Monthly Archives: September 2014

September 30

Most mornings during the week, I go to a coffeeshop that’s just around the corner from the office, to have breakfast and read a book before work. Most of the times, there is also a very suspicious man, who is clearly having an affair with a younger woman; he gets two large coffees, finds a hidden spot in the shop and waits until she arrives. Sometimes it’s just a couple of minutes, other times is half an hour. It varies. When she finally shows up, his face lights up. Her full lips curve into a shy smile. They embrace passionately and kiss like there is no tomorrow.

I know it sounds glamorous but trust me, it isn’t. When they kiss, you can almost hear the vacuum effect forming inside their mouths as they suck on each other’s faces, a drool fest that is only interrupted by short breaks in which they both get some air back in their lungs before engaging in a new snog. This goes on forever. Last week, for example, they kissed for almost 2 minutes non-stop and in the process managed to creep me out for the first time since I’ve “met” them. From where I was seated, a few tables away from them, I could hear the sloppy sound of their tongues making love to each other as I tried to read my book, which I couldn’t really read, of course, because my mind was too busy trying to pretend they were not there to successfully process any of Jon Richardson’s prose.

The good news is that from that awkward moment, an idea was born. A silly idea, mind you, but and idea nonetheless. I will need to pull a few favours to make it happen (as usual) but I will give it a try, just for the sake of it.

Stay tuned.

* * * *

Over the weekend, Kat and I went to IKEA and I’m glad to inform you we didn’t kill each other. Actually, we managed to go through it without any major arguments, something very few couples can brag about. We made plans to buy a home theatre, a juice maker and a blender, and I finally got some frames for my EELS posters, which are now ready to go up on our walls. I think they will look great.

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Oh, and yesterday Kat went out shopping and bought me a real redhead, three small picture frames for some of our photos, a present for my little niece, a vinyl record frame for our walk-in closet and a pack of three plastic diamond rings with glow sticks, which she offered me as a token of her affection. You heard right, she proposed me on a bus with a plastic ring that glows in the dark… and I said yes.

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It suits her well, no doubts, but unfortunately the ring is too small for my fat fingers so I won’t be able to wear it regularly. However, I will keep it at home and show off my bling only in special occasions, and if it gets stuck and I’m forced to break it, at least I will be at peace knowing I can always get a pack of three for only 10 kroners.

Thank you, Tiger <3

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September 25

Feeling a bit frustrated today, it’s hard to get things done when most of it depend on other people. For a long time, I have been thinking about learning a craft, something that enables me to make something without anyone’s help, just by myself, but I really haven’t gotten around that yet; I thought screen printing could be an option but then I realized I needed to design something to print first, and because my design skills are shit I just gave up and eventually put the whole thing on hold.

Thinking about it, maybe that was just a cheap excuse. Maybe it was one of those mental roadblock I tend to put in front of me every now and then, to convince myself certain things are not good enough to even try them. I should just fucking get on with it without worrying so much about it because, honestly mate, who gives a shit? I’m just going to get it out of the way and move on and if it doesn’t work, well, at least I would had done something, for a change.

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Just discovered this little website that made me think of what I just wrote. Right now, apart from keeping this diary and buying a record every once in a while, there aren’t many things I do just for myself. Kind of depressing, really. I think I need to do a bit of mental housekeeping and turn things around, for my own good.

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September 24

Yesterday, Kat and I spent the evening at Holmens Kanal, a bar in the city centre where the Diplomatico World Tournament was taking place. Some friends from Venezuela who run the Diplomatico brand were in town to endorse the event and my friend Geoffrey was one of the judges of the competition so we dropped by to say hi, see the finals, catch up with some friends and enjoy the free cocktails. It was actually very nice. Six bartenders had to prepare two rum-based cocktails in five minutes, including their own inventive reinterpretation of the classic Daiquiri, for a chance to become Denmark’s representative in the Diplomatico World Tournament to take place next year in Venezuela.

The winner was Rasmus from Duck & Cover, a guy I don’t know but whom I congratulated anyway. I took the opportunity to tell him to get ready to behold the greatest display of breast implants of his life… just the thought of it brought a big smile to his face. It was endearing.

