Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hit the road, Beard

Last night we went to dinner at Bröderna Olssons Garlic & Shots, with dear friends Bergman and Malin (now Missus Bergman). Garlic was eaten. Heat was cursed. Laughs were had. We had a grand time, and were home early, which was a plus. Yes, the retirement home awaits us just around the corner.

Today was my last working day before eleven days away from the office. Happy happy joy joy! Tomorrow, a road trip to my old home town Karlskoga, to hang out with friends, barbecue and leech off two sets of parents for six days. We’ve rented a car which negates the need to pack sensibly, so we’ll have bags and bags of stuff, including four plus pounds of Polish sausagey goodness. Mmm…meat.

Other activities during the week might include: watching eight episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Playing some geek games with some geek friends (not saying I’m not a geek). Eating mom’s kickass raspberry/blueberry/coconut pie. Watching mah girl sigh over Damien Lewis in The Baker (curse you, redheaded heartbreaker – fie, foh, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman). Etcetera.

And yes. Food is a big deal to me. I like to eat.

Not sure how much blogging will be done while away from home. But I shall try.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh how far the mighty have fallen

On many occasions, I have been able to look beyond certain aspects of an artist’s personality or opinions and just enjoy what they’re good at.

Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley was very pro-drugs and let it show in his lyrics:

You can't understand a user's mind
But try, with your books and degrees
If you let yourself go and opened your mind
I'll bet you'd be doing like me
And it ain't so bad

I still worship that band. “Dirt” remains one of my favorite albums.

Woven Hand prophet David Eugene Edwards is very religious, though he has a somewhat damaged relationship with his god, and lets it show in his lyrics as well. Somehow that’s an even bigger problem for me at times than the drugs, but there’s no denying the power or feeling in his music and words.

David Eugene Edwards at Peace and Love. Pic by Mah Girl

But then someone goes and does something that I can’t ignore or get around. “Just don’t let it bother you”, some people say. Impossible. Choosing to be bothered by such things is what I do. It’s part of my bearded charm.

So. Orson Scott Card has some opinions about gay marriage. He seems to be the kind of religious nut that needs a good talking to. In a dark alley. With a Louisville Slugger. Yeah, sure, a lot of science fiction writers find inspiration in religion and as such a lot of them are probably religious, but this takes the cake. And that’s just insulting to cake.

And the idiot parade continues. Frank Miller is, without a doubt, one of the most influential comic artists and creators of the past 30 years. He reinvented Daredevil, which I read over and over in my teens (watch the POS movie at your peril – it’s one of the first signs of the Apocalypse), wrote and drew what is undeniably the greatest Batman story ever, and created the Sin City series (also made into a movie, which while not as eye-gougingly horrible as Daredevil still is flawed in many ways).

Violent Marv silhouetted in a Sin City alley, in "The Hard Goodbye"

Then a friend told me about this. Batman vs Al-Qaeda? Come on. That’s so stupid I don’t even know where to begin. And the realization just hit me that the worst thing about it isn’t even his dumbass opinions about the war, but the fact that he will tarnish the memory of “The Dark Knight Returns”. I won’t be able to even look at that graphic novel for quite some time, let alone read it. I hope DC Comics see some sense and don’t even publish the new one.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sushi. Gesundheit.

The lady at the sushi place called me “strange” and “funny” today. All I wanted was to lose the avocado from the California rolls and replace it with egg. “It’s not a California roll then”, she said. So? They're my damn rolls.

Though that’s not what I said. I’m much too well-mannered. Instead, I watched as she stood there giggling, making my Flemingsberg rolls (now so named). Then another Japanese woman entered, ordered in their native tongue, and then they stood chatting while food was prepared.

