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 Well, great timing. I've sent the link for the online survey to undertow today. And ten minutes later I got a mail from somebody who tried it but could not send off the form, because the fucking cgi-mailer has been turned down. AARRGGHH! So I searched the web in a hurry for another free cgi mailer and tried three who would not work or were shut down as well, until I finally found one that is still working. So, now the questionnaire works again. I don't know for how long. I just hope long enough to gather a reasonable amount of data.
In this mail to Undertow I also asked with a shy and low voice whether there were any news about SISV. Perhaps somebody feels like answering eventually...
So, now I have to work on my term paper. No time for fooling and writing around. But hey! I wanted to start this month with a nice picture which has become my new desktop background. So here we go:
SuzyV in Turkey (pronounced that it rhymes)

Well, great! I'm starting to illustrate my 
writing to prove its authenticity! How lame
is this?
Down in the bunker
there was no sun
there just was sound
and the words we sang
the whole room stuffed
with melodies
with our dreams
with future and future again.

Life was cool
and got colder
above the world went by too fast
its plans without us
while below we made
worlds and wounds
and songs of love and hate

I will not forget a thing
not the work and not the fun
that's what I wanted you to know
because don't it always seem to go
that you don't know what you've got
till it's gone? 
I will not forget a single bit
that's what I wanted you to know
and thank you for it

Down in the bunker
there is no sun
there just is sound
and the words I sing
the whole room stuffed
with melodies
with memories
with loss and loss again

september 3rd, 1999 (Friday)
well, well, well. Having reread the bunker i must say that i *am* sounding corny lately. About 100 people have participated in my linguistic online survey - which is good. but also a lot of work. I converted the word document into a hypertext today so that i can present the results of the survey as an html document.

Justine is here tonight to visit us (her eMail being this weeks mail of the week), that's why i don't have time to write much. i'll just try to get these new pages onto the server now. see you tomorrow!

time: 21:21
date 9.9.99
temeperature: 20°C
music: radiohead, ok computer
it's Thursday. No rehearsal because tomorrow we will have guests and I've been preparing all day long. We have invited everybody who has helped us moving in May. Justine and Antje, Daniel and Particia, Uwe and Christiane, Annemarie and Christian, my sister, Lars and Birgit, Lars and Sandra, Hanno. All in all we'll be 16. So don't dream it's over and always take the weather with you.

Okay, I haven't written in a couple of days. I'm sorry, but i did not feel like. Uwe mailed and asked when there'd be somewthing new to read and his mail troubled me because all of the suuden i don't like the thought that he is reading this journal. I went into my own trap. Why don't i like the thought all of a sudden when i'm doch sonst so eager to be read by *any*one? Maybe because he can tell the facts from fiction. Well, of course he cannot really but still there is this vague possibility. Because I feel like being responsible in any way for what I've written. Like when I#m writing that I got a crying fit today when i listened to Blumfeld and every word of so lebe ich was like it was about me and about rob and I felt so sorry for myself again and even if this might not be true but just made up by me to evoke your sympathy I feel like defending it or that i have to, well, not defend it but still, uhm, i don't know, it's just strange. paranoid android halt.

rain down rain down come on rain down on me from a great height from a great height

ANYWAY i met dr. Grmaley the other day. Actaully I did not want to meet him but only wanted to give my term paper to his secretary, but the i saw him coming down the corridor singing "I am the walrus". So I had to come into his office and had to sit down and had to talk to him and after ten seconds i was annoyed like hell because he was constantly correcting my English under his breath and yes! I fucking can't speak English but who fucking cares? So I went."blah blah i got a job offer last week so I had to write the paper until today..." which was a fucking lie by the way and he mumbled "by today" and I hardly understood it and this slightly amused look on his face just because I don't know the right preposition. Anyway, he has the term paper now and if i don't get a schein i'll fucking kick him in the... just kiddin'. he'll probably has decided already to *not* give me a schein. paranoid android halt.

ANYWAY, during last rehearsal we wanted to relisten to this new song we had taped the other week so I connected the MD player to the amplifier and we listened to the song which does not have a name yet. And shot me! I heard a Glockenspiel. I mean we had a Glockenspiel there when we recorded it, but nobody played it so what the hell was this? And i said "There's a Glockenspiel" and Reiner was smiling like it was a joke and i said:"No, there is a Glockenspiel"! and then daniel heard it and Frank too and Reiner too. It was a Glockenspiel. Clear and light playing the melody line of the guitar. I could not believe it. It was spooky. I did not know what to say because i felt so stupid and i was wondering whether Daniel thought the same as I did. It was creepy. paranoid android halt.

