Tag Archives: eels

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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October 6

October already, time does fly. Yesterday, Kat and I went out to do a bit of shopping in the morning and finally got a new sound system for our living room: a Sony BDV-E2100 home cinema with blu-ray player and whatnot. I spent a few days researching online and that one seemed a strong candidate based features, quality and price. We wanted something that could improve our movie-watching experience, that was able to stream online content wireless and that offered simple connectivity.

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I unboxed it yesterday and tried to set it up to make a quick test, which ended up taking way longer than I expected. The provided user’s manual is far from comprehensive and the onscreen menu options slightly confusing at times, quite the opposite to everything I read online. After downloading a more detailed manual, things started to look up a bit; I managed to get stereo sound through all the 5 speakers on HBO Nordic content played from my laptop via an RCA cable but videos streamed from YouTube through the home cinema receiver are only played through the left front and rear speakers, no sound coming out of either of the right speakers or the central one. Really annoying.

I think I will eventually figure it out once we set them up properly (we should be doing that next Sunday) but right now, as it stands, this nerdy endeavour is proving to more uphill than I thought.

* * * *

Yesterday, I went with Kat and her dad to see København FC play in their home turf. It was actually pretty nice; lovely stadium, great seats and a victory, the latter being somewhat of a rarity these days, as far as I know. It was also interesting to see the locals in this environment, all emotional and vocal at times, but still very civilized. They even have a family-friendly section, where kids and their parents can enjoy the game, and a dedicated area for the hardcore fans, at ground level behind one of the goal posts, where they can jump and chant like the lunatics they are without posing a threat to anyone else. These are the kind of things I love about Denmark.

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Speaking of love, The New York Times has put together a short piece about Copenhagen that really makes you realize what’s great about this town, just in case you forget. London will always be a special place to me but I have to admit, Copenhagen is not too shabby, either.

Finally, if you haven’t seen it already, please help yourself to one of the best YouTube videos of this year:

P.S.: The EELS posters are now up :)

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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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July 15

Greetings from seat 16F of a Norwegian Airlines flight, destination Copenhagen. We are on our way home after spending a wonderful weekend in Madrid, probably one of the nicest holidays I’ve spent in a while.

Last night we saw the EELS and I have to say, what an amazing evening it was. I have seen the band once a year, on every tour since 2010, and although I was always more inclined to their heavier performances, with plenty of distorted guitars and uptempo beats, this year’s show stands proudly at the top of my list despite its mellow nature. What we saw last night at Circo Price was one of the most beautiful displays of musicianship i have ever witness, anyone who has been fortunate enough to catch the EELS on their current tour will tell you that.

The mighty Mr. E proved once again that he’s not only a great composer and performer (the sound of his voice was fantastisk) but also, one charming host. He’s funny without trying too hard and keeps the audience entertained with perfectly timed interventions that, even if they have been scripted, still come across as legitimate burst of genius.

And then, to top it all off, there was Kat. She’s really not a fan and barely knew a couple of songs, but there were certain points during the show in which I couldn’t be more happier to have her sitting next to me. She made an already wonderful evening pretty damn special.

(I turn off my iPad, try to sleep, we land. Kat’s dad picks us up, we go home, buy burgers and fries for lunch and have a nap. We wake up, I go to pick up some stuff at my place and Kat goes to her mum’s place for coffee and dinner. We come back home, I pack my bag and leave it ready for tomorrow while Kat eats peas and watches the football game. I finish packing and go back to this post)

After the show, we grabbed dinner at Pizza al Cuadrado, one of my favourite pizza joints in the entire world. Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement but trust me, the pizzas are GOOD. We were meant to meet Rafa again but we miscommunicate and in the end we missed each other. Bummer.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and hit the sack around midnight, only to wake up five hours later to jump on a cab and head to the airport to catch an early flight back to Copenhagen. We get here and it’s relatively sunny but soon it gets cloudy and slightly windy, just the way it should be here in Denmark. After those 35 degrees in Madrid, these twenty-something degrees are all the heat I need, at least for today…

* * * *

Off to Iceland tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it but at the same time, I wonder if it’s been a good idea to go on my own for two entire weeks. I tend to get a bit nostalgic and heavy-hearted when I spend too much time with myself. Hopefully, this time around things will be different; I actually have plenty of reasons to be happy these days and this might be a chance for me to reflect upon what has happened lately and the plans I have for the near future, catch up with the book I started reading a couple of months ago and basically try to get inspired by the Nordic landscape, which I’ve heard it’s mind-blowing.

