[november 01, 2003 - pages made of days of open hand...]hi there. long time no see. it's saturday night, 23:15, and a lot of things have piled up. most of them hard to write down. for various reasons. i've spent the day watching tv and correcting term papers. it's been raining since the morning and i did not go outside.
yesterday night when i got home i had a message from reiner (the nerve bible bass player from bielefeld) on my answering machine. he asked me to call him back. at first i was a little worried and thought that he might be pissed off that i canceled our recordings in the studio and that i said that i did not have any time to come to bielefeld for rehearsal until christmas. but when i called him back he told me that he had given the 200 lurkers version of 'headcrash' to newtone. newtone is the management that produces the "soundz of the city" sampler in bielefeld, and actually we wanted to make a studio recording of 'headcrash' so they can put the song onto the sampler. so now reiner has taken the 200 lurkers cd to a studio where they enhanced and mastered my version of the song and it will be featured, as a nerve bible song, on the cd. which is great, of course!
it's thomas' birthday on monday. yesterday evening princess superstar and i have been hunting for a present downtown. actually we wanted to get him a small fridge for his office, because he keeps complaining about the food in the cafeteria and he has started bringing sandwiches from home to work. and he said that he was thinking of putting a small fridge into his office where he can store milk and müsli. but after three hours of extensive search in overcrowded stores we could not find the proper fridge. so we bought a dvd (radiohead) and a shania twain single :o)
the day before we had been to a small store where you can get balloons and luftschlangen because we have planned to make his birthday as uncomfortable and embarrassing as possible: prof. f. has agreed to lure him out of the office. and while they are having a coffee, we will decorate his office with balloons and a cake with 47 candles.
a propos office: we have reorganized our messy office. we have thrown away tons of old stuff, rearranged the furniture and - hey! - suddenly you can see the floor again! it looks great. there's more space now, more air. it took us an entire day to sort the important from the unimportant stuff and in the end not much remaind in the drawers and shelves. which is good. it's like a clean start. it's probably a good thing if you're planning to get right into your dissertation to start with a clean and tidy desk.
also we suddenly have to spend a lot of money again by the end of the month. so we're going to get another i-book and a dvd player that matches the new beamer :o). it's stupid, but if we don't spend all the money we will get less funding next year. by the way: the seminar seems to go well. i have started to tape the poetry lectures that thomas is doing. he doesn't know it, so don't tell him. last thursday there was a kind of awkward moment in the colloquium. we were discussing "rhizome" when suddenly the door opened and two students from the room next door came in and asked whether they could get two chairs. "hm, actually we're just in the middle of a discussion" thomas said but they were already carrying two chairs out of the room. two seconds later another student opened the door, looked in and thomas said "we're having a seminar right now" but she did not really mind and fetched a chair. she had just closed the door and we wanted to resume the discussion when yet another student came in and looked into the room. and suddenly thomas' mood changed. almost unnoticeably, but he went very angry and just said: "i don't think so!" he didn't say it in an angry tone or with a loud voice but i could see in his eyes that he was mad. i'm not sure whether anybody else in the room noticed it. maybe bernd. but suddenly a heat wave rushed up to my head and i couldn't look at him, i did not dare to look up, i just stared onto the text, hoping that daddy's mood would improve soon. very weird.
there is something else that has bothered me the last couple of days, and i don't really know how to write about it. "maybe..." the princess suggested the other day "...if you pretend that this has happened to a friend of yours..." but that's not a very satisfying solution, either. well, the point is that the ex-boyfriend of x has an anger management problem. and when she told him about me he really freaked out, calling her names and threatening her. he said he'd kill me. "you know..." the princess said "...i'm really worried! what if he will wait for you at the university and beat you up?!?? i have already enacted this in my mind and i think the first think i will do is run and get prof. f.! he's a big and strong guy!" x has even left town for a couple of days.
when she told me about how he had reacted i was appalled. because if there is something that i cannot accept than it's violence or any kind of aggressive behavior. that's just something i cannot and will not deal with. but then i remembered that i had myself written to somebody that i would kill oliver. and all of a sudden i felt guilty and thought about that i hadn't acted in a fair manner back then. i guess she knew that it was just rhetorics but still - . oh well, i don't know. the whole situation just started an avalanche of worries and emotions and memories. i had wished that x and i could have a clean start. without worries, without connections to the past of the both of us. and now the lightness is gone. it's less playful and more serious all of a sudden. graver.
anyway. it's almost twelve o'clock now and i think i'll go to sleep now. have to prepare the seminar tomorrow and correct some term papers. good night.