No new from Suzanne concerning SISV. I'm annoyed. She could at least have dropped me a line. Or a word. or two letters. Like "ok". But this waiting for an answer which becomes less and less probable with each day passing is fucking annoying. I feel ridiculous. I feel like a small, dumb boy who has been patted on the head and told to stand in the corner and be still. Not really but approximately.?? I#m starting to write strange stuff again. this is what you get this is what you get this is what you get when you mess with us! I'm afraid of next month. Next month on the 27th Rob will be dead for a year. i go forwards you go backwards and somewhere we will meet. I wish we would. I wish we would one last time.

i need more time, need more money, need more talent to release what is lurking within me. I wonder what it will do to me if it stays inside. I wonder if it will find its way out without my help. And how will it look like then? like a Lars Van Trier nightmare? I wish more people would read this. I wish M people O would R read E this. I wish Uwe would not read this. Sorry, pal, nothing personal. But it's just such a strange feeling. It makes me melt. That's it. It makes the i in the words and the i behind the words melt. Not a pleasant feeling.
Am i talking in riddles again? I take a quiet life with no alarms and no surprises no alarms and no surprises, please! Zu spät.
"Moving" is finished. The new song is finished. I like it. It's not *great* but it's quite good.
Okay, the last song of ok computer and enough said.

I think I should write a couple of lines before we're leaving on Friday. Holidays. Finally. Blumfeld again starts the thinking and the typing. Ok, here we go, here#s a challenge for you:
copy this URL and paste it into a mail and sent it to whomever you want. Do it! Today. It will make you feel better:

I have nothing to say.

I have joined a mailing list dealing with Literature and Philosophy. But it's crap. Too many difficult messages, too mayn names I have not heard of yet, too many posts from people who sound like they want to sound important. 19th century understanding of art. Überflüssig, hilft nicht, ist nicht gut.

Ich habe nichts zu sagen. Ich habe nichts zu schreiben.

Here's what has happened today:
Sabrina: I have lived before!
Birte Karalus: Don't you get it? Men only want the one thing!
Bärbel Schäfer: Your whole life is a lie
Hans Meiser: I am looking like nobody wants to look like!
Jörg Pilawa: Change yourself or I will take the kids away!
Vera am Mittag: I am a loser!
Sonja: Please forgive me!
Ricky: Nobody loves me!
Andreas Türck: I have destroyed our family
Nicole: Country people are dumb
Arabella: I am sorry, but I needed the money.
Zwischendurch: Kinder-Pinguin, das Milchpaket im Handy-Format; Schauma Shampoo für pflegehungriges Haar und Tic Tac ist die milde Taktik.
Mein Feund Uwe sagt es gibt es keine Tageszeiten mehr, sondern nur noch Saturday Night Live.
Vielleicht ist die Zeit jetzt reif für uns: konzeptuell integriert, jugendlich und fit. Klatscht im Chorus alle mit! Stimmt im Chorus alle ein: "Manchmal triffts die Richtigen und manchmal trifft es uns!" Und was ich immer schon mal sagen wollte, fällt mir jetzt nicht ein.

Ich I habe have nichts nothing zu to sagen say. Das macht mich wütend und müde. It makes me angry and it makes me tired. I crack while I burn and turn in pain that is not pain enough to be healing, to be good. I've lived with the open circuit too long. I want to close it, want a loop, want some feedback. Shrill sounds which bring back to my mind that there is any potential for reaction.
But right now I'm without fear because you are
now here
and things seem to be so clear because you are
now here
you are
now here
you are
now here
you are
And I wish I had a clue what you meant when you wrote:


September 16, 1999 (Thursday, 17:57)
Well, tomorrow we're going to Travemünde. For one week. The weather is fairly nice, not too hot, not too cold. Inga can't await our departure. She's been looking forward to the holidays for three months now.

