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[december 01, 2002]
"i dreamt about you last night | and i fell out of bed twice..." bright, blue sky, golden morning sun. quiet sunday morning. no traffic on the avenue. rumor has it that there's gonne be a "best of" by suzanne soon [tried & true had not been released in the us]. now, that alone is bad news - who wants a best of? we want an album with NEW songs - but she's considering to call it coffee shops and morning streets [the third line from "gypsy"] and everybody on the list thinks it's a great title. NO!!! you can't call it that! it's a much too 70s-flower-power-folk-sweet-kind of title! why not headful of bees? or even better: handful of thorns?

click here to open the advent calendar for today...anyway, since december has started already i thought i might make a little online advent calendar. so you can click on the image and it will lead you to a little surprise. or not-surprise. guess that the first one falls in the latter category...

just talked to nicole on the phone. she's still ill. finished "cultural studies II". fear that it might be overproduced. sigh. when i had mixed it i went into the kitchen to read a part of cedric's ma thesis and i turned on belle & sebastian and the sound was so transparent and light and distinct: you could trace every single instrumental and vocal line. "cs II" is soundchaos again. it's not a really good afternoon this afternoon. weather: near christmas candle light and lichterketten dark outside. mood-o-meter: 2.1. i'll have dinner now and then burn the 200 lurkers cd for thomas.
talked to cedric on the phone. went swimming. packed my things for cologne. now i'll lie on the bed, light two candles and read a couple of pages of frankenstein. "and I'm feeling like | a freakish monster child | of those who sang before me | language is what other people call a Disease | language is what other people call a Machine" what a mighty strange dream well, actually i wanted to write "day". nicole said a couple of things about longing for signifiers that have lost the connection to the signified long ago. that's not the way she expressed it but it adds up to the same thing: the heart knows reasons that reason doesn't know. or: the thoughts in my head will never arrive in my heart.
[december 02, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...hm, seems like i forgot to upload the song of the month file and a picture. sorry. i'm in cologne now so i don't have any access to my harddrive at home, but i will fix things as soon as i'm back in b.. hectical day today again: actually i wanted to meet with blaine, eva, sirka, cedric and wolfgang tonight but i've still too much work to do. thomas will leave for the us tomorrow night so all things have to be arranged by then. ute [a colleague from across the corridor] brought an advent calendar for blaine and me today - very nice! which reminds me: it's time to open the second door by clicking on the image [which you can't see yet but you will on wednesday...]
it's 22:27 and i have been working on thomas' articles all night long. i called eva to tell her that i won't make it tonight and she asked me why and i said "well, if you could see thomas' sad, disappointed eyes tomorrow morning when i haven't finished the work on the articles..." and she just replied "oh well, if YOU could see MY sad, disappointed eyes now that you won't come..." and i thought this was quite a nice compliment, even if it wasn't any.

then cedric called and we talked about this and that and he said that he had dreamed of me the other night, which i thought was quite a nice compliment even if it wasn't any: "you were on tv in a video on the show fast-forward. you were sitting on a tree stump, playing guitar, and it was in a garden the kind of which you can see on that george harrison album, the one with the dwarfs on the cover. but i can't recall which song or whether i knew the song at all. and then it was over and charlotte roche was announcing the next video." very strange.

and just when i had put down the receiver the phone rang again and it was nicole. she just listened to "200 lurkers" which i thought was a very nice compliment even if it wasn't any. and she said that she especially liked "the little lighthouse". and then we talked a little about this and that and suddenly she said: "yes, you know it's always better if you have your first boy or girlfriend rather soon so you can get over with it... that's also what thomas said..." and i was a little surprised because usually thomas is not talking about private things at all. so i said: "excuse me, what did thomas say?" "well, he said that it's good if you have your first girl or boyfriend when you're still young..." "when did he say that?" i asked her and she said "when i saw him on friday at his office hours. he also said that's why you should move to cologne..." and i sat up straight and said: "wait a minute! you've been to thomas' office hour to talk about your exams and you end up talking about ME?" which i thought was a nice compliment, even if it wasn't any. and nicole started to stutter and said: "well, no, i mean, god, i'm blushing, well...." and i wanted to know: "what exactly did thomas say about me?" but she didn't want to say any more and only answered: "well, not much, only that you should move to cologne and that we should encourage you to leave bielefeld and live here..." well, well.

and just when i had put down the receiver the phone rang again and it was blaine who was calling me because they were playing "millionaire wanted" or whatever it is called in english and i was his telephone joker and had to answer the 125.000 euro question. it was about an actor in an american detective-series and i knew the answer and i heard all the people cheering and laughing in the background and suddenly i felt really sorry that i wasn't there as well. but then i have to help thomas with the exams tomorrow morning which will start at nine and he will be here at eight and it will be another work-packed day: first exams from nine to twelve, then my seminar from twelve to two and then preparing everything for thomas' departure and in the evening at six we'll have another colloquium on deleuze and buttler and after that we'll all go out and have a little farewell party for thomas and i can get drunk again.

hm, i had already wondered why nicole had called on the week-end and tomorrow night. well, but if thomas had instructed people to "look after me" this would explain quite a lot of things...

[december 3, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...in honour and to celebrate the colloquium today which was great here's the next advent calendar door:
we discussed d&g from 18 to 21:30h. it was really, really inspiring. thomas is great. uncompareable. unbelievable. i'm missing him already. he left tonight for the states again and will return next year in april. we went to a bar afterwards and i've just returned. it's one o'clock at night and i need to sleep now. more tomorrow.
[december 4, 2002]
so, short night. thomas is on it's way to the us now. his saying goodbye was as short as usual. a quick pad on the back and "bye then" and he was gone. faster than the sound of light. as i already said: the colloquium was great! i just wish i had thought sooner of the idea to tape it: i've got my md player and a microphone here so i could have easily recorded it. i could only save the drawing that thomas had made of the "plane of immanence" which i hadn't really understood since you have to fold it in into the fourth dimension, a concept that i couldn't grasp without visualizing it, which i found hard to do. but then achim said that you cannot visualize it and that you can only understand it if you don't try to visualize it. so either way i'm screwed.

we all went to a bar afterwards and had dinner & drinks. that morning bernd ahd picked up