[november 2, 2003 - through the park in the afternoon, wondering where the hell i have been...]a gray november sunday afternoon. prepared the session on poetry today. discovered a park just where i live. well, "park" is probably not the right term. it's a large piece of the city that has no houses but tress and lawn. went walking there for about an hour this afternoon, which was good to get some fresh air. i need to move more.
when i left the park i went down the avenue to get some bread from the turkish bakery that is down the street and while i was walking through the rows of houses i was listening to weaklazyliar's brilliant version of suzanne's "cracking". and it was autumn and the leaves were falling and i knew that x would come over tonight and i was happy.
[november 3, 2003 - happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday , dear thooomaaaaaas, happy birthday to you!]it's monday night, i'm still sitting in the office, eating the rest of thomas' birthday chocolate cake. our little surprise party went pretty well this morning. although thomas was stuck in the underground and came much later than usual, which almost blew our plan. however thanks to prof f. we managed to prepare everything before he entered the office. he unlocked the door behind which we were waiting and he took revenge by playing the shania twain cd for the next hour continuously.
yesterday night x came over and stayed the night. we ordered pizza and i showed her some old photos. i don't know - i think sahand was right when he said that i can never truely be happy. there is always a trace of melancholia, even in the most blissful moments. when i was holding her in my arms yesterday night, in a room full of candles and with music playing and feeling her naked skin on my naked skin and feeling her heart beating and how she was breathing and how her hair tickled my shoulders and knowing that she would stay the whole night and that i would hear her regular breath when i wake up in the middle of the night - even this perfect moment made me sad. because i wanted it to last forever. to always be so near to someone, to always feel the warmth of someone, to always dwell in that perfect smell of someone. yes - i guess i'm quite afraid of losing. the moments are so beautiful that they don't seem to be for me. i don't trust. that's it! ich traue dem braten nicht. i don't trust the situation, can't imagine that anybody might perhaps love me or enjoy being together with me. i think that's the worst thing about the whole miserable end of my former relationship: i have to learn to trust again. to relax.
a thunderstorm is sweeping over the city and from the big windows in the officei can see the flashes lighting up the horizon, letting the trees and buildings appear for a short moment and then they're lost in the dark again. and WOW the lightning just hit VERY closely, there was a great boom and the streetlights were flickering.
[later]i'm home. it's 21:30 and on my way back home i've been listening to an old md and suddenly "breathing water" started to play and i realized: yes, that's it exactly: "i have trusted you. like you trusted your father. and now i am breathing water." great song! :o)
[november 4, 2003 - no one knows how it started / and god knows how it'll end / the fighting continues: women versus men]tuesday night. tea steaming. heating gurgling. yesterday, when we were standing in thomas' office having birthday cake and coffee, princess superstar said to him: "thomas, i've heard that you've got to spent a lot of money by the end of the month. so i was wondering what you think of the idea to buy an advent wreath for the office of achim, nina and philipp..." when we were shopping things to decorate thomas' office, the princess and i saw a great advent wreath that was basically something that resembled bare twigs woven into each other and they were sprinkled with thousands of little glass stones. which looked really classy. unfortunately it costs 32 euros, too much for us to spend privately. so she just took the chance and asked him. "well, fat chance!" i thought BUT: what happened this morning? thomas came into our office, took a 50 euro note, gave it to me and said: "but DO tell her that the money is from the funding and not from me!..." so on thursday the princess and i will buy the advent wreath and some candles for our office, sponsored by thomas! miracles DO happen!
thank god we did not buy a fridge for thomas' office. because what did his wife gave him as a present: a fridge for the office. when he was leaning in the office door this afternoon, with one third of his mind talking to nina and me, with one third scanning the corridor for people to come to his office hours and with one third working on a brilliant article or tomorrow's lecture, nina asked him: "but why exactly do you need a fridge for your muesli?" and he said: "well, technically speaking i don't need it for the cereals, i need it for the milk. i can only stand milk when it's really, really cold. and i also add fresh fruits to the cereals: apples and strawberries and bananas. and these, too, have to be really, really cold. so i keep them in the fridge. at home i even deep freeze them for five minutes before i add them to the muesli. actually i don't really like fruits. i don't eat them raw. only when they're really cold. when they're warm, they're too soft and juicy and the juice drips down your fingers and runs down your hands and it's all sticky..." he was shuddering "it's disgusting!" okay, you tell me what you eat and i tell you what neurosis you have got.
i've bought a new lamp for the ceiling. a star shaped lampshade with an oriental pattern. looks quite nice and gives a soft, warm light. when i met x at the university this afternoon she asked whether she could spend the night at my place and i was glad that she had asked. had dinner with blaine at the cafeteria. and just the now the doorbell has been ringing. see you.
