Tag Archives: blondie

January 4

It’s freezing in Copenhagen. After spending a wonderful week in Madrid with Kat, catching up with friends and eating our own weight in food and sweets, we flew back last night and arrived to a very cold Denmark.

Kat’s dad picked us up at the airport, which is always very kind of him, and after a short ride he dropped us home and waved goodbye. We took a shower, unpacked half of our suitcases, order Indian takeaway, and sat in front of the telly in our freshly new furry bathrobes to watch the first two episodes of The Shield.

Despite the chilling temperatures, it was good to be back; not because we didn’t enjoy our time in Madrid (we had a blast!) but maybe because it’s always nice for us to return to the familiarity of our own space. After all, we have spent a good amount of time and money making that place our home.

However, there was something strange about this holiday. For the second time in my life, I spent both Christmas and New Year’s Eve far from my family in Venezuela (the first time ever was in 2010 and it affected me in more ways I could have imagined), the only difference was this time around I had Kat in my life and her company made the situation remarkably better.

Knowing we wouldn’t be able to make it to Venezuela to see my family, she bought us flight tickets to Madrid to see some of my closest friends, many of whom I consider an extended family of sorts. Even though I have known them for just a few years, they welcomed us in their homes like long-time friends would, and for that I’m very grateful.

Kat and her family also went out of their way to make my first Christmas in Denmark very special, one filled with delicious food and lovely presents and the fuzzy warmth that comes with blood ties. I was sad to not have been able to see the beautiful faces of my family, sad of not being able to hug them and tell them how much I love them, but finding myself in that situation also made me realize how lucky I am to have friends around me and Kat on my side.

Unlike 2012 (bloody fucking tyrant!), 2015 was fantastic. The highlights are too long to list but you must know that I loved and laughed and was happier that I have ever been in a long while. As we kickoff 2016, the fears that haunt me on the outset of every new year inevitably sink in, but so does an equally powerful desire to give 2015 a little run for its money.

I will try to be better and happier, and although there is no guarantee I will succeed, I sure will give it my best shot.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

October 12

The more time passed, the more I felt there was no point in trying to get back on the habit of keeping a diary. I didn’t have the time to sit down and write about all these experiences I was going through in as much detail as I would have liked, and I was certainly not willing to scribble a few notes just for the sake of it so I just ignored it altogether.

For a while, I thought I would force myself to get back into the swing of things by simply putting together one of those lazy posts in which I’d go over the highlights of whatever amount of time had passed between updates, but I knew I would have faded into absence shortly after, so why even bother?

But then, this happened.

12096594_10153348260869865_4348469195979595104_n

Since my last blog entry, I saw AC/DC twice (one time front row!), met Mike Patton and Mike Bordin, stood side of the stage for Eagles of Death Metal, and spent four days in a tent with Kat at Roskilde. We did Northside, too. We spent a week stuffing ourselves with delicious Italian food in a small Sicilian town, getting drunk, visiting active volcanoes and lying on beautiful beaches. I spent four days in Lake Como, riding in helicopters, climbing mountains, and swimming in cold water. I have bought records, visited friends, and even started taking improv classes. But of all those wonderful things I have been fortunate enough to experience, giving that ring to Kat has been by far the most exciting. Unlike everything else that came before it, this was actually worth writing about.

It happened in Hamburg last week, in front of the City Hall, after a lovely dinner. We were in Germany for a long weekend, which we had originally planned as a shopping trip (as it turned out, there was a National holiday we were not aware of and all shops were closed) so there was no need for me to plan a getaway holiday out of the blue. The logistics worked in my favor.

So did the postal service, which delivered the ring I had bought on Etsy the day before our flight. Kat and I had been talking about this for a while so I asked her to put together a wishlist with her favorite ring designs, just for me to have a good range of options to choose from whenever I decided to look into it. When she mentioned she had found the most beautiful of them all, a classic 1940s 5-diamond engagement ring, I went online and bought it. Then I pretended to be broke and made sure to casually bring up the poor health of my bank account in our conversations whenever possible, reassuring Kat I would definitely look into it once I was able to afford it. This went on for about a month.

