[november 01, 2002]i'm back from rehearsal. we were sort of silly today, don't know why. we played "fake plastic trees" twice the usual speed and the we tried a band version of "the pilot" and we said that we'd repeat the chorus four times at the end: three times with all the instruments and the last time a quiet version with only the guitar but i totally forgot about that and really started to sing out aloud and full of convition the fourth time: "i know that you know that i am here" but it was silent suddenly and my voice was echoing through the rehearsal room on the verge of cracking and with way too many false notes in that short melody and reiner and daniel started to laugh...very funny! die feinen herren!
worked on "the little lighthouse" - not that i'd have a melody or the chords but i hunted for soundbites and samples. it has started to rain and it's gotten dark already. it's not even five thirty. added some drumsounds to "nerves end" but it doesn't really convince me yet. still need to find a song of the month. i'm open for suggestions.
[november 02, 2002]"...and when they come up | they're laughing | and gasping | for breath..." worked all day on "little lighthouse". even if you don't love me for "space walk" you will surely love me for this one! i haven't added the vocals yet but the instrumental track on its own is really, really good i think :-) it's so astounding. you're adding track for track all day long, just as i did with "nerves end" - but then tonight when i listened to all the tracks playing together it worked! suddenly an atmosphere is created that i hadn't planned. it's a small miracle :-) in contrast to "nerves end". i really wonder how the songs would sound if they weren't recorded with a 60 $ software and a cheap pc but in a real studio with professional equipment... if you're wondering this as well don't hesitate to send me money and maybe someday i'll have enough to make our dream come true...
went swimming. colored my hair. blonde. no, just kidding! the well loved "cosmic blue" again. eve wrote. somebody called but refused to talk to the answering machine. was so impressed and moved by the anderson songs that i almost prepared a cd to send to new york.
[november 3rd, 2002]BA! breathe. breathe. breathe. BA! fucking, fucking, fucking nightmares. like you walk to the fridge in the middle of the night and you're still half in dreams and you take a big gulp from the milk and it is only after you have swallowed three or four times that you realize that it is sour and curdled and full of lumps [a heart around her neck - red plastic - a present] and you spit it out but you've already swallowed too much [i'm a little happier with him] and you can taste the sour liquid in your stomach [don't say 'him' - say his name!] and it makes you so sick that you try to puke your guts into the sink [why are you still here then?] jemand sollte mal meinen kühlschrank aufräumen. BA! breathe. [please.] fuck! [don't go] seems like everything i had managed to forget and to repress returned last night... hm, how surprising: a completely new concept! need irony. now. [the name of the street was wrong] badly. bad, bad, bad. way too real, way too vivid. even if these might be the most general and diffuse fears of loss (losing my job, losing my mind) i suppose i will have to get used to the sad fact that they will materialize with her face for quite some time...
in other news: it's thomas birthday today!
[later]went swimming. finished the song. hope i will still like it tomorrow...
[november 4, 2002]gray monday morning. went shopping. now: cappuccino and cantuccini. bon giorno! i still like "little lighthouse". although i'm not sure which of the two versions is better: the one with my voice pitched up two notes or the one with my "natural" voice. think i also made my peace with "nerves end". so i've got to do quite a lot of cd burning today.
somebody sent in a blank feedback form tonight. wondering whether this was an "accident" or a "statement"...
[later]well, not really a scholarly day today although i had planned that it would be one. did the laundry, ironed a couple of shirts that needed to tbe ironed, burned a couple of cds, made last corrections on "little lighthouse" and then i listened to all the tracks from "the space and the sea" again and felt sooo stupid: how could i ever think that these are original and carefully-crafted song? they sounded banal and didn't move me more than any old muzak playing in an elevator.
got a mail today from a girl that has been a nerve bible fan from pretty much the start of the band. she wrote a couple of nice things. but they made me realy feel, well, OLD:
Subject: language is a system of sighseve wrote as well saying the she's listening to "headcrash" on repeat :o). got to prepare dinner now and then i've got to pack my things for cologne and prepare the seminar. oh yes! copied laurie anderson for cedric. gonna send it to him tomorrow and he won't know it since his monitor is broken and he can't check the journal. random zürn quote of the day: "Dies ist ein Gedicht, gemacht aus Freude, über die Geburt einer kleinen schwarzen Katze."
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 02:40:22 +0100
ist ja nicht wahr!
Ich bin ganz sentimental geworden, als ich grade zum allerersten Mal Eure Homepage ansah. Ich glaube, als ich Euch zum ersten Mal hörte, war ich 15. Damals gab es das ZAK Jöllenbeck noch, und ich war total bezaubert. Ihr seid definitiv ein Stück meiner Jugend. Jetzt bin ich schon groß und gespannt auf Neues und hätte gern ein Exemplar von space walk. Habt ihr Auftritte in nächster Zeit? Würde mich sehr freuen, wenn. Schön, wieder von Euch zu hören!