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Browsing through reddit, I came across this thread and now I can’t stop thinking about it; I don’t have any twins and I have never dated one but I can see how terribly heartbreaking the situation described in the thread must be. I had never thought about it that way, makes me wonder…

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September 23

I checked, my Soundgarden record is not made of yellow vinyl. Bummer.

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Today, I introduced the agency to the work of Mr. Bingo. I realized I tend to sound a little bit obsessive when I talk about him and the stuff he has done but hey, that’s fine by me, I like his work and so should you.

My friend Aaron has invited to make a five minute presentation at Podio and Friends – Lightning Talks, a fun event where a bunch of interesting people from different industries get together to share their ideas and side projects. I find these kind of affairs a bit intimidating but I will give it a go, mostly because I think it would be nice to pitch the concept for a little website I’m working on to a crowd and see what feedback it gets. Besides, it will only take a few minutes and there will be drinks and snacks afterwards so it can’t be that bad.

Speaking of websites, I recently discovered this. Check it out and get ready to spend whatever is left of your day looking at pointless yet fascinating pieces of Internet greatness.

You have been warned.

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September 22

Another weekend Kat and I have successfully smashed. On Friday, we met up for dinner at Bonjour Vietnam and then headed to the Staten Museum for Kunst to check out “Biography”, an exhibition I’m happy to say I didn’t pay to see. I probably just didn’t get it but most of what was there on display I found either very pretentious or simple pointless. But hey, what would I know? Still, it was nice to have a look around the museum and check out all the cool kids getting drunk to electronic music and pretending to be inspire but Contemporary art.

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On Saturday, I met Chris for a ping-pong match; it was the first ping-pong game in years and, as you would expect, I lost. But only for a tiny little point. Actually, I led the whole match and was ahead 7-4 but I started enjoying Chris’ tantrums a bit too much and in the en he managed to come back and won 7-8, a victory he celebrated with pumping fists and everything. It was good fun. Kat joined us afterwards and the three of us went record shopping at Sound Station, my favourite record shop in town. Kat got three records she seemed very happy about and I managed to score a sealed Badmotorfinger copy, which I think might be a 1991 yellow vinyl edition. I will find out tonight.

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After Sound Station, Kat and I walked to Palads and got tickets to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” at 3:45pm, which was good and bad: it was good because it was almost empty and felt like we had all the movie theatre to ourselves, and it was bad because apart from us, most people in the room were 12 years old or younger and wouldn’t shut up. There was also a lady next to Kat, translating every dialogue to her young kid who didn’t understand English and couldn’t read Danish fast enough to catch the subtitles either so we had to move away and find a new place to seat. Makes me wonder why parents even bother to take their children to the cinema in the first place if they are not able to fully enjoy the experience.

Despite these minor hiccups, we had a great time and thought the movie was entertaining, especially Rocket, whose character was very nicely written. The soundtrack was pretty sweet too, actually. I’m gonna look it up on Spotify, hold on.

(short pause)

Right. After the movies, we grabbed a drink at Nutid and then met Sebastian and Hayla at Escobar, a rock bar that sells Trooper beer. I like to go there just for that. I came up with this little idea for a website and Sebastian offered to help out with some of the videos I need to put the whole thing together so we took the opportunity to talk about it and catch up, it had been a while since I last saw him and his girlfriend.

On Sunday, Kat and I went for coffee at Ricco’s, in Stefansgade, the street I used to live when I first moved to Copenhagen. Then we had a walk around a couple of flea market followed by cake at a little cafe in the neighbourhood and then to say hi to one of her friends, who recently have birth to adorable twins. Came back home at 5pm, totally knackered. Had a nap, caught up with my parents on Skype, watched the first episode of Game of Thrones and went back to bed around 10pm, like it should be.

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September 19

Went with Kat yesterday for dinner at Paludan Café (five months since we met yesterday!) and then off to Bremen Teater to watch a screening of Inside Out Project, a film documenting the development of the collaborative art movement started by French artist JR back in 2011. It was interesting but I must admit it made me feel a bit hopeless at times, despite it being usually described as an inspiring piece of film. Which I guess it is, all things considered.