By the time we got to Hamburg, I had the ring with me and Kat had kind of forgotten about the ring she so much loved but couldn’t have because some piece of shit asshole had bought it first (fortunately, some of the other rings she had in her wishlist also got sold around the same time, so even though at some point she suspected I had bought it, the fact that the other rings disappeared all at once made her think that maybe I hadn’t bought it after all and life was just being slightly cruel). Bonus points to me for dramatic plot twist.

We landed in Hamburg on Thursday night, spent most of Friday walking around and lying in the sun near the harbor, and in the evening we went for dinner at a place I had booked us a table at. Upon arrival, we realized the place was utterly depressing so we managed to secure a table at another restaurant near by (thank you, Foursquare) and had dinner there instead. Once we were done with our food, we went for a walk around town and when we accidentally stumbled upon Hamburg Rathaus, a beautiful neo-renaissance building from the 18th century, I knew that was the moment. I put my hand in my pocket, where I had been carrying the ring for the whole evening, and tried to get it out of the little tulle bag it came in without giving away my intentions.

While I struggled with getting the ring out of my pocket, Kat was having a look around and by the time her eyes came back to me, I was kneeling in front of her, holding the little shiny thing in my hand. She was taken by surprise. “Would you marry me?” Her immediate response was: “You idiot!” – I took that as a yes.

We laughed, we hugged, we kissed. It was awesome.

Tagged , , , , , ,

June 2

Every time I go to Madrid, a little part of me wishes it could stay there, enjoying the sun and the food and the company of one of the most endearing group of people I know. I simply love that town and the friends I have there, and I can’t wait to come back soon.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 12.59.16

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 12.59.01

* * * *

I just watched Kung Fury and once I finished, I bought two t-shirts and invited the director to guest star in my podcast. I kind of lost interest in recording new episodes but if he agrees, I would happily resurrect it. Let’s see what he says. In the meantime, watch the film if you haven’t done it already, it’s funny, it’s brilliantly made, and it’s probably much more interesting than most movies produced by Hollywood these days.

Speaking of funny, Kat has been craking me up with an impersonation of Mr. T that is neither accurate or well crafted but that still gets me every single time. I went to bed last night with a sore jaw, thinking I have never met someone who could made me laugh so hard so often. I guess I’m lucky.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

May 28

Good news and bad news.

The bad news is that I was inform today that my project was not among the winner of the scholarship I applied to a couple of weeks ago. It’s a bummer because I truly believe it would have been an amazing project to take on but fuck it, that’s just the way things are. Better luck next time.

The good news is that Kat and I are traveling to Madrid for the weekend and the weather forecast looks like this:

image1

I REALLY CAN’T WAIT.

Tagged , , , ,

May 26

So we spent the weekend in Paris and I couldn’t be happier about it. We arrived to Orly airport around 9pm, took a bus to the city centre, then a RER train to St. Michel-Notre Dame station and finally walked a couple of blocks to get to the place where we were staying: a small student apartment we found on Airbnb. The building was quite run down but the flat itself was cozy, clean, and had a very comfortable bed, which was pretty much all we needed.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.22.46

We dropped our bags and went to check out the little light show at the Eiffel Tower. As you would expect, it was packed with tourist and full of locals trying to sell you overpriced bottles of champagne and cheap souvenirs. Once the light show was done, we walked back to Notre Dame, all along the canals, marveling at the hordes of french hipsters drinking, raving and inhaling helium from colorful balloons on both sides of the river. It was amusing.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.23.05

On Saturday morning, we went for breakfast at La Caféothèque, a very nice coffeeshop I read about online. Good coffee, good cakes and friendly staff. We walked around Le Marais and then met up with my friend Laetitia and a friend of hers who was in town visiting, and the four of us went for a drink in a bar close to the canals.