(imagined dialogue after food had been ordered)
“Do you have any idea what the bearded gaijin ordered?”
“No. Do tell.”
“He wanted to replace the avocado in the rolls with [dramatic pause for effect]…egg.”
“[stunned silence]”
“I know. It’s [longer dramatic pause for more effect]…wrong.”
“We should report him.”
“Yes. I bet he is one of those uncultured people that dips his nigiri in the soy sauce rice first.”
“We should report that too.”
“Yes. Or pierce him with chop sticks.”
[pause as both Japanese women turn to look at me] (this actually happened)
“No. I will not have bloodshed in my restaurant.”
“True. We will send ninjas after him later.” (it’s a known fact that all conversations in Japanese mention ninjas. Or samurai. Or Godzilla. Or Akira Kurosawa)
“Excellent. Have them bring me his beard. I shall nail it to the wall as a trophy.”
“It shall be done, oh almighty sushi lady.”
“You serve well, unknown sushi buyer person. Here’s your food. Now go call your ninjas.”

The end.

Don't mess with the Old Man

First things first. We are on track with the locker. It was back to zero yesterday afternoon, so it was opened sometime between 0730 and 1630 yesterday. I have lined up three volunteers for the stake-out. Monday August 11th is L-Day. I don’t expect German machine gun fire, but you never know.

Today is Olof’s name day. All the men on my father’s side of the family, including my brother and I, have the middle-name Olof, after our grandfather, who is affectionately known as "Den Gamle" (the Old Man, in Swedish). He turned 97 this year, and is still quite a vital man for his age. I have nothing but respect for him, especially since he kicked a mugger’s ass seven years ago. That’s right, at age 90. I wonder what the guy told his friends about the bruises.

Anywho, since today is Olof today, I figured I would introduce another of our children. There are three of them, one perennial citrus tree, one mini Christmas Star (who is the runt of the litter, and looks like he’s been mutilated), and then there’s the palm tree.

Of course, he’s named Olof. My girl thinks that joke is pushing it. I disagree.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Write while the heat is in you

This morning on the train I sat next to a sleeping old man. He had a big white beard and his arms were wrapped protectively around a briefcase, cradled in his lap. He looked very serene and calm, the eye of the storm of stressed commuters.

Seeing people like that always gets my imagination going. Where was he going? What was in the briefcase? Who is he? Stuff for at least a short story, right there.

Passed the locker. Still counting away, and will most likely be opened and back to zero again sometime during the day. I won't pass it on my way home today, I think, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check. If it's back to zero, then it's definitely Mondays.

I suffered from the heat this weekend. All our rooms have south-facing windows, and have direct sunlight from around noon until sunset. It's not an apartment. It's a furnace. We went outside to buy food and pick up a package on Saturday, and it was like being hit in the head with a sledgehammer. I hate the heat. I am so not a summer person.

The sky outside our place this weekend

And people look at me like I'm an alien when I explain this. It's biology. Nothing I can do about except pray for cloudy skies and winds. Though who to pray to I really can't say...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Own Summer (Shove It)

I love it when artists express how I feel...

My Own Summer (Shove It) - Deftones

Hey you, big star, tell me when it's over

Hey you, big mood, guide me to shelter
`Cause i'm through when the two hits the six and it's summer

Come (shove it)
Shove (shove it)

The sun (shove it)
Aside (shove it aside)

I think god is moving it's tongue
There's no crowd in the streets
And no sun in my own summer

The shade is a tool, a device, a savior
See, i try and look up to the sky
But my eyes burn

Come (shove it)
Shove (shove it)
The sun (shove it)
Aside (shove it aside)


Oh, and how come every reviewer writes that The Dark Knight was Heath Ledger's last movie, when this doesn't come out until next year, and was filming when he passed? Do some research, you hacks.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Just ahead of the curve

It's almost midnight. I'm so tired it's not even funny.

We went to see The Dark Knight today. Excellent movie, great company, splendid ice cream drinks afterward. Jack Nicholson is an amateur.

The Locker is still occupied, ticking away. All signs point to Mondays. I am assembling my stake-out team. It'll probably go down mid or late August (see there how I got the jargon right? "go down"). I am well aware that I won't be able to sit in a car munching stale donuts and drinking bad coffee (I don't drink coffee, but that's not the point), watching the action through binoculars with a walkie-talkie close at hand, but it's still going to be pretty cool. Unless it's being used by hardcore drug dealers.

Any guesses as to who would occupy a locker at a train station, for at least a year and a half, and open it every Monday sometime between 0730 and 1700?

