All things come to a beginning

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Put your record on

I went over to the sports center for a run a little while ago. It was a pretty crowded scene out on the track, reminded me of an old skool vinyl record. All amateurs, we were running pretty much at the same steady pace, at uneven distances. Warm summer air. Guys in raggedy jerseys playing football on the center field - Belgiana if ever I saw it. No discman this time, but an old mp3-player, with the same tracks I ran to in Canada. "SOS", Oksana's old ringtone. "Hung up", Hilde's Madonna track. My Brendan at Timmie's song, "Sunrise". Earlier that day, I played a birthday cd that got sent to me in Toronto for my 23d. What a difference a year makes.

I won't make it across the ocean any time soon for lack of time, but the mountain is coming to Mohammed. Anna's traveling down from Amsterdam for Werchter and Tina is doing a grand tour of Europe this summer and will be passing through Brussels in a few short weeks. I can't wait to see them again & catch up. I have a feeling we've all taken some serious steps since we last sat around the sticky Tartu kitchen table (turns out flipping over the table cloth is only effective so many times). Tina graduated, moved back to the West coast, and is now thinking about starting a masters back in Toronto. Anna packed up and headed to the pot capital of Europe, looking to stay there a few more years at least. And me, well, I start work tomorrow. A temporary contract for now, but I still see it as more substantial than the summer jobs I've had so far. Plus, I have no plans of returning to school coming October.
I've had a few people welcome me into the labour force with less than luke warm smiles. "You should travel more first". "You'll see, it's not all it's cracked up to be". "You should have asked for more money". "You'll wake up one day and realise you're 32 with a dresser drawer full of flesh-coloured panties and a head full of shoulds". Well, you know what? Telling me what I should be doing or feeling to achieve freedom, nirvana and bright white laundry doesn't seem to be getting me any closer to heaven. In fact, it's actually more demotivating than - as I keep hearing - the working life routine is supposed to be. An office in Brussels. Colleagues of all ages, types & hair styles sitting at adjacent desks. A water cooler out in the hall way, wall to wall carpet. The daily commute. Could it be the stuff nightmares are made of? Absolutely. Do I think I'm smarter than other people and will avoid the pitfalls and regrets they all seem to share? Not at all. But let me find out for myself, let me slide into "TGIF!//Where the hell are my keys, I can't be late again this week//I need a brand new word to capture the extent to which I hate Monday mornings and that guy who works across the hall//Wow, that meeting could have easily been a full hour shorter//Who keeps sending me these inane emails? Are there actually still people out there who believe their accounts will be deleted unless they forward this message to their entire address book? Do these people fall down a lot and type with their mouth open?//Ugh, forgot to do laundry again, guess the flesh coloured pair will have to do" - extravaganza at my own pace, instead of knocking me over the head with it before I even get my own office chair. Let me navigate, despite my eye-patch and dubious map reading skills and trust me to turn my ship around before it's too late. At this point, I'm excited and I am curious and I'll have butterflies in my stomach when I yank out my ear phones and walk through the doors tomorrow morning. A fresh track. En avant!

Sunday, June 03, 2007


The least important reason why I haven't blogged since Lily Allen was still hot shit, is a computer situation. My Inspiron is no more... It died on me a little while ago, in the very week all of my papers and reports were due. Spare me the preaching about back-ups, for risk of a "How about I back YOU up?!" or a "Your MOM needs a back-up". Bottom line, I didn't have any and I was royally screwed.

Fast forward to me biking over to the repair shop, expecting maybe not a red carpet but at least a bit of a spotlight. Try: "Fill out this form, we'll add you to the list and get back to you". no, i don't think you understand. "Fill out the form". Okay, would it help if I got you a sandwich? You look like the kind of guy who A hug? Okay, fine, add me to the list. Cool. So what's my number? No number? Okay, some sort of receipt? You don't do receipts, you say? Well, yes, I realise you have my name, but I have nothing that proves that...Why I need a receipt? I don't know, someone could come in pretending to be me and steal it. Or I could come in and you could pretend not to know who I am. Or I could come back and find this place abandoned and ask a one-eyed janitor what happened to the pc-shop and he'd cackle and say "No one has left or entered that building in years, pet" and than I would look in the direction of the building and for some reason the camera angle would be a bit off, so that my face is slant as I'm looking up with a slight frown and my mouth agape and you can see a big part of the darkening sky. And then what? Sir? Sir? * knocks on door * Sir? Could I...Hello? Computer man? Okay. Well. Thanks, I guess. I'll hear from you, right? Please?

I got the liberating call last week, rushed over and got a slightly warmer welcome. "Sofie? Oh, right, the case". Apparently whatever killed my laptop is rare enough for it to be named a "case", unless he was taking a jab at me for getting off my bike slightly not so elegantly (cut me some slack, I was tied to my backpack cause of the ear phones attached to the discman in there - yeah, that's right, a discman, no i-pod for me since I have no computer, remember?) outside. Anywho, no clue what's wrong with it, but it'll basically set me back about two months' rent. Ouch.

On the bright side, it's helped me to finally kick the habit of spending a good half hour (make that 45 minutes) each day looking at pictures of retarded half-celebrities on a variety of gossip websites. I've been using other people's computers, so I want to spend my time usefully and wholesomely, sticking to email, facebook & news sites. I honesty don't even miss it. My only guilty pleasure is, which i think is okay because it's not so much gossip as fashion and it's pants-wettingly hilarious in a very sweet way. Like this entry:

"I am mildly obsessed with musician Alison Goldfrapp's name. Say it with me: Goldfrapp. It's so fun. It could work in so many contexts: as a replacement swear word ("Aw, goldfrapp, I dropped my feather boa into my drink"), a raunchy verb ("I went home with him and we goldfrapped for hours"), an obscure sport popular in Scandinavian countries ("HallÄ, I am Fjord Bjorn, zee Svedish national goldfrapp champion") an expensive novelty iced coffee beverage ("I'll have a grande goldfrappuccino with whipped cream, please") the name of a dashing, authority-averse TV detective whose boss is always yelling at him ("Get ... me... GOLDFRAPP") or the name of the aforementioned detective's villainous nemesis, frequently screamed at the skies while our hero kneels over a dead body and shakes his fist ("GooooldfrAAAAAAAAAAAPPPP!"), or even as a noun for something sort of squicky ("Shoot, I got goldfrapp all over my Jimmy Choos"). Unfortunately, if she's not careful, it could end up in our lexicon as, "Oh my God, that woman is totally pulling a Goldfrapp," or "I almost goldfrapped myself when I saw that shirt."

I'm a little too caught up in exams right now to do much goldfrapping, but once I'm done, look out world. Like a mission from GAD.