[november 5, 2003 - they say that heaven is like tv...]i'm sooooo tired. i came home today, dropped down onto the couch - almost dead - and fell asleep in front of the tv instantly. woke up when the power was gone for a second, and when it came back on again my pc rebooted loudly and the answering machine kept beeping. it's 21:12 now [oh, the beauty of numbers!] and laurie anderson is singing "gravity's angel". i've just talked to x on the phone and while her voice was close but the rest of her in another part of the city i suddenly realized how much i missed holding her: the luxury of being cuddled closely to a warm, soft body at night.thomas got an iMac for his office today. "why can't apple design the entire world?!??" he asked me with watery eyes when the computer was standing on his desk in all its glory, a little electric nimbus around it. when we were eating chocolate marshmallows the other day in the office he suddenly said: "you know, when you have eaten one or two of these..." and he held one marshmallow in the air "...and you drink some sparkling water right afterwards it makes you feel as if your mouth would explode!" sometimes thomas frightens me.
[november 6, 2003 - sometimes i forget which text i'm in...]just a short note. received a feedback concerning the 200 lurkers from italy :o). in italian:
Un cd splendido, malinconico, un pezzo di vita in cui tutti possono rispecchiarsi. Mi sono tornati in mente tanti momenti passati, alcuni tristi, altri allegri, un viaggio introspettivo a tutti gli effetti. A tratti mi sono tornati alla mente anche altri artisti, primi fra tutti Simon & Garfunkel, con la loro musica dalla grande capacità comunicativa. Scaricate tutte le tracce, e leggete da dove sono nate o da cosa sono state ispirate le canzoni, non ne resterete delusi. Thanks a lot Philipp, much respect to you! =)another day at the university that went by much too fast. in the colloquium today: rhizome part II. was great. it's 23:10, time for the late show and my bed. x will come by later tonight (she's on a concert). tomorrow: more university and even on saturday: university. got to watch over the people who are writing their final exams. from eight to one :o( but later x and i will probably go for a long walk in what will hopefully turn out to be a beautiful autumn day. actually i ahd declared thursdays and fridays to be dissertation days. which did not really work today. partly because thomas comes storming into the office every ten minutes and has some work to do like copying or searching for books or printing stuff. and i'm grateful that he's disturbing continuously - otherwise i would have to start writing. and i have no idea how or what.
[november 10, 2003 - wake me up when we get home. it will be your turn to rest]my entire body is aching as if i had run a 1000 miles run this weekend. a lot has happened. don't know whether it's appropriate to write about it or even how it could be written about. spent the last two days in a kind of constant tension, guess that's why i'm aching all over now. it's monday night. and here's something that i have written on saturday morning when i was invigilating the written exams for four hours:
great - sitting in a windowless, small room with 25 students who are all brooding over their written exams - and still two hours to go. i'm so tired! tired of preparing next week's session and i realized [once again] when i read "lady lazarus" and then the essays about it that i've copied that i don't have a single grain of gift for dealing with literature. have a bad conscience because x came by thursday night and we stayed in bed until four in the afternoon on friday. so obviously and very predictably i did not really di what the term "dissertation day" implies. however i managed to correct some term papers. which was SOMEthing.so that's from saturday. silver lining of today: the special edition of suzy's "retrospective" has arrived: two cds and a dvd in a great package! saw the video for "book and a cover" for the first time - eerie, because it somehow foreshadows the 9|11 catastrophe. no wonder that it was never aired! here are two photos from the package that were probably shot in jack hardy's apartment in nyc where the "songwriter's exchange" meets each week:
had a small fit of panic yesterday when i realized that i haven't written a song in months and that all the good ideas that i've had the last weeks are still diamonds in the rough and will not be cut to brilliancy in a long time. there's not enough time for my life. it doesn't really fit into the days and nights and i'm wasting way too much time for recovering and being stupidly lazy. what happened to my big plans to start performing again and putting together a solo set once i'm in cologne ?!?!!? i've almost forgotten how to play all those 200 lurkers songs! sahand is right: i will never be happy.
i had weird dreams tonight: can't remember the plot, only that thomas was the protagonist. "whales are the trains of the sea" there's a continuous white noise in the room coming from the air conditioning. i'm happy now but the worries whether it will stay this way seems to spoil all the fun: i can't live in|for the moment. i've got a constant future with me.
everybody is writing in a frenzy, filling page after page in a kind of trance, shaking their hands from time to time, biting the pens, looking at the ceiling, frowning, then jumping right back into another paragraph and they're all answering the questions they have to answer. i wish i had a question to answer. maybe this is the secret? maybe this would help! maybe i should formulate five or six questions for each chapter of the dissertation??
[november 11, 2003 - all i ever wanted | was just to come in from the cold...]tuesday evening, 17:17. i'm still at the office. the seminar went well. we did stein and cummings. they don't like stein. "but" they moaned, "where's the meaning? a child could write this!" it is really homely in the office. it's gotten dark outside, i've got my lightchain on and joni mitchell is singing and in the middle of the room the new adventskrantz is shimmering in the soft light of a tablelamp that is shining down upon it. the wreath is made of little branches that are coverd over and over with tiny strass stones, breaking the light into all colors of the rainbow. in the middle are four candles [white and gray and in different heights] and the whole assemblage is placed on a big silver plate. looks very cool and stylish. wish i had a camera to take a picture.
