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[february first, 2005 - i seem to remember a face and a name / but if it's not you i don't care!]
[february 03 - 2005 - the nights were just too long / with all your children gone / would it keep you strong / if i said it with a song / back to california where it's warm!]
the images above were taken on achim and the princess' last day at the university. (princess superstar's outfit on that day also earner her the nick-name 'paddington'). both have started to work at a school on february first. however they returned yesterday to pick up some of their stuff that they've left in the office, and when thomas came storming into the room and saw the princess he sdaid in his usually winning and charming way: "it's so pathetic when people who have once worked here return again and again and keept sticking to you like an old bubblegum on your sole..." - of course he didn't mean it that way. we have appointed achim and the princess 'lifetime associate members' of the department.

thomas is back with his family in l.a. for the next two months. he said he wanted to see the next 60 pages of my dissertation when he returns. gulp. he's lucky that he's away in the sun, because for the rest of us who have stayed home the pure horror started today: carnival! i will try not to leave the house until next wednesday. yesterday was the last session of the seminar because the semester holiday have started. i think all in all the course went well. looking forward to the term papers on literary theory now. on tuesday a student who had failed the intermediate exam for the second time came to my office hours and stayed for over an hour. she kept starting to cry again and again, shaking her head and saying that she would stop studying at all now and that she's so frustrated. i tried to encourage her to try the exams for a third time because actually all the papers she had written in her courses so far had been graded positively.

missed x. all day long. she was at a carnival party the the tv-channel she's part-time working for had organized. i spent the day doing the dishes, going for a walk and rehearsing, that is, playing the set for the 200 lurkers gig that i still owe x..

[january 04, 2005 -
backstage meeting with suzanne in 2001well, well - what a beautiful day. bright , warm sun, clear sky, empty university. thomas skyped from the states - he even got his webcam to work so the princess and i could see him lying in the half dark in front of his bed. it was 6 in the morning local time when he called and he spoke with a low voice, so i thought that his wife was probably still sleeping behind him. what a curiously private connection this was.

today eric, the moderator of suzannevega.com, announced that a couple of new pages had been added to the site. among them a page with fan photos, and whatdoyouknow! there was one image that was taken backstage in paderborn in 2001 and it shows the back of suzanne's head and opposite her an unknown towie, me, somebody and vlad. i didn't know that photos of this meeting existed.

thought about how hard it is to create that kind of intensity with just a guitar and a voice. remembered those times we played "cultural studies II" live with the nerve bible and then, after rob's death, "headcrash" live. i'm missing the feeling of an overwhelming stream of power or energy or shivers or motion exploding from within. i still feel it sometimes coming from the outisde, triggered by a song, a touch or a line of poetry. but the feeling of being charged from the inside is not more than a memory, like when i listen to "headcrash live".

[february 7, 2005 - you say alaaf and i say hellau! hellau, hellau! i don't know why you say alaaf, i say hellau!]
right now i'm a little exhausted. it's carnival in cologne. and i'm not talking about only a few people getting dressed up! the entire town is going berserk! it lasts for almost a week. today is the highlight: there's a parade downtown with music and people on theme-cars are throwing free sweets into the crowd. and the fact that i prefer not to leave the apartment instead of being where you can get candy for free should give you an idea of how much i detest the entire thing. it's not just that people run around in semi-funny costumes but usually they are drunk, rallying around and puking on the sidewalks. total strangers stumble towards you, hug you, their breath smelling of alcohol and not quite digested food and they urge you to join them. they call it fun. i call it hell.

it is not my day today, anyway. first i discovered that the rain water is running down the inside of the chimney and coming through one wall of my apartment which is moist now and makes the paint come falling off in hand size plates like leaves in autumn, then i dropped my digital camera to the ground and just the other minute i poured boiling water over my hand when i was fixing a tea. i should better go straight to bed and stay there until the day is over.

i spent the past couple of days working on the apartment. i emptied the cellar of all the old cardboard boxes i used when i moved to cologne, set up a shelf and carried a couple of things from upstairs downstairs to have more space in the 'living room'. i bought a new shower curtain, a mirror and a couple of other things to give the apartment a sort of finishing touch.

