[july 04, 2003 - be yourself, be yourself, come to the palms and see yourself: and at last your life begins, at last your life begins, at ast your life begins, at last your life begins [well, it's csd today in cologne and also this is the most beautiful song from the new morrissey album and also because, well, actually i don't have enough time to to explain it thoroughly because in half an hour i've got to run to meet the princess and her prince and we will see the soccer endgame. strange that the line: "today i am ham, tomorrow i am me" doesn't really work!]slept for ten hours tonight. when i got home from x. i plugged my ear and spent another three hours of intensive sleeping and dreaming. it's strange: when i'm wearing the earpluges my sleep is so much deeper, the dreams brighter, more colorful, longer. had a sort of a night mare. i dreamed that i came to work and thomas was crying: he was holding an envelop with some juridical paper that said that he had to pay an enormous sum and that he was broke and had to close the department and he was crying (!!) and devastated and all this took place in some kind of catacombs and i had to try and find a way to rescue the department and i was crawling through the low shafts to get to some meeting or another where the officials decided about fundings etc.. i woke up with an enormous headache.
anyway, what i ACTUALLY wanted to say is that the deleuze conference which took place the past three days went really well. and i will give you a short report about it as soon as i'm conscious again. well, as i mentioned tonight i'm not home, and tomorrow i will have to prepare the seminar and the colloquium, so it might take a couple of days but, hell, i'm sort of full of words. also: I'VE GOT PHOTOS! more than you wish to see :o) thomas gave me his digital camera to document the event and he said: don't hesitate to make pictures. so i've got plenty of images of the speakers and the helpers and i think there are even a couple of nice ones of x and me. any way, got to run now but i'll see you soon.
oh and yes: got another filled out feedback form which i will add soon.
[july 7, 2004 - why do birds suddenly appear, everytime you are near...]okay, you wanna see photos from the conference? check out http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/englisch/berressem/deleuze/index.html but be warned :o) so much has happened. i think i can give up trying to catch up with all that i've missed to put down. so just some random thoughts and news: ruby started posting on undertow. which was kind of a weird feeling, having suzanne's daughter talk about lizards and school and touring with her mom. anyway, she seems to enjoy it. by the way: it's her birthday today, and her mother's in a couple of days.
the conference went fine. no major accidents or catastrophes. the princess, achim and i organized it and tried everything that it would run smoothly. and it did. it was tiresome, though. unfortunately i did not really get to see all of the talks. the ones that i saw were the most important ones. though. yves abrixous talked about deleuze and bacon, rosi braidotti was just full of energy and managed to excite all of the audience and sue golding aka johnny danger did a sort of performance in the dark: becoming laurie anderson. she has her kind of voice. also bernd's talk was pretty good! very deleuzian without hardly mentioning deleuze or using hip slang terms such as bwo, line of flight or deterritorialization. and still it was suffused by deleuzian thought. after we talks we all had dinner together on friday and saturday - which was a lot of fun. the princess, achim, nina and bernd are just fun people to hang out with.
in the colloquium we were discussing "the actual and the virtual" by g.d. and although the text is only two pages long we almost capitulated. actually i had thought that i had understood what the "actual" and the "virtual" was about. not what it was ALL about, but what it was generally about. well, seems like i have to think again. but it was fun. i came out of the seminar with my brain totally twisted and steaming. bernd - who was sitting next to me - was sighing every thirty seconds: i don't get it! i don't get it! in the colloquium we have ceased talking about literature: we are doing some kind of hard core philosophy. philosophy meaning basically: deleuze. of course the advantage is: if someone accuses us of not sticking to the scientific rules of philosophy (such as logic) we can always say: but we ARE no philosopher. anyway, it is fun and it is very intense and i forget everything that we've talked about after a couple of days but it feels, well, sort of interesting and challenging.