the world flooded by a diffuse longing like it is flooded with light on a sunny autumn afternoon. i'm on the train back home. in my backpack the essays from the midterm exams & plans for the lecture that is nonexistent yet. i'm tired, even fell asleep for a short moment while waiting for the train. but let me continue telling you the story about thomas: so when he came storming into the office yesterday morning he said: "so you DO use samples in your music..." [we had been discussing music the day before]. bernd had picked him up that morning and had played the 200 lurkers cd to him in the car. [boy, i really wonder whether people don't have any other topics to discuss with thomas except for me ;o) - as if my ego wasn't inflated enough...] and then he said something about that bernd did get a cd and he didn't and i didn't answer but simply got the copy i wanted to give to him that day anyway from the drawer. so he's got it now. anyway, when we were sitting in the bar after the colloquium yesterday night bernd made some remarks about picking thomas up at 5:30 in the morning in his pajamas: "my towelling sesame street pajama that's too short at the sleeves..." bernd said and if you knew him and could visualize the image you'd understand that most of us started to laugh our heads off and we all started to add details to the idea so achim said "...and that has blue sleeve bands..." and within all the laughter thomas said: "...and has the tausendsassa fastener..." and suddenly it was click here to open the advent calendar for today...silent and everyone kept staring at him with wide, wondrous eyes: "tausendsassa fastener?" "what's that" we asked "don't you know it?" thomas said with an insecure voice and there was this delicate, no, delicious moment when he realized that he had said something that he better not had said and his face went blank and then confused and red - only that you did not see him blush because the light was so low and he was so tanned from the l.a. sun. "what's a tausendsassa fastener?" bernd asked and thomas answered: "it's a special velcro fastener to fasten the pajama trousers to the pajama shirt so little kids won't cool their backs at night." but nobody of us had ever heard of this before and i had the curious suspicion that thomas might have been a rather nervous and active child - even at night - and that his mother had invented the tausendsassa fastener especially for HIM and he had thought that everybody had one. and in this moment he turned from being a sublime translator of poststructuralist theories, from explainer of the most complex philosophical concepts, from being the big maker of understanding, the only one to make me see things clearly for a short while [namely the time he's talking and explaining them] into a cute aging hipster. and although i hate the word "cute" in reference to mid40s men there is no better one. i just wanted to say "ooohhh!" because he looked so puzzled and confused and, well, vulnerable. of course all this changed in a split second and he switched back into the cool-tough-guy-mode in an instant.
[december 05, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...YAWN! it's a gray i-better-stay-in-bed day! unfortunately i've got too much to do. blaine and i have decided to organize a kalkofe-night at the university. kalkofe is a german comedian who deconstructs tv shows by sharp, to the point commentaries and|or by carricaturing them. anyway, we set out to plan a rather small event with him, me, eva and two or three other people but then we thought that it would be fun to invite that person as well, and if we ask her we also have to ask her colleague and then that one and him as well. and now we have a list of 23 people. basically everyone who's working at the english seminar and who's under 40. but it should be fun. watching kalkofe alone is great, but watching him in a group is even better. we will get the beamer and do a 4 hour marathon. everybody can bring something to drink and eat
oh boy! i fell asleep this noon on the sofa when i wanted to read frankenstein and i had fractal nightmares! i dreamed that i was dreaming that i was dreaming that i was with cedric and tara and tara took me from the garden inside the house that was three stories high and when i entered the hallway i could look up a spiral staircase and on the top stairs somebody talked to me and she was laughing, she was laughing at me and i danced and i danced and in the dream i knew that i was only  dreaming that i was dreaming and that i had to wake up so i said to myself in a loud voice: this is just a dream! this is just a dream! and i woke up trembling in three dreams until i reached the surface and i woke up for real.

now it's night already, spent the afternoon working and exchanging mails with blaine. thomas has mailed: he's arrived safely in l.a.. the stereo is playing belle & sebastian. why is everybody writing songs about MY life?

It's been a bloody stupid day
Don't leave the light on baby
My baby called me up to say
Don't leave the light on baby
I'll see you sometime maybe
Don't leave the light on baby
It finally dawned on me tonight
Best to go down without a fight
I know you will forgive me for my honesty
Don't leave the light on baby
Don't leave the light on baby
Don't leave the light on baby
I'll see you sometime maybe
Don't leave the light on baby
it's fucking cold in here.
[december 6, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...believe it or not: it's snowing. yesterday night i thought i heard the chiming of champagne glasses of two people celebrating their one-year-anniversary. but maybe it was just a passing car or a ringing in my ear or a sound in the music that was on. i know you will forgive me for my honesty.
went doing the shopping for the weekend. worked on the lecture. just the other minute the doorbell rang and when i opened it two men [in their mid 30s, dressed in semi-alternative dark winter clothes, wearing beards] were standing in the corridor, one of them with his arm stretched out in my direction holding something that i did not recognize at first. it was a small plastic bag with cookies which he handed to me and said: "hello! we just wanted to brighten up your day a little. we're christians from your neighborhood." [which, by the way, is a great song chorus: 'we're the christians from your neighborhood | we're the christians from your neck of the woods'...] it had a little paper slip attached to it with a quote from the bible: "the lord answer you on the day of trouble! the name of the god of jacob set you on high!" oh well, it reminded me of the entry for june 14, 1999 in the first online journal:
[...] I was thinking about all this when i was sitting on the bus this afternoon. and from the corner of my eye i saw one of these religious posters at the back of the driver's cabin and I said to myself: whatever this poster says is true and i looked up and read: "dienet einander. ein jeglicher mit der gabe, die er empfangen hat | serve one another. everybody with the gift/skill he has received"
throughout all these years i kept thinking about this sentence again and again. thomas said you should only do things that you're good at. don't do things that you think you can't do. according to this i should have quit my job on the spot. now: rehearsal. it's really cold and dark outside. i'd rather stay home, especially since i'm feeling sick. feel like getting a cold. but then i know that i will only stare into the sreen and not add a single sentence to the lecture text so maybe it's even better to get some distraction from that.
rehearsal was fun. we played all songs too fast for some reason. although what's pretty frustrating is that there are posters all over the place in the building where the rehearsal room is. posters for other bands in bielefeld who don't seem to have troubles getting gigs: everyone is playing everywhere: in the university, the kamp, the forum even, the falkendom and at the keipenkult. when daniel was driving us home he told us how he had lost his way in berlin the other week. he is a lawyer and he had to appear at the court in berlin and usually he has no problem finding the building but the highway was closed so he lost his way and was one and a half hour too late. "my colleague called me every ten minutes on the mobile" he said while shifting into second gear "telling me in an angry voice that he also has other dates that day. but i was simply lost. so when i finally found it everybody hated me so i thought of something funny to say to break the ice. and when i entered the room i said: 'excuse me, gentlemen, but i just was SO hungry...' but they did not think that this was a funny remark at all..."
[december 7, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...it's truly winter now, temperatures are well below zero and there are little ice crystals on my window in the morning. today's another soccer match so all the fans are passing by my window, shouting and singing and waving their frozen beer cans. spent all morning at my parents because my father had some problems with his pc. he has a new printer that is a fax and a scanner in one. he has planned to digitalize his entire photo collection, which will probably take him 276 years and you can triple that number if he will really do it with his old pc. i'm hungry. it's dark outside in the meantime and i have worked a little on the lecture text. i read three pages aloud and it only covered 10 minutes. which means that for 90 minutes i will need 9 times 3 pages which adds up to the terrifying number of 27. mind you: i've got three. and only eleven days to go. i'm lost! maybe i'll go swimming tonight. or maybe not. don't leave the light on, baby!
didn't go swimming. instead i talked to cedric on the phone for an hour and then emptied a piccolo bottle of champagne that i found in the vast, unexplored depths of my fridge. now i'm glowing inside, freezing outside and burning in head and heart. i guess i'll still go for a little walk - need to get out. boy, sometimes you catch yourself thinking that it really sucks being you, don't you? while looking through my old hypertext-notes this afternoon i found the list of participants of the two seminars that thomas & i did on hypertexts two years ago. and guess whose name i found on boths lists: eva! i didn't know that! and realizing that she actually might have participated made a wave of hot blood shoot into my head...
it's 0:30, my fingers are itching as if little armies of ants were passing through them. i was walking outside and guess what: the lake in the park is frozen. oh boy. oh boy. oh boy. actually i could be satisfied: another day i managed to get through without a big bo-ho. time to make use of the song of the month: Oh love of mine, would you condescend to help me because I'm stupid and blind? though about writing letters. thought about contacting people at christmas. thought about thinking, singing, sinking. i'm missing you very much. 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, I'm sure you're going to pay no new messages on server.
[december 8, 2002]
wow: slept for 11 hours! eleven hours full of colorful, moving pictures: saw some guy who was wearing my necklace on t.v.. then a long and realistic story featuring an amazing all star cast: her entire family plus herself and even a typical nightmare structure: we had to move a large object [a block of stone?] and it was mounted on some sort of sledge and we all kept pushing and pulling it but it would only move for inches. then we were looking for the house of her grandmother which i knew but couldn't find the way to. when we finally did i suddenly was in the room of her sister and wanted to get out but all doors lead into some sort of closet or chamber.