"this morning..." i was telling blaine and princess superstar this afternoon when we stood in line to pay for our coffee "...mr. sensitive entered the office and said..." "wait..." blaine intrupted, "...who's mr. sensitive?" the princess was rolling her eyes: "well, WHO could be mr. sensitive?!?! thomas of course!" blaine shrugged his shoulders "okay..." and i continued "so mr. s. came into the office..." and to understand the following it's important to know that he and his wife had been to a radiohead concert in oberhausen yesterday night. and i didn't join them. basically for two reasons. first of all i did not want to meet somebody, and i figured that the chances to meet her and him there were pretty high, since she's as much a radiohead fan as i am. and second, because - and this may sound weird - it is always almost unbearable for me to be at concerts because my heart is bleeding, for i'm thinking: "i wish *i* could be up there now and make music. i wish *i* could do this as well. i wish *i* were them!" which seems to be an odd idea, but thank god i'm not the only one who has such thoughts: blaine is thinking the same when he's at concerts. so that's why the both of us don't *really* like to see live acts.
anyway, so thomas and his wife had been to radiohead yesterday and this morning mr. sensible came storming into the office and said: "good for you that you weren't there yesterday night!" and i instantly knew why but still asked: "why?" "because..." he said "sahar [his wife] met an acquaintance..." thanks for telling me, thomas! so somebody had been there and my instinct had been right. it hurt a little. like when you're deep in thoughts and you're scratching an old wound that had almost healed.
[november 12, 2003 - there's nothing like | you and i | baby]it's 20:32, i'm sitting in the office waiting for the film to end that the students are watching downstairs for thomas' seminar. i'm cold. it's totally dark outside and my belly aches. i've eaten two apples and on top of that m&ms. it's been a busy day again and i did not even get to THINK about my dissertation. better so. had basic doubts about what i'm doing again this morning. when i talked to blaine in the cafeteria about it he leaned back and looked at me and said: "jesus! you're worse than i am!"
i want things to be easy again. nothing seems to be easy. where have all the easy things vanished to? everything's complicated. not even complex. i can deal with complex things, but they are complicated. sigh. i'm tired. i feel like being sixty years old. i hate my body and the last truly original idea i had was when... i can't even remember when. it feels like everything i am is slowly fading away. no - that's not quite true. i feel a familiar closeness and a letting go when i'm with her.
but i don't want to complain... yeah, right! i'm a hopeless case.
[later]"you leave you echoes in the water...one white whale in all these oceans one white whale..." it's 22:04 in the meantime. it almost took me an entire hour to return home, waiting on windy platforms for trains that were delayed. now i'm home. candles burning, laurie singing. i'm tired of being strained and high strung and tensed. "i grow old, i grow old. i shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. shall i part my hair behind? do i dare to eat a peach? i shall wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach. i have heard the mermaids singing each to each. i do not think that they will sing to me..." the water on the little pot on the little stove in my little kitchen is slowly starting to oil: i don't really have anything to eat so i'm fixing myself some noodles with ketchup. yummy!
thomas' lecture today was great again: walt whitman, part II. it's so stupid. it's so silly and i shouldn't really tell you about it, but when the session was ending and he pulled out the highlights from "song of myself" and read them and analyzed them and put them into a context of atomist philosophy and then read aloud: "i contradict myself? very well then i contradict myself. i am large. i contain multitudes" tears were shooting into my eyes because it was so great! and i couldn't decide what exactly was so moving? the words? or whitman? or thomas? or the combination? or the feeling of understanding?
[november 17, 2003 - we are stardust, we are golden...]i'm sorry, i'm sorry, i'm sorry! i meant to update the journal the past days but there was not time or time seemed to be too precious or there were other reasons. it's almost nine at night, i'm still in the office because i'm screening another film downstairs. guess i'll only be home at ten or so, so i don't really think that i'll manage to write much more tonight. but tomorrow! i promise: tomorrow!