it was good to see people at the conference who had the power to excite people such as rosi braidotti (i had goose flesh when she was talking - although her talk was, on the content level, not THAT convincing) and people who try to break with academic convention and allow for some creativity such as sue golding aka johnny danger aka johnny de philo. and bernd, of course. and thomas. and prof. f. i guess we're one happy family of freaks :o)
thomas was at a nena concert the other week. he went because of his
children. yeah, sure!! that's what HE says! anyway, in front of the venue
there was a guy who handed out slips of paper which said that HE had written
all the songs by nena. and those by udo lindenberg as well. or as johnny
danger said: "just because you're paranoid does not mean they're not after
upated the answer section. received another form today :o)
i guess the trick is to do the right amount of thinking. or rather: to think the right things. it's okay to think about what you will do in the seminar next week. it's not good to think about how long you will still have a job. it's okay to think about the plane of immanence (although it is unthinkable). it is not good to think that the time for the dissertation is running up - which pushes the entire project close to the verge of being impossible. it is okay to think about how the poster for the next deleuze conference should look like. it's no good to think about that you haven't written a song for over a year. not to mention having gis. it's good to think about what you're going to eat at night. it's not so good to think about how long you will still be loved. i always seem to do the wrong kind of thinking.
you know, sometimes i'm in a situation with thomas and i'm thinking: he must be an alien. sometimes he seems to be just soooo strange. sometimes he seems to be just, i don't know: superhuman. i will never get how he manages to understand all these things. i mean he understands them without having somebody to explain them to him. i don't even get them WITH explanation. and i will never understand how he does all these things: the work for the university, the research, writing articles, going to conferences, giving brilliant lectures, spending time with his family. and then it's like he was just waaayyy out there. and then there are moments when i'm feeling connected to him in an odd way. like the other week, when the princess and i met him and his family in town. they just came from visiting the zoo. i had been to the zoo with x. as well recently and we had a great time. and there was this one animal that i did not know existed before: a cute little sleepy bear like animal from australia: a tree kangaroo. it was hanging lazily in a tree, totally relaxed and with a big, fury tummy: just sweet and adorable and it made me regress into early childhood and i pressed my nose onto the glass pane of its cage. for some strange reason i identified with it :o) so i wanted to tell thomas about this even though i knew that he would probably use this confession of a moment of weakness against me until the next ice age. "the zoo is great" i said, starting to turn the conversation to my little story "x. and i had been there recently..." "yes!" thomas said, "the zoo is okay. and they have all kinds of strange animals there that i did not know existed! you know what they have: a tree kangaroo!" there you go. sometimes i think thomas and i are closer than both of us would like to be. and sometimes we are just light years apart.
anyway, lots of work these days. i usually spend eight to twelve hours at the university each day. and the funny part: i don't have the time to do the slightest thing for my dissertation. where all this time is going i don't know. also i seem to have less and less energy. after five hours my eyes begin to ache and looking into the monitor aches. and when i get home i am not capable of doing anything else but falling onto the bed and sleep or watch tv. i wish i had a week of holiday. just doing nothing. only sleeping. but each second that i'm not busy i start having a bad conscience. i don't know. thank god i've got x.
"AND IT ALL COMES DOWN TO YOU..."
[july 8, 2004 - a dancing wall of molecules, changing nothing, has cleared a place for me and my time]it's 19:13. of course i'm still at the office. and as usual the weather has changed from being cloudy and rainy in the afternoon to being sunny and mild in the evening. the sun is shining into the office and the birds are singing. actually i have to prepare the seminar but i don't really feel like it. well, that's a luxury: to say i don't feel like it and then to close the document and do some fancy journal writing!
you know what's wrong with my body, what i don't like about it? it's
that my shoulders are not broad enough! they're as broad as my hips and
vice versa which gives me a plumb rather than graceful and masculine appearance.
i should have listened to charles atlas! [attention! beautiful losers
okay, what else can i tell you? tonight we're going to see spiderman 2. today i corrected the blueprints for my pocahontas-article :o) i'm looking forward to the "vorlesungsfreie zeit" - for the three months without lectures and seminars. hope that i will get to write a couple of pages for the d. then. also, i'll go to olomouc in september and give a talk. and in november i'm planning to join the post-graduate conference in frankfurt. meaning: i'll also have to write two articles this year. think i should get used to that.