[november 5, 2002]uh! great! got up earlier this morning to copy a couple of files that i might need for the seminar in cologne later today but of course i forgot to remove the disk from the computer. comfort: "life on a string". i'm hungry. looking forward to meet all the people in cologne. "so i can slip through time"
[later]the seminar went well. sitting in the office now, it's 7:42 pm and i've eaten too much today. went to the cafeteria this noon and tonight and ate a full meal both times. now i'm sick. which might be causally related to the two kinder countrys, the two hanutas, the knoppers and the nuts [all chocolate bars] that i've eaten in between meals. while i was sitting in blaine's office this afternoon discussing the mid-term test for the students i caught my reflection in the window. it was already completely dark outside and the glass cruelly mirrored every single object and every single movement in the bright, white neon light of the office and i saw myself sitting there in the middle of a room strangely and ghostly behind that pane of glass with hanging shoulders and tired eyes and i looked .o.l.d. i was shocked. it was like looking into the face of a stranger - for a split second i did not recognize myself "and i said: hey! pal! what's going on here anyway? who ARE you?" i don't want to be old. "and he said: now - i am the soul doctor..." i need all the time in the world: there's so much i've missed, so much i have to make up to, so much i need to do: learn and sing and write and teach and record and listen and love and love and love "...and you know: language is a virus from outer space..." i want all the time in the world. i don't want to be old. i want to be desirable. i want someone to rest her head on my shoulder and whisper my name. not to say good-bye but to welcome me into a heart, into a mind, into a single moment so we could slip through time. "...and hearing your name..." it's obvious now that the silent assumption i had made long ago that things would stay perfect forever, that time had been stripped of its threatening power had been a very silly notion which has made me act carelessly. "...is better..." there is no end to fear as in: you don't have to fear any ending. because nothing good will ever end as in: if things have ended they probably weren't good anymore. "...than seeing your face." it's 10:40pm. no new messages on server. "life on a string" on repeat. think i'll try to get some sleep now. hey, thanks for reading this. i appreciate you being with me.
[november 6, 2002]more anderson mp3s downloaded. more sparkling skin. "in my dreams, i am your customer. and the customer is always right." soft morning light. quiet corridor. no wind, no noise, no movement outside. slept fairly well. today's session will be on music. when i came running down the corridor this morning i passed blaine's office and his colleague (who had been passing her exams this summer) was at work already and she called "philipp!?!" so i turned around and leaned in the doorway to the office and she asked me "do you know when exactly thomas will return this month from the states?" "no, not exactly. but i think around the 21st" "hm..." she said "...because i got this text of my dissertation for him and i'm so nervous whether he will like it. i mean somehow i think i didn't quite do it the right way, i mean i have already 60 pages on michel serres alone..." thank you. exactly what i needed this morning. anyway, of course the time and energy that i have used for writing this little six-line complaint might as well have been spent on working on MY dissertation concept. "your eyes. it's a day's work. to look into them" can one write a text of literary criticism that is as beautiful as an anderson song? "your eyes. it's a day's work. just looking into them"
[later]oh well, i'm so simple knitted...today monika (blaine's other colleague) came into my office and said that i'd get the 'review award' for that review that i have written for "genderforum", the online magazine that blaine is editing. she said that mine was the best review that had been submitted for the current issue. so far. anyway, i was smiling like a honeycakehorse. and of course i'm modest enough not to brag about this here.
[november 7, 2002]gray day: rain, rain, rain. the cartridge of my printer is empty. big news, uh?! spent another hour on music this morning: somehow i had this strange vision of hand-claps in "nerves end" so i recorded four additional tracks of claps and it sounds pretty well. maybe i got the idea from listening to anderson's "it tango" too long. it's the repeat-song of the week. i really, really like it and i can't even say why. it's so, well, inconspicuous. had a slight fit of panic this morning when i thought that today was "martinssingen" [a german tradition: children are walking around with lanterns, singing and getting sweets for it. sort of like halloween only without the costumes but with a lot of bad music] now, i wouldn't object to giving out candy bars and sweets to the kids; it's only that if i had to buy all that stuff i would surely have eaten it all until it's gotten dark and what's even worse: the idea that groups of five or six years old are standing in front of my door SINGING is terrible! i'd give them sweets but i don't want to have to listen to their squeaking, out of tune voices singing corny, out of mind christian songs about little lantern lights and human kindness! so i made a plan: i will spend the evening at my sister's place. i wanted to visit her anyway since she is still sick from the operation and i actually haven't seen the new flat yet. she's moved into a new apartment with her friend the other month. but then i learned that martinssingen is on sunday. phew! enough time to make a detailed, cunning escape plan!
also this morning i had an idea for new lyrics - but it's quite a narrative one. would be great for a sort of many-versed folk song or even a talking piece with some background music and altered voices. the rough outline is this:
her friend's dog
this morning the doorbell rang and when i answered it this young woman was standing on my doorstep. and she was fingering her ring and saying shyly. "excuse me, i live downstairs, i think we've met before. i just wanted to apologize for the noise during the last couples of weeks" and although i knew exactly what she was talking about i said "noise? what noise?" "well, the barking and the howling from the dog. you know, it's driving me mad myself and i can really understand if you're pissed off but you must know that this isn't my dog. it's my friend's dog and she had this dog for four years but last month she suddenly fell in love with a guy and she wanted to live with him but where he lived, there were no dogs allowed. so then, one sunday morning, she got into the car and my friend's dog thought they would go for a long walk and it was happy like a dog that's going for a walk and wagging its tail and they drove out of the city and they drove right through the woods and then they stopped in front of this house and when i opened the door my friend was standing there, sobbing, crying all over, and my friend's dog was still as happy as a dog. and she left it with me. she just gave it to me - without an attempt of explaining a lot - embraced it for one last time and my friend's dog kept wagging its tail and drooling all over the place happily and it obviously had no idea what was going on. my friend left then. and it took the dog half a day to realize that she had gone for good and then it kept howling all night long, full moon or not: it did not eat or sleep, just howled and wailed. this was a couple of weeks ago and hopefully it has calmed down in the meantime but sometimes it is still sitting by the door, watching it, with those big brown bambi-eyes, listening for any car that passes by, listening for any step on the staircase. and its ears are hanging down the head and it's nose is soft and wet and it won't move, not even when lassie's on tv."
