Friday, January 30, 2004

Three Things

I found this on friendster. A typical friday thing to fill in...

George W. Bush, loneliness, Michael Jackson

Ali G, David Brent, Britney Spears

my soulmate, Jennifer Aniston, friends

music, Ajax, sleep

Fred Durst, manufactured pop idols, Reality TV

politics, women, my job

tons of useless paper, stapler, toilet roll

thinking of three things, typing, pretending to be working

travel the world, become a pop-star, write a memoir

blue, dark blue, light blue

parallel parking, left-foot braking, air guitar

laidback, easygoing, chilled

sing, fly a plane, not drink alcohol

Brendan Benson, friends, F1 engine

Republicans, german, country music

dude, fuckin A, shit

tin-foil wrapped chicken (my recipe), meat (medium rare), crisps

quantum physics, mechanical engineering, sports management

Heineken, Vodka RedBull, water

Transformers, The A-Team, Knightrider

"I can see three corners from this corner"

Thursday, January 29, 2004


Yesterday I finally got the Lost In Translation soundtrack. It's wonderful, the songs really do remind me of the movie (and if that is not enough there is Bob Harris' karaoke version of that Roxy Music song). It seems that Sofia Coppola knows how to use music in her movie. Last time she asked Air to fill the music for Virgin Suicides, this time it's Kevin Shields (from My Bloody Valentine).

Anyway, it snowed last night and this morning the roads were full of snow. I decided to take the bus instead. What normally takes me 5 minutes by car or 10 mintes by bus, took me 45 minutes. The bus didn't show up on time, then it had to crawl on the road. But I was looking outside and enjoying the scenery. Snow is beautiful.

A friend quoted my blog on her blog. So now people will know this blog. It's funny that this friend is a real movie buff, but has never watched This Is Spinal Tap. Maybe it's just me being a pop culture fool, hence This Is Spinal Tap being one of the best movies ever for me.

"How can you enjoy life if you don't live it on the edge?"

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

In the Snow

What an adventure! Started friday night, ended Tuesday noon. Friday me and some mates headed to Verbier for a skiing/snowboarding weekend. Had a nice chalet and went out that night drinking and clubbing. Totally wasted and came in at 5. Fortunately the alarm didn't work so I didn't have to go snowboarding with a hangover. I managed to board from 1 to 5 on Saturday and it was da bomb! The snow was really nice, as well as the track. After that 2 pints of beer. Then some fondue, finished of with drinks and another club. Too bad I was a bit tired so I wasn't really up for it.

Sunday morning drove off to Milan via Grand St. Bernard. It snowed on Saturday, making my exit from Verbier a bit cautious. But some snowchains and nice weather ensured a nice and safe ride to Milan where I met up with me cousin. Walked around a bit and prepared for the next day. Monday drove to Maranello to attend the Ferrari presentation. Story about that some other time. Finished at 3, dropped me cousin off at Milan at 1830 and homebound I am. At least I thought I was.

It started snowing and by the time I got close to Aosta, the road was filled with snow. Normally with winter tyres it shouldn't be a problem, but I'm using summer tyres. Which is like walking on ice. I did put on my chains but driving on the highway is just useless. Especially at night. So before reaching Mont Blanc I just took an exit and checked in to the closest hotel. I stayed the night, woke up, called the office, and drove off. At this time all the snow was cleared from the road and I made it home sound and safely. With a chf 100 fine because I went into a wrong road 1 km away from my home.

Who would have thought snow can cause so much fun and so much trouble?

Friday, January 23, 2004


I finally bought a bass! It's been overdue by about 10 years, but still, I now have my own bass. For those who don't know, back in university I played bass in a band.

Actually it all started in primary school, 5th grade to be exact. Me and my mate were a bit obsessed with music (Wham!, Duran Duran, Bon Jovi) and thought it would be cool to form a band. So 5 guys created this band even though none of us could actually play an instrument. I ended up with the bass because John Taylor was the coolest one in Duran Duran. I still didn't know how to play bass but I though that guitar is close enough, so I took guitar lessons. I was crap but still it made me understand the basics of music and of a string instrument. My mate pointed out that a bass is the upper 4 strings of a guitar so suddenly I knew how to play the bass. Woohoo!

In junior high, we took it a bit serious. I found a guy who played drums and another guitar player and we started jamming although to be honest we were crap. But suddenly we have this gig. At 14 years old. We played a cover of Sweet Child O'Mine which was as bad as it can be. The guitar volume went down by accident, the bass and guitar weren't tuned properly, and I realized years after that I was playing it all wrong. Oh well, for a 14 year old it was still something to brag about.

