. There were 2 bands with interchangeable members and last night they kind of played both together. I enjoyed the first band more than the second, mostly because of the pedal steel guy and it was more mellow but it was a great time. I love the fact that there are great concerts by small, alt-country/americana, rockabilly type music in the building where I live! I'm a little slow today, however, but it is beautiful weather and I'm sure I'll get out for a bit. You? ps the bands were called South San Gabriel (the more mellow one) and the Centro Matic...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Groovement Festival Revisited

Now four a half months after the fact, I finally got a copy of the music from the Groovement Festival. Modern Earl transported us deep to the south and while still being snarky, performing in all earnestness, even covering an obscure Sleepy Walker song about getting the clap and losing a ball all down in a delicate rambling mexican rose rhythm.

Alex and I played a couple of songs, only one of which was recorded but there were some good moments on there.

The reggae band, the Uplifters did their thing and it grooved. I especially liked some of the female vocals on one of the last songs they played. They basically rocked reggae and it kicks ass.

Listening to this just inspired to say with certainty, there's going to be a Groovement Festival again this year. I've just started it. More soon...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

10 more added to the lump

Well, I had my first 8am class in a LOOOOONG time and I'm feeling it now, home at 8.45pm, had to work in Loerrach and then dinner with Chick F and now a busy boy, trying to do 5 things at one time:
1)prepare mother's day card
2)prepare my absentee voter card
3)get my lessons for tomorrow planned
4)get negatives for an exhibition or two in the near future
5)and finally...changing my return flight from the summer from September 20th to September 26th!

This change is huge! After Central America, we'll have some days to kick around OC before seeing the Black Crowes in LA on the 17th of September and then driving up to San Francisco on the 18th and spending 4 nights there before driving back to OC and spending 4 more nights at home before going back.

Added to that is a weekend in Rome that I booked for Chick F and I for early July. We're going to visit a friend of mine who's a pastry chef writing her second cookbook.

When you put that into context, 2008 is gonna be another HUGE travel year...
new year - Jan 4 was in OC 3 days
Feb 15-Mar 8 California 21 days
March 20-30 Bratislava/Vienna 10 days
April 5 Belgrade 1 day
April 10-13 Amsterdam 3 days
May 9-20 Romania 11 days
July 4-7 Rome 3 days
July 25 - Sep 27 CA/C. America 63 days
Dec 12-28 California 16 days
-------------
131 days

Holy shit!!! 2005 had 126 days of holiday but I am actually going to surpass that, unbelievable! When do I work at all? Oh yeah, today, 8am until 5.30pm... I know, I'm obsessed with it but I just can't believe how little I can work and how much I can do what I want. I like being in my early 30s in Europe! :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

North Korea

A Norwegian guy who hosted me in northern Norway 3 years ago was just in North Korea. Here is his description of it...
--------------------------------------------------------------
Well, its hard to explain, you have to see it yourself.

Imagine a city with 3 million people and not one single private car but huge streets like in other big cities except that they are more or less totally empty ! Evenalmost no busses were seen. All people walked.The country is totally cut from the outside world, theyhave no idea whats going on.People are not allowed to travel from one city to another unless in very special occasions so there wereno traffic to be seen of busses from the various towns.We didnt see any trucks transporting goods either.

We were all over the country and each town seems like a prison closed from the outside world. We were never allowed to talk to local people and none tried to talk to us either. They knew if they did they would end in prison.We could never enter a shop but that was not difficultbecause we didnt see any shops. Only a few specialones were tourists were allowed in to shop. Also wesaw no restaurants exept those for foreigners.They can not watch foreign TV or listen foreign radio.95% of programs was dedicated to the great leader KimIl Sung. All songs on TV and Radio was about him.Well, there are many things I can say. It was an amazing experience to be in North Korea. You should go there. The tour we did by www.koreakonsult.se was so good. We were 9 persons in our group.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another new chapter

Well, I know I haven't been updating the blog very much lately, and there are a few reasons for that. First, I've been so busy lately, i.e., travelling and having fun and working, that I haven't had time for the blog. Secondly, I've started hanging out with someone new who has been heretofore named Chick F. That will stay that way for now. Thirdly, a lot of what I was doing was actually pretty private and I didn't want it broadcast to the world.

Chick A really was a great help in my life and most definitely a unique girl and I'm really glad for the experiences we had. It's going to be a lot of fun hearing about all the "trouble" she gets herself into in the capital of Europe. :)

Chick F, on the other hand, is quickly becoming someone very important to me. She has been very kind to me and lets me be ME, something that most women don't allow because well, I'm a freak but somehow it's okay for her and I really appreciate that.