well, she went on at length apologizing for the inconvenience but you know, actually all this did not interest me at all. because, you know, i don't care much for dogs. i'm more the cat-type. anyway, got to go now as long as the drugstore's still open and get some rat poison - they really are a plague in this part of town...
well, actually i've been expecting my United States Live cdboxset that amazon has sent off yesterday, but i didn't get any mail today. thought i might as well include a picture of the office so you can get an impression of where i'm working. the the left hand desk in the corner is mine. i've just spent an hour trying to pin down my thoughts on the difference between n+1 and n-1 in d&g's "rhizome". martin had mailed and asked me whether i could give a short account of how i understand this passage. he's preparing the text for his exams and couldn't quite make any sense out of it. his problem was figuring out how you can get a multiplicity if you subtract something. so i've tried to describe my interpretation of the text concerning this point and now that i'm writing about it it reminds me of a conversation that i've overheard the other week in the cafeteria early in the morning. the cashiers were just counting the money and one said to the other: "hier in dem umschlag habe ich 183 euro wechselgeld..." und ihre kollegin meinte "ja, äh, 183, ja. das müssen wir dann heute abend wieder von den einnahmen ab-addieren..." hm, i've got an almost cruel craving for chocolate tonight...
[november 8, 2002]yeah! United States Live has arrived! "listen now i just wanna say thanks. so: thanks!" another gray day. was shopping in town today and looked for some new clothes - found a store that had some stylish things - all in black but pretty cool. but much too expensive unfortunately. i really need to meet some millionaire soon who madly falls in love with me: she's around 30, stunningly beautiful, intelligent and nephew of laurie anderson.
[later]went swimming. talked to nicole on the phone. actually i had planned to accompany cedric tomorrow and go to cordingen with him. there's a lecture on arno schmidt [german post-war author and cedric's field of special interest] but i didn't really manage to do all the things i had hoped to do today plus my sister is ill: she's got the flu and can't get up. actually she was supposed to help my mother tomorrow morning, so it's on me now to do so. the more i listen to the new "nervs end" version the more i like it...
[november 9, 2002]strange dreams: laurie anderson was doing a concert at my old school and i was helping her and we sort of really, well, bonded. we really got connected.
[later]strange day. skin of glass. water running down in perfect transparent pearls. went swimming. when i walked back the other minute i went by some dark (it was 10:20pm) and abandoned gardens and there - in the streetlight - sat a little hedgehog on the pavement, trembling with excitement when it heard my steps approaching and it tried to get away but to its right was the open, wet avenue and to its left was a stone wall that it was trying to climb in vain, the little paws kept scratching at it in a fast motion panic and i suddenly felt so much sympathy for it and i only wanted to take it and carry it into a save pile of leaves, but of course you cannot really touch hedgehogs. wondering whether this is some kind of allegory... anyway it was a similar feeling like the one i had this noon when i was helping my mother setting up a stand for a christmas fair in a school hall - it was an event from her sports club. after we had finished setting up the stuff she left me for half an hour to get something she'd forgotten at home. so i was sitting there and since the event hadn't really started yet and nobody was there i wandered down the hall. and there was an exhibition on display called "I have drawn the war" consisting of drawing by children that have suffered or witnessed persecution and war. there were images by children from bosnia and algeria and vietnam and when i turned around a corner i saw this image by a 10 year old polish girl made two weeks before she was gassed in a concentration camp in 1944: it was a crayon drawing and there was some kind of giant, threatening bird that one could hardly recognize because it was all fragmented and in the middle was the girl herself and she hadn't really painted the outlines of her body, only a black cloud or shadow around her. it was only by the spaces that were blank within that cloud that you could tell the features of a little girl. like a photographic negative. like an erased self. like something you want to paint but can't because it only exist in negation. and before i could think all this the tears literally shot into my eyes from that ghostly image that was there and not there at the same time. as i said: a strange day...
[november 10, 2002]for some obscure reason i've got both the lyrics and the music of "perfect day" in my head all day long. "Just a perfect day | drink sangria in the park | And then later when it gets dark | we go home | Just a perfect day | feed animals in the zoo | Then later a movie too | and then home | Oh, it's such a perfect day | I'm glad I spent it with you | Oh, such a perfect day | You just keep me hanging on | you just keep me hanging on | Just a perfect day | problems all left alone | Weekenders on our own | it's such fun | Just a perfect day | you made me forget myself | I thought I was someone else | someone good | Oh, it's such a perfect day | I'm glad I spent it with you | Oh, such a perfect day | You just keep me hanging on | you just keep me hanging on | You're going to reap just what you sow | You're going to reap just what you sow | You're going to reap just what you sow | You're going to reap just what you sow" that's why i started listen to that bbc produced all star version of the song, the one only sung by female singers. and it starts with suzanne doing the first line. and while the song started i was in the kitchen searching for that lou reed "live in london" cd and while i was looking through the discs her voice came floating through the flat, unexpectedly because i had forgotten which parts she was singing and it was like someone i knew was calling me from the other room, and i almost looked up and turned around to answer to that familiar voice and for a very short moment i was not alone in the apartment for a short moment i was thrown back in time and i felt very warm and very save and the taste of cinnamon and christmas and candles and togetherness flashed by and was gone. you just keep me hanging on.