As soon as I got home, I took my iPad and set myself to delete Candy Crush. Not without playing the five lives I had left, of course. After failing to clear all the jelly two times in a row, I passed the iPad to Kat and asked her to finish the damn thing. She completed the level within minutes and, with a big (patronizing) smile, encouraged me to try the recently unlocked level 30. I had a look at the screen, the new level looked manageable. Overwhelmed by an unrealistic sense of confidence, I gave it a shot and ran out of lives in less than 10 minutes. “You know what? Get fucked, you piss taking motherfucker. I’m done with you”, I thought to myself. It was, indeed, time to bring a week of misery to an end.

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After a couple of taps, it was gone from my phone and my iPad.

Peace, at last.

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September 18

I have made the mistake to install Candy Crush on my phone and on my iPad and now I’m on the verge of absolute madness; it started as an innocent experiment, part of my game research, and it has quickly turned into a terrible nightmare. I have been stuck in level 28 for three days now and I’m going insane. The other night I woke up in the middle of my sleep, highly unnerved, because I was not able to sort out the colourful patterns I could see inside my head. Proper loonie.

What really pisses me off, though, is that I haven’t had the will to delete it. Not being able to solve that puzzle makes me feel like an idiot so I keep telling myself that it’s just a matter of paying closer attention until a pattern emerges and from there, everything will be easier. So I give it a try again. And lose again. I get closer and closer to clean all the fucking jellies but there is always one or two left. I ponder my moves and right away realize I could have won if I had done this or that bit of candy crushing differently, so I try again and lose again and try again and lose again, until I find myself in the middle of a downward spiral into the depths of hell. Stupid game, must be up there next to heroin and online shopping.

Kat telling me she reached level 145 while she sees me slowly dying inside, crushing candy in level 28, hasn’t helped either. But you know what? I’m done with this shit, I’m deleting this motherfucking game tonight!

* * * *

An extract from episode One Hundred and Sixty Four of Dan Hon‘s newsletter, which I just finished reading:

At dinner with friends tonight, talking about the Inevitable Life Crisis, the one that is diagnosable by two easy questions. First, are you over thirty years old? Second, did you grow up with the internet? Congratulations, you have no idea what it is that you’re doing or what you want to do, and you are paralysed with lack of decision and choice.

Well, yes and yes. At least the weekend is around the corner…

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September 15

A productive weekend. Kat and I decided to go out a little bit more before the winter hits us and forces us to stay home so on Saturday we decided to go for a walk and eventually ended up at the National Museum of Denmark, a really nice museum I hadn’t visited which had an amazing vintage wallpaper exhibition. Some of the pieces exhibited were not my kind of thing but most of them were truly beautiful artworks with vibrant colours and mesmerizing patterns. I loved it.

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Detail of the ceiling at the National Museum

Detail of the ceiling at the National Museum

On Sunday, we went for lunch at Copenhagen Street Food, another local spot we hadn’t tried. I went there hoping to have some Mexican food from Yuca Taco but turns out it’s not actually there but roaming Copenhagen and parking at different places so instead of Mexican food, Kat and I went for some tasty bacon and cheese burgers (which were huge!) and belgian fries. We then headed to the National Museum again to see some prehistoric pieces and some religious wood sculptures I was interested in checking out.

After the museum, we went to Fidel’s to see a freestyle bartending competition where René and Lars, a couple of friends from The Union, were mixing cocktails out of a mystery box. It was quite crowded on the bar where the competition was being held so we had a cocktail downstairs and then walked all the way to the lakes. We sat on a bench at Dronning Louises Bro for a while and then stopped at Laura’s Bakery for cake before going home. To my surprise, Kat decided to skip cake and go for a pizza! Amazing. I could barely eat cupcake and she went for a medium-sized pizza, which she ate with gusto.

Took my new Badmotorfinger t-shirt for a walk yesterday

Took my new Badmotorfinger t-shirt for a walk yesterday

Once we got home, we attempted to watch Anchorman 2 but left it halfway through, it was terrible. Instead, we ate a chocolate cupcake we brought from the bakery and spent the rest of the evening reading books (Kat) and playing Candy Crush (me). Stupid Candy Crush, I shouldn’t have gone near it, it’s totally fucking up my detox process.