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it's a quarter to ten. cold outside. didn't write a single line for the cohen project. but i promise: from tomorrow on it'll have the highest priority. listening to a cd that i picked out by chance: the band is called "the naked raven" and it's a cd that nadine once gave me, and i have never listened to it. actually two tracks are pretty good. a little bit too irish, though. tori amos meets clannad. rehearsed the set for x. this afternoon. too strained, not relaxed enough. "gewollt" would be the german word. i need to practice more often so that the guitarwork will sound more natural. wrote a long mail to paula today. wish i had the peace of mind (and piece of mind as well) to write a new song. the last one has been breathing water, and that's been almost two years ago.

actually i don't really know what else to say. tomoroow: office ad office hours. i need to get a pile of books from the library. i have to start the theory chapter of the cohen-project and for this i have to work through volumes of introductions to body-theory. right now i have the overwhelming desire, demand and need to play in a band. i wonder where rob and i would be now if he hadn't died.

[february 09, 2005 -
ash-wednesday. wow! that's a service! received a feedback-form today which was blank except for the comments section which refers to the backstage photo posted on february 04 and which reads: "the 'unknown towie' is a guy called uwe from aachen..." :o)

bernd sent me this link the other day: www.hybrid-music.com. it's the website of tom's band, you know, the american studies scholar who is as olomouc-crazy as bernd.

left the office early yesterday afternoon because the weather was just right to go on a walk with x. we walked down to the river and then on our way back we rented a movie. at first we couldn't decide: it was either 101 reykjavik or adaptation. "which one do you want to see?" x asked. "i don't know" i answered. "which one would you prefer?" "i don't mind!" she said "what's your choice?" "i don't care. either this one or that one... depends on which one you would rather see..." "i don't know" and by that time a guy passed by us, mumbled "excuse me" and picked up the only copy left of adaptation. so we rented the film from iceland. when x. paid at the counter the clerk said: "uh! this film was broadcasted last night on tv!" and when we got home x.'s laptop refused to play the dvd. only after extensive retrial, swearing and two glasses of wine did it finally cooperate.

[february 10, 2005 -
i love the web! usually i get emails twice a week with weird business proposals: someone in algeria or libya wants to secretly transfer ten million dollars to germany and needs my bank account information. today, for the first time, i got this mail in german, and since the google-translator had done a perfect job in turning the english version into hilarious german i thought i'd share it with you:
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 12:45:04 +0100 (CET)
From: "christ albert" <christa10@latinmail.com>