At 5:30pm, I parted ways with them and headed to the Stade de France for the AC/DC show. Once I was inside, I decided to go all the way to the top of the stadium, just to see what it looked like. It was mind-blowing. I had never been in such a massive venue and it looked impressive, even half empty. As the opening acts played, the place got more and more crowded until it was fully packed, just before AC/DC hit the stage at 9pm.

Now, I really could write dozens of pages telling you all about this show, how much it meant for me and how excited I was, but I wouldn’t be capable to bore you with those details. Instead, I will just tell you this: if you ever have the chance to catch AC/DC on tour, please do, I promise you won’t regret it. If you have seen them live before, then you know perfectly what I’m talking about. They were fantastic and, even though Malcom is no longer in the band and that diminishes the experiences to a certain extent, the truth is that this has been one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended to. Just being in this massive stadium, surrounded by 80,000 crazy metalheads wearing red, blinking devil horns, all singing and dancing like one big family was certainly something I will never forget.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.23.20

I found myself looking at the crowd around me quite a few times, just amazed by the beauty of it all. By the end of the show, a dude next to me, with whom I rocked out throughout the show, was just standing in awe, tears of joy running down his face. Him and his dad had attended the show together and were both very excited. They sang every word, they played air guitar, they threw their fists up in the air… it was awesome. There was a sense of brotherhood that is difficult to describe but that anyone who has experienced it before can easily understand. As he was standing there, all misty-eyed, I gave him a metal hug, thanked him for being such a great concert neighbor (and for taking a picture of me with the stage in the background) and wished him farewell.

The next day, Kat and I jumped on a boat for a tour Seine river cruise and then spent the rest of the day strolling around the city and eating as much as we could. We flew home around 9pm and by midnight we were back in Copenhagen, exhausted but pleased with our trip.

I’m now counting the days to see AC/DC again at Roskilde, I really can’t wait…

Tagged , , , ,

April 20

On Saturday, Kat and I had our first anniversary. Whoa, a full year has passed since we first met… it blows my mind when I think about it because so much has happened in such short period of time that I often feel like we have been together for ages. It reminds me of what Joshua Foer wrote in Moonwalking with Einstein: “Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it.”

Anyway, Saturday was a fantastic day with blue skies so I cycled all the way to Sort Kaffe og Vinyl in Vesterbro to enjoy a cup of coffee in the sun and then decided to drop by Sound Station to soak up some of that joyful atmosphere they always create on Record Store Day. They really do make an effort to make everyone feel welcome. I had promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything but as soon as I started browsing through the shop’s wonderful stock of vinyls, I knew I was going to have a hard time living up to the vow of restraint I had naively taken.

Things started slowly, bagging just a couple of records: Groundhogs’ “Who Will Save The World?” (which I wanted mostly for the cover artwork) and The Band’s “The Last Waltz”, which I thought would make for a great anniversary present considering it’s one of Kat’s favourite records. I kept on looking and I kept finding stuff I liked: Spiritualized’s “Ladies and Gentlemen, We’re Floating In Space” and Radiohead’s “In Rainbows”; nothing particularly special about them, they are just records I really enjoy. At this point, I was kind of ready to leave but on my way to the counter I spotted two girls in the shop, one holding a copy of the “Singles” soundtrack and the other one with a Screaming Trees record… I knew right away there was a section of the shop I was missing. I went back to the entrance and looked around. There it was, an entire “Alternative and Heavy” selection of records I hadn’t checked when I arrived.