So, I just wanted to let ya'll know that while there will still be the occasional Chick A update, most things will be revolving around me and my life and sometimes Chick F as well. I'm sure you'll get to know her better over the next months, but it's all still kind of new and we aren't rushing into anything really. Famous last words, I know but...

Today is the 65th anniversary of the discovery of LSD's effect...discuss. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chick A's Freiburg chapter has ended

A girl that I got to know pretty well late last year, you know her as Chick A, is finally moving on to bigger and better things. Next stop for her is Italy, but just for a month before moving to Brussels. She's taken a job in the European Parliament, having finished in the top 20 out of more than 1200 applicants for permanent positions within the largest bureaucracy in the world. I'm really happy for her, and she was the main reason the Fall of 2007 wasn't shit and I'm really glad we were able to become friends. I know that she's gonna rock Brussels once she gets settled. When I get good updates from her "Brussels Hilton" life, I'll pass them on to you guys...



More updates coming soon!

:)

Monday, April 14, 2008

9 years ago today

Today is my birthday. Not my real birthday but sort of. 9 years ago today I realized for the first time that this is the only life I get. Without all the blah blah blah personal epiphany BS, simply stated, I've tried to live as full a life as possible since that moment. I've done a pretty good job but, as a friend often says, "there is always room for improvement." I do a lot. I go places. I meet people. I relax. I work. I am doing the best I can, even though I know I'm not.

And this is not meant to be some slag on me, though I certainly need it from time to time (I'll self administer, thank you very much), it's just that I have difficulty accomplishing everything I want. This is the worst side-effect of living a full life. There is always more that can be done. And I'm lazy too, but the problem is I think that I need to have an equal amount of downtime than the uptime. I like chilling out, watching tv, or having beers with friends. There is just so much more to work on. I have a half-written travelogue of Norway, untouched for about 2 years, also the foundation of another book, enough negatives to put together an exhibition, and what other events am I going to put out into the world? I have spent the last 9 months in such a ME ME ME state of mind (who are we kidding, I'm still there), I want to be ready. Ready for what, you ask? I don't know, but I haven't been ready for quite awhile.

I went jogging today for the first time in probably 2 months. It felt good. I needed that. Today was my birthday and how have I celebrated it thus far?

I went jogging, organized all my photocopies (about 90% organized actually) and all my folders for the classes I teach. That may not seem like a lot but that took a couple of hours at least. I also wrote in my journal.

cheers
jason
p.s. I have had a work permit in Germany for exactly 5 years as of today.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Belgraded

I am home, in the nest. My back hurts from having danced too long and not sleeping at all. I have to get up at 6am tomorrow. Let's talk about the last 24 hours briefly...


Got a ride to the airport with a couple of friends. Met other radio listeners who had won the contest. We went to the Business Lounge and had the run of the place for 2 hours, a very luxurious and relaxing lounge complete with full bar and cold drinks and small snacks at your disposal, comfortable leather lounge chairs to watch as planes slowly took off. Two pilots, one of them Italian speaking, sat there on the those chairs for like 30 minutes and it was a beautiful thing to see.


The Basel-Belgrade route is a new one for Swiss Airlines and so a representative from the airlines came with us. The plane left 90 minutes late. And so some of us drank expensive beers and others sat at chairs and read bad magazines. Ya see, we went to board and then it was delayed and we went back to the lounge and it had just closed for the day. More points to note: there were people on the flight already getting up and moving forward before the plane had stopped moving. I'd never really seen that before. Happened this morning on the flight back, too.


One of the girls with us was approached by a man near the currency exchange in the airport, and he said that she had to come with him. She looked startled and I was of course immediately suspicious, and we made him pull out his ID. His hand was shaking when he was opening the wallet. I don't think he spoke English so often. It turns out that the girl had left the "no man's land" to go to the money machine and came back where the currency thing was and apparently you're not allowed to go through that way, even if you only left a few seconds earlier. We cleared that up about 2 minutes later at his office 20 meters away.


And then we were outside, hard to tell who was a taxi driver and who wasn't, unmotivated, middle-aged men standing around, a couple of them with a taxi sign on their shirts. We asked the price for a taxi to the center, they said about 25euros. One of the organizers said his research had told him 10euros. I went to the Avis car rental and asked how much a taxi to the center should cost. He said 20. I reported this info back to them. So they arranged 70 euros for 3 taxis. Our return trip cost less than 15 euros.