My top guess is that it's a guy with two separate families in two separate places. He alternates between the two, one week at the time, and keeps his ID, wallet, keys etc, in the locker. Others have guessed drug dropoff or some kind of ARG. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I have such sights to show you

I’ve been a fan of Clive Barker for quite some time. I can’t really say when I first saw Hellraiser, but the mythology it and some of its sequels portray remains my favorite horror mythology other than the RPG Kult, which is heavily influenced by Barker’s work.

Best. Villain. Ever.

Over the years I’ve read a few of Barker’s books as well, particularly enjoying The Great and Secret Show, Everville and above all Weaveworld. So I was kind of excited when I found Mister B. Gone at the bookstore, and it was four paperbacks for the price of three. A shopping spree ensued. I’m quite adept at sprees.


Mister B. Gone centers around the demon Jakabok Botch, who is bound into the very pages of the book the reader has in front of him. An interesting premise, which unfortunately became a POS – again, piece of shit – book.

The whole idea is that Jakabok (or Mister B.) speaks to the reader, urging him to “Burn this book”. Again and again and again. It gets old. Quickly. Then there’s the allusion to some Great Secret that will be worth the wait throughout the book. Let me find a word that fits here…yawn. Quite possibly the least exciting reveal ever. And it’s supposed to be a horror story. At least it says so on the cover, in several ways. The only horrific part was a description of snot dribbling down the main character’s face. Apart from that, it was all bland, boring, a sleeping pill. No horror, anywhere.

I do believe I will burn this book, not out of any desire to set Mister B. free, but rather to rid the world of this abomination.

Dream and Death

I had horrible nightmares last night. Some of the worst I have ever had. All around me, friends dying or dead. Friends burning, friends down wells, friends crawling through glass, friends reaching out to me with blood running from ruptured eyes. Through and through, horrible.

I had to text or email them this morning, to make sure they were ok. I don’t really believe in the precognitive powers of dreams, but this was so powerful I just had to. All of them were fine. Quite a relief.

Death is not something I’m accustomed to dealing with. In all my life, I’ve been to three funerals. Not sure if that’s a lot or few. My grandmother on my mother’s side passed away in 1995, after a long period of decline, and somehow that was a release. My cousin died of an overdose of really bad moonshine, which was a tragedy, but I didn’t really know him. Then my friend Henrik died. He hanged himself in November of 2006. No one knows why. That still haunts me. I might get into why some other time.

Malin wrote about fearing death, about death anxiety, which sort of inspired this entry. I think everyone fears death, on some level, at some point. I know I have. It’s not something I face on any kind of daily basis, but it has happened. It has nothing to do with turning 30, which is two and a half years in the past, but rather a part of being human, I think. Yes, I’m sure age can accelerate that kind of thinking, spiraling one down even further into musings on death, but it hasn’t happened to me. Yet.

It’s been a hot day. My brain feels scrambled. Not really sure what I want to say with this, but I do know that death is natural, and unless you subscribe to the notion of a life after this one, then the years you get here is it. Make the most of them. Live, laugh, love, lust, and a whole host of other l-words. Don’t spend too much thinking about things you can’t change (says Mr. Over analytical). Enjoy. And fight those routines.

The pic is of Morpheus from The Sandman, the only comic ever to be on the New York Times Bestseller List. I intend to enjoy part 2 and 3 of “Absolute Sandman” as soon as the paycheck drops on Friday. Wohoo!

Locker Watch

I have decided to keep track of The Locker again. Reestablish a pattern. I think I know it, but still, never hurts to make sure.

On Tuesday morning, yesterday, it showed "...". In the afternoon it had gone up one level. That indicates that it was last opened sometime during Monday, after 0730 but before 1700.

For those of you that don't know, there are lockers at the central train station in Stockholm. You pay to use them for 24 hours. During those 24 hours the readout on the locker says "...". After that, each 24 hours the readout changes by whatever you paid to use it in the first place. So, if you paid 40 krona, and come back 72 hours after you first placed your stuff in there, you need to pay 80 krona to get the locker open, since it's been 48 hours since your initial 24.

I've discovered a mystery locker. It's always in use.