[november 18, 2003 - people say she's crazy she got diamonds on the soles of her shoes...]it's paula's birthday today! and to celebrate this i was wearing her yankton college t-shirt all day long. it's tuesday night, ten to nine. when i got home about an hour ago i fixed myself something ... [and just when i was writing these words my mobile phone was beeping and i received a short message from x: "don't forget paula's birthday! talk to you later!"] ... so when i was came home i fixed myself something to eat and watched spongebob and fell asleep during the second episode! this never happens! i usually don't fall asleep when i'm watching tv, but for some reason i was so tired that i just dozed away. feel like catching a cold. my throat is aching at night and during the day i feel dizzy from time to time as if i had a slight fever. i'm probably all healthy and just like to whine a little... [by the way, the picture shows mine and the princess' attempt to draw spongebob and his friend patrick...]
the seminar went fairly well today: we discussed plath and i played the ryan adams song to them, which seemed to impress the students. well, they won't be any longer when we're analyzing "ironbound/fancy poultry" by suzanne in one of the next sessions :o) thomas is in best mood each day: it's a little scary. today he made a great discovery. while watching "mulholland drive" he spotted a scene in which the protagonist passes the gates of the universal film studios in hollywood, and in the short pan across the entrance to the studio (which is not longer than two or three seconds) you see an oldtimer car parked in the driveway and a chauffeur standing next to it. which is, of course, a direct quotation from "sunset boulevard". now, the princess is planning to compare the two films for her final thesis and she has been looking for parallels for quite some time so today thomas surprised her with this little detail and when she entered the office he just said: 1:10:17 (the moment in mullholand drive where the above mentioned scene starts) and only repeated "1:10:17" and the princess was at a complete loss and it took almost half an hour until she had found out what thomas meant. it was hilarious! it was mean, all right, but hilarious still!
the other day he was a complete mr. sensitive again when he called me into his office because he was fighting with a word document. he wanted to switch off the automatic hyphenation, and what follows makes only sense in german: "wie krieg ich die scheiss silbentrennung hier raus?" fragte er mich und machte platz, damit ich an den computer konnte. "schau du doch mal, mit trennung kennst du dich doch aus..." thank you, thomas!
spent the whole weekend with x. which felt so familiar and new that it really puzzled me. it feels right. which is strange because i was so convinced that things would NEVER feel right again. but from time to time they do. little pockets of rightness. local and temporal rightness. a breathing. a resting and being thrown back into the waves. unfortunately the weather was rather bad the whole weekend, so apart from walking through the rain for two hours we spent most of the time indoors and most of the time indoors we spent in bed. x had mentioned that she didn't knew "vertigo" so i and the princess watched the film with her, and you know, it's that kind of film where you constantly wish that you DIDN'T know yet how the plot will develop and thus the princess and i were sort of thrilled that x didn't know what would happen and we enjoyed the film all the more. only that after one third x suddenly cried out: "wait! i think i DO know the film! she's only faking her death, isn't she?!?"
the other day we were watching mtv when the new video by the german band "die ärzte" came on, and it is filmed in black and white in the setting of a famous 70s game show: "dalli dalli". and i thought this was a nice idea and said to x (who is three years younger than i am): "look, that's nice! do you remember the set?" and it was more a rhetorical question but to my surprise she hesitated and said "sure, it's from, ehm, it's from... ehm, isn't it from... oh i don't know!" and i was shocked and suddenly felt very, very old. "it's from dalli dalli!" i said! "from dalli dalli! don't you remember dalli dalli? but you DO remember the tv presenter??" which she didn't. which was another shock. because he was famous for jumping into the air and shouting when the audience was applauding. "hans rosenthal!" i tried to make her remember. "oh yes!" she said and her face brightened, "wasn't he the one who jumped into the air and shouted: 'wir sind der meinung, das war super!'???" at this point i broke together. because he was always shouting: "wir sind der meinung, das war spitze" and not "das war super". and i felt sooooo old. however, x topped that when i was choosing a cd and i was asking her: "by the way, do you like kate bush?" and she said: "i don't know. guess i first have to listen to her..." sooooooooooo old.
in other news: this weekend we'll go to bernd's birthday party in aachen. "we" is me and the princess. we will stay at thomas' place and i'm really looking forward to it. the princess will meet thomas' wife for the first time, and i guess that they will like each other very much. also, i have planned to ask keyla and dalia (his daughters, about 6 and four years old) to sing along to the chorus of "breathing water" - i can tape it then and mix it into the track. should make a great effect. because children's voices would really fit to the lyrics, i think.
we will try to get a first-aid package as a present for bernd. because he had a kind of strange experience which really made him worry about his responsibility for his students: he is doing a seminar called "the body horror" in which he's dealing with the fragmented and wounded body as a metaphor. and he's also watching splatter films and generally films with a high amount of violence. films that i would not stand watching. but then i'm not in his seminar. so he HAS warned people that some of the films might be a little "on the edge". and the other week a student fainted while watching one of these films. bernd didn't really notice because the room was overcrowded (he has 80 participants) and dark so he only learned about the incident a week later. the student simply passed out. she's fine now - although she has quit the seminar - but he is very worried what might have happened if she had hurt herself. he made the mistake of telling thomas about it. of course you can imagine that every second remark that thomas is making to him now is about fainting or passing out. so thomas suggested to give bernd a first aid package in case more of his students would lose consciousness.