here's a photo of my new cupboard. well, it isn't really knew - but i've painted it in the colors that tara and cedric's cupboards have. before it was sort of children's-room-natural-brownish. now it's mint-green and white and we'll see how long i can live with this color. i'm hungry. in my back the princess is working on a video film that she has made about the school that she is working in at the moment - and the kids are talking about feed. my belly is rumbling and there will be hardly enough time to get something decent to eat before the movie will start. also i will have to come up with a seminar for the semester in one year. maybe i'll just do an introductory course. not very challenging but the least work since i've got it all prepared. i'm really a little irriteaded by the cohen semainr. because most students don't say a thing. the sessions are more and more like a lecture. i'm asking a question and due to the silence in the room i'm answering it myself. which is tiresome. and annoys me. i don't know what the reason for the silence and the low level of participation is: maybe they don't like the topic. maybe my questions are too absurd. maybe they just fall asleep as soon as i'm entering the room because my tuition is simply too boring. whatever it is, it makes the sessions very hard to prepare because i have to take into consideration that i will have to play the entertainer for the entire time. a one-man show about cohen. maybe i should do a soft show routine next time?
[july 9. 2004 - can we bring it together? can we call from the mountain to the valley below? can we make it better? let go of the hwak, let go of the dove][just for the fun of it: here's another recent image of princess superstar] okay, here's a film that you need not to see: spiderman 2. although we watched it in the original english version the cinema theater was crowded: there wasn't a single seat left. it was hot, too, and halfway through the movie i thought that i had to die from lack of oxygen. the film did not really help to forget the circumstances of its consumption: okay, the special effects were okay. but the rest of it [acting, script, dialogues] were pretty crappy. i mean, it was not that i had some high hopes to see a cineastic masterpiece - but i must say that i was disappointed by the predictable plot, the cliché characters, the lack of humor and real irony and the inconsistencies of the story. since we had gone to see the late show it was already past midnight when we returned home.
23:12. we turned this friday into a sunday. which means that sunday will become a friday filled with regular work. we slept until eleven, had breakfast until two and i was home at five. went shopping food for the weekend, did the laundry and the washing-up and picked up the apartment. bought a liter of some ice-cream and ate it on my own while watching tv. x. is visiting friends tonight and she will come over later. listened to the indigo girls all day. "fill it up again" from the recent album is such a great song! awesome drums! and it just makes me feel good. even more. it makes me striving. you know, whenever thomas is talking about some kind of deleuzian a-subjective intensity i always have to think about those moments that *i* connect with intensities: moments that seem to be beyond some kind of control. i know, this sounds very cryptic, so let me try to explain: i think i have tried to explain this before. but sometimes sensations seem to be too overwhelming to be endured. it is something different than the sublime. it is something different than the abject. it is almost small, ordinary, often met. for me, it's mostly songs. sometimes words, but mostly songs. sometimes listening to particular song makes me react to it in a most unusual way. and to say "me" is already wrong, because it doesn't seem to be "me", but some thing. it's not like this reaction would have to do with me. that it is because i am me that i react so strongly. it's more that this reaction is before "me", affects something, that is not connected to me as a subject(ive) entity. it is more on a bodily level: suddenly and faster than thinking time, there are these sort of cramps as if my muscles - especially those in my belly - were flooded by a wave of energy that they cannot really deal with. some thing is working inside and it triggers processes that produces a surplus of energy that is circulating in my - or rather a - system which feeds back into the process which then runs faster and produces more energy and so on until it feels like breaking up inside, like being overloaded. there were occasions when playing "headcrash" live (in rehearsal or at gigs) had the same effect. and sometimes - when there's no possibility of getting rid of the energy by singing/screaming or playing guitar - this state becomes so unbearably intensive that there's the need to do something: this is when a cut in the arm can release pressure, when small doses of self-inflicted pain can reinstall the soothing illusion of being a subject in control of what goes on "below". are those intensive moments moments of desire without lack?
here is a little sound collage i made with a recording of leonard cohen reading a sublime passage from beautiful losers that would make emerson blush: "incomparable beauty and unmeaning"!