[later]i've just watched "monsters inc." that i've borrowed from my sister when i visited her tonight. just the right movie for a gloomy sunday night. now it's 10:40 already and i think i'm going to read a couple of pages of wuthering heights [greetings, blaine!] and then go to bed. but i won't let you go without the random zürn quote of the day: "Das ist doch nicht möglich", sagte er erschrocken "Herzförmiger Einschuss, herzförmiger Ausschuss. Sonst nichts. Das ist ein Meisterschuss! Er hat ihnen nicht das Herz im Auge durch die Brust geschossen, nein! Er hat mit seinen Schüssen die Herzen aus ihren Augen einfach herausgeblasen. Herzförmiger Einschuss, herzförmiger Ausschuss." Doktor Mortimer liess meine Augenlider los, und ich blieb mit geschlossenen Augen sitzen und hoffte darauf, dass er aufhören würde, sich zu wundern. see you tomorrow. good night.
[november 11, 2002]worked on that lecture about digital media. went walking in the woods. you made me forget myself. not much to report. tomorrow: cologne. the topics for this weeks seminars: the sign according to saussure and death of the author according to barthes & foucault.
[november 12, 2002]ONE WHITE WHALE SLIPPING THROUGH THE NETS OF SILENCE UNDER POLAR ICE CAPS MILES DOWN YOU LEAVE YOUR ECHOES IN THE WATER ONE WHITE WHALE IN ALL THESE OCEANS ONE WHITE WHALE the seminar went fairly well. this morning i was sitting in the train and the sun was rising shyly behind a foaming curtain of clouds. derrida was sitting across the isle and the vapour trail of a plane was parting the heavens. that's what being on the way to cologne is like. now i'm here, have arrived, have settled and worked and met everybody und darüber ist es abend geworden. der feine regen fällt sanft auf die strassen und die alte, krumme schreibtischlampe leuchtet leise vor sich hin. mit einem tiefen atemzug kann ich alle luft im büro einatmen ONE WHITE WHALE wie kommt man auf solche melodien? solche melodien, die schon zur dritten generation gehören. die erste lauter lieder, die ich vorher schon kannte und dann erst teilte. die zweite all die musik, die wir immer schon zusammen gehört haben. und nun also die dritte, die songs, die ich nicht mehr teilen konnte. YOU LEAVE YOUR ECHOES IN THE WATER tired of holding up the mask. tired of writing even. you smiled at me so irritating, today. you sat here and "perfect day" was playing and i had trouble to look into your eyes because i did not know where to look there because you looked at me so openly and friendly and yet i kept thinking if i could be who you wanted all the time. maybe not whale, but perhaps a dolphin. the ease you move with in the water is admirable: like you'd been born there. and your always smiling face, your permanent good nature and that caring vibe makes it impossible not to reconcile with the world. i'm not sure what irritated me this evening when you dropped in to say goodbye. maybe it was some reflection in the glass between us, maybe it was the feeling that everything i say and every move i make will give away that i cannot breathe under water. maybe i'll learn to. i want to learn to. aber nicht heute abend und nicht heute nacht. the shades in front of the window filter the streetlights that are orange and static. can thinking about you make you thinking about me? it's mad but i want to meet laurie anderson. i want her opinion on things. on how to lead my life. i should hire somebody who protects me from myself. i'm thinking about you and your movements in the water and your dance deep in the sea. UNDER POLAR ICE CAPS MILES DOWN i need to hold on to something that floats. at least tonight. to compensate for a heart that refuses to stay at the surface.
[november 13, 2002]evening: i'm on the train back to b. the seminar went well although i'm really asking myself why on earth i'm spending the whole week preparing and structuring the session when i can throw away my outline after five minutes because the students are starting an unplanned heated debate. but it was fun. they really got involved. "which is something" no news from thomas. he'll return for a week from the states next week. wonder how meeting him again will turn out after all i've written to him in july... there's some sort of bowling club on the train: a huge group of mid 50s who apparently have problems hearing properly because their conversation consists solely of shouts and high pitched screamed laughter. anstrengend. it's almost 7pm. i'm hungry. didn't have a proper lunch today. sent a 200 lurkers cd to nicole and gave one to eva. blaine said that nicole had complained that i wouldn't really talking about how i am feeling. and then yesterday it was tina's (one of blaine's colleagues) birthday and i came into his office and she was sitting at the pc close to the door and there was a birthday cake on her desk and a bottle of champagne (the staff of prof. neumeier is drinking champagne constantly all the time permanently: at birthdays, at non-birthdays, when somebody has finished his|her dissertation, when it's a wednesday and so on...) anyway, i stretched out my hand and said "happy b-day" when tina got up and hugged me which kind of surprised me since i don't really know her. a couple of minutes later blaine and i were alone in the office and he looked into the monitor and shook his head in bewilderment and said: "hm, to let tina get up from her chair to hug you...!" and i replied "WHAT? should i have hugged her right away?" "sure..!" he insisted "...it's her birthday! and when it's people's birthday you hug them!" but i cannot hug a person who i don't really know, birthday or not, can i? especially when it's a woman. not that i object to being hugged by tina - she is quite attractive (even stunningly beautiful according to blaine) I would have NEVER taken the initiative!
and when they come up they're laughing and gasping for breath...the lights of the towns are dancing in the distance like little bugs. strange idea that people should be living in them, setting up christmas decorations, feeding cats, turning on the heat and the oven to make dinner. the tiredness after seminars is a good tiredness. it's the righteous gratification for having accomplished something - even if it's only confusing innocent students.
there are many whales in one white whale but the most beautiful white whale in one white whale is the second white whale: it is much larger and much whiter and the waves it makes are high as houses and large as mountains pacing across the water in slow motion.
