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Thursday, August 22, 2002
Isn’t It Ironic, Don’t You Think?
In an email today a friend of mine asked how it was possible for someone my age (I’ll be 28 next week) not to be able to cook. I haven’t answered her yet, but I’ll mention that I’m too lazy and disinterested in food to get around to learning how to make sauces, pies, and fancy salads. But that’s not the point of the story.
The point is that ironically a few hours later I’m on the phone with my Mum and she suggests that we have my birthday dinner at my house instead of at their house. Although perfectly logical (it’s my birthday and my brother and sister live within walking distance from here) I’m still not totally sold on the idea. At first I panicked at the thought of having to cook for five people, but was calmed a bit when my Mum said she’d bring the food. And you know she’s going to stick around and help clean up as well. So the only reason I can think off is that it’s weird having your parents as guests. I have people over all the time and I like that. But when my parents stop by it’s almost like they’re here for an inspection. My Mum will ask if she should bring me potted plants or shelf paper for the kitchen shelves and look around to see how I’ve organized stuff. I don’t think they feel at home in these small student apartments that I inhabit and sometimes it’s like they can’t believe that I’ve actually moved away from home. But I guess since it’s the most practical solution I’ll have to invite them over in a couple of weeks for some kind of celebratory event.

I put on my Green Lantern t-shirt today (cuz I’m the Got-No-Green Lantern) and went down to the multiplex to see the Spider-Man movie. It was very entertaining and definitely worth checking out. Kirsten Dunst is a cutie, Willem Dafoe is great as the schizophrenic Norman Osborn, and J.K. Simmons is right on the money as J. Jonah Jameson. The movie is fun, the effects are cool, and while you might be inclined to feel that the movie’s ending, which blatantly opens the door for a sequel, is a bit hollow that didn’t bother me so much. After all this movie is so obviously meant to be a moneymaking blockbuster that anything else would have been strange. However, there were a couple of factual errors especially regarding the Osborns that bothered me more. Where was Harry’s triangular haircut reminiscent of the one worn by Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects? Shouldn’t he have seen The Green Goblin and Spider-Man fight and later learned the secret identity of the both of them? Shouldn’t The Green Goblin have been green instead of wearing a green armoured suit? And since when does Peter Parker wrestle some big guy to get money for a car in an outfit, which looks like Spider-Man’s pyjamas? The last one is actually a fairly smooth retelling of the original story, which can be found here. Anyway, I’m sure Sam Raimi and friends took quite a few liberties with the script, but I honestly haven’t read a Spider-Man comic in more than ten years, so I’m not even sure what was from the original stories and what wasn’t.

There were two Jerry Seinfeld references in the last section and that’s mainly because today I saw the trailer for the forthcoming movie Comedian (thanks Lasse!). Stuff like that rarely slips under my radar, but I hadn’t heard about this movie at all, so now I’m really curious to find out more about it and desperate to see it. I’m a huge Seinfeld fan, so any opportunity to hear some new material is greatly anticipated. The trailer has nothing to do with the movie, but it’s very funny all the same.

The last thing I’ll mention is that this fall a lot of cool acts are coming this way. I’ve got tickets to see Ryan Adams and Coldplay in November (if you want to see Coldplay’s terrific show from Midtfyns it’s available here) and in the next couple of months I’ll try to make it to concerts with The Raveonettes, The Czars, and Jonatha Brooke. Now if only Wilco would just drag their country asses to our neck of the woods then everything would be peachy.

- John Fogde 11:03 PM [+]

Sunday, August 18, 2002
Just a Perfect Day:
Friday was the most incredible day I’ve experienced in a long time. I got to work and after five minutes I’m told we have a major crisis on our hands. Turns out the building isn’t on fire, no one is dead or maimed nor is anything else happening, which would warrant the use of the term “major crisis”. The crisis in question is that the beer taps someone had set up for this guy’s 50th birthday were dirty and we had less than four hours to get a new set. So I get in a car with a janitor, who looks suspiciously like Uncle Leo, and we drive out to get a new set of taps for the guy’s kegger. We get the taps and go to the place to set the thing up and it turns out the guy throwing the party is a guy called Preben Meyer, who is a major player in the telecommunications game over here. He’s one of those people, who works with technology, which will affect our lives in the future (as a birthday present someone gave him a crystal ball, so he could keep predicting our technological future) and he works for both TDC, the university, and he is a board member in numerous companies. But apparently he prefers his beer on tap just like the rest of us, so we hooked him up and left.

I went back to work, but half an hour later there’s a call asking if I could come back and help them out at the party. When I ask what I’m supposed to do they tell me they need someone to play with their robot dog. I had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but I’m told by my boss I can go work at the party, so curious as I am I run over to see, what’s going on. When I arrive I'm told that my job for the next four hours is to play with an Aibo.

If you haven’t seen these things I gotta tell you they’re truly something else. You might have seen one in a Janet Jackson video or on a technology special on CNN, but seeing one in real life is a very weird and cool experience. An Aibo is a robot dog created by Sony, which is some kind of artificial intelligence. You can teach it to do tricks, you can give it a name, which it’ll respond to and you can train it to run after a ball and a lot of other stuff. I played around with it for two hours (until it ran out of batteries) and showed people how I could get it to recognize this pink ball and chase after it. And although I couldn’t really bring myself to talk to it I swear on a couple of occasions it felt like the thing was alive. The most incredible moment was when I lay down on the floor and it ran towards me and put its head on my chest and pushed towards me like my parents’ old dog used to do. That was so weird I don’t even have words to describe it.

But this was a party, so when the Aibo was recharging I stuffed my face with salmon sandwiches and beer, which meant by the time I punched out I was already a couple of sheets to the wind.

But the partying had just begun, so I headed down to Oppenheimer’s Afternoon to see my buddies from the band Fillip perform. Oppenheimer’s is a free one day music festival, where a bunch of unsigned bands perform. While I was there a group of my old friends showed up. These are guys I hung out with and went to school with ten years ago and who I rarely see these days. So we hung out, heard another band, and got our drink on and later we went down a party in the street, where I used to work. Up until six months ago I worked for a streaming media company located in a street called Mejlgade, which is located in the most bohemian part of town. They have an annual street party there and we went down for that. I got to meet old colleagues, people I knew from when I worked there, and just a lot of other people I hadn’t seen in ages. I met three girls who’d gone to school with my brother and was introduced to a guy, who composes modern classical music (you know the atonal kind). There were several bars and bands there and it was just incredibly cool. We hung out there for hours, but still made it down to a café for a beer before closing time.

While hanging out outside the café a couple of girls, who had also gone to our school, invited us to a party. One of them I’d met a couple of years earlier at a Motorhomes show in London, so it was fun seeing her again. We decided to go and I was at that party until I was so tired and drunk I could barely function. I don’t think I even drank there. I just sat in a chair and talked to the girl I’d met in London (who’d also been in New York, while I was there last year) and a girl, who’d sat next to my brother in school for three years. I can’t remember the last time I met so many people I know in one day. It was pretty incredible and I wish I was better at keeping in touch with them.

The only downside to this kind of partying is the paralyzing hangover the next day, so I barely moved a muscle all day Saturday. But today I got out and went down the pub to see the boys beat Birmingham 2-0 and was lucky enough to run into an old friend, who’d been down to see Villa lose to Liverpool. After the game it was time for take out and footie news, where we got to see the goals in local team AGF’s 3-2 victory. So all in all it was a pretty smashing weekend. And to top it all off my other job seems to be going quite well and while writing this I got an email from an old friend, so right now it’s all good.

- John Fogde 11:21 PM [+]

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Lives in Denmark/
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