In senior high I was still playing but gave up after a while. I was still taking guitar lessons but the only song I could play was Romance D'Amour. I couldn't read music so I quit and started chasing other interests. But the day I got into university, I was reunited with my mate from 5th grade again. A week later, 8 guys just started jamming. And even though there was a better bass player, he preferred to sing so I picked the bass. A couple of gigs later, 8 became 4 and the core of my university band. Two more joined later but I was always the bass player. During those years I learned a lot how to play bass properly. I figured which notes to play with each chord. I had to syncronize with the drummer. I have to keep the beat. During that period I was borrowing a nice bass. An old Ibanez that looks like a Fender with a nice mid-sound. At one point I joined another band to try and make it big. We has some good songs, secured a couple of gigs, but then the guitarist gave up and the band was dismissed (ironically, the band was called "dis").

When I moved here I didn't think I could play again. But through some friends I found some people who played so I started playing with them but not serious. Until last monday, a drummer called me up. Having nothing left to lose I said yes and now we are trying to make a band again. I figured it's about time I have a bass so that I can practice, so that I don't have to depend on other people. Hence the new bass you see (mine is black).

"Rock and Roll!"

Thursday, January 22, 2004


Well it's not yet my vacation but I've just got my tickets today for my vacation in two months time. If all goes well I might be lying on a beach like that. If not, I'll still be somewhere else, by myself, trying to find myself. Sometimes you do need time on your own. And to be honest, I can think of anywhere more appropriate than where I am going to. The main reason I chose that place is because I want to scuba dive. I've done it before but I don't have the proper qualification, so I thought, "hmmmm, why not go there". Which is what I will be doing. Can't wait...

Oh, I just found out yesterday that the human soul weighs 21 grams.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

What's happening to society?

In last week's TIME there was this quote:

"I believe that the reason I smoke and drink every day and my wife is overweight is because we watched TV every day for the last four years" - sTimothy Dumouchel of West Bend, Wisconsin, USA, threathening to sue a TV Cable Company after they forgot to turn off his subscription when he cancelled 4 years ago.

Is he fuckin mental or what? He cannot be serious!

I still don't understand what's wrong with the Americans when it comes to suing. They'll sue anything, anybody for the stupidest reasons ever. Well in this case, this bloke needs to sue his own free will. I mean, it was his own free will that got his ass stuck on the couch, flicking the remote control. It was his free will who said "smoke a fag", not the TV. It was his free will who said "grab another beer", not his TV. It was his wife's free will who said "another doughnut won't hurt". What's going to happen to society if they don't even believe that they have free will anymore and feel the need to sue somebody else for the lack of control over their free will.

Our free will is what sets us apart from animals. Animals live based on instinct, humans based on free will. The free will is helped by a brain (although I doubt this person had a brain, it was probably eaten by his telly) to make decisions. So it is really scary when a person says that he doesn't have a free will anymore.

And this is not the first case. Somebody sued Philip Morris because she got lung cancer from 25 years of smoking Marlboro's. Another guy tried to sue McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC because he is obese from eating all that junk food. What next? Somebody suing Budweiser because he ended up shagging an ugly bird? Somebody suing Durex because it made him shag a lot? Somebody suing the transportation department because it made him lazy? Somebody suing martians because they abducted him and gave him an anal probe? Get real. Get a life. No, choose your life. Use your free will.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Pretentious, Hungover, Eastenders

Friday night we tried going to a club here. Five girls, two guys. In any normal city/club there will be no problem going in with that combination. But this club is just plain weird. At the door they let the first two girls in, then I came along with a girl and they stopped us asking for a fuckin membership card. One of the girls came back and said that I was with them and suddenly the bouncer says that we are too many. Too many!!! What the fuck is that line about? And to make it worse, as he was saying that a group of 10 was entering easily. Fuckin stupid asses! I don't know what their problem is. I mean I do have money and am willing to spend it inside, but apparently I'm not worthy for them. Fuckin ridiculous.

Saturday was my mate's birthday. We had dinner then drinks at the usual spot. I was DJing and had some good times. We finished two bottles of vodka. Ended up in a club. Dragged myself home.

I woke up at 9 because I had to go to Verbier. Turns out I have a huge hangover. So I was driving on auto-pilot and somehow made the 120km journey. But then I became sick. We ended up not skiing because of thick fog. So we just sat in the chalet and someone puts in a video tape of Eastenders. I drive all the way to Verbier, with a hufe hangover, risking people's lives, to watch Eastenders?

Snowboarding was replaced with a nice thermal bath. Now I'm all relaxed. All I need is some sleep. Well, lots of actually...