[november 14, 2002]song of the day: david bowie, thursday's child. well, i'm really sort of a wired fellow! i was looking through the classifieds the other week to find a flat in cologne and i stumbled over an ad that read:
female/30/175/60 is looking for male who likes sports, has humour & brains, charme and taste... if you don't think that d&g is a washing powder and escada a hair color then write to me!and i thought "now THAT'S cool! finally someone who's self-conscious about her poststructuralist background. and funny as well: deleuze and guattari a washing powder..." however i had no idea who escada was but i wrote a couple of lines anyway, saying that i didn't actually like sports but had interests on a thousand other plateaus. i never got an answer. today i realized why: because the question is of course not WHO is escada but WHAT is it. it's a fashion brand. and of course the "d&g" in the ad did not refer to deleuze & guattari but to dolce & gabana! there you go! i'm too unworldly for this world... "nothing prepared me for your smile"
[november 15, 2002]went to town today to make a couple of photos for paula. it's her birthday next weeks and i wanted to attach her a photo of me with a couple of flowers since i can't send her any real ones. the photos came out and i was shocked! i'm looking old. and not half as attractive as i thought myself to be. worked on the hollow earth cd. went to rehearsal. tomorrow i'll meet with cedric & tara.
[november 16, 2002]it's one in the morning, so actually it's already november 17. tara & cedric have just left. we spent the evening dinning at the new chinese restaurant at central station, which is quite nice actually: comfortable chairs and the food was okay as well [that is if they managed to bring the right food] and of course they have put a couple of spelling mistakes on the menu [german customers expect spelling mistakes on menus in chinese restaurants: "those funny asians! they can't even speak german properly..."]. since it had been raining all day long and there was a fine film of water on the streets and on the cars cedric remarked that it sort of felt like in blade runner: the chinese waiters were talking in, well, chinese i guess and there was some pseudo-asian muzak snowing down on us softly and we were sitting in there next to a huge window pane that separated us from the rain and the wet rushing umbrellas outside and we expected harrison ford to run by every moment. it was a very nice evening, we had a lot of fun especially when tara started to set her chinese eating stick on fire to light a candle that was stuck in a high glass jar in the middle of the table.
they brought me a "monsters inc." puppet that is filled with - quote - "small, hard sweets" or "kleine, harte bonbons". the three of us agreed that this is a great name for a german punk band. unfortunately tara seemed to be quite troubled by problems she had with some colleagues at the university of t. and i realized once again how lucky i am with my job and the staff i can work with in cologne. thought a lot about somebody tonight and how she might be and her job and then tried to force myself to concentrate on the food. gonna get to bed now. i've got to prepare the texts for next week plus thomas will come back at the end of the week and i still need to do something to show my eagerness to work. blast - actually i wanted to ask tara & cedric's opinion on the question of whether or not i should give thomas a 200 lurkers cd. i think i want to record a new version of "cultural studies II". and i finally want to write|finish that song about thomas which - at least musically - seems to be very promising. i want to make music. i want to write. i want to see you again. i want to sleep.
[november 17, 2002]well, this is the perfect sunday morning to get out of bed, make yourself a hot cup of tea and get back into bed with a good book as fast as possible. it's cold and gray and raining and unfortunately i have to prepare the seminar and can't really get back to bed :o( but i'll make myself a coffe now have some cookies for brealfast, this usually cheers me up and hey! i just realized that i had forgotten about the good old mood-o-meter alltogether: weather: miserable. mood-o-meter: 3.9.
dreamt about cologne and the that i was running around ht euniversity talking to people and students who kept asking me questions when i i should have prepared the seminar.
"another day will make it clear why your stars should guide us here..." hm, this benjamin text is more complex than i remembered it to be. but quite visionary. in the meantime it's become evening. started to work on a new version of "cultural studies II". for this i imported daniel's old drum-track from 1998 plus the bass and the solo guitar track that rob had been playing. i'll add new guitars and vocals. you know, sometimes all these petty strategies i use when i've got to think about you remind me of the american 50s because it's just as helpless and ridiculous as those short newsreel clips in which the schoolchildren practice to "duck & cover" in case of an atomic bomb exploding nearby. and it's the perfect image. did you know that your heart contains more tnt than all bombs ever thrown? it's half past nine now. i'm going swimming. "sailing to philadelphia" on repeat all night long. "he calls me charlie mason, a stargazer am i. it seems that i was born to chart the evening sky. they'd cut me out for baking bread but i had other dreams instead this baker's boy from the west country would join the royal society." wish i could join the royal society as well. "we are sailing to philadelphia, a world away from the coaly tyne, sailing to philadelphia to draw the line, the mason dixon line..." this was among the songs we once covered for christmas. "another day will make it clear why your stars should guide us here" laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying laughing crying quersumme: singing.