While we're away, my sister will live in our apartment. She has been living with her friend Natalie, but Natalie's ex-boyfriend has abused her and threatened both to kill them. He is on the run now and my sister is hiding in our flat. Sounds like a bad tv-series. Natalie's friend (his name is Lars) is a well known hooligan and has been arrested a couple of times because of his violent behavior. He's a tall, big guy and occasionally he has black outs. Then he gets violent. Lars and Natalie have a baby boy but they separated a couple of months ago. Since then Lars threatens to beat her up or kill her if she sees another man. She now has another boyfriend and when Lars found out on Monday night he drove to my sister and Natalie's apartment and beat Natalie up. He took a knife from the table and said that he'd slit her belly up to the neck. My sister yelled at him (and by God, she can yell) and after he had kicked and beaten Natalie some more he left. They immediately alarmed the police, but they say that they cannot arrest him. God knows why. Natalie has sued him and they will try to award her the custody of the child so Lars can not see it anymore or do any harm to him. Unfortunately Lars said that he would get a gun and kill everybody when he can't see his son anymore. Let's face it: he is big, he is heavy, he is dumb, he is violent and unpredictable, he has beaten up more people than he has friends. It's the only reasonable solution for my sister to live in our flat as long as he is not arrested.
Fortunately my sister has planned for long to move out of the apartment. She has a new flat in another part of town from October 1st. So she has no direct contact with Natalie anymore and thus might not be in such a danger.

Well, strange and exciting and troubling news.

i know i'm at it again but i have just recorded a cd for frank with a couple of old nerve bible song which he wanted to have. and so i'm listening to "ein wenig" - and what can I tell you but write about you is there any other way to keep you alive? what a great song, what a fucking great song and i recall each time we have played it live because it was always best when we played it live remember? when the last chorus started remember? when the backing vocals started and the guitar picking remember? this great guitar melody which set in in the chorus and which was so infinitely beautiful and round and so sweet that it was hard to stand remember? and then the drums got louder and the rhythm guitar started and there was still this great melody and then crash with distortion an exploding melody an exploding voice an exploding head remember? remember? remember me?

september 27, 1999 (monday)

heaven knows i'm miserable now. i wish i'd come to the point where you cannot distinguish what is cited and what is felt. we're after the same rainbow's end, my huckleberry friend. i still wake up on some mornings having forgotten everything and then i open my eyes and i see the outlines of all the things in the dark: the chair, the cupboard, the bed and then it hits me like it hit me the first time and i think: rob is dead and it wears me out and i can't help the feeling i could blow through the ceiling if i just turn and run turn and run turn and run


okay, for something uplifting now: I have received a mail from Dr. Gramley. He has finished looking at my linguistic paper and here's what he thinks about it (enjoy):

Philipp Hofmann, term paper: Emoticons - a survey about online communications

   Your project is fascinating - if for no other reason - certainly because of the way in which it was conducted. Not only have you made excellent use of the digital media: email, internet, CD production, you have also used the net to investigate the net. I was also overwhelmed at the speed at which you got answers to your questionnaire. :-)

   In the hard copy of your paper I have interacted by entering a few comments. They have to do with structure, with the English, with the selection of information which you have included. In an earlier email to you I mentioned my disappointment in your not including the regional / national origin of the respondents. :-( Let me elaborate on some of these points.

   A general statement of your goals in carrying out the survey should come earlier in the paper than page 7. The results themselves chiefly provided information on the use, partial use, or non-use of smileys, but nothing on the differential use: which emoticons are most widely known, which less, which virtually unknown (of those you queried)? Can you supply this information?

   Your results on age use could also be linked back to your initial (somewhat ambiguous) statement about the age of smiley-users. Your conclusions about the context of use (chats, informal emails, formal emails) may have overlooked the question of chat-participation as such. Furthermore, some of your comments are - as I am sure you are aware - very conjectural.

   In addition, I might add that you have not gone overboard on the use of secondary literature (on semiotics, icons, the spoken vs. the written medium. :-o

   The items circled in the paper are in need of editing of the English. This I would like to see you do (in the hard copy marked by me).

   All in all, I am, despite critical remarks and suggestions, more than satisfied (= "good" work).

Hm, for a moment, for a split second I was thinking about telling him the truth: that I could not care less about either linguistics or what anybody might think of my term paper (including him and his colleague) because I just wanted to get my last Schein and that the love I put into this project equaled the amount of love I put into emptying the trash can this morning.

