Tag Archives: CAKE

December 18

I have spent almost 40 minutes trying to get tickets for the AC/DC show in Madrid and I can’t still get the fucking website to work; after much struggle, I managed to secure a ticket for the Paris show but Madrid has been impossible. It has always baffled me how ticket companies fail miserably to do the one single thing they are expected to do, time and time again. I mean, a major band announces a big tour and a pre-sale for a show in a massive stadium, they get people excited about it and then, when the time comes to finally put the tickets on sale, the whole thing crashes within seconds? You gotta be kidding me.

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To add insult to injury, if you ever manage to actually get any tickets after refreshing compulsively the browser window, waiting in a virtual cue for hours, filling up forms over and over again… when that finally pays off, the greedy motherfuckers still charge you a service fee, as if the purchase experience has been flawless and the service provided impeccable.

It reminds me of Transport for London during winter, every year it snows and every year they find themselves not knowing how to deal with the situation accordingly. Yet they charge you a fortune for an Oyster card. Fucking ridiculous.

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So it was Kat’s birthday yesterday and we had a great time. Early morning she unwrapped her presents, then in the evening we went with her parents to have dinner at Magasasa, our favourite Chinese restaurant. As always, I ordered much more food than I could eat. Kat gently tried to warn me against ordering noodles but I thought that massive portions of crispy chicken in sweet and sour souce, beef in black beans souce, pork, rice, beef with Pa Choi, deep fried wan-ton with chili souce, and spring rolls was not enough so I just went ahead and ordered a big plate of fried noodles with vegetables which, of course, we had to take back home with us (at least Kat won’t have to cook lunch today).

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After dinner, Kat and I went back home and had cake with champagne, watched an episode of Masters of Sex, and then had some more champagne and more cake after. Like it should be. It was wonderful.

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October 20

Kat and I watched “West of Memphis” this weekend, the documentary directed by Amy Berg and produced by Peter Jackson and Damien Echols that further explores the failure of justice in the case of the West Memphis Three, which was first introduced to mainstream audiences in “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills”, back in 1996. The film is brutal, captivating and masterfully put together by Berg, offering fascinating insight into the case and the remarkable efforts of Lorri Davis, Peter Jackson, Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, Johnny Depp, Natalie Maines and everyone who supported the West Memphis Three over the years, donating money, fundraising and working tirelessly to produce new DNA testings and physical evidence, which eventually led to a plea deal and finally their release in 2011.

The film is brutal, captivating and brilliantly put together by Berg, an impressive achievement considering the amount of attorneys, judges, suspects, witnesses, investigators and evidence surrounding the case. Apart from the the details of the investigation that was carried out on behalf of the West Memphis Three, I was surprised to find out how involved Eddie Vedder was on the case and how close he was with Damien, not only advocating for the cause and visiting him on a regular basis while he was on death row but also providing support after his release. Bonus human being points to Eddie for that.

(If you don’t feel like watching “West of Memphis”, watch the video below. I promise you that once you finish watching it, you’ll be compelled to find out more about it)

Kat loved the documentary but I have the impression she liked Eddie Vedder better; when we finished watching the film, she sat in front of the TV and spent about 20 minutes watching videos of Eddie on YouTube. She seemed a bit happier to have tickets to see “Pearl Jam: Twenty” this weekend, too. On Sunday, while Kat was with her dad watching football, I spent the evening watching interviews with Damien and reading about him and his life after prison, kind of inspiring and disturbing at the same time. I think I’ll buy his book this week and maybe try to get in touch with him and see if I can get him to guest on the GustaPOD. I know it’s very unlikely but I will give it a try.

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It’s been six months since Kat and I met… I think we were both a bit shocked when we realized it but decided to go ahead and celebrated it watching Game of Thrones and drinking white wine at home on Saturday, and looking at erotic postcards in the Police Museum, walking in the rain (less romantic than it sounds) and eating cake at Conditori La Glace on Sunday. Kat had a Karen Blixen cake, a coffee mousse, mocha truffle with roasted hazelnuts, and a chocolate bottom decorated with coffee beans covered in chocolate and I had a Det Gyldne Tårn, a rhubarb and white chocolate with lemon cream and almonds. Bloody amazing cakes, I tell you…

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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.

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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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April 15

Somehow, a very long entry I wrote a couple of days ago has disappeared from my blog; I’m pretty sure I posted it but for some reason, it was just saved as a draft. A very incomplete draft. Stupid WordPress. I can’t be bothered to re-write the part that’s missing so I will just post whatever is left. Fuck it.