We get dropped off in the center and end up walking into the first restaurant we see after ambling along like an insecure caterpillar with 11 loose parts for another 100 meters or so. It turns out the place was great, with some gypsy live music and of course the bill was about 15% higher but maybe he just threw his tip in for us. We was helpful and nice and we ended taking his suggestion and going to the bar next to his place. There was a strip tease place between them called Moulin Rouge. As we walked into the bar, there was strange live music with electronic drums and two singers, one a very attractive woman dressed in tight black. There were about 25 men and 7 girls in the place, including the singer. We stayed there almost too long, but long enough for sure to watch a drink's worth of WWF on a large screen next to where we were sitting. It was embarassing and yet riveting. Only a few of us were "trying" to have a good time, meaning, wanting to make the most of the evening. I'd say there were about 4 of us like that (me and my 3 friends) and a couple of more easily swayed and 2 anchors.


My friend alex went with some dudes to buy cigarettes, then came back and bought all 5 of them a tequila shot, and then got a recommendation for a club that was a 15-minute walk away. We were brougt there by the waiter at the restaurant who at this point is pretty much part of our group. He pointed out the national theater and the national museum, right across the street from each other. Walking down a large pedestrian shopping street that was empty at 2am, there were was loud, drunken chanting. I thought it was drunken soccer fans but apparently they were protesting Kosovo's independence.


We couldn't get into the first club and the second one we got in but it was pretty empty and closed less than an hour after we got there. We did do some shots, there was one girl dressed there that was so obvious, ya gotta check this out:


She was trying to get her boyfriend to dance with her in the middle and he wasn't going for it. That guy is an idiot. The DJ recommended an after-hours place that he was going to so around 4am we took off in 3 taxis. The taxi driver is in his late twenties, thick neck, shaved head. Starts talking about going to the same nightclub in Berlin 7 times in 10 days. The techno music on was classic, repeating over and over "They don't know what's what, they just wanna strut, what the fuck" over and over again. We were singing it by the end of our 5-minute taxi ride.
After-hours place is concret block separated into 3 small parts, and our group went into the back and claimed a spot but also danced up front but only some of the people were dancing, others were just hanging out, but whatever, it's fine. We stayed there until after 6am, I stole a beer glass and the DJ got us taxis to the airport. We got to go into the business lounge in belgrade and it was like a regular lounge but it was good for us to see the difference and really appreciate the Swiss lounge from the beginning.
I was half asleep in the lounge, some people awake and being annoying, and then we flew and I slept an hour uncomfortably, missed the breakfast, felt grumpy and wanted to be home. But first we had to say our goodbyes and then take a bus, hurry and buy train tickets, run to the train, take it one stop across the Rhein River to the "other" Basel and then had a few minutes to connect to our train to Freiburg.
The marathon was going on at that point so I opted for a taxi because the trams weren't going. I made it home, am tired as hell but not ready to sleep.
I was in Belgrade last night.
I was in Bratislava last Sunday.
I'll be in Amsterdam on Thursday.
I'm doing the best I can, cheers.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

taxes

woohoo! I got my report from the tax office and they accepted my paperwork as is and that means I don't have to pay too much in taxes but mostly it just means that I don't have to think about it the next 9 months! woohooooooOOOoooo!

Thank you Finanzamt! :)

Belgrade

I won a radio contest and am going to Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday for one night with about 8 other people! Luckily about 3 friends are coming with me so we should have an amazing time! I'll keep you guys updated on that.

So you know I quit furtwangen, a technical school up in the black forest. that meant about 3000 dollars less each semester and I wasn't sure what I was going to do about that loss of income but I got a phone call from my best-paying school asking me to work a lot in may/june that will make up for that loss. It's going to require me to go over an hour away from work a couple of times a week but I kind of like the school and like the work and the students are pretty cool (infinitely cooler than furtwangen but not quite as cool as the UNI) but ...

I definitely have enough money for Central America now. It's sitting in an account just waiting to be used, me gusta!

Next weekend is Amsterdam and the Black Crowes and then I'll have some weeks at home, getting ready for the new semester and hopefully some organizing of life before I go to Romania on May 9th. Things are moving fast, life is going better each day, not perfectly, and there are things that I need to address and improve and deal with but for the most part, life is good. and you?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm finally leaving Freiburg

Well guys, I've been thinking about it for month's, ever since Assiyeah broke up with me last summer. I came here for her, and I'm not with her anymore and it's time for something different. That's why I was in Bratislava for Easter, I had a job interview at a university there to start this semester. I don't speak Slovakian and the money is less but it's got security and definitely a new experience, away from everyone who knows me.

I'll keep you filled in.

Anyone know anyone in Bratislava?
dobre vecher!