ANYWAY, here is what has happened since I last talked to you:
Inga and I have been in Travemünde for a little more than one week. It was great. We've been walking along the shore for hours. The weather was better than we could have hoped: sunny and clear and always a light breeze of salty air. When we were not walking on the shore we visited a couple of towns and islands or walked over the boardwalk looking for dead fishes in the water (we did not see any). Most people vacationing in Travemünde were about 86 years old. Most of them had small, yapping, annoying dogs the seize of a rat. Some people were there who were wearing their money on their skin. Too much make-up, hair dyed and styled like the tower of Pisa, as much jewelry as the late MC Hammer and smelling like their Jaguar had just hit a Channel truck. Whenever someone thus styled walked by I made:"Dedeldedelde" and Inga in a high pitched voice:"Fashion", imitating the beginning of Bowie's song. So we had a lot of fun. If we did not walk around or laugh about other people we were watching tv or reading. Inga finished two thick Thomas Harris Thrillers and I read Poe's Narrative of A. Gordon Pym (having finished I was even surer that Poe must have made some extensive drug-experiments) and Auster's Leviathan which Christiane gave me as a present. It was fun to read. Although the ending was a bit lame. But it made me think about writing myself again. This was the only let down: that I did not write during this week. I had planned to. I had taken everything with me: sketch book and print outs of parts of this diary but somehow I just did not write. It made/makes me unsatisfied. Somehow I have this fixed idea that I need one or two months of spare time to write. A vast stretch of empty time in front of me. Something into which possibilities can fold out. A space which allows developments. I will *never* seriously write if I cling to this idea. And that's all I want: to seriously write!

Inga's book has been published. And now they suddenly have a lot of problems because suddenly people who have sold them the rights for some of the illustrations turn out to have sold them something they do not own. And a french publisher says that they could not use the title :"Das Paris der Simone de Beauvoir" although he knew about the project since April and so on. But the book looks great. I'm really happy for Inga. Today there will be a press conference (!) and on Wednesday there will be a public reading from the book (which will be done by an actress).

When I talked to Uwe on the phone yesterday he told me that Hanjo has participated in a semi-documentary on Thomas Pynchon. He even must have made some acting. Hanjo and Sahar's second baby (which will be called Dalia) is expected to arrive every day now. I think I will eventually have to change the lyrics for "estragon". Except for the first and the last chorus everything has changed. Well, on Sunday Uwe asked me about the story with my sister and what was going on there. I wasn't sure how to respond (you know, facts and fiction and this crap) and I hesitated a moment too long and he asked:"Or did you invent the story?" and he thought I might have invented it so that people who read this journal will think that my sister stays in our flat when we're on holidays. I liked this idea.

September 29, 1999 (Wednesday)

rain running down the pane of the train, pressed flat by the wind which is raging from somwhere within the misty, wet mass outside. Rob has died the day Sylvia Plath was born. I see my reflection in the glass, headphones in my ears and scrapbook in my hands while fields and houses are passing by behind my face and rain is running down my mouth. I'm on my way to Dortmund for the reading from Inga's book. I'm a little nervous because I will meet her boss for the first time. And maybe this meeting will decide about whether or not I get to write that Sylvia Plath book they're planning to publish. I hope I will think of something clever and interesting to say.
Ououh! I've just come face to face with what must have been the most ugly conductor in the world. I was actually stunned a little when she screamed into my ear "Guten Tag, die Fahrscheine bitte...!!!

Gespräch zwischen mir und Frank letzten Montag auf dem Weg zur Probe:
"Als Inga und ich aus dem Urlaub zurück kamen, war das Auto total zugeschissen. Ich glaube jede Möwe, die Travemünde überflogen hat hat da einmal draufgegackt. Aber was mußten wir feststellen?: Sonntags haben alle Waschstrassen geschlossen..."
"Hm, ja. Das kann sein, ist mir noch gar nicht aufgefallen."
"Das fand ich genauso beschissen wie das Auto. Ich meine warum ist das so? Bestimmt weil irgendjemand mal wieder irgendwelche christlichen Werte irgendwo den Bach runtergespült sieht, wenn ich Sonntags das Auto wasche!"
"Obwohl, hier in dieser Gegend wohl eher protestantische Werte..." erwiderte Frank ohne die Hände vom Lenkrad zu nehmen. Nach einer kuzen Pause, in der ich noch nach Luft schnappte, murmelte er dann:
"Was ja auch irgendwie auf's gleicherauskommt..."
More rain. I'm mean.
We were sitting inside the train and outside there was the dark flying by and I was reading a monography on Plath and Inga was reading a book she bought in Dortmund and we were driving home together from a reading from her book and for a moment, for a very short moment I felt at peace and it was like everything we've ever strived for had become true. And in my mind I saw the camera pull back, doing a wide angle-shot of us and for a moment the world was speeding around us, crashing into us as we were the center of gravity, as we were the sun.