click here to open the advent calendar for today...weather: sunny, blue sky, cold. music: the best of belle and sebastian i compiled yesterday night.

it's 18h in the meantime. i'm hungry. worked on the lecture text. i'll never fill 27 pages. never ever. i don't know what to say! i don't even have a structure. i'm totally confused. thomas said i should show a lot of examples. but which. for a short moment it crossed my mind to show "Chaos/Control:Complexity" - i mean it's the perfect example. Or maybe even "start at the end" because it is based on a theory of hypertexts. but then you cannot use your own stuff as an example, can you? even if you don't say that it's by yourself, schliesslich ist mein name nicht edgar allan poe! sigh. why can't i give a lecture on suzanne vega? i wish i had started a month ago! this will really teach me a lesson!
0:47, window half open, every ten minutes a late car passes by or a pedestrian walks by hurrying home. the tv on, flickering in the corner like a sterile fire, alexander kluge doing a fictitious interview with peter berling playing a convict, sound shut off, no other light. in the hallway the groaning of the couple from the second floor having sex, on the headphone belle and sebastian, i'm not tired yet but i need to sleep now so that i can get up early tomorrow to work. in a week eva will have a birthday party and i'm invited and i don't want to have to cancel it only because i haven't finished the fucking script! no new messages on server. the mail traffic on undertow is unusually low. when i saw myself in the mirror in the bathroom the other minute i needed a couple of moments to recognize myself. don't know why, i'm not looking different. Eternity. By Calvin Klein. yeah it takes more than milk to get rid of the taste.
[december 9, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...
[december 10, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today..."reality continues to ruIn my life." da brat mir doch einer nen Storch! diese verfickten träume! tonight: total mix up of people & their relation. somehow her sister [a.] was played by nadine while her sister's husband [g.] was played by my sister's boyfriend [t.]  and he told me that she [she] was now together with christian m. who - in real life - was or still is a very good friend of nadine. the setting was her sister's [a.] flat that looked totally different for some reason and the whole scene made me wake up at 4:10 in the morning with beating heart and i couldn't really get back to sleep again.

i'm on the train now. the sun is rising behind a wired wood of smoking chimneys and it's red like blood and round like a bubble, just bright enough to set the whole sky on fire and yet soft enough to stare right into it without causing pain or headache.