[november 19, 2003 - in early memory mission music was ringing around my nursery door]wednesday night, 22:06. wanna hear another stupid story? i was zapping through the channels last night and i came across that great wheezer video for their song "island in the sun" - really charming with lots of cute baby animals. plus the song is great as well. so i was sort of melancholic about my not-making-any-music-for-a-long-time [did i mention that the guy from the record label hasn't called for weeks now?] and then i switched the channel and suddenly the face of thom yorke was looking at me. he was sitting with an acoustic guitar on a chair, singing my favorite song from hail to the thief: "there there". and his voice left his body with such an ease, it was pouring out of him effortlessly as if he was simply breathing and not singing and the guitar rif was so simple but so beautiful, i don't know in which weird ways his guitar was tuned but he was only sliding with one finger over the neck of the guitar and it sounded AWESOME! and again it seemed to be so simple and natural and effortless and without any strain, the song just happened, unfolded softly. i switched out the tv because i couldn't stand it.
[november 20, 2003 - all the ladies go moist and the judge has no choice: a singer must die for the lie in his voice...]busy day. x came to stay at my place last night, but since she's on night shift it was 3:30 in the morning when she arrived. today the princess and i ran through town for two hours hunting for a present for bernd. without success. the colloquium was hell. we started discussing "the fold" by deleuze and actually i had thought that - since i have SOME idea what deleuze is up to and what is agenda is because of thomas' seminars and lectures - that i would sort of understand it. had to think again. i had to realize that i am just too slow in my thinking. "the vertical spiral neither retains nor defers inflection without also promoting it and making it irresistible, in a transversal sense: a turbulence that is never produced on its own, whose spiral follows a fractal mode by which new turbulences are inserted between the initial ones. growing from other turbulences, in the erasure of contour, turbulence ends only in watery froth or in a flowing mane. inflection itself becomes vortical, and at the same time its variation opens onto fluctuation, it becomes fluctuation." this gave me vertigo.
fun fact of the day: when i had dinner with bernd at the cafeteria he told me that two female students had talked to esther (our colleague) about thomas. and they said that it would be unfair that he was talking about sex so much in the poetry lecture because he was so cute and they adored him so much. and having him talking about sex would be so, well, UNFAIR because they couldn't have him... hey! they should have been in his "naturalism/realism" lecture last semester when he was constantly talking about orgasms! thomas gave a lecture tonight, and bernd, the princess and i did of course not leave out a single opportunity to make allusions and jokes about his female fan club :o)
[november 21, 2003 - negotiations and love songs are often mistaken for one and the same]another d-day has gone by without me writing a single line. spent most of the day in town looking for a present for bernd. the princess accompanied me. it was a veritable odyssey. but i've finally bought a new winter coat that i really, really needed! i kept wearing my old, worn out brown suede leather coat - when the princess saw it for the first time she made some puking noise. so now i have an olive green, noel gallagher coat. much like a parker, only that it's been a hundred euros more expensive. sigh. when i picked the princess up at her working place (she's a part time teacher in a school) she pointed out one of her pupils, a red haired boy about ten years old, whose grandfather is francis bacon. no kidding!
talked to x on the phone a couple of times today. she had a bad day: problems writing her ma thesis. i tried to cheer her up and give some advice, which of course sounded utterly absurd.
[november 24, 2003 - a family of musicians took shelter for the night in the little harbor church of st. cecilia...]22:39. monday night. i'm just back home from watching "finding nemo". went to see it with the princess, katharina and x. wanted to stay the night at x's place, but i had already done so last night and i needed clothes and stuff from home. so i'm back home. missing x. and how she smells. and how she feels like. and how her hair tickles my face. and the sound of her voice. when i got up this morning she was still asleep and after i had finished showering and clothing i was standing in front of her bed and she was lying among the covers, her mouth slightly opened, eyes closed, her limbs relaxed and her skin glowing and scenting. wish i could spent a thousand days with her without worrying about ma thesises, dissertations, thomas, music, the world, ex-friends, ex-girlfriends or the weather.
yesterday night she had cooked and we watched an old video: a dinsey documentary about african animals from the early 70s. "animals and other people" i think the english title is. you know it: the one with the drunken apes and elephants. everybody knows it. it is shared cultural knowledge if you've grown up in the 70s. we were lying on her sofa, cuddling, laughing, commenting on the film and the memories we had of it. and i felt so close to her. i felt so connected. later we were lying in bed, looking through a thick, glossy "history of painting" book. and i looked a her and i was overjoyed. it was like recovering a happiness that i haven't known for a long time.
well, anyway. i still have to tell you everything about the weekend in aachen: how the princess and i had stayed at thomas' place and what bernd's party was like. but more of that tomorrow. have a good night.