[sunday, july 11, 2004 - you said you wanted me naked so i hung my skin in the wind. ah, the whole world felt so new]it's a gray and slow sunday morning/noon. i'm sitting at the pc, preparing the seminar while simultaneously working on the hollow earth cd. played a little guitar last night: just four songs, but it felt good although my finger hurt like hell. they're not used to being pressed down on the strings. thank god they kind of remembered how to move on the fret. it looks like rain and i'd rather just ramble along than concentrate on the work. i also have to come up with a concept for the talk for olomouc soon. i think it will be about the favorite game and beautiful losers. perhpas a comparison. perhaps in connection to transcendentalism and chaos theory? we'll see. talked to my parents today. i'm going to visit them at the end of the month. it's my mother's birthday on august 1st so i'll drive down, probably with x. which will be quite an adventure. because my parents can be sort of, well, complicated (did i mention that my father is crossing the alps this summer by foot, walking from munich to venice? and that my mother is going on a bus trip all over iceland?)
the princess just sent a sms, saying that she didn't like the photo that i've inserted "i'm looking old and deranged". which, of course, is true in some way. i would never use photos on which people look like they do in real life! and if i had chosen a "photo proper" of the princess i would have gotten way too many mails by lonely princes who want to meet her!
oh yes, one more important thing: HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUZANNE!
[july 14, 2004 - half of the time we're gone and we don't know where, we don't know where...]22:33. i'm tired. x. has caught a cold and she's home in bed. now i'm sitting here, alone, listening to paul and not knowing what i should write. i don't know what to write. it's not that nothing had happened, but i simply don't know what to put down or why to put it down. what is of interest? what is boring? what do *i* want to have remembered, memorized.
it's nadine's birthday today, so happy birthday!
other then that, the days repeat: which is not that bad. soothing routine. by the way here's a photo of the view from my apartment onto the backyard and the brick walls of the neighborhood houses. it looks rather dark and unpleasant - which it isn't, really. i think it's just because it was raining the afternoon i took the photo - and it has rained every afternoon since. the summer this year really is no summer at all. which is basically fine with me. because if we had to work in our office/oven with a glaring sun outside and the computers heating up the air inside even more it would have been much, much harder to concentrate.
did some literature research today and found two more articles about cohen. which is good. read a short story that one of my students is planning to write a paper on. started to gather ideas for the olomouc talk. the topic of the conference will be: "home of the brave". i thought i'd do something about the courage of failing. in beautiful losers, obviously. what does it mean to fail and why is being a loser in the novel eventually being a winner. or at least a saint. the seminar went okay on tuesday. there was a little participation from the students, which was okay. for next week i gave them a clearly defined task: they have to prepare a little presentation about any poem from "death of a lady's man".
came by accident across "time after time" (which was part of a almost forgotten compilation cd) and realized what a nice song it is. tried to do an acoustic version just with guitar. needs some practice and improvement.
discovered that thomas' digital camera can make little video clips. strated to make little films of everyone in the office the other week. everybody was annoyed :o) i edited them with the new great video software and now i have a little 7 minutes long film staring the princess, achim, nina, thomas, x., bernd, sirka, blaine, tina and a couple of others. and since "close to you" by the carpenters had become something like an anthem during the conference (one of us started to whistle it and suddenly the entire office was infected which found its climax in a hilarious scene when bernd started to sing it out aloud to the waitress at a post-conference gathering when she wanted to put down his order) i used it as background music for the short film which has a sort of, well, almost perverse effect: thomas is storming through the office with poor achim and nina trying to follow his thoughts and his orders while the carpenters are singing "why do birds suddenly appear / every time you are near" in such an unironic way that only the beauty of the melody can make you forget and make you forgive yourself that you've crossed the verge of ultimate kitsch without even noticing it!