the seminar went fairly well up to the point when blaine asked them to read a certain textpart [from frankenstein] and it became apparent that at least 6-8 people didn't even have the book, not mentioning having read it! boy, he was pissed off and still is! bernd and i have been exchanging cds today: i got him the best of belle and sebastian and that reading of augie wren's christmas story by paul auster and he gave me a cd by polar and a cd by James Yorkston & the Athletes which i'm listening to right now: quiet, sort of melancholic and melodic acoustic folk-rock songs. very nice!
it's 22:46, i'm in the office listening to bernd's music and talking to myself or rather to you, discussing things as if blaine or cedric or tara or thomas or eva were here: laughing a little, dropping your name as if by accident.and then i imagine you talking back to me, making fun of me in a friendly way and we're both laughing and humming along to that great song that is on repeat all night long: acoustic guitar and calm accordeon and soft voice and disarming melody and then we're talking of old times and of the future and you're telling me about your job at the cinema and about your basketball match and about how your ma thesis is going and about your swimming pool in la and then we keep quiet when we hear the guards coming down the corridor and we're locking the door from the inside and hold our breath until they have checked the door and have left again and then we tear open the windows because this way we can see the stars better and we're leaning way over the window sill with our faces turned upwards finding new constellations, looking out for falling stars and comets and strange angels and then why don't you send me down and tell me all your plans, i've got it all worked out i'm in your hands and when the chorus sets in i feel your long hair brushing against my cheek and your head covers the moon and it is so close that it covers all the sky and all the stars and you say something stupid and we both have to laugh and then we're not saying anything for a long time, for a long, long time until the chorus is over and then you're saying tell me all your plans i've got it all worked out and i'm in your hands and when i open my eyes again you're still here. you know, the funny thing is: actually you have never left me. i may have left you but you've never left me.
[december 11, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...oh well, we've tried all yesterday evening to get the hypertext running on the new ibook that our department has bought for presenting digital media in class. but of course the html code that i did for the pc system doesn't run smoothly on the mac. obviously the mac system is case sensitive to file suffixes, which the pc system isn't. and i didn't consider this when i programmed the hypertexts. grrr. now i have to hope that bernd can lend me his windows notebook. in other news: sent a 200 lurkers cd to laurie anderson today.
just returned from cologne. had a discussion about frankenstein with ute and blaine before i left. he argued that walton was gay. get out of here! listened all the way on the train to james yorkson's "st patrick". i didn't sleep at all last night i thought my heart had mastered the run of the seas but they appear not to care about coming lately i woke with a smirk and a look at the phone i swear that i would have called you if i was sure you were alone that doesn't let drive things home the hardest time to forget is when sleep clears your mind bringing up what might have been and who's by your side. how beautiful must crying look in zero gravity when the tears just keep floating away from your eyes like little pearls and then dance in front of your face weightlessly. that must be quite an experice. that must be quite a sight. brrrr. it's cold in here. really. and metaphorically.
[december 12, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...there you go: the day's over and i haven't written a single sentence. listened to music all day long. very intense. i wish there was a way to make the 200 lurkers songs performable. feel like getting sick. but then i'm already feeling so all the week. "if you can't talk about it, point to it" laurie anderson said in reference to wittgenstein. but then there's nothing to point to. it's such a diffuse feeling, it's such a diffuse feeling, running in circles, every note of the acoustic bass like a stone that's been thrown into the pond in the park, forming perfect rings that wander towards the bank and note after note, stone after stone diversifies the pattern that is moving all over the surface, making the sun reflect in a dazzling dance of rays. it is blinding, it is blinding when you're looking over it and it creates images and mirages for a short moment i see someone standing at the other side of the pond leaning against the wooden railing and the wind moves the branches of that old willow that's been knocked over in the last autumn storm a couple of months ago but in this song it is still there and you cannot tell where the branches end and her hair starts how am i suppose to point to it then? when i say "beauty" that's what i mean. when i say beauty what i mean is a feeling that you cannot carry on your own. it is something that you cannot stand on your own because it crushes you. and still you cannot let go of it. i think the whole purpose of 200 lurkers was to create something that has a spark of beauty. ich wollte doch nur, dass du mich liebst. and although it doesn't sound so i'm meaning this in a very unpathetic way. and here are more lines from james yorkston: "6:30 is just way too early to get up this cold december morning but as long as she insists on being the theme to my every single dream that coffee is calling i find myself down the stairs lazy dog gives me the eye..."
[december 13, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...call me crazy - but i've been listening all day long to "triakel" a swedish folk group that bernd recommended to me. their songs have great titles such as "födelsedagfesten" or "oväntad bröllopsgäst". their music remind me a lot of "blowzabella", that frensh folk group that nadine discovered and that i used to listen to quite a lot: some tunes are apocalyptically happy, a similar fine frenzy that grips you when you're shopping at ikea. went to town today to buy railway tickets to get to cologne on sunday (eva's birthday party) and on tuesday. and the line in front of the counters was so long that the customers were almost standing on the street. bought the first round of christmas presents. got something for my mother and for tara and for blaine. worked on the lecture text. talked to blaine on the phone this morning [he was in the office] and after we continued arguing about walton's [the 1st narrator in frankenstein] sexual orientation and blaine had almost convinced me by citing the respective textpassages that underline his theory he confessed to me which current top 40 song he really likes and he said that he'd only tell me if i promised not to tell it to anybody. neither to thomas nor to the online journal. so unfortunately i can't really give it away here - but it's really, really bad! i don't think there is any hope for blaine's musical taste anymore. which is tragic!
[december 14, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...the day is almost over. after that swedish folk music on repeat all day long now james yorkston. "why don't you tell me all your plans. i've got it all worked out and i'm in your hands". great songs! great melodies. very relaxed. mein herz weitet sich zu einem saftigen steak! wrote all day on the lecture text and it's far from being finished. called cedric. went swimming but i'm not sure whether this was a good idea because i felt a little sick all day and now it feels like i'm glowing inside. need to write more songs. i just wish wednesday had already passed. and since i'm at it: i just wish christmas had already passed. and new year's eve as well. "though it's lovely to be here..."
[december 15, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...it's 16:16 and guess who's not at eva's party. fuck! i worked on the lecture all morning and when i read it out this noon i realized that it's a pile of crap and that there's no way that i can deliver it like this. so i'm doing some serious reworking. and i haven't even prepared the hypertext that is to accompany the lecture. and i haven't even prepared the bloody seminar that is going to follow the lecture! so instead of going on complaining i'll keep on trying to produce a text that can pretend scientific and literary knowledge. fuck!!! i had been looking forward to her party all week! fuck, fuck!!
worked on the text. think i improved it. went swimming, which was good for getting rid of some frustration and anger. the whole town is covered under a thin layer of ice: the streets and the pavements are smooth as mirrors. please. drive carefully tomorrow morning.
[december 16, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...wrote all day on the text and made a hypertext with quotes, images and diagrams that is going to accompany the lecture. still haven't prepared the seminar. it would be good to have another 24 hours but the day tomorrow is pretty packed so i might have to improvise. not much to report. i'm going to gather all the stuff i need to take to cologne tomorrow. looking forward to meet blaine and eva and all the rest of the gang. james yorkston is singing the blues - yes, your sore eyes haven't fooled you. the blues. now, okay, it's not really a blues - he's not john lee hooker - but still a little blues. a small blues. a local blues. a minor blues. a deleuzian blues. "and i pray for your health and your peace of mind but god must know i just want you by my side". well, it's a sordid story and i'm just glad that these are not my words, you wouldn't forgive me for them, would you? your face is reflected in every golden christmas tree ball that's hanging in every christmas tree in every shop window. this year's end i'm at my wit's end. "if you detect a smile it means i dream of foreign lands | to let things get out of hand | is exactly what i've got planned..."
[december 17, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...it's 22:36, actually i wanted to sleep but then i decided ... well the phone just rang and it was nicole... back again: i decided to work on the seminar because i ahve prepared the lecture but not the seminar. and so i sat at the pc, and turned on james yorkston and the music was so beautiful that i had to write a couple of lines. but facing this music i don't know much to write. facing a face i don't have much to say. anymore.
[december 18, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...just very briefly: it's one in the morning. i've just come back from the movies. we (blaine, his cedric, eva, sirka, andreas and i) went to see a film. first we wanted to see "possession" but then it wasn't on the playlist for tonight so we watched "die another day" instead. from the sublime to the ridiculous. so now i'm back at the office, eating some cookies that are left over from last nights staff christmas party, and i'm really tired and my eyes are acheing a little from the contacts that i'm wearing for 18 hours. but i know, i know: what you really want to tknow is how the lecture went. well, it was okay, i suppose. i survived. although very battered and wounded. the seminar was great though, really great! actually i thought it would be the other way round. i'll write more about this tomorrow. i need sleep now and some peace of mind to contemplate all those strange things that are storming through my mind. james yorkston is contemplating as well, very poetically even: "though all that i know and have loved is inside, i'm just losing faith in these costly times. and i pray for your health and your peace of mind. but god must know i just want you by my side. and the mornings i've woken and sought your warmth. if only i'd held you and told you before. but i'm no fool, my heart is just exposed, i'm just weathering the flowers. and i'm not the man you thought, i suppose, you leave me tender to the blues. and the wise men say i should fight for my cause. but i'm all punched out, and just so so tired." the last half an hour of tonight was really strange. after the film was over we were standing in the lobby of the theater, and then we went outside, and it was cold, and i was wrapping my scarf and coat around me and i knew that i didn't want to let go and then sirka and eva said goodbye and it was clear that i wouldn't meet them before christmas so sirka and i wished each other merry christmas  and then blaine and sirka said goodbye to each other and i didn't want to let go and eva was standing behind them and i was just a little confused from the beer i've had and from the strange sensation of her arm pressing against mine in the dark theater when she was reaching for the popcorn and it made me tremble a little bit and i was glad that it was dark and i was glad that i felt her arm bevause it made me remember things: touches and hugs and sensations and smells and i didn'z want to let go and i swear that i would have called you if i was sure you were alone and while we were standing there in the cold night saying goodby i was zthinking about all these things and then i did not really say goodby to her i just sort of looked and sort of winked and didn't want to let go. i'm all punched out, and just so so tired.
[december 19, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...so about yesterday: i got up at six in the morning because i wanted to prepare the seminar before the lecture started. so at about a quarter to seven i was sitting in front of the monitor, having opened three documents that had pieces and parts and ideas for the seminar. and just when i wanted to start working on them it made a big “whush”, the monitor went black and it got very quiet in the office: was power had been shut down. an electrician was working on the power lines and it was only a couple of minutes before eight that the pcs started humming again. i had to sit with pen and paper(!) at my desk and try to come up with a seminar on digital media while around me the computers, the printers, the scanner, the laptop and the beamer were dead.

anyway, at about half past eight nicole popped in and brought me a coffee. then at nine i took the laptop and the beamer and went down to the lecture room. i installed everything and all was running smoothly: the hypertext worked, the sound was okay, and by and by the room started to fill with students: about 25. and then i saw that also prof. nitsch was there. horror! worst case scenario! and he came to the front and leaned over the table and said to me with a soft and low voice: "by the way, we have changed the room for the seminar. you know, not everybody who's listening to the lecture will participate in the seminar and we're just a small group so we will meet in my office because it's just much more comfortable..." and my heart sank into my feet!

i then started to read the manuscript and it was way too fast. after a couple of minutes someone asked me to slow down a little because she couldn't follow and i tried but i couldn't really. also i was so nervous and excited that i could hardly operate the touch pad of the laptop because my hands were shaking so badly. and actually i thought i had overcome such a kind of big time nervousness and gotten used to talking in front of people but it was as if i had never done it before: as soon as i looked up from the manuscript i felt totally helpless and couldn't formulate a single sentence. i needed to read everything from the sheets of paper in front of me and all spontaneity was gone. also why reading the text i realized how bad it actually was and how incoherent and where the weak points were so the more i read the more uncomfortable i became with what i was saying and with how i was performing. and i think people realized this because after 45 minutes they started to get sort of nervous. i was really glad when the 90 minutes were over and went up to the office with trembling knees and cramps in my stomach because the seminar followed half an hour later and i hadn't really prepared it thoroughly.

so i went to prof. nitschs office and TA TA! he wasn't there! instead there were about ten students (all female except for one) and we talked about "rhizome" and it was just great! i think it was good that i hadn't a static concept for the seminar so we could sort of traverse and discuss the text freely. it was great! i wasn't nervous at all anymore, god knows why and it really seemed like everybody had actually FUN discussing the text. the time went by much to fast and afterwards i felt really happy, some kind of joy that you feel when a gig went extremely well.

an hour later blaine and i had our seminar on "british classics" and again it was really fun. we were discussing freudian and lacanian concepts in "frankenstein".

in the meantime i'm back home. thomas has sent a mail with work to do, basically looking for bibliographical references and details. he also sent a french quote that he asked me to translate, but since my french is rather miserable i posted the quote to the list and got a lot of responses, the best on though was from stacey:

Subject: Re: ooo là là (ot)
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 06:25:36 -0500
From: "Stacey Austin" <listener@xxxxxxxxxx.com>
To:  <undertow@vega.net>

Be happy to, Original (French):

"Mais Jarry ne lit pas que les livres du dernier bateau et, par chance, son maitre Henri Bergson se fait du Clinamen une petite idée, habile à lustrer son aimable ironie"

Translation (English):
Corn Jarry,  not lettuce.  Pa questions letting live-ins do it in the bathroom after eating.  It is possible that my son may be Henri Bergson who has faith in Chinamen.  His little idea is to live lustfully.  His son is a friendly ironman.

thomas also wrote a commentary on the 200 lurkers cd:
Subject: Re: abhaken
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2002 09:55
From: "Thomas B." <thomas.b@xxxxx.net>

Hi Flip,

schöne CD.

anyway, i think i'll take a long hot shower now. my throat is sore, could come from all the talking yesterday or maybe i've really finally caught a cold.
[december 20, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...went to town today to buy that nice shirt at h&m that cedric was wearing the other day. unfortunately they didn't have it in XL anymore... every citizen of bielefeld seemed to be shopping. the shops were crowded and there were street musicians in front of karstadt: the hungarian simon & garfunkel playing "el condor pusta"
it's night now. i'm compiling a cd for tara, colored my hair. went shopping for food [bought some beer so i can drink myself into unconsciousness if the holidays will get too bad]. did the laundry. no rehearsal. feel ill. sore throat and hot head. "It's not What you thought When you first began it You got What you want Now you can hardly stand it though, By now you know It's not going to stop It's not going to stop It's not going to stop 'Til you wise up You're sure There's a cure And you have finally found it You think One drink Will shrink you 'til you're underground And living down But it's not going to stop It's not going to stop It's not going to stop 'Til you wise up Prepare a list of what you need Before you sign away the deed 'Cause it's not going to stop It's not going to stop It's not going to stop 'Til you wise up No, it's not going to stop 'Til you wise up No, it's not going to stop So just...give up" dadadadadadaddadada got married in a rush to save the kid from being deported. oh i was so TOUCHED bnrtgfgfhgfhg when she saw the FUNNY side, the funny side, the FUNNY SIDE when i walked home from the station the other night the moon was full in bloom and everyone and everything had sharp shadows glistening on the pavement that was sparkling with little ice crystals as if a million diamonds had been strewn all over town why don't you lead me to a living and i promise i will entertain my crippled friend. anyway "cultural studies ii" started on the md and when the last verse started and the great solo guitar started to climb into the sky i looked up and said "hello rob" aloud. grtrtgzrg zztrg oevvbdz  jke dggtwpo bbdfsgttr ppojffhg i òtthrzhg.
[december 21, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...it's 1:49 in the morning and i'm just home. spent the night with tara & cedric and although i had two margaritas and a cuba libre i'm way too sober for MY taste! today i felt the illness in all my bones: like i had a slight fever. my throat hurt and my nose suddenly started to bleed. it's not even december 22 and i'm already fed up with christmas. somewhere in the unexplored and unreachable spaces in my headphones fiona apple is singing and playing her piano in a frenzy. You'll never see The courage I know Its colors' richness won't Appear within your view I'll never glow The way that you glow Your presence dominates The judgements made on you But as the scenery grows I see in different lights The shades and shadows Undulate in my perception My feelings swell and stretch I see from greater heights I understand what I am still  Too proud to mention To you You'll say you understand But you don't understand You'll say you'd never Give up seeing eye to eye But never is a promise And you can't afford to lie You'll never touch These things that I hold The skin of my emotions Lies beneath my own You'll never feel The heat of this soul My fever burns me deeper Than I've ever shown To you You'll say Don't fear your dreams It's easier than it seems You'll say you'd never Let me fall from hopes so high But never is a promise And you can't afford to lie You'll never live The life that I live I'll never live the life That wakes me in the night You'll never hear The message I give You'll say it looks as though I might give up this fight But as the scenery grows I see in different lights The shades and shadows Undulate in my perception My feelings swell and stretch I see from greater heights I realise what I am now Too smart to mention To you You'll say you understand You'll never understand I'll say I'll never wake up Knowing how or why I don't know what To believe in You won't know who I am You'll say I need appeasing When I start to cry But never is a promise And I'll never need a lie. my eyes get very heavy and the wool of the sweater i'm wearing is scratching on my skin. sometimes the senslessness of each and everything is dawning on you and then you understand why people have a god. i have one, too - i have several in fact. some of them on a pedestal so high that i can't even look into their eyes anymore, that i can only look up those marble pillars that stretch into the sky endlessly and it's become impossible to make out whether there's anybody standing on it at all anymore. i wonder how you can keep breathing in those heights. i wonder what your eyes look like at all. now. now. that is: this moment. this very moment. now. I don't know what To believe in You won't know who I am.
[december 22, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...the hope which is inherent in the daily ritual of checking my e-mail every morning as soon as i get up is really amazing! such an incredibly ridiculous investment that hasn't paid in over 365 times: mein tausendjähriges reich der hoffnung. so it's a rainy, gray prechristmas sunday afternoon. i'm still ill [mind the allusion!] and will work now so that i can send thomas the documents that he wants to work on so badly. kept coughing all morning and my temperature is slightly above normal but no nose bleeding anymore - i know: way too much information. sometimes you picture me i'm walking too far ahead.
listening to a cd that bernd gave me: josh rouse. pretty cool. hungry. feeling sort of disorientated i can't hear what you've said. not tired enough to sleep, which is rather unfortunate. go slow i fall behind! think i'm gonna make dinner and then start doing what i actually had avoided to do: start working on the hollow earth. cedric had sent the glossary the other week and i guess i'll try to make an html version of it. if you're lost. also thomas had made a lot of suggestions about what to change of the layout of the cd. and you will find me. so i might try and get something done on the layout as well. watching through windows. josh rouse has quite a nice sound. great melodies! watching through windows. maybe i'll try to work on the two songs. but then why? - and this superfluous question is slowing me down so much: it's the question behind EVERything: the music, my dissertation. If you're lost you can look and you will find me. why would you invest the energy and the time and the emotions into something? for 200 lurkers i think it was what paula had said: "i want to write something so beautiful that it makes you ache from longing" but again and again you reach that point where you realize that things come to a halt, that they have reached a certain level of usefulness and then don't work anymore. because they cannot do what you had planned them to do. no aching from longing. If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting. no - i'm not complaining! of course i'm not! it's just that the current season makes you look back on how things were supposed to go and on how they went REALLY. and i must say that there is quite a gap THIS year. watching through windows. so the strategy - the masterplan - is: don't think, don't contemplate, don't look back. look what is in front of you: the surprises, the wonders, the people, the music, the new suzanne vega cd. time after time.
[december 23, 2002]
click here to open the advent calendar for today...oops. headache. "kling glöckchen klingelingeling, kling glöckchen kling" on repeat this morning in the supermarket when i went to buy a bottle of rum to secure a quiet and peaceful christmas. "klingelingeling". no rain today but low clouds and gray lights. i'm still coughing but i guess i'll go for my walk in the woods after i've worked on thomas' articles. klingelingeling. [later] was outside and the wind on top of the hills is really ice cold. my fingers are stinging now and i can hardly type. guess i'll make myself a hot cup of coffee before i'll continue... okay, now. i'm listening to "savoy grand" - one of the cds that bernd gave me - boy! he really has a secure hand for picking uplifting and funhappy tunes! "arm the lonely | now that you have so much time | you can use it | for the good of mankind | how did this come to seem so reasonable | you can have me in a matter of moments" klingelingeling. talked to blaine on the phone this afternoon. and he said that he was in a sort of depressed mood because he felt that he isn't where he had intended to go, that there was this longing that takes him and shakes him and makes him feel the lack of SOMEthing. and i knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. klingelingeling. the longing that is born out of the lack. now the question is of course: is that some kind of structural lack that one will never get rid of because it is inscribed in your very being or is it something that one CAN suture? i think - if i remember correctly - that there WERE moments in which the lack had been reduced, diminished to almost being erased. [i guess i don't have to actually spell out which moments these were...] or is this just some kind of belated back projection of an ideal state onto something that's lost itself? will the fulfillment of the yearning always only be possible belatedly by something that's lost? no. no. no. klingelingeling. i very distinctly remember moments and structures that were defined by who WAS there and not by who WASN'T there. "you can have me in a matter of moments". so, does this mean that there IS hope? klingelingeling. i wish i was your edward lorenz, your multitalented meteorologist: chasing the dark clouds away, let the sun shine in, be the small cause to the large effect and let the rain begin. "you can have me in a matter of moments" the question remains: how to deal with the longing once it hits you full blow? maybe there are basically two ways: either keep moving and run away from it as fast as you can, turn around yourself, don't be an easy target, disadvantage: you WILL get tired at some point and then it will catch up with you and leap on your back. klingelingeling. or you just keep very still, you don't move, you freeze, don't draw its attention to you and hope that it just passes by, that it won't find you. disadvantage: obvious: you can't stay still forever. if you will your limbs will go numb and just fall off. also it's just so damned hard to keep your thoughts still, not to move mentally. "you can have me in a matter of moments" you will need something to lobotomize you: tv or alcohol. and this will probably not work in the long run. but i might give it a shot just for this christmas. klingelingeling. when this you see remember me.
holla! that cuba libre i just mixed is pretty libre. thought about a birthday present for tara. her birthday is january 5th. couldn't think of anything but the same gift that she got last year already. i've just gathered a couple of lines for new lyrics that are strewn throughout the journal and the various scrapbooks that are lying all over the apartment. and i had this one that i've started almost three years ago and i looked through the last pages searching for lyric-material and then turned over page after page from the back to the front and it was like looking into outer space because the further i went the more i traveled back in time until i arrived at the first sketches for "moving" and "headcrash" and page after page after page and then i arrived at an entry for our holidays in travemünde on friday, september 17, 1999 and the precision of the date made me sick and i closed it and put it away and poured myself another drink. "you can have me in a matter of moments".
[december 24, 2002]
"oechu! oechu!" still coughing and my nose is as red as rudolph's. started to re-read dracula for the seminar click here to open the advent calendar for today...yesterday night and i couldn't finish a single page without having to put the book to the side and blow my nose. very strange: it's christmas and actually what you would expect is that there's just rush hour mailtraffic on the undertow. but: no new messages on server. very strange! here's the plan for today: i will do some domestic work, some reading and some formating and then at about half past five my sister and her boyfriend will pick me up and take me to our parents'. we will have dinner then and later in the evening all drive up to my aunt's place where the whole family will meet including uncles, aunts and cousins. sigh. not really the people who are the first to come to my mind when i'd have to pick somebody to spend christmas with... i haven't seen some of them in over three years. i don't think that i have anything to say to them.
Subject: Re: Merry Christmas (stress-free)
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 09:16:24 EST
From: SuzanneV@xxxxxx.com
To: undertow@vega.net