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So, after almost 2 years after we first met, Kate and I reunited in Copenhagen. Thinking about it, none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for Facebook; we randomly met at a friend’s party back in 2012 but didn’t meet again afterwards because I lived in London and she was in Southampton, then I moved to Copenhagen and she moved to Brighton, which means that we only knew about each other’s wanderings through Facebook. That’s how I found out she was going on a backpacking trip around Europe and suggested her the idea of coming to Denmark, which she found exciting enough to come all the way here despite the cold and the rain.

On Tuesday, I went to pick her up at the Central station around 5:30pm and we headed home to drop her bags, have a shower and inflate the big air mattress I had just bought early that afternoon. It’s quite good, actually; it has an electric pump that really makes a difference, it’s thick and provides very comfortable surface to sleep on if you compare it with your average air bed. Once we got all the practical stuff out of the way, we went out for dinner at Zugar Baby, a very unpretentious place with very unpretentious burgers that get the job done very well. I had the usual: cheese burger with bacon, fries and a coke and Kate had a massive chicken salad that looked very tasty (she later validated this assumption). After dinner, we headed to Mikkeler for a beer but after the first one we realized we both were too tired to continue so we went back home for a well-needed night sleep.

The next morning I left for work and left Kate sleeping, only to meet her 8 hours later around Nyhavn, at a bar she had randomly decided to get in without knowing it was one of the most touristic spots in Copenhagen. The price of an average Tuborg beer in this place? Sixty kroner. SIXTY FUCKING KRONER for a Tuborg Classic! Pricks. We finished the most expensive beer I have ever bought in Denmark and headed to The Living Room, where the gay guy behind the counter told me he was going to let me have 2 cocktails for the price of one, half an hour after the happy hour finished, because I was “sweet” (Kate found the episode quite amusing and spent the rest of the evening pointing out how “sweet” I was, just for the fun of it). I appreciated the courtesy and happily accepted the drinks but still, it was a bit strange to be hit on by a dude.

After our mojitos, we decided to go for a walk and ended up at Streckers, a pub on Strøget, where there was a dude with a guitar and another with a cajon, playing acoustic cheesy covers of bands from the 90’s. Kate and I started with beers but then we moved to tequila shots and jäger bombs and things just got out of control; we ended up doing 4 tequila shots each plus a jäger bomb (Kate totally hated), which combined with our previous mojitos and 2 pints of beer make up for a very fun state of mind. We went to bed at 5am, not the smartest move we could have made, considering Kate had a train to catch at 8am but miraculously, we managed to get up at 7am, jumped on a very slow bus and Kate made it to the train just 2 minutes before it departed. Phew.

Fast forward two days and here I am in an almost empty office on the verge of a cake overdose, drinking a beer and listening to House of Pain as I chat with Fergus and another fellow about heavy metal legends (Ronnie James Dio in particular), singers who fail to deliver live (Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother, for example) and the way some bands seem to script every single word they say to their audiences at concerts; they make you feel you’re actually very special but then you realize they tell the same things to every audience at every single venue they play and then you can’t help but to feel betrayed. Just listen to a few Metallica bootlegs and you will know what I’m talking about.

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Things My Mother Taught Me

I am back. For the few people who have been following my irregular blogging efforts over the years, this shouldn’t come as a surprise; every now and then, I go through an emotional outbreak, get depressed, deem whatever life stories I had plans to share in public totally worthless and throw in the towel, only to pick it up again months later, pretending nothing happened and brushing the whole incident off with a half-smile.

This time around, though, the situation feels slightly different. This comeback is the result of various recent events coming together; a combination of realizations and flashes of insight that affected me on so many levels that left me with no other choice but to do something about it. Right now.

I think it all kind of started when my mum asked me to send her pictures of my birthday party and my holidays in France. I had spent most of my time wandering around Paris and Montpellier on my own, and for some reason I didn’t take any pictures on my birthday (which I decided to spend in London, with some of my best friends), so I mostly had snapshots of old buildings, charming alleyways, sandy beaches, crowded parks and street art. Not a bad mix, really. The beach pictures were particularly nice and summery so I made a quick selection of my best Instragram shots and sent them over Whatsapp. A few minutes later, she replied back: “Yeah, that place is beautiful… but I meant pictures of you. Don’t you have any?” What? I don’t have any pictures of me, I was on my own! And yes, I could have taken a selfie, but I hate selfies. Hate them. Why couldn’t she take my lomography-like beach shots as good-enough evidence of my holidays? It bothered me a bit so I texted back some insolent bullshit. Shortly after, she kindly replied: “Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. I just think that when you grow old, you’re going to wish you had more pictures of you and your friends, and you will not have any.” I took a few seconds to read those lines and then it hit me, like a fistful of steel straight to my stomach. Blimey, she’s right. She is so right.