I’ll keep you posted.

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July 14

Weare having a blast in Madrid, which is why I haven’t been able to keep up with the diary the way I would like to. Kat is doing great in the meet and greet department and we both have enjoyed walking around the city with my friends, who have done a fantastic job showing us around and making Kat feel at home. I will post some pictures of our trip when I get home…

* * * *

Germany, world champions! No matter what everyone says, they played better than any other team throughout the tournament and unlike Argentina, Brazil or Portugal, their victories were powered by the performance of a solid team, not one miraculous superstar on which everything seems to depend on. After twenty eight years, they finally get to take the Cup home. Well done.

* * * *

TONIGHT WE ARE GOING TO SEE THE EELS LIVE!

I really can’t wait to see those lads on stage. I heard the venue is reallynice and we got great seats so I think we are really going to enjoy the show.

Off to meet Rafa for breakfast at La Bicicleta, catch up later…

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May 7

I’ve spent most of the last 36 hours refreshing the EELS website to see if the tickets for the Madrid show have finally gone on sale; they were supposed to be available yesterday so I woke up at 7am to check and there was no link, then I checked the venue’s website and there was nothing there either. It’s now May 7, the tickets are still on hold and I can’t stop myself from refreshing the tour page every five minutes. I hope I can buy them soon because all this uncertainty is making me very anxious.

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Go ahead, make a #firstworldproblems joke out of it. I don’t care.

* * * *

Yesterday, Kat introduced me to the WORST film I have ever seen: “Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks”, a 1976 sexploitation women in prison film, which is the first sequel to Ilsa, She Wolf of the SSAccording to Wikipedia:

Ilsa is Kommandant of a Nazi prison camp, who conducts sadistic scientific experiments designed to demonstrate that women are more capable of enduring pain than men are, and therefore should be allowed to fight in the army.

Trust me, it’s worse than it sounds. The plot (if there is one) makes no sense whatsoever, it’s poorly edited and the acting is SO hideous that at some point I just had to tell Kat to stop it and switch to Eurovision. Go figure. I mean, if you rather watch wannabe music stars perform weak unknown songs instead of a movie packed with naked girls with big boobs, you know there is something terribly wrong going on. What really shocks me is that Kat says the first film is even worse than the one we watched last night… I really can’t imagine how that could be possible.

Anyway, we switched to Eurovision and it was just as I imagined it would be: slightly better than average performers singing songs I’ve never heard of while trying to look convincing in their pretentious outfits. People love it here, though. In fact, everyone seems to be going mad over this whole Eurovision thing, something that I fail to understand. But hey, I’m neither European nor visionary so clearly this wasn’t made for me anyway. In the end, Kat and I decided to vote for a folky duo from The Netherlands, who eventually got enough support from the audience to make it to the final, next Saturday.

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That’s right, I actually took part in this crap.

Denmark is in the final, too, and the event is taking place in Copenhagen so expect a collective alcohol overdose if whoever is representing the country ends up winning this thing again. I will keep you posted.

UPDATE:

8:35pm – We’ve just got tickets to see the EELS in Madrid this Summer! :)

I got distracted watching the first episode of “24: Live another day” and when I remembered to check the website again, the tickets had already been released and all the second and third row were sold out. Most seats in the front row were available, though. I assumed the locals know those seats are way too close to the stage, which can compromise the view sometimes, and as I have never been to that venue before I decided to play it safe and went for fifth row seats instead, which is still pretty close.

Originally, I was going to get these seats but the system refused my request and automatically relocated us to the fifth row. Stupid computers.

Originally, I was going to get these seats but the system refused my request and automatically relocated us to the fifth row. Stupid computers.

I’ve seen them front row before anyway (in Madrid, back in 2010, and last year in Copenhagen) so I just wanted to get good seats for Kat to enjoy the show properly. After all, it was me who convinced her to go see them so the least I could do was to try to ensure she was close enough so that her first EELS gig is as cool as possible.