In hindsight, I should have walked away from it but I just couldn’t, I had to see what they had. That’s when things got a bit out of control: Soundgarden’s “Louder Than Live” white label promo, “The Day I Tried To Live” 12″ etched vinyl, and “Jesus Christ Pose” special edition 4-track etched vinyl; Iron Maiden’s “Live After Dead” (Dutch version with inner sleeves and a booklet full of my friend Ross Halfin’s photos), “The Number of the Beast” and “A Real Dead One” label promo on clear vinyl; AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “The Razor’s Edge”; Slinth’s “Spiderland” and The Kink’s greatest hits, which I eventually got for free courtesy of the shop.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.20.07

In the end, I took home THIRTEEN records! Fucking ridiculous. I cycled home holding to full bags of vinyl hanging from my bike’s handlebar, with a big smile on my face and the wind blowing in my hair (and the bags), making my ride home slightly harder than usual. Shortly after I got home, Kat arrived with our new dining table (a red, round piece from the 60’s) and we went for a walk around Bispebjerg Kirkegård to see the cherry trees and their famous blossoms, which are probably a local trending topic on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.19.51

I hadn’t seen them before and I have to say, the view is stunning. We got a couple of random people to take a picture of us standing under the trees, both with my phone and our Instax mini camera, and much to my surprise, the results were quite nice. We went back home, listened to some of our new records and left the house again around 5pm to go to Taller, a new restaurant in town with a menu inspired by Venezuelan gastronomy and flavours. We were a bit skeptical at first but once we finished, both Kat and I agreed it was probably one of the nicest dinners we have ever had together.

The Venezuelan influence was clearly reflected in the majority of the dishes we tried (especially the mini arepas, the guasacaca and the dessert) and the wine they paired with our 4-course menu couldn’t have been better. On top of that, the service was impeccable. We’re definitely coming back once they change the menu, we had an outstanding experience.

On Sunday, we went with Monika to Louisiana Museum to check the Richard Mosse exhibition, and to enjoy the weather. I had never been to Louisiana before and I was blown away by its beauty. It’s was so quiet and green, with a wonderful garden overlooking the sea. I don’t know why I hadn’t visited before but I will do my best to come back often, it really is an amazing place. We went through the permanent exhibitions, including the Gleaming Lights installation by Yayoi Kusama, and ended up with the Richard Mosse exhibition, which was terrific. Those photos really strike you when you see them in all their glory. Strangely beautiful considering the dark subject that inspired them.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.19.22

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.19.37

We ended the day at home, drinking wine and watching the EELS concert at the Royal Albert Hall, a film I had been wanting to see since I heard it was going to be released.

A great time was had by all.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 15

I have spent most of the last three days working on a pitch for a local charity and, although exciting as a creative challenge, the subject of the brief was very depressing. We had to address the issue of “berøringsangst,” a Danish term which, in the context of the brief, refers to the fear of talking about death; that sense of awkwardness and anxiety that sometimes prevents us from reaching out, especially to grieving children and adolescents, just because we are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.

Turns out that for people who are dealing with a loss, or that are fighting a serious illness, one of the hardest parts of their experience is seeing their friends and family paralysed by fear and going silent, distant and withdrawn. Contrary to what most of us believe, and as Geo eloquently explains in the video below, the worst we can do in this situations is not doing anything at all.

Pretty powerful, isn’t it? I took Geo’s talk as a starting point and from there I started delving into every article I could find on the subject, as well as academic papers and self-help books. The more I read about it, the more I became anxious about my family’s mortality, something that has always haunted me ever since I moved to Europe almost five years ago. Reading stories of really young kids who lost their parents or siblings to an illness or a violent accident was heartbreaking and disturbing, it really made me think how lucky I am and how difficult it should be to confront such situations. The thought is terrifying.

And that was the hardest thing about this brief… having to put yourself on the shoes of those kids for a second, trying to understand what it must feel like to lose your parents at a young age in order to understand how berøringsangst could be addressed. Not an easy task, I tell you. How could I possibly imagine that? No matter how much I read about it, I always felt the ideas I was coming up with were only based in loose assumptions and I don’t think I got to fully discern all the nuances and implications of the issue. It didn’t help that we only had just a couple of days to research, decode that information, conceptualize and execute, but we did our best within our limitations and although I think we could have thought our concepts through a bit more, I also know that’s just the way things are sometimes. We’ll see what happens.