I stayed with that thought ringing in my head for days. I kept thinking how many things I can’t remember about my life, and how much I can remember about someone else’s. Like my friend Ross’, for example. I met Ross 12 years ago and have been reading his diary on a regular basis ever since, which is why sometimes I could reassure him we had a particular photo of your favourite rockstar, somewhere in a hard drive or hidden between thousands of contact sheets. I knew he had shot it because I remembered reading about it. I knew in which city, or had a vague idea of the year/tour in which many of his photos were taken, just because I had kept track of his work over the years through his diary. I suddenly realized that I could remember more details about Ross’ life than I could remember about my own and that, my friends, is seriously fucked up.

Then I came across this post by Holly Brockwell (who I would love to date if I could) and it was then when I decided that it was time to start a diary, once and for all. I had been toying with the idea of starting a diary for quite a while but I just never put that plan into action, maybe because I always thought my life was way too mundane to be documented on a daily basis. I still kind of do but after reading Holly’s post, I thought: yeah, why not? I opened a 750words account, determined to start my journal that same day, logged in and quickly realized it was going to be impossible to pull it off on that platform. I know you don’t have to write everyday, that you can stop before reaching 750 words if you feel like it, but still, I knew those empty boxes were going to haunt me forever. You see, I’m the kind of guy who can’t have unread messages on his inbox lingering for too long, it makes me anxious. If I get a comment on Facebook, I have to check it. If I get a mention on Twitter, I need to find out what is it about. Having those little red notification circles on my phone distress me, so the idea of potentially finding a long line of unticked boxes – a reminder of how good I am at not sticking to my promises – was a little bit off-putting.

I wanted to find a balance between the strict day-by-day format that 750words encouraged and my erratic blogging pattern, a middle ground between writing every day a set number of words and not writing a single word in months. In the end, I decided to settle with a Ross Halfin meets Mick Wall meets Doogie Howser format, only that I don’t travel as often as Ross, don’t write as good as Mick and I’m probably not as smart as Doogie. I bet you can’t wait for me to get started.

The decision to keep a public diary instead of a private one has been influenced, partly, by a a blog post, a web project and couple of books I’ve been reading over the last few months: “Why go out?” by Sheila Heti, 40 Days of Dating by Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, Russell Brand’s “My Booky Wook”,  and “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown, a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, who has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. After watching her TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability, I decided to give one of her books a try and despite my general aversion towards the self-help genre, I have to say the book is quite insightful and some of her observations fascinating, particularly if you are interested in human behaviour and social interaction.

In addition to the diary, I will also try to take more pictures. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see me in them. With the ubiquitous camera phone, hundreds of photo-enhancing applications and photo-sharing services available, gadgets and whatnot, I fail to understand why is it that I don’t document my life with photos as much as I would like to. And I don’t mean the things I see around me but the things I do, the strangers I meet, the people I hang out with. Just to give you an idea: I have met Jimmy Page, one of the greatest and most influential musicians in history, at least 12 times in the last 3 years. For a Led Zeppelin fan, that’s a big fucking deal. Ross introduced us back in 2010 and since then, just out of luck, by chance, only because magical things happen in London, we have been out record shopping, eating burgers and attending concerts together, I’ve been to his house, I’ve got a Led Zeppelin II red vinyl and a guitar pick as a present from him, and YET I don’t have a single photo with the man. Not one. Nothing. And you know what? I have never asked for it, either.  I wish we had a photo together, just so I can tell my kids and grandchildren all about it one day, but the fact is that I don’t and somehow I’m OK with it.

This detachment might have been fueled by a short speech John McCrea gave between songs the day Cake played at The Troxy, back in 2011. I have checked on YouTube and there seems to be no evidence of that particular rant but apart from giving away a tree to a member of the crowd in one of the most amusing guessing games I’ve ever witnessed (remember kids, say no to vertical video!) and performing a killer version of Short Skirt Long Jacket, at some point that night John addressed the audience and imparted a piece of advice I will never forget. And when I say I will never forget I don’t mean the actual words (which I have indeed forgotten and won’t be able to quote for you now), but the meaning behind them: when seeing a bunch of hands in the air, taking pictures and making videos, McCrea said something like: “Stop taking pictures, you don’t need to prove to anyone that you are here. You know you’re here, I know you’re here, that’s all that matters.” I was struck by that statement. It made wonder why exactly is it that we take pictures these days. Are we taking pictures to document precious moments we probably would cherish in the future or are we taking pictures just to have solid evidence we can throw at other people’s faces to show them how oh-so-cool our lives are? I don’t know, maybe a little bit of both.

In any case, I will try to take them more often. And I will try to write regularly, too. My relationship with Copenhagen (a city that after 6 months I still haven’t quite figured out), my current plans and this kind of midlife crisis I seem to be going through at the moment might be just the kind of encouragement I need to push this forward.

Just keep your expectations low. I’m just an average bloke, after all…

PS: Like Clockwork… Best Queens of the Stone Age record to this date. Period.

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