[november 18, 2002]mood-o-meter: 2.1. it's paula's birthday today. random zürn quote of the day: "'Was willst du hier?' fragt sie den Freund, und sie lässt sich von ihm nach Hause führen, ratlos, beschämt, weil sie ihm niemals die Kraft zurückgeben kann, die er verbraucht, um sie in Wärme, Freundschaft, Ermutigung einzuhüllen, wie in einen warmen Mantel."
[november 19, 2002]argh, i've just prepared "rhizome" for two hours and i've made it up to page 6 from 25. sigh. and it's already half past ten and i'm tired so i'll continue tomorrow. the seminar went very well today. was fun. gonna read a bit of "wuthering heights" now and then i'll switch off the lights in the office and try to sleep, lulled to dreams by the humming of the three pcs...
[november 20, 2002]short entry after a long day. seminar went well, although not as well as it could have been. it's difficult to explain "rhizome" without subtracting the complexity of the thought and reducing it to a mere: that's what it means One. especially when you haven't understood the text yourself ;o)
got a new answer to the questionnaire! [to fill out the questionnaire click here. to read the answers that i've received so far click here]
[november 21, 2002]this morning the phone rang. it was blaine and he just called to tell me that he liked the 200 lurkers cd. which i thought was very nice of him. i was quite surprised because actually our musical taste is sort of, well, opposed. so today i'm going to make a presentable hollow earth cd rom version for thomas. i'll meet him in cologne tomorrow . for the first time in almost five months!
finished wuthering heights yesterday night. had a long discussion with blaine about the characters. he likes heathcliff very much and i think that he is the least likeable character in the novel. but maybe blaine is pretty fond of abusive, brute guys...?
[later]well, thomas flight got cancelled and he will arrive a day later. i won't go to cologne then tomorrow and will see him on monday then.
[november 22, 2002]grmph! actually i had planned to go to cologne today and to meet thomas. but yesterday i got a mail from bernd that thomas' flight got cancelled and that he will arrive on saturday. and i called cologne and talked to annemarie [our secretary] and she said: "yes, all appointments have been changed from friday to saturday." so i stayed in bielefed today. but then this afternoon i got a mail from blaine saying that thomas IS in cologne. he arrived at noon and i wasn't there. argh! then i tried to call thomas at the office but he had left already. so i called achim who was at the university but only after irene - who had met thomas by accident there - had called him and asked him why nobody was there to welcome thomas. achim said that annemarie knew that thomas would come this afternoon but she didn't let US know. and now i've got no chance to talk to thmas because he ahs left for aachen and i don't know where he lives there. chaos! i can only hope that he will call me tonight. because i have no idea what to do now. am i supposed to come to cologne tomorrow?
went swimming. wrote a long mail to paula. the first in two months i
think. told her about rediscovering laurie anderson and about how much
i was impressed by anderson's "dog show":
||"i dreamt i was a dog in a dog show and my father came to the dog show and he said: 'that's a really good dog i like that dog' and then all my friends came and i was thinking: no one has ever looked at me like this for so long no one has ever stared at me like this for so long for such a long time for so long."|
[november 23, 2002]called thomas this morning because i knew that he'd be in cologne and asked him whether i should come to c. and he said yes, it would be good if we could do a hollow earth meeting - since it was already 9 o'clock and i wasn't really prepared to go i packed all my things in a hurry and burned a cd with all the hollow earth data and ran for the station to catch the train. halfway between home and station i realized that i had forgotten the cd. it was still lying on my desk so i turned around and ran home - swearing - took the cd and prayed that i'd still catch the train. when i arrived at the platform out of breath it was crowded with drunken shouting football fans and a voice announced over the speakers that the train would have a 30 minutes delay. so i took the ICE which is much more expensive but faster and more comfortable. so i'll be in c. at 13h and at the university at 13:30, talk to thomas for a couple of hours and then return to make the same trip on monday morning - i know, i know: insert blaine's hand gesture for cologne. at least the weather is fine: sun, blue sky, crisp air. i'm nervous, the eternal complex of inferiority that thomas is inducing is creeping up my back.
[later]sitting at cologne station waiting for the train. it was as if thomas had never been away - we worked on the hollow earth cd and as usual he came up with a thousand small changes that will result in a lot of work. we had dinner then together and now i'm going back home. when i was stepping out of the underground and into the big hall of cologne central station it was one of those almost magical moments - i was listening to "sailing to philadelphia" and james taylor was just singing "a stargazer am i, it seems that i was born to chart the evening sky" when i looked up and saw that they had dimmed the neon lights of the entrance hall and had projected a night sky onto the ceiling complete with crescent moon and stars and it looked so beautiful and the music was so perfect that it turned the moment into a line by suzanne or a chocolate cookie or a kiss even. a tender trick of reality. i think i will give thomas a 200 lurkers cd. "There is always something ridiculous about emotions of people whom one has ceased to love..." the narrator in dorian gray states - and i suppose he's right. "and i said: listen, i've got a vision. i see myself as part of a long tradition of american humor. you know - bugs bunny, daffy duck, porky pig, elmer fudd, roadrunner, yosamite sam." [laurie anderson, "yankee see"]
[november 24, 2002]worked all day on cultural studies ii, recording guitar and keyboard tracks. tomorrow: cologne. tonight: packing and swimming. not much to report.