[november 28, 2003 - that's just the way it goes...]Yes – i know: i’ve been lazy and you’ve been wondering every day what interesting, fascinating and breathtaking things might have happened during the last couple of days. Well – i’ll tell you:
X just came into the room, brought me a bowl of sweets and said: “I think I’d be the perfect wife for a writer...” i’m sitting at her desk in her bedroom while she is taking a shower. It was her birthday yesterday so we went out yesterday night and today we spent half of the day in bed and the afternoon walking along the banks of the rhine. It’s night now, almost nine o’clock and we returned to her flat to cook and watch “amelie” – a french film which i will probably hate. And if thomas will ever find out that i’ve watched it i’m dead meat!
Aachen was fun. I went there with the princess on the train and we stayed at thomas’ plac. It was nice to see sahar (thomas’ wife) again – and the kids of course, which have turned six and three years old already. They adored the princess. They wanted her to stay. They completely ignored ME and instantly fixed on the princess. We arrived there in the afternoon, had a snack and a drink and then we went to bernd’s (my colleague) party. Bernd is also living in aachen, close to thomas in fact.
So we were hanging out there on the sofa: thomas, sahar, the princess
and i and we were having a bowl of the delicious peanut soup that bernd’s
wife had fixed and we were gossiping and talking about this person and
that person when sahar suddenly said: “oh yes – the radiohead concert.
I met somebody there...” and she turned to me “ooops” she said “i’m sorry”
“that’s alright” i answered, clutching firmly to the beer bottle.
“well, you know” she continued “now that you and her are not together anymore we can tell you: we never really like her... we always wondered: why is philipp together with somebody? You all seemed to be so nice: tara and cedric and you... and somebody didn’t really seem to fit in there. She was so serious and always frowning. Always frowning.” By that time i felt pretty uncomfortable because somebody always also had had a problem with thomas and sahar. Which, of course, i couldn’t really mention in that situation. “and you know, the guy she is together with now really surprised me” sahar continued “because he is so *good-looking*” hm, seems like the feeling for sensitivity really runs in thomas’ family :o) no, seriously, all these topics didn’t really upset me. I had another beer and forgot about it quickly.
For some reason thomas talked me into trying out his marshmellow-sparkling-water trick. Just in case you don’t remember: a few weeks passed he said that “eating a marshmellow and drinking sparkling water or a coke right afterwards makes your mouth explode!” so i tried it and instantly was turned into the clown of the party. Everybody stood around me, watching, and of course i didn’t notice anything unusual in my mouth. Thomas kept saying: “you have to drink and eat simultaneously, you have to drink and eat simultaneously, you have to drink from the bottle, take a bite and then directly drink from the bottle...” which all didn’t work. “you’re not doing it the right way!” he was insisting. Later he tried it himself – and it didn’t work either.
Early the next morning i was waken by keyla and daliah, thomas and sahar’s daughters who came down to watch sesame street at eight on a sunday morning. Later i got them to sing along to the chorus of “breathing water” – which might sound pretty cute once i’ve mixed it into the song. We’ll see. Felt more at home than when i’m in bielefeld.
Working had been a lot of fun recently – although all d-days passed by without REALLY being dissertation days. Sigh. In the colloquium yesterday we discussed leibniz and his monadology, and there was this one paragraph that seemed to be very important for connecting it to deleuze:
Thus every organic body of a living being is a kind of divine machine or natural automaton, which infinitely surpasses any artificial automaton, because a man-made machine is not a machine in every one of its parts. [...] Nature’s machines – living bodies, that is – are machines even in their smallest parts, right down to infinity.And bernd asked: “but what about cyborgs then? Would leibniz argue that the difference between me and a cyborg is that he is finitely complex and i am infinitely complex?” and he pointed to the student next to him “or he?” and he pointed to the other side, where i was sitting “or he?”
on wednesday the topic in the poetry lecture was allen ginsberg. And thomas singled out the raunchy and sexual explicit passages on purpose and read them aloud. (see entry for november 20). It was a lot of fun. He has a new stalker: a female student who is working for one of the linguistic professors. She is constantly walking up and down our corridor although her office is in a different one and she’s changing her walk as soon as thomas leaves the office and appears on the corridor: she is shaking her bum right and left while walking, and it’s really a lot of fun to see. Also she is constantly sitting in first row, wearing blouses with a lot of decolté and she’s blinking with her eyes all the time.
The other day our office door flew open and i heard thomas voice in
my back: “right there, where philipp is sitting!” and he was standing in
the doorway, pointing at the window above my desk. “right there!” And that
above mentioned stalker, let’s call her jana, was standing next to him,
in one hand holding a kind of blueprint of a christmas tree, a star and
christmas bells, in the other snow-spray. “jana wants to decorate
the offices” thomas announced.