"you work with him? you're so lucky!"

Friday, January 16, 2004

Friday Rants

Went to the CD store during lunch and ended up with The Rapture and Kyo. I think this is the first time I bought real French music. Real as in it uses French. Not counting Daft Punk, Air, and Phoenix of course. The reason I bought it is because their songs are on MTV all the time. Sort of gets in my head. Kyo's music is simple, typical rock-pop. Like Evanescensce but with a Backstreet Boy on vocal. If you are curious, just try it.

Check out John O'Farrell's latest column in the Guardian about the red planet. He's really funny, like a British Dave Barry (although he probably won't like the comparison).

Not sure what to do this weekend. Well, actually not sure what to do tonight. Tomorrow night there are a couple of birthday celebrations to go to. Maybe tonight I'll just hang out at my local cafe and play some music. Although I'm not in the mood for DJing. But we'll see.

A member of my old band is getting married tomorrow. Out of the 5, 2 are married (drummer and guitarist), 1 is going to tomorrow (the male vocalist), 1 has plans to do so (the female vocalist), while the other one (me) is still an eligible bachelor. We all hung out together and played music during university years, so it's kind of weird that everybody is getting on with their lives. Although it was predicted that out of the 5, I was always going to be the last one to get married anyway.

Fuck, just realised I made a huge mistake at work. Oh well, c'est la vie...

Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Last Samurai

Just came back from my Wednesday movie group. Today it is The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise. I don't know what Tom Cruise is good at. He has the same look that he used since Top Gun (the "I-will-not-be-defeated" look). Same charm (basically none). Etc etc. It's just that some girls adore him and suddenly he's the best paid actor. Anyway, I came to see Billy Connolly and got to see 15 minutes of him before the story focuses on Tom Cruise.

Anyway, Tom Cruise is Captain Nathan Algren, a soldier with ideals but with a selfish arrogant boss (hey, aren't we all like Algren?). He gets paid tonloads to train the Japanese army so they can take on the Samurai led by Katsumodo. In battle, Algren was caught by Katsumodo and is taken as prisoner. In this village he learns what a samurai means and bla bla bla you can guess the rest.

I just have some questions during the movie:
* How did Algren manages to keep his hair the same like that troughout the movie? Is there a Tony & Guy in that village?
* How did Katsumodo learn how to speak English? He's a samurai, lives in a village and it's 1876!
* Where the hell did Katsumodo's son learned to say "Jolly good"? Was Billy Connolly still around?
* How did Algren learn Japanese so fast? In the beginning of winter he was learning words, at the end of winter (give or take 4 months later) he was yapping away in Japanese! I've been living here for 4 years and I still can't yap away in French.
* The winter in that village up the mountain doesn't look cold, does it?
* The army was already fighting Katsumodo, but when he came back to Tokyo it turns out that he is part of the council. That just doesn't make sense. How can he be hunted down and still be part of the government council?

Anyway, enough about my ranting. If you wanna see some cultural stuff about Japan and Samurai and you don't have National Geographic, then go see this movie.

"No disrespect sir, but you can shove the order up your arse!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

2003 Brit Awards nominations

The nominees for the 2003 Brit Awards are (my personal pick in red):

British Male Solo Artist: Badly Drawn Boy; Daniel Bedingfield; David Bowie; Dizzee Rascal; Will Young
British Female Solo Artist: Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Dido; Jamelia; Annie Lennox; Amy Winehouse
MasterCard British Album: Daniel Bedingfield, Gotta Get Thru This; Blur, Think Tank; The Coral, Magic and Medicine; The Darkness, Permission to Land; Dido, Life For Rent
British Group: Busted; The Coral; The Darkness; Radiohead; Sugababes
British Single: Dido, White Flag; Gareth Gates and the Kumars, Spirit in the Sky; Jamelia, Superstar; Mis-Teeq, Scandalous; Rachel Stevens, Sweet Dreams My LA Ex
British Rock Act: The Darkness; Feeder; Muse; Primal Scream; Stereophonics
British Urban Act: Lemar; Big Brovaz; Mis-Teeq; Dizzee Rascal; Amy Winehouse
British Dance Act: Basement Jaxx; Goldfrapp; Groove Armada; Kosheen; Lemon Jelly
British Breakthrough Artist: Busted; Jamie Cullum; The Darkness; Lemar; Dizzee Rascal
Pop Act: Christina Aguilera; Daniel Bedingfield; Black Eyed Peas; Busted; Justin Timberlake
International Male Solo Artist: Beck; 50 Cent; Sean Paul; Damien Rice; Justin Timberlake
International Female Solo Artist: Christina Aguilera; Beyoncé; Missy Elliott; Alicia Keys; Kylie Minogue
International Album: Christina Aguilera, Stripped; Beyoncé, Dangerously in Love; OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; Justin Timberlake, Justified; The White Stripes, Elephant
International Group: Black Eyed Peas; Kings of Leon; OutKast; The White Stripes
International Breakthrough Artist: 50 Cent; Evanescence; Kings of Leon; Sean Paul; The Thrills
Outstanding Contribution: Duran Duran


Edgar Davids has officially joined Barcelona on a loan basis until the end of the season, with an option of continuing.

