Monthly Archives: April 2007

I hate you, ridiculous ridiculous Internet

Today's productivity-assassin has been this bullshit.

Yes, I have an essay due Monday. No, I don't have anything to do today other than type, flip pages, and hit CTRL-S. What does this mean? Why, that I've been futzing around on the Internet all morning. How the hell can I get work done when I'm sitting in front of an invention that only exists to distract me? It's like trying to handwrite an essay on a stripper.

Anyway, here's some samples from the most geeky-awful-tremendous-appalling Website I've ever seen. It's like a roller coaster of emotion in here.

do-not-want.jpg

Juuuke! WTFH4X!?!?

i needs vacashens

O HAY I USD UP ALL UR MINITSEZ

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INVISIBLE BUTTSECKS!!!

I HAS TEH AZMAH

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safewurd.jpg

Ugh. I have to go destroy something beautiful now.

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Predictions from 1900

This is rapidly becoming the best thing I've read all month.

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6 million ways to Roskilde

I'm in serious awe of the Roskilde Festival lineup this year. I was already 8th-grade-girl excited, but they just announced 100 more bands yesterday, and now it's getting ridiculous. There hasn't been this much good music in one place since I made mixtapes for my Civic. Check it:

Arcade Fire: Even their sophomore slump is better than like 90 percent of the albums clogging up iTunes

Arctic Monkeys: I don't even like or care about this band, but I'll mention them just to make people jealous

Basement Jaxx: Hey, Americans. You know that throbby shit with empowered female vocalists you hear coming from convertibles in gay neighborhoods? That's this band. It's acceptable for heterosexuals to enjoy this kind of music on more historical continents, and I'm looking forward to seeing my breeder brethren sing along.

Beastie Boys: I'm only going if they promise to do 'Brass Monkey'.

Beirut: This is more or less all we listened to on the Italy trip last year, so hearing it at Roskilde is just going to make me think of hot sun, salty sea, and scorching heartburn.

Bjork: I only make music with grunting and whisper

Camera Obscura: Haven't heard of their songs, but they're constantly compared to other bands I like. Bring it on.

Clipse: Am I the only one who feels really over rap music? Nonetheless, I might go to this one just to watch the Danes squinting at all the slang.

Dizzee Rascal: The man who blessed the world with the line "Guilty, betrayed so innocently / Us natives act immigrantly."

Dune: Four uncomfortably good-looking 17-year-olds from the Danish peninsula. Or possibly The Shire.

Exposions in the Sky: 12-minute long, wordless drum-and-guitar mope ballads. I'm gonna bring a crepe.

Grizzly Bear: So last time I saw this band I ended up talking with them afterwards, and it turns out the bassist is from seriously like half a mile away from me in Seattle. Him: "Yeah, I'm from Everett, around 160th St." Me: "I used to go to your Taco Bell!"

The Killers: Did you know the lead singer's Mormon? I'm checking for long johns…

Klaxons: Another overhyped British band, but whatever. One of them is probably porking Kate Moss (or will be by July), and might have some good between-song anecdotes.

LCD Soundsystem: Yes! Festival's quota of meta: Fulfilled! I imagine the stage setup for this will just be the band in between two giant pairs of ironic quotation-marks.

Machine Head: Why God invented the devil-hand-symbol.

Matmos: Two French dudes who produced a Bjork album. I'm gonna need drugs for this one.

Mika: Juuuuuust in case Basement Jaxx wasn't gay enough.

Moi Caprice: The Danishest band ever. Has anyone even heard of these dudes outside of Scandinavia?

Muse: Hiyo!

My Chemical Romance: I think I've seen this band before. There was an afternoon at a music festival about two years ago. That much I know is true. However, a Jeep, half a bottle of vodka, and a beer garden have Eternal Sunshined away any other memories of that day.

The National: They're from Portland, but I tell everyone they're a Seattle band. Gotta represent Cascadia.

Peter Bjorn & John: Why is every good band from Sweden nowadays? And no, it doesn't make up for Abba.

Queens of the Stone Age: Dave Grohl's modern-day Wings.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: I'm having more and more trouble caring about this band. As Brock put it, "Fuck their new album. It's just gonna be more songs about California." I'll still go, though, if only to see how far away you have to be before you can't see Anthony Kiedis's creepy veins.

Speaker Bite Me: I've never even heard of this band. I just want to convince Laust to go.

Taxi Taxi!: Two 15-year-old Swedish chicks with harps and piano. I saw them play a few weeks ago in Copenhagen, and it was unexpectedly awesome. I have a feeling the audience for them at Roskilde is going to be like 75 percent trenchcoat, though.