[november 25, 2002]a monday night in cologne: office warm & quiet, corridors empty and the main light switched off. i'm listening to a couple of belle & sebastian songs that i've downloaded and they're so great that i ache to just return home and take my guitar and finish "cultural studies ii" and then write a thousand more songs and then go out and play them. yes, that is the only thing i really want to do. such a great sound: transparent and light, yet grave and sort of sentimental, 60s easy listening with awesome melodies. what good is making songs when you can't really perform them, when you don't really have the chance to distribute them, to make people listen to them? it's frustrating.
i might stay until friday. we'll do a staff club tour on thursday night. but if i'll really stay until friday i'll have to buy another pair of trousers at h&m.
yes. writing songs. period.
[later]it's 22:00, watched a video and now there's just one lamp burning, the red lights of cars as they slowly pass down the street in the distance. my necklace is lying in on the desk right in front of me and it's shimmering in the light and next to it a print out of an article by thomas and a pencil and some floppy disks and michel serres' birth of physics and a used underground ticket and my heart while in my back the chorus of a belle & sebastian song makes me unfold while being pulled up the ceiling by beauty. i don't want this. i hadn't planned this. this is nothing like i thought it would be. "Mary Jo, living alone | Drinking tea, on her own | She wants, I don't know what you want | Mary Jo, living alone | Drinking gin and the telly's on | She wants | The night to follow day and back again | She doesn't want to sleep | Well, who could blame her if she wants? | The night to follow day and back again | She doesn't want to sleep | Well, who could blame her, if she sleeps? | Well, who could blame her, if she sleeps? | Well, who could blame her, if she's sleeping? | Mary Jo, back with yourself | For company, keep telling yourself you're young | It'll happen soon | Mary Jo, no one can guess | What you've been through | Now you've got love to burn | It's someone else's turn to go through hell | And you can see them come from twenty yards | Yeah you can tell | It's someone else's turn to take a fall | And now you are the one who's strong enough to help them | The one who's strong enough to help them | The one who's strong enough to help them all | Mary Jo, you're looking thin | You're reading a book, 'The State I Am In' | But oh, it doesn't help at all | I guess what you want is a cigarette | And a thespian with a caravanette in Hull | Your life is never dull in your dreams | A pity that it never seems to work the way you see it | Life is never dull in your head | A sorry tale of action and the men you left for | Women, and the men you left for | Intrigue, and the men you left for dead" loss of words. as unusual. no words. three are pressing to the screen.
[november 26, 2002]busy day. had breakfast with thomas and blaine who came in at 8 in the morning when i'd already been working for an hour. we discussed music at length just to agree [once again and as usual] that we don't agree. it's 22h already, thought i might as well watch a video to brighten me up a little - decided for barton fink. great film. i'm pretty tired since thomas came up with various things today that needed to be done. anyway, see you tomorrow.
[november 27, 2002]more great belle and sebastian tracks: "sleep the clock around". great, great, great! bernd wrote a very nice mail concerning "200 lurkers" - he's listened to the cd and said that he really, really liked it. da da da da da da, da da da da da da, da da da da da da, da da da da da da. what a melody! what a rhythm! what a song. it's exactly the sound i had always imagined for that very old chord pattern that we had found once, the rolling rhythm track, the one that has just three chords but is great nonetheless. guess i know wat i will do on the weekend.
this week with thomas is rather intense - but it's fun. and it's quite an experience to camp out in the office for an entire week. tomorrow night we will all go out and have some sort of staff meeting, partly because thomas is back [temporarily] and partly because martin will have finished his exam tomorrow. he, achim, nicole and i had an interessting discussion this afternoon in the cafeteria about rhizome and achim asked me whether i had written all those things myself that i had sent to martin in answer to a mail in which he asked me about my perspective on "n-1" [see entry for november 7]because they sounded so almost ready to be printed. felt extremely flattered!
tonight i watched the big sleep which fitted quite nicely to barton fink. the seminar was okay. topic today: how to write term papers and essays. i'm tired now, my eyes are aching although i didn't wear the contacts all day. well, why don't you tell me a little bit about you? or write me a small story. little laurie-anderson-one-paragraph-funny-allegory-like-lyrics that i can post here?
i wish i could listen to this with you.
And the moment will come when
Put a face on the world, turn your back to the wall
And you walk twenty yards with your head in the air
Down the Liberty Hill, where the fashion brigade
Look with curious eyes on your raggedy way
And for once in your life you have nothing to say
And could this be the time when somebody will come
To say, "Look at yourself, you're not much use to anyone"
Take a walk in the park, take
a valium pill
Read the letter you got from the memory girl
But it takes more than this to make sense of the day
Yeah it takes more than milk to get rid of the taste
And you trusted to this, and you trusted to that
And when you saw it all come, it was waving the flag
Of the United States of Calamity, hey!