On a positive note, though, I went to Roskilde during the Easter break with Kat and her Dad. It was a lovely, sunny day that we spent looking at viking ships and walking around the Roskilde Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic building where many Danish monarchs are buried and that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 13.24.28

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 13.24.38

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 13.24.49

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 13.25.04

We also spent a few days in the company of little Stevey Wonderful, who brought us hot cross buns and chocolate eggs, just enough calories to keep us walking around town, showing her the city views. It was so nice to see her and I hope she can make it back to Copenhagen in August as she promised.

To top it all off, Kat gave me a Instax Mini as a present! I have been planning to get that camera for a while but she just went ahead and got it for me first so we started using it right away :)

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 13.25.30

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 13.25.46

We now have a little box where we’re storing our photos and I’m sure it won’t be long before we need to find a bigger one…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 1

Busy times. Here are the last couple of weeks in review:

I got a new bicycle. Since I got my bike stolen last year, I had been trying to find a dutch-style bicycle with both front and rear hand breaks instead of pedal breaks, which I really hate. I tried every bike shop I could find but they never had what I was looking for until my friend Chris suggested me to try Hr. Velo, a local bikeshop in Frederiksberg that specializes in classic bicycles and special-bulids.

I knew their bikes were going to be more expensive but after a quick visit to their workshop, I realized it was going to be well worth the investment: Friendly staff, plenty of options and helpful advice, all coming together to assist me in the process of choosing the right parts for my shiny new bike, which they put together in less than 3 days. Flawless service.

I passed my first Danish test. Nearly three months after I started taking classes, I took a mandatory test at my language school, which I had to pass to move on to the next module. It only took 10 minutes and, although it was quite simple (5 minutes of conversation about my work and 5 minutes asking questions to my teacher about the characters in a picture from my Danish book), I’m still quite thrilled to have passed.

Just three months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to put together a simple sentence, now I can read a basic text and have a better understanding of what is being said around me. I’m far from being fluent and I still miss 90% of the conversations I hear, but I’m starting to recognize words that I was oblivious to before, and now have a vague idea of what people are talking about. I still have a long way to go but I’m moving forward.

I found an original 1994 copy of “Superunknown”. Last weekend, Kat and I went into a small record shop in Nørrebro, just to see what they had, and as it turns out, hidden somewhere between dozens of second-hand records, there was a 1994 US first pressing of Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” on orange vinyl, in excellent condition after almost 20 years. I texted my friend Ross to asked him if it was worth paying 72$ for it and he texted back saying that if it was an actual first pressing in coloured vinyl, it was definitely a bargain. So I just went ahead and bought it. I’m pretty happy I did.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 13.56.27

Kat and I mixed our books. Some people say this is the ultimate display of affection, even more powerful than marriage. Truth is, we didn’t think about it too much, we just thought organizing our books by colour would be a good idea and decided to go ahead with it. We set our turntable, opened a bottle of champagne and went through all of our books, building colourful piles around us while we listened to a bunch of records we had bought that same afternoon.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 13.57.06

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 13.56.52

We enjoyed it but it was harder than we expected; after sorting them out by colour, we realized we had to organize them by shades and then figure out how the letters on the spines of the books fit within that system. It also became evident that we have too many beige books (boring) and that we need more yellow and green in our collection. So far, we’re pretty happy with the result but let’s see how we like this idea when we want to locate a book and take us ages to find it.

I was reunited with my copy of Led Zeppelin II. When I moved to Copenhagen a couple of years ago, I had to leave some of my stuff behind and asked my ex-housemates to keep them safe for me until I could pick them up. Amongst those items was a Mexican edition of “Led Zeppelin II” (my favourite Led Zep record) on red vinyl that Jimmy Page got me as a present three years ago, at the Reading Record Fair, during an Easter break. I wrote about it here, in case you’re interested in the full story.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 13.56.04

Yesterday, my friend Latifa arrived from London to spend a few days with us and brought back my record, along with bags of chocolate eggs, hot cross buns, a chocolate bunny and long lasting Ibuprofen tablets. Isn’t she wonderful? I like her a lot and we’re very good friends, which is why I’m really looking forward to have her over. It makes me realize how much I miss my friends and how happy it makes me to see them.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 19