All she has to do now is learn some of the songs so she can mumble along some of the lyrics, we only have a couple of months to work on it and the clock is ticking…

 

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October 26

I just lent my very own copy of “Things The Grandchildren Should Know” to a girl; I didn’t buy her a copy or recommended her to get one, no. I gave her MY book and that could only mean one thing: I’m about to get in trouble. I should have learnt my lesson by now but current events show otherwise. I hate this feeling. On one hand, I know I should back off, take it easy and handle this with care but on the other hand, I despise the whole “once bitten, twice shy” attitude towards life, and reason it’s not really my forte so I guess I have no other choice but to carry on and see what happens.

Oh boy, here we go again…

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September 8

Sunday morning, 9am. I’m at Sort Kaffe og Vinyl writing today’s entry on a Word document because there’s no wifi here. Not that it needs it, really; there’s plenty of good music, top notch coffee and great pastry to keep you entertained for a while so it’s alright. I’ve been here every day since I lost my job a week ago and I’ve discovered how much I love to pop by every morning, order a capuccino and a cinnamon roll, and sit inside to read a book for a couple of hours. Sometimes, if it’s really sunny, I rather sit outside and just enjoy the warmth and beauty of a crispy Summerish day. It’s perfect. When I’m in this place, I really don’t miss London at all, go figure.

Yesterday I woke up early, went for a coffee, came back home to pack some books and a couple of bananas, and then cycled to Amager Strandpark. The weather was relatively good so I thought it would be a nice idea to have a little beach day. Now, Danish beaches are nothing like the French Riviera but there is sand and sun and deep blue water to look at so for an hour or so, that’s usually enough for me. Pretty close to where I sat there was a couple: white guy, probably Danish, and a black girl I’m almost sure was Brazilian. The guy took off his shirt and trousers, got a short on, and laid in the sun, just like everyone else. The girl, however, took her shirt off to reveal a pair of big breasts that could barely be restrained by her bikini top, got her sunglasses on, pull out an iPad and spent twenty minutes taking pictures of herself in every single pose known to man: with sunglasses, without sunglasses, with the sea behind her, with the sky behind her, duckface, big smile, shy smile, looking at the horizon, pretending to be distracted, squeezing her boobs a little bit, laying on her partner’s tummy, face up and holding the iPad from above, squeezing her boobs just a little bit more, looking serious, looking excited, with a hat, and then, ten minutes later, she was finally done. With the upper side of her body, that is.

A series of pictures of her legs came shortly after: both legs fully extended on the sand, then some classic hot dog leg shots, legs crossed (she, of course, tried both combinations), then just the tippy toes, then showing a little bit of the bottom part of her bikini, then holding the iPad from the top of her head hoping to get a full body shot, I guess. She went on and on and on, setting the timer of the camera and then waiting for 10 seconds while her iPad beeped loudly to let her know when to exactly strike a killer pose. It was bewildering.

After 45 minutes or so, it started to get a bit windy so I decided to take off.  My friend Diyana had told me there was a wakeboarding competition going on in the canal so I decided to pop by and see what it was all about. Got there and well, I couldn’t see anything, it was packed. And whatever I could see on the screens was boring so I went to Burger King, grabbed a bite and then headed to Ørstedsparken instead, hoping to find some peaceful spot to read a book I’ve been trying to get into for a couple of months now: The Happiness Paradox by Ziyad Marar, which basically “challenges the conventional search for happiness, while suggesting a bolder way to live with one of the central paradoxes of our time.”

I cycled around the park and finally found a sunny spot I liked. I laid on the grass, got my book out and started reading but I couldn’t get past the third page, my head was somewhere else. A group of people nearby were practicing a coreography set to the melody of “Call Me Maybe,” which they were playing very loud and repeatedly, and that was certainly a distraction, but there was something else bothering me so in the end I just decided to pack my stuff and went back home. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching EELS interviews, episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and an assortment of short films until it was time to hit the sack, just around midnight.

It’s now 10am and my cup of coffee is long gone so I think I’m gonna head back home to post this and listen to “Blinking Lights and Other Revelations”. I finished “Things The Grandchildren Should Know” yesterday so I really fancy going through that particular record today, while the story behind it is fresh in my head. After a second read, I can still say it’s a wonderful, inspiring and terribly humbling book so do yourself a favour, gentle reader, and grab a copy today. You’re gonna love it if you give it a try.