[july 15, 2004 - i run for the bus dear, while riding i think of us, dear and say a little prayer for you, at work i just take time and all through my coffee break time i say a little prayer for you...]copied a couple of songs from bernd's famous burt bacharach cd box-set. we know a hip musician if we see one! but then it takes one to know one. 22:47. what a confusing night yesterday. before i tell you about it i must emphasize that i never cannot sleep, meaning that usually i fall asleep immediately when i close my eyes. i can't remember a single occasion when i lay awake half of the night, not being able to start sleeping. but yesterday night i did. as you might remember, x. is sick and so she was home and i was lying in my bed alone. i got to bed after i had updated the journal and actually i was pretty tired. and still i couldn't sleep. i lay on my back and then i lay on my side and then i lay on my belly but whatever comfortable position i sought i just couldn't sleep. instead i kept being bewildered and confused by problems of infinite recursivity and fraktality such as the dedekind cut and the old paradox of achilles and the tortoise.
at 1 a.m. i sent an sms to x.: "i cant sleep" i thought that she might still be awake and that we could have a late chat on the phone. but she was asleep already. so i continued trying to sleep, but i was all nervous and my thoughts were doing futile jumps back and forth (force) in time and topic. at 2:20 am i sent her another sms which read: "still cant sleep". turned off the light and rolled from side to side until 3:10 when suddenly the phone rang. it was x. who suffered under bad cramps in her belly. her voice was shivering and she was miserable and upset by the pain and asked me to come over. which i did: i got dressed, packed my things, took my bike and crossed the city at 3:30 in the morning. when i had arrived i tried to sooth her and she took a pill and she felt better slowly and then i finally got to sleep at 4:30. had to get up four hours later because i had a meeting this morning and that is why i've been sort of hypersensitive and out of concentration the entire day.
but, you know, it was so strange that i wasn't able to sleep that night when x. suddenly started to get these cramps in the middle of the night. maybe there *is* a continuity in the world as deleuze argues. maybe there *is* an infinite connectivity and an unconscious perception that rumbled below and that wouldn't let me get to sleep. anyway, x. is feeling better now. she has a friend from berlin who is visiting cologne staying over night with her. and i need to go to bed now. sleep well!
[july 16. 2004 - the look of love is in your eyes]strange day. worked a little on the theoretical network text this morning. at noon there was an official celebration for a linguistic professor who had died this spring. everybody was there: bernd, achim, the princess, nina, thomas. after that we got the essays from the students who were doing their "zwischenprüfung" today. meaning that i will have to correct and co-correct 28 essays next week. all about the question of racism in huckleberry finn. x. is here tonight: right now she's lying in the bathtub, taking a hot bath. i'm tired. i always seem to be tired. i haven't prepared the seminar yet. i haven't prepared the colloquium yet. and on tuesday bernd (who is my co-corrector and whose co-corrector i am) and i want to exchange the essays. seems like there's a busy week-end ahead.
by the way, this is a photo of the programs from the deleuze conference. i don't know if i've already mentioned it, but the layout of the poster and the program was done with images of broken glass. on every program [over a hundred!!!] and poster there was a different image of a broken glass [we bought window-panes, smashed them and scanned them]. so each program was unique. and the title of the conference was aligned to always another crack in the pane. and on top of that we glued a little piece of broken glass onto each program. and to present them, i took a vase, filled it with broken glass and put the programs into it. i thought it looked great. however, on the first day of the conference nobody took a program. it was only in the afternoon that we found out why: they thought it was art and were afraid to touch it :o)
[july 19, 2004 - ]corrected essays from eleven to sixthrity yesterday. another manic monday today: got at the university at nine, prepared the seminar. tried to solve a computer problem with the princess, helped bernd copy a video onto a dvd, copied stuff for thomas, went to the lecture at noon: deleuze and representation. made notes and tried to catch ideas that emerged and ascended skywards through the ceiling. then at two i went to the collouium: deleuze and plato and simulacrum. didn't understand a single word. guess that i have to rethink my whole notion of the "virtual and the actual". then at four i updated thomas' website and prepared the seminar until seven. went home, did the washing up, made myself something to eat [kartoffelsalat und würstchen - auf dem nachhauseweg noch schnell gekauft]. did i mention that i'm getting to the university by bike since may? fixed myself some fresh popcorn [yummy!] and watched the an old x-files rerun.now it's eleven thirty and i got to get to bed because i'll have to get up early tomorrow for the seimar. is it any wonder that i don't feel like writing songs? is it any wonder that i don't feel like working on the diss when i come home? i'm glad that the semester will end in two weeks! tried to write an email to cedric. i sent him a pretty angry and unreasonable mail the other day. but i couldn't come up with anything intelligible tonight. as you might have noticed by now. listening to songs in red and gray. haven't done so for a long time.
the release date for leonard cohen's new album is september 28. wonder whether this is good news. maybe it'll be called: songs from a line of flight.