Yes I wish everyone a good holiday, and lots of love and rest!


no christmas is complete without seasons greetings from suzanne. so now, the day has progressed, i've wrapped up all the presents, have drunken three cups of cappuccino and now my hands are shaking and i can't sit still.
oh well, that was fun. i'm just back...it was quite all right. silver lining: my cousin marion who was there and who really is - although in her mid 30s already - quite attractive and kept making me compliments and asking me whether i had a new style counselor. but then the best moment was when my grandmother - who admittedly is 82 already - looked at me after i had sat for two hours next to her and asked me "who are you?" - she did not recognize me because of the dark hair and the missing glasses.

now it's 22:30, i'm home and have just checked my mail. in front of me a cuba libre and on the stereo: david byrne's rei momo which fits the drink and lifts the mood. yes, there is some very, very bitter feeling coming up but i keep washing it down with the drink. got a nice mail from thomas. and he would kill me if he knew that i post it here...

Subject: Re: translation
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 09:17:45 +0100
From: <thomas.b@uni-koeln.de>
To: <philipp.hofmann@uni-koeln.de>

Hi Philip,

consider this an electronic xmas card!! :-)

But truly, all the best for you. A merry xmas and as a present I wish you less work for next year. Hohohohohohohooooooooo :-) Only kidding.

But really, have a nice, peaceful xmas. We miss you, and think of you!!

Thomas and la famiglia


it's 1:45. tara & cedric have just called. cedric said i should go on liberating cuba. yes! fists up! boy, i'm pretty tired now. have watched lord of the rings but i think i will stop now and sleep.
[december 25, 2002]
22:58. while i'm writing this i see the candle in the flat across the street go out. what a quiet christmas night: wet streets, from time to time a car is passing by slowly. the bottle of rum i've bought the day before yesterday is already half empty. it's a cheap one, but that's okay: i don't drink it for the taste - just for the effect.

there's been a very odd moment this afternoon when i was up in the woods: while walking i was watching the millions of brown leaves on the ground, and the muddy road, and the green poison ivy that was embracing the bare, wet trees which were glistening in the evening sun, those trees that had already been there when i was a little boy, years and years ago and that will still be there in a hundred years, unaware of me passing beneath them and i suddenly was struck by the incredible relief that the world doesn't need me. however much i might be holding on to things: the trees and the rain and the sun, things will have no problems letting go of me. and it was like a heavy weight would fall from my chest. the world doesn't need me. and like the tress and the rain and the sun you are part of the world and that explained quite a few things.

but that's not what i wanted to say. i think i forgot what i wanted to say. the more i'm thinking about it the more i think that it was probably pretty unimportant anyway. so i'll go to bed now. take care. "i pray for your health and your peace of mind". i guess i do.