[ Listened to: EELS – Blinking Lights and Other Revelations ]

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September 1

Last night I turned into a student, just for a few hours. My friend Carlos invited me to a party organized by the Copenhagen Business School so I decided to go and see what it was about. In just a couple of hours, the Drunken Flamingo‘s rooftop went from relatively quiet to this. Not bad if you ask me. There was a nice atmosphere, good music (despite of “Get Lucky”), friendly people and loads of hot girls everywhere. After 6 months, I still get a bit overwhelmed by the number of painfully good looking individuals dwelling in this city, all blonde and tall and fit. Strong jaws and high cheekbones wherever you look, it’s crazy.

I spent most of the evening chatting with 3 swedes (a couple of guys and a girl), who recommended me to go to Gothenburg in the winter. Apparently is not as cold as you would expect and it’s beautiful in that time of the year so if I’m still around in Scandinavia in a couple of months, I might as well take the train and find out for myself. At the party, I also ran into a few Couchsurfers who I didn’t know study at CBS, which was a strange coincidence; I wasn’t expecting to see more than one familiar face in the crowd so walking into the place and suddenly being greeted by a group of five was a little bit of a surprise, in a cool kind of way.

I had a few beers and decided to cycle back home around 1:30am, just in time to see Copenhagen’s night life at his best: drunk people staggering in the streets, falling from their bikes, passing out on the sidewalks, having a casual wee in front of the clubs, making out, laughing, cheering, yelling, puking, and in general, being young and alive. A radical change from the courteous behaviour you see during the day.

This morning I woke up around 9am, put “Things the Grandchildren Should Know” in my bag and headed to Sort Kaffe Og Vinyl for my mandatory caffeine fix. Klara wasn’t there, a major bummer, but the sun was shining so I decided to sit outside and read chapters 5 and 6. The former is particularly sad, humbling and disturbing, it made me feel thankful for everything I have. At times I feel like such a lost cause but then I read stuff like this and I’m quickly reminded that I’m nothing but one little lucky motherfucker. Which probably explains while I like the Eels so much and why I do everything in my power to see them live whenever they are on tour; I feel almost obliged to show E my gratitude and also the need to feed from that positive energy he transmits.  It’s a pity I won’t be able to make it to London next week for their show at Shepherds Bush Empire, I understand is pretty much the same show and setlist they did in Copenhagen back in April, but still, I would have loved to see them again.

By the way, speaking of music, I’ve decided to turn the daily record-listening experience into a weekly ritual. Yes, I was struggling a bit to keep up with the day-to-day routine but the real reason why I’ve chosen to do it only on Sundays is because I think I will enjoy and appreciate it much more that way AND I’ll just have something to look forward to every weekend apart from doing my laundry…

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August 31

Well, yesterday was my last day at the agency that hired me earlier this year. I have been let go due to cutbacks and a badly-managed organizational crisis, which means I face, once again, a stressful race against the clock. Quite a tough one, really. Being let go in the middle of the Summer, in one of the most expensive cities in Europe, where my professional network is very limited and looking for a role that’s almost a luxury in Denmark makes for a very inconvenient scenario: if I want to stay here, I need to secure a new full-time contract before I run out of money. That is, finding a highly-paid job in less than a month.


Yeah, I know, good luck with that.

* * * * *

I’ve just been to my new favourite coffeeshop, Sort Kaffe Og Vinyl, and decided to actually start a conversation with one of the baristas there: a beautiful girl called Klara, whom I instantly fell in love with a couple of weeks ago. She’s not your typical Scandinavian hottie; not blonde, really short hair (like Sinead O’Connors circa 1989) and very soft-spoken. She has a lovely smile, too. I always hesitate when approaching people out of the blue, particularly here in Copenhagen where everyone is so reserved, but I have decided to start shaking things up a little bit around here so I went for it. It took a little bit of effort to get the ball rolling but shortly after it was all fine. Turns out Klara is learning Spanish and wants to travel around South America very soon so we briefly chatted about where to go, what to do and so on. We also talked about our names and the meaning behind them. Oh dear, I think I’m slowly developing a crush on her.

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Once people started arriving, it was time to bring the small talk to an end and move on. I went to the back of the place, where you can’t fit more than 10 people, and sat there, sipping coffee and munching a cinnamon roll while reading the first chapters of “Things The Grandchildren Should Know”, one of my favourite books of all times. Given the circumstances, going through this masterpiece once again seems just about right, particularly on a day like today…

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