Monday, June 30, 2008

Life at a Standstill Moving Right Along

Summertime, that rich luxurious time for teachers, breeds a whole new sense of self. One has the distinct pleasure of swimming through time, taking deep breaths to build up one's stamina for the future and feel the hydraulic push and pull of moments coming and going. I am completely lost in myself without the distractions of a school schedule, living each moment without the least bit of self-consciousness. Like working for oneself, to benefit oneself. I imagine that these times are what Aristotle alluded to when he spoke of pure contemplation (my phrasing, not his; my volumes of collected works are buried in the crawlspace). To not feel crushed in the machinations of duty. I wish I could share this feeling with the world! I think it would be a much better place if I could.

Recently I've been indulging in some new music, namely the reissue of Mogwai's Young Team, Sigur Ros' new one Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaustm and the most recent Andrew Bird Armchair Apocrypha. I had promised myself that I wouldn't invest in so many albums... But here I am again. All three have their own rewards, but I really like the joyful mood of the Sigur Ros and the dirging metal grind of the Mogwai. Life would be as dull as door sills without the extremes to un/balance us all out.

With Euro 2008 having slowed to a creaking halt of a bore-fest final, I have to find new ways to regulate my time and keep myself on some sort of schedule; yet at the same time, I want to feel like I have lived it up a bit this summer so I don't feel cheated when I return to school in the fall. Easier said than done. Time is and is not on your side.

Friday, June 27, 2008

TS Eliot vs. Portishead

The Wasteland set to a chilling backdrop. This some how defines the meaning of the word appropriate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good Friends

Yesterday I had a great evening with a good friend, an old friend Charlotte, aka "Lotta" of Stockholm. We wandered the streets of Bucktown, hitting Broken Cherry's place and I picked up a bad ass belt buckle that says "Carpe Diem" but also "Made in Sweden." I think that sucker was made for me! We then hit The Northside Tap and because it was early, it wasn't replete with douchebags, After a turkey burger, we hit Reckless Records where I picked up the latest Andrew Bird (which I've listened to at least five times already a mere 20 hours later) and finally made it to some place on North Avenue that had lamps that looked like underwater creatures but had the best frozen custard ever! Overall, it was a nice time had and good to have a good friend when strolling through douche bag ville. She may kill me for this but here's a pictures of Lotta:

Monday, June 23, 2008

To Africa

My good colleague Diandra Jones and I Skyped each other last summer after I had just found a place in Stockholm (Solna, to be exact) and had begun to settle in. I remember waking up early one morning and jumping on line and finding her there. Then I was woken up again, in a whole new way, when she told me she had fallen in love with a man from Ghana, where she had been on a educational dance tour for AIDS. She and Apu married this past December and tomorrow she ships off for Ghana for good. To say I've been concerned about her safety would be an understatement. Yet I also trust her judgment and she reassured us on Saturday at her going-away party that she would high tail it back here should she feel the need. Good luck, Diandra. I haven't wished that much good luck to anybody ever!

Here she is with another former Northtown Academy colleague, Mario Ortiz.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I thought I was dead, too, but then I realized I was just in Kansas."

--Little Bill Dagget, "Unforgiven"

Notes to Self -- June 22, 2008

In on-line dating, don't be shocked at what shows up.

Don't waste your time watching Italian national football matches unless you want to watch the team they are playing and maybe not even then.

Here's the story of one of humanity's loneliest people.

Don't expect any politician, even the one that you really want to believe in, to be 100% that person you want him to be. You will only be disappointed. (This is more of a warning to self rather an a reflection on recent events.)

Drink more margaritas and/or bloody marys. It's summertime!

Expect ghosts, even if you don't believe in them.

Greet the ghosts that you don't believe in. You will like that they like that.

Listen to more Bob Dylan but don't be sad when you realize he's not the genius that so many think him to be.

Keep enjoying your reading. Enjoying reading is one of the greatest things one can do for oneself.

Just because you can watch unlimited movies from, that doesn't you have to.

Don't forget that we're all pretty sure that we only get around but once. Don't live like you're going to die tomorrow, nor in 400 years.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

In the Most Burning Moments of Sunshine, I like the Music of the Dark

I don't really get it. I've never been a true goth kid, even as a teenager. I started to see a pattern a few years back after seeing Radiohead on a torpid and steaming summer night in Grant Park downtown Chicago and seeing them again two years latter, once again in the heat of August humidity so thick you felt like you were swimming with every step. The weather was recurrently quintessential Chicago summer; the tone, upbeat. The following summer when the weather warmed again and the barometer registered high humidity I craved that dark, crepuscular tone that pulled me into myself like a Swedish winter. No! Too much light. I need me some darkness with my sunburn! Once again a few years back, school lets out and the new Tom Yorke (Radiohead musician) CD (The Eraser) finds the light of day in the mushy June heat and beacons me into the darkness of June. This year, school lets out and humidity sucks me in and wave after wave of Radiohead and Mozart's Requiem and Grizzly Bear and Elliot Smith and Jose Gonzalez make their way to my car CD player, iPod and desktop to be pumped out the speaker system and push back the waves of humid heat. Sure, I'll take it again, and again, apparently.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Svensk tjej/killlar...

You should be able to get something out of these, even if you're not a speaker of Swedish.

Monday, June 2, 2008