[december 26, 2002]
slept deep into the day. weather: mild and while i'm looking out onto the street i realize that my windows need to be cleaned. plan for today: go for a walk and then spend the day with useful but fun stuff. but first i've got to get a cup of coffee.
wow, that was fun. it was only raining lightly when i left the house but as soon as i was up on the hill it started to pour down and then when i was soaking wet and on the way back home suddenly the clouds parted and the evening sun filled the sky and the whole air with a soft orange light. when i was back home and saw myself in the mirror i looked like a christmas tree: all the little lights from the lightchain around the mirror were reflected in the little mercury raindrops that covered my hair and my head was glistening almost halo-like. song of the day: josh rouse, "hey porcupine".
"hey porcupine! i don't call you anymore there's a difference in our taste. hey porcupine! i survived!"
i'm stronger than you could imagine in your wildest, in your wildest dreams. and i'm wilder than the nightmares born out of your strongest, strongest fears. weather: the rain has stopped for the time being. mood-o-meter: 3.9.
[much later]
it's midnight. head dizzy. "violence is like a drink - one's too many and a hundred's not enough" this is a line from some blue aeroplanes song. "hey porcupine" is playing on repeat. funny - the best lyrics are always those that i actually don't really understand so i'm just fantasizing about what's being sung, making up most of the words myself, only being guided by some rough sonic cluster. oh well, as long as i can still come up with terms like "sonic cluster" i haven't had enough cuba libre yet. i tried to spend the last three days very quietly, basically not doing anything that might stir up too many emotions. but this click here to go to the 200 lurkers pagesdoesn't make me happy as well. i realize that writing new songs is getting harder because of that fucking "why?" question. the answer "because it might make you feel better" doesn't really convince me anymore. "i am inhabited by a cry | nightly it flaps out | looking with its hooks | for something to love" this is a line from some sylvia plath poem. and yes - the 200 lurkers songs are my winged cry, they are what paula has expressed in her line "find me, please oh find me", they are an advertisement for myself, a silly mating call, an attempt to make myself lovable. and that's why it's pointless to make them just for me. i'm way too much in love with me already. i want them to go out like a message in a bottle, they are the only way i can be beautiful, they are what i might be loved for. i've always thought of beauty as the abun|dance of emotions: something that starts to stir feelings into a mad, wild dance, and this dance can be so ferocious that it shakes your whole being with an awesome force. at the same time it is so powerful that you can hardly stand it on your own, that you feel the need to share it, to pass it on because otherwise it would snap into a feedback loop and literally burn your circuits. there have been many, many moments of beauty this dying year, many of those moments of total affirmation, of complete loss of distance towards the music|lyrics and towards myself. so much new music that i discovered: aimee man, stina nordenstam, belle & sebastian, gemma hayes, josh rouse, james yorkston and so many musicians that i re-discovered: laurie anderson, indigo girls, sade and of course suzanne. they have created moments when the abun|dance of emotion has seized me and moved me around a line or around a melody and yes: i have often wished that i could do that dance with somebody because again and again the red shoes of beauty have left me rather breathless. but here i am, at the end of another year and at the beginning of things i don't even dare to dream of. i fight the fear with ignorance, and most of the time this works amazingly well. the six letter f-word [future] only scares me when it arrives in the presence. then i'm searching for some line of flight and curse the tornado in kansas. and i've clicked my heels together so often that they bleed, but i'm still not home.
[december 27, 2002]
started the day with helge schneider. "allein in der bar". did i mention that we [eva, sirka, michael, mathias, blaine, his cedric and i] are going to see him in march in cologne? went to town then to buy the last christmas presents. unfortunately i did not really get all i wanted. it was crowded!
it's evening already. just a couple of notes before i'm going to fix dinner. got a mail from paula this morning. bad news unfortunately :o(. while re-reading the entry for yesterday i realized that i'm probably sounding pretty confused? so i thought i might provide a couple of examples for my fairly theoretical notion of "moments of beauty". these are just random examples from music but maybe they can illustrate what i mean:
example # 1
belle and sebastian, "the state i'm in": 00:45 - also - 01:23 - also - 01:54
example # 2
james yorkston, "in your hands": 00:46 - also - 02:54
example # 3
laurie anderson, "o superman": 04:30 until 05:02
example # 4
paul simon, "the cool, cool river": 01:11 - also - 02:49 - and - 03:25
example # 5
indigo girls, "fugitive": 03:24
example # 6
lotion, "around": 04:13 - and - 04:25
example # 7
radiohead, "let down": 03:41 until the end: one big hysterical and useless moment
example # 8
suzanne vega, "soap & water": 01:14 - also - 02:01
example # 9
suzanne vega, "pilgrimage": the complete song
23:15. it has started to rain and the water is running down the street with a soft murmur. you can have me in a matter of moments. i've bought yellow roses today and placed them all over the apartment. i'm tired. no alcohol tonight. think i'm going for a walk.
00:01. it's very mild outside. the rain is dry and small, the ducks were sleeping on those parts of the pond that are still frozen. the streets empty and underneath the traffic lights the wet cobble stoned street looked like it was made out of thousands of rubies. you can have me in a matter of moments. i'm tired but not tired. step after step another image that i wasn't grateful for, besides: an empty head. watching through windows i'm wondering if you're okay. lots of lightened christmas trees. you can. the candles on the windowsill have almost burned down. the little lighthouse. a matter of moments. so, time for bed...
[december 28, 2002]
woke up this morning with natalie merchant's "kind and generous" in my head. it's playing now and i'm taking a shower now, make myself some breakfast and then answer thomas' mail [he's written over night]. after that: hollow earthing.
I want to thank you for your generosity,
The love, and the HONESTY that you gave me
I want to thank you, show my gratitude,
my love and my respect for you,
I wanna thank you
Oh I want to thank you, thank you,
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
the roses on the windowsill have started to bloom and they look marvelous, very graceful and fragile. felt a short, sharp pain in my heart when i opened a mail that nicole had sent me an hour ago and i read: "Hi Flip, how was christmas? Did you also get such a beautiful "e-card" from Thomas...??? ;-)" analyze that!
went swimming. they're playing the same tape in the swimming hall each saturday. when i arrive it starts with "betty davis eyes" and then goes from "it's raining man" to enrique iglesias' "hero" and by then i have a really hard time not puking into the water. funny thing: i get more 'relaxed' from two cans of beer than from half a bottle of rum. have to conduct some field studies to get more data on that. good news from eve [bielefeld]: apparently this christmas not only santa but also cupid stopped by at her place. worked all evening on the new opening sequence for the hollow earth cd-rom. when he was back in germany early this month thomas suggested to use the text from symmes' circular:
                                                              ST. LOUIS, (Missouri Territory,)
                                                              North America, April 10, A.D. 1818
                                            I declare the earth is hollow, and habitable
within; containing a number of solid concentrick spheres, one within the
other, and that it is open at the poles 12 or 16 degrees; I pledge my life
in support of this truth, and am ready to explore the hollow, if the world
will support and aid me in the undertaking.
                                                                     JOHN CLEVES SYMMES
                                                                Of Ohio, Late Captain of Infantry.
so i designed a new sequence using his announcement and i like it better than the one we had before. sigh. the bitter thing is that thomas is usually right with his suggestions. you know what? just the other minute i caught myself talking to myself. hm, either i'm *really* getting confused or the drinks are finally starting to work. anyway, i'll watch "deconstructing harry" now and then hopefully fall into a refreshing, dreamless sleep. listen to me: let me touch you. there. she was laughing. she was laughing. at me. and i danced. and i danced.
[later | 00:48]
the film's over. quite good, actually. a little too close to the bone but i even laughed out loud at a couple of scenes. it's way past midnight now. i've got the headphones on and i'm sitting crouched on my chair at the desk in my pajama, the blanket wrapped around myself. the window is open and i'm sweating from the rum. in the corner a single candle is burning, throwing warm, orange beams all through the room and next to the candlestick on the wooden tea box a copy of dracula and a calvin & hobbes comic. there was so much that i wanted to write. savoy grand is playing "arm the lonely". the drums sound like heartbeats. fhhze hfggtzl llsdtzgg jffgt, bbhfzt nnnhfgtd. kjff uz rtgdrr : zcgff vreissme hcid zo uhcm, naig. steps are echoing down the streets. on my desk: the telephone bill. a euro coin. a blue lighter. a battery. yellow post-its. scotch tape. a hollow earth-folder. my telephone. a cdr. my necklace. the md player. i should get to sleep before i start writing things that i will regret later. while swimming i thought about dracula. here's my thesis [mind you, it's just a rough outline]. dracula is the pre-symbolic. he's [kristeva's] semiotic, that which cannot be subsumed by the symbolic. that's why he doesn't have a mirror image. no mirror stage [mental note: what does this say about his language?? check the beginning where he's trying to learn english from harker! ]. plus he's connected to the abject ??, to the realm of the female: blood and the insane, those who are outside of the symbolic order. he is un-dead. he is that which cannot die: no death = not in the symbolic. he is amorph, has many forms, is outside of representation [becoming animal: strange: he is connected to exactly those animals that deleuze & guattari are interested in: wolves [always many wolves!] and rats]. the symbolic [in the characters of van helsing etc.] tries to fight him. he can be overpowered by means of the symbolic: the cross [one of the most symbolic symbols of the symbolic], er kann gepfählt werden: the phallus can - in the end - kill him. how did this come to seem so reasonable? - you can have me in a matter of moments. ztwjfb mjjutdfge ovbbgr, äruutzgfhsb - kknghfjts - looezfgb!!!!!!!! in the meantime 01:11. i forgot what i wanted to write. the room is spinning or i am on my chair in my blanket with the headphones on. "like a dog with little sense i keep returning". thought a lot about suzanne and what her music means to me. i should really get to sleep now.
[december 29, 2002]
"i saw a lot of trees today. and they were all made of wood. well, they were wooden trees. and they were made entirely of wood. aaahaaahaaahaaa nananana nanana nanana. i came home today and you were all on fire. your shirt was in fire. and your hair was on fire. and flames were licking all around your feet. and i did not know what to do. aaaaaaahaaaa. and then a thousand violins began to play. and i REALLY did not know what to do then. so i just decided to go out and walk the dog. aaahaaahaaahaaa nananana nanana nanana. well i went to the movies and i saw a dog thirty feet high. and this dog was made entirely of light." sunday noon. i'm hollow earthing. weather: gray but mild. mood-o-meter: an indifferent 3.8. listening to laurie anderson's united states while coding. "oh, i feel so bad. i feel so sad. but not as bad as the night i  wrote  this  song. aaahaaahaaahaaa nananana nanana nanana!"
no rehearsal today because reiner has a photo shooting with his other band. actually this is quite a good name for a group: "the other band". anyway, since we did not rehearse i took my guitar, sat in the kitchen and played a solo set of about an hour. haven't done so in a long time. some songs worked amazingly well.
eeek! how unpleasant: went swimming and when i got out of the water i suddenly realized how everything around me started to move unnaturally: all the noise from the people and from the building and from the water became fainter and softer as if my ears had been plugged and then the music started to fade away [and i swear it was a disco version of enrique iglesias' "hero" - no kidding!!] and my legs got weak and i had to sit down. and now matter how hard i was breathing i didn't seem to get any air at all and then my vision started to blur and everything got white and there where spots of light everywhere and i guess i was just very close to passing out. i lied down then and after a couple of minutes everything went back to normal slowly: i could breath properly again and the white lights disappeared and the building stopped moving. hm, very strange. and i did not even swim for very long or very ambitiously today.