[july 24, 2004 - and as the bombshells of my daily life explode i try to trace them to my youth]finally: summer. it's saturday evening. i've just prepared the apartment for tuesday: we will have a staff get-together to celebrate the end of the semester and bernd will sleep at my place. so i did a lot of domestic work today. which was okay because i didn't have to use my brain then, which seems to be increasingly difficult the last couple of weeks. actually i thought that i would have a plan for the talk for olomouc. but when i sat down this week to seriously work on it i realized that the thing i had suspected to be some kind of lan was just a big, pink bunny hopping through a fake teletubby set, leaving brown piles of bunny shit here and there.
a propos bunny: did i mention that i had planned to reward myself with a digital camera when i've finished the first chapter of the dissertation? well, i've got news for you: i've got a new digicam. i haven't finished the first chapter by far - i've not even started with it - but i thought that a premature reward might, well, motivate me. to be honest: it was just a very good offer and i thought: buy it now, who knows what it will cost later. and so i did. a slim, black pentax optio s4. and here's the best thing: it's the 'playboy edition' meaning that on top of the camera and a 32mb memory card i got a free six month playboy subscription. which i don't really need. so now i'm trying to sell it on ebay (the subscription, not the camera). it's supposed to have good articles...so i've heard...from an acquaintance...
anyway: next week the semester will end. it's about time because i need to get things done. i'm far behind my imaginary schedule according to which i should have finished half of the dissertation. yes, i'm sorry. i won't mention the bad word again today. but it keeps ticking in my mind like a time bomb. it's the ringing of the alarm clock that wakes me up at 6:30 in the morning, it's the screaming of the wheels of the underground on the rusty tracks when i get to the university, it's the hissing of the coffee machine in the cafeteria and the clacking of thomas' keyboard who is writing one article after the other next door.
[later]i'm alone because x is visiting her family this week-end. temporal solitude is bearable. the semester will end next week. for the last session of the cohen seminar i had asked the students to take a look into the book "death of a lady's man", single out a poem and prepare a five minute talk about it. all semester long the seminar was a more of a lecture: whenever i asked a question the reactions were very, well, sort of slow. if there were any reactions at all. which usually ended in me talking about the books and poems and the students taking notes. so i thought if they have a defined homework, that is preparing a poem, the participation in class and the discussion could become more lively. the first thing i noticed when the class started on tuesday morning was that only half of the students were there. only 11 out of 22. so after i had given a one hour introduction into "death of a lady's man" i asked the students: "so, what do YOU want to talk about? what would YOU like to say about the book? was there any poem that you liked in particular? or any poem that you disliked? were there themes that we have talked about before? or themes that are completely new?" silence. for one minute. for two minutes. for three minutes. for four minutes. for five minutes. finally i said: "well, too bad see you next week then" - there was a moment of total disbelief until they realized that i was packing my things. i went upstairs into my office then, ending the seminar half an hour early. (it was either this reaction or playing the entire album "death of a ladies man" to them - which would have been much more of a sentence. unfortunately i didn't have a cd player with me.) i have no idea whether this will teach them anything. and i'm not even sure whether this was meant to teach them anything. or whether this was only an unfair manifestation of my anger with myself that i cannot design a seminar in which the students like to participate, that is fun and entertaining AND will teach you something.
[july 28, 2004 - matter, not signs of matter]]sitting at my desk, barefott. which always gives me the thrilling sensation of being vulnerable but unusually perceptive at the same time. as if the perceptive surface of what is me had unfolded. listening to sigur ros' untitled album. there is a great german word which describes my mood perfectly and which does not really have an english equivalent: mutlos. without courage.
a moth is flying into the screen like it was a candle. stupid animal.