Tiesto: You know that song 'Sandstorm' that drove you crazy like five years ago? Well, he didn't do it, but if he could've, he would've.

Trentemoller: The famousest Dane since Hans Christian Anderson and that Bond villian.

The Whitest Boy Alive: I'm trusting Dan's judgment here.

Wilco: The soundtrack to every Clinton-era indie kid's unrequited love. The audience for this is gonna be a bunch of skinny Danish guys crying and carving 'Susan!' into their arms with housekeys.

The Who: It's gonna be weird seeing a troupe of half-mummified Brits singing 'teenage wasteland!' but whatever. This at least gives me an excuse to say "That pinball wizard has such a supple wrist!" all weekend.

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Why I’m glad I’m not living in the States this week

You know how, when you say a word over and over again, after a while it loses all of its meaning? That's what cable does to news.

This terrible shit in Virginia doesn't deserve the nonstop chatter that it's getting. As a news event, this was uniquely contextless. Unlike Columbine (teen angst run amok) or Sept. 11 (Muslim terror, etc.), this ridiculous asshole and his weapons and his anger and his illness don't mean anything in the bigger picture. This isn't a tile in a fucking mosaic of [insert social problem here], it's just a Tourette's outburst on a way-too-3D scale. An earthquake, a rainstorm. Utterly without meaning, purpose or significance. Everyone making 'larger' points about guns or immigrants or warning signs sounds like they're just living inside a pinball machine, waiting for events to come along and light up their agendas.

48 hours after the shootings, and I'm already tired of hearing about them. The drips of information, the timelines, the inevitable celebrities, the "for those of you just joining us…". We haven't even reached the 'Dateline'/'60 Minutes' stage yet, much less the insta-bestsellers.

So I'm glad I don't live in the States this week. I'm glad I don't have to see the tasteful graphics-and-music package CNN has put together to best illustrate the tragedy ("Portrait of a Killer" maybe? "Violence in Virginia"?). I'm glad I don't have to find out what fucking George Clooney thinks about it. I'm glad I don't have to chit-chat it to death with coworkers.

As tired as I am of explaining shit like 'resident alien' and 'semi-automatic' to Danish people, at least I'm allowed to quietly feel shitty about what happened in Virginia and go about my day. That's more than anyone watching TV gets to do.

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Denmark thanks Al Gore for unseasonably warm spring

Seriously, is there anything in the world that beats Scandinavia in the summertime? Today was the first properly sweaty day of the year, and I spent nearly all of it outside, basking in the low-angle sun and checking out the bare, muscled arms of this country's only decent scenery.

In my continuing effort to be permanently becamera'd, here's a few snaps of Scanda-Saturday:

I didn't mean to capture that poor girl's asscrack, I swear. Anyway, here's some more.

Yankee hostel foxtrotYes, I was the creepy guy taking pictures in front of the teenage bikinis, thank you very muchHollow buildings rock'Hey fellas!' 'Yeah!?' 'Your girlfriend got the butt?!' 'Hell yeah!'On the bike ride home...Creature-shit. In the middle of the busiest street in Copenhagen. What century is this again?

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Damn right, it’s better than yours

I've never been particularly patriotic about America as a whole. People saying nasty things about the States doesn't sting at a gut-punch level, and I'm capable of discussing stuff like lack of universal health care and assorted shitty presidents objectively. But when it comes to Seattle, I am Uncle Fucking Sam.

"Seattle? Doesn't it rain all the time there?" No, punk. Summer starts in fucking March, and unless you're from the goddamn Maldives, our weather is better than yours. Yes, Nirvana is the best band ever, and no, I don't want to talk about the last season of 'Frasier'. I will boast endlessly about Seattle being the most educated city in America. However, the less said about Starbucks, 'Grey's Anatomy' and Modest Mouse, the better.

I came across some delicious Seattle-porn today via Boing Boing.These are old posters and snaps of the Space Needle, the world's only non-phallic towering structure.

Seattle mass transit. All one-quarter of a mile of it...The sun always shines creepily from behind the Needle...I used to get high here when I was a teenagerLook at those Rivendell-ass arches. Legolas was a Soundgarden fan.

See? Sunshine, motherfucker. Proof that it hasn't rained since Microsoft bought all the clouds in 1982.

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Listen all a y’all, it’s a sabotage

Does anyone else get the feeling that the Roskilde Festival website just hates all the bands that are playing this year? I was really excited about going, but after reading these passive-aggressive Danglish blurbs, I feel like I should just stay home with a good book and some gravied pork.

BEASTIE BOYS

The pioneers of white rap and kitschy music videos are back at Roskilde Festival.

Yikes. Being the 'pioneers' of white rap is like being the guy who invented the denim jacket.