After all that you've done boy, Im sure you're going to pay
In the morning you come to
the ladies salon
To get all fitted out for The Paperback Throne
But the people are living far away from the place
Where you wanted to help, it's a bit of a waste
And the puzzle will last till somebody will say
"There's a lot to be done while your head is still young"
If you put down your pen, leave your worries behind
Then the moment will come, and the memory will shine
Now the trouble is over, everybody
Everybody is happy, they are glad that they came
Then you go to the place where you've finally found
You can look at yourself sleep the clock around
[november 28, 2002]another work-packed day. everytime i'm thinking to myself that i 'll sit down and work on that media lecture thomas is storming into the room with a new kind of work. but that's okay - i don't really feel like working on that lecture anyway. this morning i had breakfast with blaine and thomas and we talked about buttler & deleuze and this afternoon i had lunch with him and we had quitea private conversation about being creative and about doing things that are not work. thoimas argued that he is only working because he can this best. he isn't painting or making music because he's not good enough. and he doesn't feel like really wanting it. he said he just wasn't creative. which, of course, is not true - i told him that he is master of repression and he nodded and said: "of course i am!"
part of my tasks today was to make a list with thomas' publications from 2002 and i came across that book that he had contributed an article for: Postmodernism and the Fin de Siecle edited by alfred hornung. in his article he wrote something about a certain painting and i remembered how the two of us had been sitting in the office trying to find this image on the net because he wanted it to go along with the article. but we only found a version that had writing in the upper left corner: some words were written across the sky promoting a web-site or something. but thomas said that he wouldn't mind and that i should try to erase them in a graphic-program, which i did: we copied a piece of the sky without letters and put it onto the writing and then we altered the colors a little because thomas didn't like them and we "painted" a couple of new clouds above those parts of the sky where you could see our manipulation and then we leaned back and actually liked our result better than the original. three weeks later thomas came into the office, laughing his head off. because the publishers liked the painting so much that they had put it on the cover of the book. and they even took our improved image without noticing that we had manipulated it. anyway, i thought that that's a very funny story but maybe you should have been there...
tonight we're all going to some bar. tomorrow i'll return to b. plan for the weekend: friday night: go swimming, saturday: work on thomas' articles (which have to be formated), finish the recordings for "cultural studies ii", go swimming. sunday: finish the articles, mix "cultural studies ii", go swimming. monday: return to cologne and stay till wednesday. then start preparing the lecture [it's high time by then], work on the hollow earth, prepare christmas :o( . i don't think that i will be in more of a christmas mood than last year. but we'll see.
][later]it's too in the morning. my tongue is numb from the drinks. line to remember: they taught us that we should only tap the rhythm inside our shoes (thomas about his experience playing in a brass band!) i don't know why i'm always shedding tears on the way home. listened to "sleep the clock around" on repeat while walking 'home' to the university. got to sleep now. tired. tired. tire. you are not here. you are not somewhere outside. who is you? you know who you are. you know who i am. do you? i had too many cuba libre. i had too many "kölsch". git to get up in five hours and work. want to be with you now. belive me? wish i could talk to you know. honest. that's just a little confession but it's true enough. thwere ain't much more to say.
[november 30, 2002]sorry for not writing yesterday. "and for once in your life you've got nothing to say..." drove back to b. yesterday and took a long, hot shower. cedric popped in for a short visit in the evening. went to town today to get a ticket for next week and some hair color. worked on "cultural studies ii" which i hope to finish this weekend.
[later]recorded. went swimming. best song of the day, was sach ich, best song i've heard the entire year: "the state that i'm in" by belle & sebastian. thought that i might do an online advent calendar starting from tomorrow. it's just a pity that sound files are so big, otherwise it would feature masses of great songs i'd love to share with you. had some ideas for lyrics when i was standing in line at the counter at the station this noon. there are at least two new songs that i want to finish the next weeks: the one with the great chord pattern and the other one with the great chord pattern. all in all the 200 lurkers cd would then have 12 songs and it would be a complete album. i need a label ;o) or people who recommend the music. so don't hesitate! sit down today and write a mail to five of your friends instructing them to check out 200 lurkers. did i already say that i decided to give thomas a cd. i'm just wanting to have finished "csii". in other news: work from cologne. nicole called. she's sick and lying in bed and wanted to talk to somebody. but i wasn't in when she phoned and now it's too late to call back. blaine's colleague [who's doing her phd thesis under thomas' guidance] has troubles with thomas', well, way to handle things and persons sometimes and wrote a mail asking for my advice. strange situation. this weekend is just too short. i still haven't worked on the lecture :o((( pretty bad! martin has passed his exams on friday. he got a a in literature, which gave me some sense of satisfaction as well because we had been discussing his thesis and the texts it was based on at length. also, and this is really something i'm glad about, the music of 200 lurkers seems to have some sort of inspiring effect: blaine has started to write songs again and bernd said that we got to meet and that i'd have to introduce him to the recording program i'm using. so on friday martin, bernd and i thought of making a music week end on which we meet in aachen and exchange our musical know how. oh well, i'm not really in a writing mood today. wish i could describe what some of the b&s songs do to me! i can't understand that thomas doesn't have, doesn't know these kind of songs that make you want, that make you desire. well, at least he says so. or maybe it's *me* who is strange? anyway, new month tomorrow. same life. it's almost a year now. no healing. just a lot of hurting. tried not to write about it too much. when i wrote to paule the other week i complained:
but what's worse: i'm catching myself lying about how i'm feeling out of fear that my friends might start losing their patience. so when they ask me how i'm doing and it's one of these days when you think that nothing will ever be right again i'm not saying: "well, i feel like on one of these days when you think that nothing will ever be right again..." but simply: "fine."there's just one word that appropriately sums up what i keep thinking as soon as i start to consider my life so far:mfmumcmk