“yes” she said “we started in mrs. Thim’s office and now i’m knocking on every office door of this corridor...” which wasn’t really true, because she had only knocked on thomas’ door!
“yes, and i thought it would be much nicer to have some decoration here than in my office” thomas added and grinned from ear to ear. I got up and walked towards the door.
“can i talk to you for a minute...” i said and led him outside. But it was too late already. Jana started to spray some stars onto our office windows. Our nice office, that we had just reorganized, styled and tidied the other month!!! We had removed all ornaments (because thomas’ credo is: ornament is a crime!) except for that cool and glassy advent wreath. And now that! Horror! Thomas was laughing his head off while he was disappearing into his office again. So i thought: wait a minute. If he doesn’t want to have decoration on his window, he will have some on his office door. So i took one of the blueprints, the christmas bells, and sneaked up to his closed office door and sprayed the pattern right into the middle of it. It looked great!
I went back to my office and ten minutes later nina and i heard him open his door and rush over into our room. He saw the stars on the windows and laughed: “see” he said “that’s what happens when you give in to people! *I* don’t have any decoration on my windows!” nina was giggling. “yeah right, thomas!” i said, “you just keep tough and resist it all!” and i continued working. He turned around and headed back to his office. I looked at nina in anticipation. She looked at me in anticipation. And then we heard him groaning all over the corridor when he discovered the christmas bells on his door. Of course everybody who passed his office that morning made some remark about it :o)
So that’s basically all. The seminar goes well, although my english is really crap. I’m making mistakes constantly while i’m talking and that really, really annoys me. It’s unprofessional. I hate unprofessionality. spent a lot of time with x. I used the l-word the other day. Which seemed to frighten or scare her a little. Wish i had more time to put together that 200 lurkers solo set. Would love to play live again. There’s so little time. The days pass so quickly and i can’t really do everything i want and need to do. Cedric has bought a new car. His old one broke down finally and now he is the proud owner of a new crysler! The princess has started to write her final thesis. X is writing her final thesis. Blaine is travelling from conference to conference, preparing his dissertation. Tara has written a big part of her dissertation and cedric has just written a concept paper for his. Bernd has almost finished writing his habilitation. I don’t have a clue what to do. But i can write songs. “you fixed yourself, you said: ‘well, never mind: we are ugly, but we have the music’.” Thomas (from the small label) sent a short mail the other week and it didn’t sound very enthusiastic or involved or what do i know. He hasn’t even sent me the contract so i guess publishing a “real” 200 lurkers cd is not an option anymore.
I will probably spend christmas in bielefeld and new year’s eve in herford with tara, cedric and x. Looking forward to that! Haven’t decided yet how much of the christmas holidays i will spent at my parent’s place. I can’t really do anything there. Maybe i will bring the new ibook – i can at least write something – oops! I just remember that i will have to give the lecture on new media in january. Blast! Have to prepare this more thoroughly than i did last year. So: work, work, work. Wish i had holidays. Wish i could fly away with x to a place at the sea and sleep into the afternoons and go for long walks and have candlelight dinners and starlit nights. I shouldn’t complain. Because i am happy. Happier than i’ve been in years. Maybe even happier than i’ve been with somebody. Well, it’s a different kind of happiness. It’s less naive. It’s more grown-up. I still have to get used to this. Because i often catch myself already thinking about the inevitable loss that will come some day. I will lose x again, because that’s the way relationships are, and sometimes, when i’m holding her in my arms or brushing a slant of long, blond hair from her face, it’s as if the loss was always already with me, with us. I’ve got to learn to enjoy the moment. “there may come a time when i will lose you | lose you as i lose my sight | days falling backwards into velvet night | the open palm of desire | the rose of jericho | soil as soft as summer | the strength to let you go”
hm, the bloody spelling programm on x's pc is changing all the small letters into capital ones... grrr!
[november 29, 2003 - we are stardust, we are golden]domestic day. when i got home this afternoon i did the laundry and cleaned the staircase in the corridor. it's quite a beautiful day: the sun is shining and the wind is soft. would have been a beautiful afternoon to walk down the rhine again. x and i were cuddling in her bed at half past twelve this noon, sighing every other minute: why do we have to get up? and why do we have to work? and why can't we stay in bed all day? and why can't time just stop?!? i guess it's a good sign if you experience a moment in which you wish to stop time. that "amelie" movie wasn't as bad as i had expected. the only character that really annoyed me was amelie. it's like "ally mcbeal" which would be a watchable series if the main character, ally that is, had a fatal accident. for some reasons i love and adore cute baby animals, but i can't stand cute girly-women with bambi eyes and schmoll-lippen. although i love audrey hepburn. i'm just a mystery. :o)