I'll keep track all this week and the beginning of next, just to make sure it's opened next Monday again. If yes, I might have to take a Monday off and have myself a stake-out. Wanna join me?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Karamel Sutra

Sometimes stepping outside of those tunnels brings nothing but grief. Disaster. Catastrophe. Never again.

This was not a good idea. This was so much better. This remains the best.

All links in Swedish.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Biotech is Godzilla

If money was no object, I would have stuff from this guy in every room of the apartment. Then again, I would have a much bigger apartment, so maybe not every room…

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

‘twas a surreal day.

Rose petals fluttered down from a balcony, enveloping me in a cloud of red. Like I was in American Beauty. New faces behind the bar. No buddy prices anymore. For shame. A colleague wanted to order a Strawberry Dark Lee.

Walked from the first place to the other, stopping for a chorizo on the way. Garlic extravaganza. A police helicopter circling above. Felt like home.

Two beers in a place that played 80’s tunes. Two people working behind a bar that could have had six people working, easy. Waiting ten minutes in line for a beer. Yay. Mostly crap music, though Annie Lennox’s voice always brings a smile to my face. My legs decided it was a good idea to keep the beat on several occasions. Laughs ensued. Fingers pointed.

Talked for a while outside, in excellent company. Then rushing off to catch the last train. Half-way there The Stomach decided food was the only option. Stopped for food. Was joined again by the Excellent Company. Wowed a drunken young man (he was 23-ish. I’m old) by knowing the code to the bathroom.

They ree-he-heaaally don’t want you to use the urinal.

The code was 1337. My geekier…I mean more computer savvy friend pointed out it spells l33t. Me thinkest a geek worketh at McDonalds.

Took the night bus home. Turned out to be just another way to travel down the same tunnel. No excursions into territories unknown. No freak show galore. Sadly disappointed. The bus broke down. Waited for the next one, standing on a concrete pylon by a construction site.

Finally arrived. Had a nice walk from the bus stop home. At the train station, all the doors were locked, but the escalators were moving. For who? What ghosts haunt that place at night?

In the parking lot below, two people were setting their huge dogs after a hare. Coursing.

Tommy: What's coursing?
Turkish: Hare coursing. They set two lurchers - they're dogs, before you ask. On a hare. And the hare has to outrun the dogs.
Tommy: So, what if it doesn't?
Turkish: Well the big rabbit gets fucked, doesn't it.
Tommy:[pauses and thinks]Proper fucked?
Turkish: Yeah, Tommy. Before "Zee Germans" get there.

The hare didn’t get fucked. No Germans arrived. Yay for the hare.

The sky looked like mud sculpted by water. Dawn crept in, slowly. Mostly quiet. Fragments of a conversation carried across the school yard below our house. Nocturnal creatures moved through the undergrowth around the Rape Path.

In our yard, sounds from a porn film. Moaning. Groaning. No flickering lights in any window. Hope you enjoyed it, whoever you are.

Then inside. Water. Scribbled blog notes on a piece of paper. Barely legible. Went to bed. Content.

Oh yeah. There are goblins in Linda’s father’s house. Cool (beware, ‘tis in Swedish).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Drink no 6


Drink no 5


Drink no 4

Tennessee Gold

Drink no 3


Drink no 2


Drink no 1


Nostalgia. And metal.

If my head was screwed on right today, I would go all out and come up with alternative lyrics to “My favorite things”. But it’s not, since I indulged a little too much of some of those last night.

So. Nostalgia and music are on my top list of favorite things. I experienced both yesterday.

At lunch I asked for a “Fanta or another orangey equivalent”. And out came the Loranga. I haven’t had Loranga since…I can’t even remember. Forever. It tasted like childhood. I have this idealized idea of childhood as a magical time when nothing was complicated and an adventure hid behind every rock and tree. Stuff like this brings me back to those days.

Nostalgia in a bottle.

Then it was off to Club Distortion to play some tunes and watch man.machine.industry play their second show ever as a three-piece. Excellent, excellent show, and getting to hear I was the best DJ that ever played there (though I disagree about the term “DJ”) was a nice self-confidence boost. I choose to ignore the person saying I was the worst that ever played there. Iron Maiden fans. What do they know?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Talk to God. It's quite entertaining. Post comments here if you get any particularly interesting responses. It (or is that He? *cue suspenseful music*) accused me of being René Descartes.