Zuerst muß ich Ihre Zuversicht in dieser Verhandlung bitten, dies ist auf Grund seiner lage als das Sein total VERTRAULICH und-GEHEIMNIS. Aber ich weiß, daß eine Verhandlung dieses Ausmaßes irgendeinen ängstlich und besorgt machen wird, aber ich versichere Sie, daß aller in ordnung seien wird am Ende des Tages. Wir haben entschieden Sie durch faxsendung wegen der Dringlichkeit dieser Verhandlung zu erreichen, als wir davon zuverlässig ueberzeugt worden sind von seiner Schnelligkeit und Vertraulichkeit. Lassen Sie mich zuerst Vorstellen. Ich bin Herr Christ ein rechnungspruefer bei der Union Bank Nigeria PLC, Lagos. Ich kam zu ihrer kontakt in meiner privaten Suchen für eine zuverlässige und anständige Person, um eine sehr vertrauliche Verhandlung zu erledigen, die die Übertragung von einer riesigen Summe von Geld zu einem fremden Konto, das maximale Zuversicht erfordert. DER VORSCHLAG: Ein Ausländer, Verstorbene Ingenieur Manfred Becker, ein Öl Händler / Unternehmer mit dem Bundes Regierung von Nigeria. Er war bis seinen Tod vor drei Jahren in einem gräßlichen Flugzeug absturz als Unternehmer bei der regierung taetig, Herr Becker war unsere kunde hier bei der Union Bank PLC., Lagos, und hatte ein schließend kontohaben von USD$18.5M (Achtzehn Million, Fünf Hundert Tausend, US Dollar) welcher die Bank erwartet jetzt fraglos, durch seine Verwandten behaupten zu werden oder Andererseit wird den ganze menge als nichtzubehaupten deklarieren und wird zu einem Afrikanischen Vertrauen-Fond für waffen und Munitionbesorgung bei einer der freiheitbewegung hier in Afrika gespendet wird. Leidenschaftliche wertvolle Anstrengungen werden durch die Union-Bank gemacht, um in Kontakt mit einen von der Becker Familie oder Verwandten festzustellen aber hat bis jetzt zu keinem Erfoelg gegeben. Es ist wegen der wahrgenommen Möglichkeit keiner Verwandte der Becker zu finden, (er hatte keine bekannte Frau und Kinder) daß das Management unter dem Einfluß dessen Sitzung Vorsitzender, General Kalu Uke Kalu (Ausgeschieden) der eine Anordnung für den Fond als NICHT ZUBEHAUPTEN deklariert werden sollte, und dann zum dem Vertrauen-Fond für Waffen und Munitionbesorgung ausgeben, die den Kurs von Krieg in Afrika infolgedessen gespendet werden. Um diese Negative-Entwicklung abzuwenden, ich und einige meiner bewährten Kollegen in der Bank haben abgeschlossen das geld nach ihrer zustimmung zu ueberweisen und suchen jetzt Ihre Erlaubnis damit Sie sich als der Verwandter der Verstorbene Engr. Manfred Becker deklarieren damit der Fond in der hoehe von USD$18.5M würden infolgedessen überwiesen werden und würden in Ihr Bank-Konto als der Nutznießer (Verwndter der Becker) gezahlt werden. Alles beurkunden und beweis Ihnen zu ermöglichen, diesen Fond zu behaupten werden wir zu ihrer verfuegung stellen damit alles geklappt worden ist, und wir versichern Sie ein 100% Risiko freie Verwicklung. Ihr Anteil wäre 30% von der totalen Menge. 10% ist für Aufwendungen bei der ueberweissung bearbeitung beiseite gesetzt worden, während die restlichen 60% für mich und meine Kollegen für Anlage-Zwecke in Ihrem Land wäre. Wenn dieser Vorschlag bei Ihnen OK ist und Sie wünschen das Vertrauen auszunutzen, die wir hoffen, auf Ihnen und Ihrer Gesellschaft zu verleihen, dann netterweise senden Sie mir sofort über meinen E-mail addresse, Ihrem vertraulichsten Telefon nummer, Fax-nummer und ihrer vertrautlichen E-mail anschrift, damit ich zu Ihnen die relevanten Details dieser Verhandlung senden kann. Danke im voraus.

Mit besten Grüße,

UNION BANK PLC. N.B.BITTE SENDEN SIE MIR IHRER ANTWORT ZU durch mein E-mail: christalbertlinks@latinmail.com FÜR VERTRAULICHEN GRUND. Schicken Sie keine POST ZU MEINEM BÜRO-E-MAIL. If you understand english,please kindly reply with english.

i especially like the last sentence :o) received a pile of work which i already had forgotten about: the intermediate exams of the media seminar :o( more correction work for the next couple of days. started to work through the body theory books that i got from the library and collected quotations. had a coffee with blaine and we talked about this and that.
[february 13, 2005 - would you love me for my money / would you love me for my head?]
corrected the exam essays yesterday, went shopping for food with an empty stomach and managed not to buy any chocolate, sweet, cookies or other nasty stuff. of course that mean that now i am dying for a snickers bar or an ice cream :o( PLEASE, send me sweets! if you read this PLEASE send me sweets! slept for twelve hours and still feel tired and worn out. i could sleep for an entire week. went for a walk this noon even though it was stormy and cold. fixed something to eat and drink, took a shower, put on nick drake, rediscovered "northern sky", felt the longing to play guitar as effortlessly as drake could. when i play it never sounds playful, it always sounds strained. more rain, some snow and wind. the light faded and now it's almost dark in my room. bought two buddhist (or hinduist? i'm such an ignorant bastard!) statues the other day to broaden the scope of my little collection of religious kitsch images which i have taken a renewed interest in since i've reread beautiful losers. created a little lighting device out of transparent paper, quotes from the book and images of catherine tekakwitha. paula wrote tonight. a short mail: "just keep telling me this is life and we didn't miss it. (kristin hersh wrote that but goddamn don't i wish i had don't you know i mean it). i miss you"