"theories pass. the frog remains". the bloody server is down which means
that i cannot send any emails. why am i without courage? well, because
things seem to have become unmanageable. things have become too big. things
grow with passing time. there is a direct and reciprocal relationship between
the passing of time and the growth of things. the two years are ticking
through my hands and it seems that they gain speed. the last four years
went by slowly but suddenly time has switched speed and now it is just
whooshing by, day after day, while at the same time the chance to finish
things in time diminishes, becomes infinitely slow. sometimes i think that
i know what i want to do. that i know what i want to say. and then - suddenly
- i feel the exact opposite.
why did "first day love" mp3 get 201 hits last week? why start my eyes aching at three in the afternoon every day? why am i hungry? why am i not hungry? what has happened to my monadic appetite? why is there "petite" in "appetite"? am i perceiving? got a sad message from paula the other day. you know what was very strange? when i had realized that i hadn't really answered her last mail from april i made a short video message for her and just when i wanted to send it off i got a mail from a friend of paula asking me whether i'd have any news from her. i don't know how to do this. but i want to do it. i want these two letters in front of my name. when i said that i have to write the thesis AND do latin in the two remaining years yesterday night when we had our staff celebration of the end of the semester, achim looked at me and asked: do you need the small or the big latinum? and i said: the big one. and all of a sudden conversations stopped around the table, almost in the entire bar, and it was very silent for ten seconds and achim just said: oh. and then looked onto the table top and i had the strange sensation in my stomach that this wasn't good news. more questions: why am i starting to put actual pictures of myself into the journal? did i mention that i've got a new telephone? the old one didn't work anymore. it was fun to go out with the entire staff yesterday. with thomas and bernd and the princess and nina and leyla and martin. bernd spend the night at my place (i stayed at x.'s) and when we all went home at one in the morning bernd and achim still had one or two beers in a typical corner-bar called "zur alten post" until three. i'm glad that we all get along so well. still can't send any mails :o(
[july 29, 2004 - i'm leaving on a jet plane...]saw thomas for the last time in three month. he and his family will leave for the states on monday. his wife and kids will stay for an entire year, thomas will return when the semester starts in october. tomorrow x. and i are going to visit my family in bielefeld. but just for two days. today i received the program for the olomouc conference. i'll be giving a talk in the afternoon, before bernd will give his - and i've got half an hour. i'm already wetting my pants!
anyway, today i made a really exciting discovery which to explain it takes a little bit of context: you know, cohen's second novel beautiful losers is considered to be not a very reader-friendly novel. this impression largely comes from the weird ending. okay - the book is filled with psychedelic scenes of drug and firework abuse, by the abuse of and by mechanical sex-toys, by comic book language, inserted adverts and pages from a phrase book. but one of the most weird and surreal scenes is the last one when the protagonist is turning into a movie of a blind pop star: "Quickly now, as if even he participated in the excitement over the unknown, he greedily reassembled himself into - into a movie of Ray Charles..." (beautiful losers, 242) how to read this? how to understand this? where does this refer to? mostly the secondary literature on cohen's 1966 novel is neglecting this last scene because it seems to be so weird. and what did i discover today by mere accident? i opened my mailbox and i had received a snail mail from the museum ludwig with the program of the summer film screenings they organize. and one of the films is called: "Cosmic Ray". it's a 1961 (!!) experimental psychedelic 4 minutes long early video clip by a filmmaker called bruce conner. a psychedelic movie about ray charles. so maybe the "becoming movie" is a reference to an actual film! this movie has not been mentioned in any of the secondary literature that i have checked so far - and i think i checked quite a lot! this cannot be coincidence? or can it?!? so, remember folks, you've heard it HERE first!!!
but the even more amazing and exciting thing that happened today was that x. asked me if we should move together which would be a good idea if she wouldn't have to write a ma thesis and i wouldn't have to write the phd thesis and learn latin.
and another important thing: decided today that i will move from the
big office into the smaller office at the end of the corridor. which means:
moving out with achim, nina and the princess and moving in with bernd.
but it will also mean: having a work place that is quieter and where i
can hopefully concentrate better on the thesis. got to go to bed now. see