BJÖRK

Björk’s magical world still shines as brightly as the Icelandic evening sun

Translation: They're expecting her to cancel. At least this way they can blame it on the 'magical world' she lives in.

THE KILLERS

Stadium rock in the vein of U2 and Bruce Springsteen

U2 and Springsteen? Does anyone even like them anymore? That's like saying: "Here, have a Pop Tart. It's breakfast food in the vein of dodgy Korean desserts and polenta."

KLAXONS

One of this year’s most important new bands – and surely one of the most publicized.

Translation: We think this band is as overhyped as you do. We suggest you get a styrofoam bowl of spaghetti while they pollute the Danish air with their Britishly overdone 'la la la'-ing.

MIKA

English pop phenomenon with enough room in the flamboyant arsenal to harbour the best kitsch of the past 30 years.

Translation: Gay. As. Christmas.

TUNNG

Soothing folk-pop with grating electronics

Translation: We're not even gonna pretend with this one. Just don't go. Seriously.

THE WHO

The band behind one of the most important soundtracks of the youth revolution is ready to let loose the primordial forces of rock history

Translation: The average age of the people at this concert will be somewhere between Golf Course and Craftmatic Adjustable Bed.

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Random afternoon awesomeness

My Spring Resolution is to take my camera with me everywhere. With the possibility of getting thrown out of this country looming in my every daily thought (and nightly, slurred mope-fest), I want to enjoy what I've got as much as I can.

Though my Godless American friends may not know it, this is Easter Weekend here in 2-percent-church-attendin' Western Europe, and the government's highly secular gift to its subjects is a full three days off work for the weekend. Take that, Thanksgiving!

Like most European capitals on holiday weekends, Copenhagen has been zombie-movie-caliber deserted the last few days. The Jutland Hejira has robbed the city of all of its small-town transplants, and the streets' library-grade silence has become morgue-strength. But hey, it's a great excuse to bike around like the Omega Man, taking pictures and eating pastries at all the cafes I can usually never get a seat at. This is what I did today:

We have cooler libraries than yoooouuuuQuintessential CopenhagenWhen I stopped to take that picture, this is what the graffiti said. Clever ones, those Danes.

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Fun facts about infidelity

I came across this article this morning while avoiding academic obligations, and I'm finding it really interesting. This chick named Pamela did a worldwide study of infidelity. She found the following things:

  • In France and America, 4 percent of men admit to having sex with someone other than their wives in the last year. In Australia, for some reason, it's only 2.5 percent. In Togo, it's 37 percent, in the Dominican Republic it's 20 percent and in Peru it's 13.5 percent. There's a lot of stewardesses out there…
  • In Brazil, it was legal until 1991 for a man to murder his wife and her lover if she cheated.
  • "In Russia, cheating is more of a relational problem than a moral violation. Nearly 40 percent of Russians said in a 1998 survey that cheating is 'not at all' wrong or 'only sometimes' wrong. Psychologists in Moscow told me that if you live in a two-room apartment with your in-laws, as many Russians do, an affair is practically obligatory just to get relief from the constant bickering." Nice.
  • This guy's Danish at heart: "A [Japanese] businessman who frequented sex clubs — part of Japan’s 2.37 trillion yen ($1.8 billion) live sex industry — told me he never questioned his wife when she handed him divorce papers one day, after two years of what he had thought was a happy marriage." Can you believe that shit? Sitting crosslegged in front of your breakfast one morning, your wife comes in, says 'I want a divorce', and you just say 'aight.'
  • "Americans cherish monogamy, but they value honesty even more. In the 1970s and 1980s, as it became easier to divorce and couples counseling emerged as the forum for resolving marital spats, Americans decided marriage ought to be a transparent zone without any secrets. They developed a unique mantra about affairs: It’s not the sex, it’s the lying." She's right, we do have a overly-open model of marriage. I don't really know where over-sharing obsession in American life comes from, but I'm sure it's Clinton's fault somehow.
  • "Though they prefer monogamy, when the French do cheat they typically aren’t saddled with guilt. Couples give each other privacy so that they don’t trip over unwanted information." See? Why can't we be cold and distant from our loved ones, like the wonderful wonderful French? I don't know how French people got to be this way either, but if my alphabet had that many silent letters, I'd probably be aloof too. 

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Forskellige rester

I can't believe I forgot to post this after I came back from Panama.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I need another vacation like this. But with a monthly income that probably qualifies me for food stamps in Pakistan, YouTube nostalgizing is about as close as I'm gonna get.

(OK, during the first 10 seconds, watch the bottom righthand corner…)

Behind the scenes bonus: We shot this video 20 minutes before I opened the door of our hostel and almost stepped on a scorpion the size of a housecat. I miss that country…

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