And I'm thankful that it's been done by someone with a sense of humor, and not some religious fanatic. Though the idea of God being the sum of human consciousness as represented by the Internet is quite an interesting idea for a sci-fi novel...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Goldfish and a bus

Tomorrow I'm playing CD:s here. On stage are hardcore band Jaganata and the Almighty Bergman's industrial metal outfit man.machine.industry. I share the booth with at least one more, so there will be time for a couple of cold ones and some hanging out with rocker friends. Goodness.

On Friday I have the day off, so we're going to kick back and start watching season two of Weeds. Then it's off here to down some drinks (no Chili Bliss though. Horrible, horrible drink, though it does have the advantage of looking like a glass full of ice and tiny goldfish) with people from work. I'm leaning towards a Juicy Fruit and a Marakesh (not pictured below).

Yes, I do like girly drinks on occasion.

Tomorrow, I'm considering breaking out of a tunnel and stepping outside my comfort zone and take the night bus home *pause for audience's intake of breath and astonished "oooh's" and "aaah's"* I'm going on seven years in Stockholm (I think...) and have never used the night bus to get home. There's a first time for everything.

A detour

We took a walk today, to get some air and at least project the semblance of a "new life". At an intersection we turned left instead of right. We had an idea of where the path would take us, but no idea of what we would see along the way.

We found a disgusting little pond.
Two dragonflies flitted about above the water.

A water pipe by the pond.

All in all it was an interesting little detour. There should be other paths around here we can explore.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Just about the last person I expected to see in a liquor commercial. Though come to think of it, this particular clip is very, very Clooney.

The Tunnel Theory, part 2

So what was I saying, really? Am I saying live randomly, try everything, repeat nothing, never do the same thing twice? Maybe be inspired by Eric Idle: “Once a philosopher, twice a pervert.”?

No. What I am saying is be aware of your tunnels, your routines, your paths through life, both physical and otherwise. See the patterns you create, among friends, digitally, on the street, wherever, and control them. If you do this by breaking them, changing them slightly, or merely observing them closer and thus becoming more aware of them, that is a step in the right direction.

Look at Ellie (in Swedish). She broke her routines this morning and took a detour on the way to work. It seems like she had a very good morning. Good for her.

Joel E (is that American Joel or Swedish Joel? I would guess American) commented on part 1:
“Routines are good: they give life stability, safety. Just don't let them control you.”

Very true. Chaos is not good. The point isn’t to go all Dice Man (interesting theory, POS – that is, piece of shit – book) and let chance guide you through life. Just don’t let routine rule you. Fight routine. Fight boredom. Break out of your tunnels.

What then, have I done to break out of my tunnels? Quite a bit over the years, but recently not enough. That is the very nature of routine, that as soon as you’re out of one another begins creeping up on you. My project for the next few weeks is to go someplace random, with my laptop, and write. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Tomorrow at 8 p.m. is the season finale of “Life”. An hour of Damian Lewis running around, seeking revenge. A good show, and since it’s a redheaded Englishman we’re talking about, I’m guaranteed to get me some afterward. Sweet!


Today, as I was getting off the train on my way to work, I noticed that the woman across from me still had the store tags left on her shirt. I hadn't noticed for the approx 10 minutes she had been there, since I had been too busy burying my nose in "Night Haunts".

I pulled my headphones off and told her. She blushed, laughed and did her best to tear it off. Good deed of the day, done and done.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Tunnel Theory, part 1

I’m not going to claim that this theory is mine. I first read about it in a magazine/pamphlet published by Interacting Arts. They claim to be into (beware, ‘tis in Swedish):

deltagande, rolltagande, spel och lek. Vi är en grupp interdiciplinära konstnärer, mediekritiker, ett aktivistnätverk, en konspiration, ett varumärke, en tankesmedja och en tidning som ges ut både på webben och i pappersformat.

And yes, I’m aware that ”interdiciplinära” is misspelled. I’m the word fascist. Not them.