A lot has happened yesterday. GOOD STUFF. Some of it I can’t share, but for now, all I can say now is that I had 2 burgers at Tommy’s yesterday, got tickets to Northside, and now have a brand new turntable and a pair of 180W speakers sitting in our living room, waiting to be installed. Things are good and the sun is out…

Tagged , , , , ,

March 6

A lot is happening at the moment and, despite knowing things are probably going to be okay, I can’t help but feeling slightly overwhelmed; my brain keeps sending my heart mixed signals, of both fear and hope, and the process of sorting those feelings out is difficult sometimes. I have also been listening to “Comfortably Numb,” which for some reason makes me both melancholic and delighted. No idea why.

* * * *

Last Friday, I finally met Dorte, one of Kat’s co-workers, who invited us for dinner at her place. Dorte is 65 and her husband is 72, yet they come across as a joyful, cheeky couple the moment you meet them. They are good fun and they know how to treat their guests.

On Saturday, Kat and I went to check out a Chocolate Festival that sounded much better than it actually was. The venue wasn’t very exciting, the way the stands were setup was a bit confusing, and there were lines of people everywhere. We couldn’t be bothered to stand in line to get tiny pieces of fancy chocolate for free so we decided to try the less crowded exhibitors instead. I had a couple of really nice nougat and milk chocolate bars, a passion-fruit and ginger filled chocolate that was very interesting, an okay tiramisú ice cream, a pretty decent chocolate brownie and took home a couple of chocolate spreads: one with olive oil (which was pretty disgusting) and one of dark, bitter chocolate that was acceptable but certainly nothing to write home about.

Later in the evening, we signed up for a free month of Netflix and started watching “House of Cards” from the beginning. Kat hadn’t seen a single episode and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to watch the first couple of seasons again before jumping into the new one so we stayed in and got five or six episodes out of the way in one sit. Kat likes the series so we will be binging on “House of Cards” for the next couple of weeks.

On Sunday, the weather was so nice that we decided to go for a walk around the Botanical Gardens, a beautiful place I hadn’t visited before. It was nice and quiet. We had a look around the greenhouse and then sat by the little lake for a while, taking up the sun. Copenhagen looks fantastic on days like these.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 13.24.47

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 13.24.26

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 14.47.36

We got a bit hungry around noon so decided to try some hotdogs we saw outside Torvehallerne. Now, I’m not a big fan of hot dogs but the “Red Devil” by Pølse Kompagniet is probably the best hotdog I have ever had in my life. Seriously, it was perfect. If you live in Copenhagen, go check it out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 13.23.48

In the evening, Kat and I went to see Hayseed Dixie play in a shithole, in Kødbyen. The tickets were cheap and we had listened to some of their AC/DC covers so we decided to go check them out, just for the fun of it. The audience was mostly old men with receding hairlines and prominent beer bellies, some teenage rockers, a few girls, and a kid that most have been about 10 years old. Altogether, we were about 200 people on a Sunday night in a shitty venue hidden in a trendy meatpacking district. The right setting for a southern bluegrass cover band to work their magic and win some hearts over with blazing banjo lines and witty, political jokes. It felt like a stand up comedy show by John Wheeler with a few musical intermissions in between, and that combination worked pretty well.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 13.23.32

The band opened with “Hells Bells”, followed shortly after by “Ace of Spades” and “War Pigs.” Needless to say, they got me in their pockets right from the beginning. From there it only got better: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Eye of the Tiger,” “Paranoid,” “Highway to Hell,” “Hotel California” and, surprisingly, a really nice version of “Clandestino” by Manu Chao.

If it wasn’t because I had to wake up relatively early today to go to work, I think we would have stayed after the show and buy the band some beers. They were unpretentious, funny, and truly friendly with their audience. You simply don’t get to see that very often…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,