the other strange thing is a sound in "the little lighthouse" - and i have only realized it today: there is this cry of a seagull mixed into it at various places and it reminded me of that sort of silly game that we used to play when we were either very - well - silly or very drunk. although the latter didn't happen very often. i used to imitate a bird's cry [god! actually this is getting pretty embarrassing...] and this must have been exceptionally cute or what do i know anyway i just noticed that there was a sort of sonic similarity. blah.

jesus christ schlag mich sowas! talked with nicole on the phone and we discussed how our christAMS WENT and now the actor otto sander is in the tv series "zoimmer frei" and he's more drunk than me. jesus! i can't believe what he's saying there. aynway: killed two cans of beer which makes me more happy than all the rum in this world. yeah! oh well. i dreamt i was a dog in a dog show. he's talking like helge schneider. nicole said i was one of the few men she knew who were expressing his feelingsa. hmmm. hmmm-. hm.. really? blaine says the opposite. it's nice and warm, here. iside as well. hr he. gonna eat the sweets now that i actually wanted to use for tara's xmas present. he says he doesn't drink anything before he's going on stage. HA! he he he. more sweets. he he he. funny thing. laughing to myself anf about götz alsmanns hairstyle. "do you really want to hurt me?" wollt ihr mich wirklicjh hören? ha ha ha! anyway, i'd rather would shgare a room with christine wetserman, his co-host. i guess a mixture of her and gillian anderson is what someone should have put under *my* christmnas tree. need. you know - and i wouldn't write this if i didn't feel that way - what is really stange is how i've become master of time . well, not master but somethign else. i don't know. but there's just this curios phenomena that i've relived every single minute and moment of the four odd year realtaionship in the last year at least a thousand times. fourthousandyears rperssed into one. fourthousand moments of memory all pressed into that short span of time. i really don't know how  this worlked but it did. what an astonishing fact! a timeloop,. a memory loop. a longingloop, a looploop. someday i'm gonna call somebody when i'm in a state like now. numb tongue. always the same. without reason to hide. without reason to write. but good things never end. the most frightening thing is the idea of a future that is fixed - like a marriage, like a baby. something that completely destroys all the hope. thus the strange feeling yetsreday night while watching the woody allen movie. because there basically the saME problem comes up: his former girlfriend marriages.a thought that i cannot have because it isa the most cruel thung - well. wrong topic. wrong words. wrong feelings. good things NEVEr end. the seagull's cry. i'm tired. so big big big big big big big big. taboga - light & dry. ggrteprjcnaabtzr iwerm zeetjm & etwtwraöpzhdn kffuit, nhhth k  lorztehaüpas!
[december 30, 2002]
more laurie anderson. more rain. as a matter of fact it hasn't really stopped raining i guess. lots of cars passing by. for such a long time. for so long. for such a long time. for so long. you're driving and it's dark and it's raining and you're on the dge of the city and you took a turn back there but you're not really sure whether it's the right turn and somehow it all looks sort of familiar so you just keep driving. hello. excuse me. can you tell me where i am? you've been on this road before. you can read the signs. you can feel your way. you can do this - in your sleep. laurie anderson is the best.
it's night already. scanned all day for the hollow earth cd. bought food. bought beer. bought railway tickets to get to cologne tomorrow for blaine's new year's party. guess i'm reading a couple of dracula chapters now.

how beautiful: it has started to snow. how beautiful.

i'm lying in bed, wrapped in my warm blanket and savoy grand is playing some slow, soft song. the smell of snow comes streaming through the window that is open and the mild december night air unfolds into the room like a ghost that makes the two candles by the bed flicker as if the flames were waves. from the street the constant murmur of water running down the avenue is mixing with the noise of cars that are passing by occasionally: people driving home. people driving to see other people. can't concentrate on the book. i felt like writing - i know this sounds silly. although it's past midnight you can hear the explosions of early fireworks in the distance. i feel like i just want to get it over with. wish it was the second week of january already. boy - what a year this has been. the scars in my heart and the scars on my skin will make me remember it for a long time.
[even later]
i'm so tired but i cannot sleep. i'm too close to myself. i hear myself breathing and it sounds like a storm, my heart is a hammer in my head and every beat makes my skull ringing like a bell of bone. i can even hear the softest movement the folds of the blanket make when my chest is moving taking air in and letting go of it again. my thoughts won't rest and if my thoughts can't then i can't. tried every trick: imagined myself floating weightlessly in outer space but it's no use. i'm all wound up. every time i exhale i'm trying to let go of ideas, images, worries but they keep returning from inside, from some dark, hidden breeding place, some psychic cancer that has nested in me and is thriving on my fears and thoughts. the love letter to you that i cannot write because i don't know your name and i don't know your face and i don't know you address has started to infect the sane tissue of my brain. now i know what is keeping me awake: something has happened. i can feel it, i can sense it! something has happened. something terrible has happened and i don't know what yet - and from the feeling i have i'm not sure whether i even want to know.
[december 31, 2002]
woke up early: the cars and streets and trash bins are white with snow, the sky is bright blue and the light soft. i still have the strange, unpleasant feeling that something has happened. it makes me nervous. somebody filled out the feedback form so there's a set of new answers in the answer-section!
ok. i'm off to cologne now! see you tomorrow!