They are a bit too radical for my taste, but that theory was interesting. I’ve made it mine, though I’m still far from implementing it on my own life to its fullest. Here it is, as viewed through the lens of my mind.

We live our lives in tunnels. In the morning, our routine is the same. In my case, brush, shower, dress, pack, go. We go to work/school/whatever it may be, along the same path every day. The same tunnel. Meet the same people, walk the same stairs, take the same exits, stand in the same spot on the platform. By the second sign from the front of the subway train. When was the last time you turned right instead of left at a random intersection/platform/whatever, just to see where it takes you?

We go to the same websites every day. My list, always in this order:

The Shows in My Mind (I go there even if Gmail shows no comments, I mean, it might have missed a few, right?)
Yahoo mail
Hanna Eat World
Lady M

A few others appear as well, but not frequently. When was the last time you hit random on blogspot? When was the last time you punched in a random word on Google and hit “I’m feeling lucky”?

We eat the same food. Drink the same drinks. Buy the same candy. When was the last time you ordered a different pizza at your local place? Or picked a beer at random at Systembolaget?

Does this apply to you? If so, how? Think about it. More soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The latest family member

We went to a festival a few weeks back. Came home with some great gig memories, but also some stuff. Like this, my perennial citrus tree. Awesome. The girl thinks I spoil it...

Friday, July 11, 2008

If this is paradise, I've been screwed.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Me. I kill you.

Delete part 2

The inbox, 15:26. Score!

Delete part 1

The inbox, 10:20

Not acceptable


On my way home last night, I went a-hunting for a muffin to bring home to mah girl. She's very particular about the kind of muffin she wants, and there were none to be found.

Blueberry? Check. Not acceptable. Raspberry? Check. Not acceptable. Banana? Check. Not acceptable. Vanilla? Nope. Chocolate? Nope.

That is not acceptable.

Today she messages me after a trip to the store. No muffins available there either. What the hell? What's going on? A muffin drought? This warrants further investigation...

Thursday, July 10, 2008


An acquaintance of mine works as an art director/web designer/whatever, had a spread in Cap & Design once, and produces some kick-ass art and stuff. He thinks the Nike Commercial running right now is excellent. I think it's...annoying. He should be right. I don't know squat about commercials.

Is one opinion worth more than another? When that opinion is based on experience and know-how, I would say yes. I could go on, but I don't have the energy.

Tomorrow, off to the movies. A horror double whammy. The Happening and The Mist. I'm expecting the first one to sucky sucky, and the second one to be not so bad. We'll see. Good night.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


One morning at the train station I saw this balloon, slowly moving around in a corner, all alone. I snapped a picture and moved on, a sheep in the herd moving from point A to B every morning. In the afternoon the balloon was gone. I'm still ashamed I didn't save it...

Your move, creep

Found this in a tunnel by a railway station in Degerfors. Excellent. Also, this is a test of blogging from my phone.

Another morning

Waking up to an empty bed has never been a good way to start my day. Though that is sort of an oxymoron, since I didn't wake up next to the bed, in which case it would have been empty, but in the bed, so it was not. But empty besides me.

Then up, brush, shower, dress, always in that order, pack the bag (laptop, iPod, book, breakfast, water bottle, umbrella - a talisman against rain rather than protection from actual rain), and walk to the train. The summer vacation season is upon us, so there's always a seat available.

Music shields me from the people around me. They should all have the sense to stay home when I go out. Today it's a mix of new and old, good and bad. There are so many bands out there that shouldn't have a record deal.

Changed from train to subway at the Central Station. I've changed the path I take from one platform to the other, so I don't pass The Locker anymore. Went by there with Joel a few weeks ago and it was still there. Always in use. A mystery.

Vacation season is even more evident at work. An eerie silence all through the office. Calm. An opportunity to get a lot done. Clear out the inbox and my desk, alleviate that guilty conscience. Instead I'm blogging. And writing a personal email. Oh well. There's always the afternoon...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm heeereee *cue white noise in the background*

I have given in to the urge. The Blog Urge. It seems to be all-powerful these days. I've avoided it so far, but not any more. So here I am.

I invite you to the shows in my mind.