skyped with thomas two times this week. it works well: we can talk in realtime in simultaneously we've switched on our webcams, so we can also see each other. he's asked how many pages i've written already. wrong question. next semester i will do an introductory course, which is not quite so much work because i've already given that type of seminar three times, so i don't have to prepare each session as much as i usually have to.

have i already asked you to send me some sweets?!?

[february 16, 2005 - a movement in your brain / send you out into the rain]
:o)) got another filled-out feedback form. we're slowly approaching no. 50!!! only six more to go! x. and i went to the movies yesterday to see finding neverland. was okay. johnny depp is cool, but i must say that julie christie is even cooler. it was a nice fade out for an otherwise disappointing day: the workmen were there yesterday to fix my bathtub and to have a look at the moist spot on my wall. "well... i don't know" their boss said, turned around and left. he advised me to peel off the paint and let it dry. great! so i was sitting in front of the wall yesterday afternoon with a hairdryer. i had hoped that they would put new tiles onto the wall of the bathroom, but actually they only created a lot of chaos and dirt. spent  the entire afternoon to clean up. now that they have left i thought about renovating my small 1,5x1,5m corridor. it could need new paint, a decent lampshade (there's only a naked bulb hanging from the ceiling right now) and the doors have to be cleaned thoroughly.

anyway, i'm at the office now, and it's snowing. the temperature has dropped dramatically the last days. well maybe not exactly "dramatically", but quite a bit! it's fucking freezing cold outside!

realized that i've forgotten to upload the "answer" section, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to read the new set of answers :o(
[february 20, 2005 - and i wonder / when i sing along with you / if anything will ever be this good forever / if anything can ever be this good again?]
answer to the question: yes it can. and even better! did some walking the last couple of days. and instead of working i renovated the apartment. painted the corridor. in yellow. looks a little friendlier now. mailed to paula and paula mailed back. this afternoon princess superstar came by and we went for a cup of coffee. she brought the photos from mexico. i showed her those from brussels. and then we called achim, whom we hadn't heard of for two weeks. and he had good news: there's a whole new generation of ibooks and power-books out with a new g-5 processor. YEAH! so if thomas should decide to buy a new laptop in the states we will have state of the art equipment! - although i've just checked the apple web-site and it doesn't say anything about a g-5 generation... :o(

listened to "headfirst" and remembered how we recorded rob's great, great guitar part in the bridge. he was sitting in front of my computer with which we recorded the album and he was wearing headphones. and when he was playing i only heard his guitar and could not hear what the playback was like. but what rob was playing sounded somehow...wrong. out of key. and out of rhythm. and i was really, really skeptical and thought: this will never work! but when we played the entire mix it was just SUBLIME! "we can' stay, we become, all the way, headfirst into loss. and if we won't come back will they name a star after us?" unfortunately the recording equipment we had back then was not very good, we could only record in 22kbs and compared to my new recording software it was not much better than our old four-track.

[february 21, 2005 - hold pleasure and pain, profit and loss, victory and defeat to be the same: then brace yourself for the fight]
just watched the first act of the satyagraha dvd that i got as a present from x.! great! it must be sublime to see this live! what else happened today? not much. did some reading, did some underlining and collecting quotations. it snowed. it rained. the sun shone and i thought about a topic for this year's american studies colloquium in olomouc. the motto will be: CULT FICTION, FILMS & HAPPENINGS. so one option would be laurie anderson. x. suggested something about 'body-cult' which would enable me to talk about a field that i'm working on at the moment anyway. we'll see. i'm not even invited yet. they have a deadline for proposals and then they will choose the speakers.

haven't been to the office since thursday - which feels strange. usually i'm there every day, but i had work to do at home so i stayed home on friday and today - now i'm feeling a little guilty for not showing up.

