Monthly archives: November 2009

romantic ruins

One of my hobbies is exploring abandoned buildings. I’m not sure if you could really call it a hobby however, because “hobby” is such a trivial word, and I fucking love abandoned buildings. I’ve been in creepy ancient school complexes, in beer factory brewing halls six stories under ground, and empty warehouses, and I have taken pictures.
Which leads me to the question, dear readers, do you like abandoned buildings? Because if you do I might start doing a segment with stories and pictures from various expeditions. Give me a “here here” or a “no, you fool!” [...]

god of coffee i invoke thee!

This is my motivational speech. This is my call to battle. This is my kick in the ass.
I haven’t worked on my wagon in going on two months. I burnt out. I couldn’t stand the sight of the place. I couldn’t bear the thought of even plugging in the jigsaw. I considered just torching the fucking thing. You know you’re desperate when you’re considering burning down your own house to solve your problems. Instead I took a vacation. It’s not a lot of fun, building alone. I need help, and [...]

further dumpster nostalgia

Dumpster diving in Dresden. Now those were good days.

And this? This was my favorite dumpster at the time. Look at it there! Produce pouring out of it’s big brown mouth in broad daylight like that!

There was a bus stop across the street, which meant you had to time sliding under the dumpster-cage door just right to avoid being seen by too many people. Vegetables, fruit, apple sauce, cheese, oh this baby had it all, and en mass. What glorious days.

skip to the kitchen my darling

In England, dumpster diving is called skipping. It’s a rather indirect way to talk about trash picking, but it feels appropriate in its way. Picture two small children holding hands and skipping through the park. Picture the gleeful expressions on their faces. This is how I look when, wrapped up in multiple jackets and scarves, I rush from a beat-up red van to the house kitchen laden with not-frozen-anymore soft pretzel dough. I was euphoric. Skipping was in order.
I haven’t been dumpster diving in a car in years. Wait, I take that [...]

a blustery day

Sitting in the kitchen I imagine that the tree outside is attacking us, pounding its branches on the roof in rage. Fuck you industrial civilization, it pounds. There used to be forest here. Trees as tall as the cranes on the now-cleared land behind us. Now there is only metal, and dust. Now I am practically alone. The branches scratch across the metal roof. A bag of bread falls onto the floor, plastic bag crunching.
Back in the red wagon I concentrate on lighting the wood stove. I get the kindling lit, and [...]

woe be you soy plant

I was hungover, but I wasn’t that hungover.
I tottered into the kitchen in search of food and coffee. There was soup, potato creme, just finished. Still steaming. I hungrily gulped down two bowls, splashed some water on my face, and went back to the wagon to read.
Laying in bed, Tropic of Cancer open in front of me, that’s when my face started to swell in large red blotches all over my chin. One eye was already red and swollen from a piece of fuzz I’d rubbed into it upon waking and that Coffee had plucked out [...]

protest and despair

Students all over Germany are on strike. This is breaking news. But have you heard about it?
If you live in the United States, I wouldn’t expect you to have heard a peep, considering the priority (even remotely subversive) world news gets on Rupert Murdoch’s watch. But if you live in Germany you must have heard about it. Right? Right?!
Oh. You didn’t? I’m sorry. I guess it’s not getting a whole lot of front-page press. But there are 1,985,765 students in the country (stat from 2005). That’s a lot [...]

you grabbed my hand and we fell into it, like a fever, or a daydream

I have spent the last two days working on my book. It is ironic that writing and writers are so often romanticized. “What a fantastic life he must lead,” people think. “He’s a writer.”
But watching someone write a book is probably one of the most boring spectacles there is. And writing? Writing is sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, not talking to anyone, interacting only with the glowing screen. I wouldn’t trade it for any other occupation, but I’m not going to lie to you about it either. [...]

cockroaching around town

I scramble through piles of things you would call trash. I excavate the treasures that most of the world is blind to. The civilized world teaches its children that “trash” is disgusting and diseased: a no-go zone to be shunned, perhaps even feared.
I am standing in the middle of a heap of trash next to the train station. The pile had probably started as a neat collection of boxes, filled with unwanted old clothes, papers, and knick knacks, placed on the curb to be picked up by the Sperrmüll company. But others had already riffled through [...]

wo alte bücher träume träumen von Zeiten als sie Bäume waren

It is winter, and I have to resist the urge to go into hibernation with every cell. But with a sore throat, I give in and spend the days in bed drifting between sleeping and reading, reading and sleeping and dreaming.
Rain clicks onto the roof and on a wicker chair across the room, the Beard plays the banjo. The wood stove crackles, and I sigh. Sore throat or not, I feel perfectly content to be just where I am, in this skin, under this blanket and this roof.
Wrapped in four down blankets, propped up on pillows, tea [...]