I like Davids. On the field he is a true 'pitbull'. He'll chase anybody, always fights for the ball, and on top of that he has amazing individual skills. Anybody still remember the Nike ad he made in 1998 where he was juggling the ball while talking on his mobile? And with his Nike glasses, who can miss him on the field?

He has won the Champions League with Ajax back in 1995. Moved to Milan together with Kluivert and Reiziger. Davids sustained a couple of injuries (including fracturing his arm), still played well but apparantly not well enough for Milan's standards. So he moved to Juventus and formed the heart of the midfield with Zidane. Imagine, a magician like Zidane together with a pitbull like Davids. After successful seasons, last season Davids refused to sign a new contract. He fell out with trainer Lippi as well, especially when Juve bought Appiah to replace Davids. So Davids found himself a new club in Barcelona.

At Barcelona he will join his buddies Kluivert and Reiziger, his mentor Rijkaard, and some other Dutch guys (Cocu, Overmars, and van Bronckhorst). He should be the one holding Barcelona's midfield together. If you want to see his qualities, go watch the Holland - Scotland game (the 6-0 one) and you can see how Davids was cleaning up the midfield. I hope that with Davids, Barcelona can perform better again.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Burger & Beer

Sunday was the usual "hang-out-in-the-cafe" and then the "burger-and-beer-in-the-pub". The burgers are really good at the pub. Wash it down with a pint of Heineken and I'm all set for a new week.

Manchester Utd vs Newcastle Utd was showing on the telly in the pub. Newcastle deserved a penalty when Tim Howard tripped Alan Shearer in the box. Shearer had the ball and Howard only caught Shearer's leg. The ref didn't give it, probably because Shearer fell down a bit too easy. But then again Silvestre's goal should have stood as well. He did nothing wrong. Oh well, that's football and it wasn't the greatest of games anyway. I just needed some distraction while sipping my pint and waiting for my burger to come.

I'm borrowing Futurama season 2 from my friend. It's really funny. I guess in some ways I'm a bit like Fry (although with Bender's drinking habit). If The Simpsons is about a dysfunctional family (which is now the norm in most societies), then Futurama is about the dysfunctional office (which is where I work).

It's another boring monday at the office. And the weather isn't helping at all (rain, wet and cloudy). Can't wait for the weekend to come again...

"Is there anything worth looking for? Worth loving for? Worth lying for?
Is there anything worth waiting for? Worth living for? Worth dying for?"

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Oh My Goddess!

Imagine this situation. A bar, 3 guys and 1 hot girl. Guy #1 is alone, orders a bottle of vodka for himself and tries to impress the girl by showing off and saying stupid things. He says that he's an entrepeneur and that he's successful bla bla bla. Guy #2 knows the bar manager, tries to mix some music (without any success) and tells the girl to go out later. He will make reservations in the most swanky place and she has to be there at a given time. Guy #3 just sits there watching all these idiots make fools of themselves and occassionally asks the girl how she's doing. Guess who the girl ends up talking to...

It's good to be guy #3. The more stupid guys, the better guy #3 will look for the girl. I just don't like to show off, I'm more of the shy-sort-of-mysterious guy. It also helps knowing a friend of the hot girl who says to her: "you should talk to this guy, he's better than those other guys and he's really kind".

For the rest it was an uneventful friday. Although I won't mind repeating it over and over like Groundhog Day. Now let's see what we can do on saturday...

Oh, and I found out that my name is a sexual position in the Kama Sutra. Cool!

"You're not from here because you dance really good!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Lost In Translation

This is truly one of the best movies in 2003. Sofia Coppola has done a marvelous job at making a movie about a relationship that is deep yet not sexual.

Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is a former action actor at the end of his career. He goes to Japan to promote some whisky for some easy money and a break from his wife and kids from a 25 year marriage. He's experiencing total jetlag and an uncomfortable feeling of being out of place because he doesn't understand anything there in Tokyo.

Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is the wide of hotshot photographer, John (Giovanni Ribisi). John is in Japan for some work and Charlotte is left behind during the days. She just graduated, has just been married for two years, is jetlagged and feels totally lost in Tokyo because she doesn't understand anything.