* * * *

I just called the doctor to get some info about my blood test and turns out I have very low Vitamin D and B levels, and apparently some cholesterol problems, too. Maybe that’s why my joints hurt and I have been feeling so tired lately. I have booked an appointment for Friday morning to personally check with the doctor what the plan of action will be, I really need to get my shit together and start taking better care of myself…

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September 10

A few days ago, I read about the distraction-free iPhone, an experiment started by Jake Knapp, Design Partner at Google Ventures, in which he decided to delete all the apps that usually sent him into a “limitless universe of everything” (Facebook, Instagram, Safari, e-mail, Twitter, etc.) and purposely turned his fancy smartphone into a very basic mobile device. It was supposed to be a one week experiment but he carried on for months and, one year after, it seems like he’s still very pleased with it. 

To be honest, reading through Knapp’s arguments made the concept of a stripped down iPhone sound appealing to me, at least to a certain extent. However, I do have a bit of a problem thinking the only choice I have to keep myself from getting lost in my phone and surrendering to temptations of the hyper-connected world is knocking down every single door that can potentially lead to it. I sure must be able to handle this without downgrading my iPhone to StarTac level, right? 

To date, this is what my home screen looks like

My home screen right now

Well, after one week, I’m happy to tell you that my digital detox is going better than I thought. The apps are still there but I stopped going through Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Instagram first thing in the morning, while still in bed as I used to, and I’m only checking the home screen to see if there are any messages from my family, which is the only thing that would require my immediate attention when I wake. If there aren’t any important messages, I’m not checking any social apps until I’m ready to leave for work. On the bus, I’m trying not to scroll through tweets, pictures and status updates and instead I’m trying to read a book or simply look out of the window, something I have always enjoyed to do, especially when it’s sunny.

During the day, I still keep a Facebook tab and a Gmail tab open in my browser, but I’m getting better at not checking them constantly. I’m also trying to prevent myself from reacting immediately after I see an Instagram or Facebook notification on my phone and I’m doing my best to wait until the end of the day and check everything in one go. I still struggle and get all fidgety, I still get distracted and jump from tab to tab on my browser, looking for something else to do halfway through whatever  I thought I was interesting in reading about, but I’m making an effort to self-control. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but in general, I feel like I’m slowly reducing my compulsive phone checking.

That, my friends, is some serious progress.

* * * * 

I just bought a book about game design on Amazon. It’s +500 pages and I’m sure it will take me ages to go through them, especially because I’m reading two other books at the moment, neither of which I have been able to get past the first couple of chapters. Why did I think it was a good idea to add one more item to my never-ending list of unfinished books? I have no idea.

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September 9

After a really long Thursday going back to London from Brighton, picking up a suitcase at my ex-house in Harringey, grabbing lunch at my favourite Turkish restaurant in Green Lanes and then going for a walk around Soho with a short stop for cake at Princi, we headed to Gatwick and flew to Copenhagen at 8:45pm, arriving home near midnight. Well tired. 

The good thing was that the day after was Friday, which means I basically had a one week holiday from which I came back only to jump straight into a weekend. Brilliant. I bought home two packs of hot cross buns, 2 bags of Cadbury’s mini chocolate fingers and three packs of McVitie’s milk chocolate Digestives, which I have been devouring at home and in the office since I got back. I have also been watching the last two seasons of Misfits with Kat and although we are not convinced, I think we will push through and finish the damn thing, just to see what happens in the end. 

Apart from eating sweets and watching old series, I have also started reading “It’s Not Me, It’s You!” by Jon Richardson, a book that Kat lent me a couple of days ago. I’m really enjoying it so far, mostly because quietly laugh about his nonsense compulsive habits but I often find myself thinking: “wow, it must be really sad to live such life.” Then I remember he’s probably making a decent amount of money from the book, his stand up and all his weirdness and everything is ok again.

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Yesterday, Anna and I met up with some cool guys who seem to be really interested in developing this little game idea I came up with a while ago. Things seem to be coming together and if we are lucky and everything runs smoothly, we might get it done by the first quarter of 2015. Fingers crossed.

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