[february 23, 2005 - rockbands died when amateurs won...]
started to do a daily 40 minutes walk. for this i compiled a couple of songs on my md player, among them some old nerve bible tracks. and, again, i would like to underline that a couple of songs a really good, i think! here are the lyrics to a song which never really became one of our favorites, but when i listened to it the other day i realized how much i loved the lyrics:
       "king m."

       Don't tell me that I'm bored
       I know that I am bored
       don't tell me that I'm tired
       You don't have to be afraid
       it will come all naturally
       it will raise your value
       It won't hurt it's hot at first
       but then cool forever
       You said you loved me and you gave
       yourself on a silver plate
       that's not enough for me!
       So strike a pose and hold your breath
       and then let me hug you
       Everything I touch will turn to gold
       everyone I love is bought and sold
       You then could even sell your tears
       little drops of liquid gold
       little liquid drops of gold
       Brighter than the sun himself
       infinitely precious
       Don't tell me that I'm bored
       I know that I am bored
       don't tell me that I'm hungry, because
       Everything I touch will turn to gold
       everyone I love is bought and sold
       Darling you're as good as gold

today the task force that is responsible for the design of this year's conference program roamed various shops downtown. thomas is of course the head of this elite-design-group, but i can say - not without pride - that i am the executive producer. so i met with nadine and stefanie this morning and we went hunting for felt. because the plan is to have the program printed on felt. because it's so nicely rhizomatic. and then this printed piece of felt will be slightly folded and crumbled. and then we will fix it with transparent spray-on varnish. this will be step one. step two is that we will take a tiny lego-stone, put it into a self-made plastic cube and then glue it to the program as if it was in the process of falling through the felt. and of course we need 200 pieces, each one uniquely designed. yes! state of the art sculpturing is not done in central park but at the american studies department! when we were sitting in a café with our samples of felt in front of us all over the table the sound system was suddenly playing leonard's "suzanne", reminding me of the things that i should ACTUALLY be doing.

bought myself a pair of dump-bells. actually only because the princess said that her prince would work out with dumb-bells for her. i can't believe that these things are really called dumb-bell in english. that's a talking-name if there ever was one!

[february 26, 2005 - materiality will be rethought as the effect of power ... the materiality of the body will not be thinkable apart from the materialization of (the) regulatory norm]
started to collect butler quotations yesterday. started to read a farewell to arms because it will be the exam text for next semester. boring. uninspiring. went downtown today to get some things to beautify the simple mirror that's haning in my room. created a sort of frame with bicolored mosaic stones which i glued onto the glass. looks kind of nice now, i think.

yesterday i called princess superstar and she was out of breath and said: "i'm just standing in front of my house, i'll call you back in a minute" which she did. and the first thing she said was: "i'm moving in with tim!" tim is her prince. they're together for pretty exactly one year. i didn't really know what to say. because tim is already 50. well, not quite, i think he's in his mid thirties, but he is a swot. well, sort of. "he's having a career and you're not!" the princess said to me once - and she's probably right. however he's a history scholar working on his habilitation. anyway, princess superstar is moving into his apartment. but she's keeping hers. she's just renting it to some english woman who's staying in cologne for half a year. so if the princess and tim don't get along she can still move back after half a year.

in fact it's already sunday, february 27 and i'm preparing everything for x.'s christmas present which she will finally get tonight. i'm not sure whether i mentioned it but i promised her to do a kind of concert for her. so i have rehearsed a couple of songs the past weeks and tonight i'll play them for her. might turn out utterly stupid or very romantic. the weather is strange: it's ice cold and snowing lightly but at the same time the sun is shining. washed my windows this morning because they looked really messy with the bright morning sun shining through the dirt and dust on the panes. went out for a walk before, but the ways through the park are covered with ice and i was slip slidin' along rather than walking. no news from thomas. he's probably still in hawaii.

but news from suzanne! she's recording an album with cover songs. when she was playing in germany last time she teamed up with bill frisel and they covered classic songs as well as vega originals and now they're turning this experiment into a record :o)

okay, time to take a shower now...