Since they both stay at the same hotel, something evolves. First it was the late night drinking at the bar, then bumping at the pool and then they went on a night out with Charlotte's crazy Japanese friends. Bob and Charlotte find comfort in each other because each of them are as lost as the other there in Tokyo. Not just in the city, but also in life. As their relationship grows deeper, they are aware that they will have to leave each other and go back to normal life.

Coppola did an amazing job with the screenplay and direction. She showed that even though Tokyo is a huge metropolitan city, the culture is just different. She goes into the video arcade, where all the games are different than the ones we normally see. Then there is the traffic, the big city lights, the clubs, the nightlife (karaoke anyone?), the way Japanese people talk, and the funny Japanese version of Johnny Carson.

Just like her husband (is she and Spike still together?) Sofia Coppola has a knack for showing something different. This time she made a movie which is a real-life situation with real-life endings. Something that makes a movie-goer think about life.

Oh, and the music is so cool...

Tuesday, January 06, 2004


Britney Spears is in the news again.

Who is she trying to be? J-Lo? Anyway, the guy can brag a lot now. He must have banged Britney when they were husband and wife, even if it was only for a day or so. Alarmingly, I didn't know about this until today, which is a bit late I guess for a pop culture victim like me.

Let me see if I can remember correctly: the boobs, dancing with snakes, announcing to keep virginity until marriage, almost stripping on an MTV award show, smoking in a club, losing virginity to Justin Timberlake, breaking-up with Justin Timberlake and then saying that Justin has a small penis, allegedly dated Fred Durst, kissing Madonna, and now this. Keep it going Britney and you'll might get a chance of equalling Jacko in the wacky world department.

I always liked Christina better than Britney.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Back in the office

It's official, vacation is over. After 5 minutes sitting at my desk (the amount of time to start my PC), I am bored already, wishing I could still be at home sleeping away doing nothing. Just as I expected. There are plenty of e-mails, but none important enough to give real attention to. I do have a couple of things, but without my colleague I can't do it. So I just browsed whatever. Found a job in marketing, maybe I should apply. Just for the heck of it. Checking my chances. Showing that I do want to go up the ladder (only to get a raise so that I can buy the sound system I want to).

I've been playing around with Friendster just for the hell of it. I now have 11 friends, with 3 awaiting confirmation. Still nothing compared to the friendster addicts who have at least 83 friends. Although I do wonder, how many of them do they really know? At least I can say that I know all of my friends, that I have spoken to them in person at one stage of my life. But still, 14 (or 11 at worse) is not a figure I should be bragging about.

"I wish you were here so that I can talk to you about my relationship"

Sunday, January 04, 2004

The Final Sunday

Tomorrow is monday. I'm sure about that because I will have to go to work again. I've been off for two weeks and almost every day felt like sunday. Imagine having 12 sundays in a row. I mean, with Christmas and New Year's Day, it really feels like sundays. I don't know whether to go out anymore at night, and if I do go out, I don't know what is open. Everybody I know was having time off from work, and everybody didn't know what to do. I did went to Paris to fill some time (and spend some money) but even there it was like a series of sundays. I went snowboarding a couple of times, which usually is done on sundays. So deep down inside I am happy that I have to go to work again. Not because I miss work - no I still loathe it - it's just with work my weekly rhythm will get going again. It's more healthy when there is a pattern for living.

Anyway, in Paris I went to the Louvre. It's one of the few times I actually been inside a proper museum. I was pretty impressed with all the art inside. From the sculptures and paintings, I understand that Italians have something about the naked body. There even was a statue of a guy playing baseball naked. Can't really understand why that is so artful... Then there was the Mona Lisa. Guarded heavily. It scares me a bit, because the eyes were following me, but maybe that is the point of it. Our conclusion is that Leonardo Da Vinci has a big left AND right brain. I mean the guy was an inventor and an artist at the same time. Almost never happens. But Montmartre is always lovely.

"non, je peux pas, je pas de temps"

Friday, January 02, 2004

Happy New Year!!! It's 2004

I'm finally back again, being able to log on the internet. I was away. First Paris for 4 days, then a new year's party at a friend's place until the 1st, got home and was too tired to do anything on the net. I sort of forget how to deal with the internet again. And today I was snowboarding in Les Houches. Bad weather, I was basically snowboarding in a cloud, which means I couldn't see anything.

I do have stories, hopefully I have time to put it down here.

Anyway, have a wonderful 2004. Hopefully I can fulfill my resolution. Shouldn't be too difficult.