Monday, January 25, 2010

WALK, do not run, to your nearest couch or armchair

Segueing beautifully from the title, the chairs here are magnificent. Even crappy chairs here have style, that classic fusiform mono-body wooden frame that epitomizes style and utility. There are entire stores and even art galleries in Copenhagen dedicated exclusively to chairs. Some have been artfully graffiti'd, others are just molded and stained. I think that's why IKEA is a) so big here and b) so cheap yet so stylin' back home (at least to my perception). The market here is so saturated with high-class chairs that they have become the new standard, and IKEA happily supplies that standard of design vision. With slightly lower quality and better prices, of course.

If the guy who wrote Freakonomics were writing this blog, he'd talk about marginal market forcing or something cool like that right here, but obviously he's busy writing popular non-fiction about the economy that's a smash hit among the laity and probably thoroughly scoffed at as trite by the academic establishment. "Shallow and pedantic. I don't know how you do it, Esmond. Such a noble topic, yet such a devilishly brash treatment." I don't know, my Econ teacher was a hack who taught us for the sole purpose of being able to take out his sexual frustration with how high his plumbing bills were because trees kept growing their roots into his pipes. The only thing I really remember from that year is how much he hates plumbers, and probably tree nymphs. Nobody really knows but him, and watching him try to articulate thoughts into words and simple diagrams is like watching somebody try to climb through their own mail slot to get into their house -- it's obviously incredibly painful to them, and there isn't a chance in hell that they'll succeed. Other similarities between the two situations include that very little brain activity is occurring in either scenario, and they both probably hate mailmen.

I've been sleeping vaguely but dreaming vividly these past few days. I'm not terribly pleased with it, but you could make a strong argument that some of these dreams were worth it. Notably:

I dreamt that we had to take my snakes on a jet. I'll pause here for dramatic movie-starring-Samuel L. Jackson-esque revelations. Blockbuster documentaries of the social ills caused by venomous reptile pheromones aside, it gets waaaaaaayyyyyyyy better. Turns out the jet was headed to, not just any place, but my fucking moon house. You might want to reread that, just to make sure it's awesome. K yeah it totally is.

This moon house was opulently furnished with used basement furniture (no classy Danish chairs), but more prominently a huge tv. The whole house was actually a basement, a two story basement nestled into a hillside. We watched Space MTV on the bigscreen for a while, but then decided that we wanted to play some sports outside. Convenient, because we're all super athletes on the moon. But since regular sports in space is for grandpas, we decided to take out our color-coordinated ATVs and go Space Muddin'. This is where the dream got really weird. Obvious physics oddities aside, more people started to show up as it dawned on me that I was not just living alone on the moon with friends, but that I was a veritable space neighbor in a space housing development. We were having a space potluck or something like that, and then suddenly I remembered my snakes. Keith had also brought more snakes over, brand new babies, but something wasn't quite right. Probably agitated that they weren't getting their fair share of spacetato casserole from the potluck, the snakes began to bite at people. Luckily, with Irwin-like speed I zipped in and picked them up to get them out of everyone's way.

Round about then was when the snakes decided to stop fucking around and start fucking multiplying. In a matter of minutes, we were outside on our ATVs watching the house literally burst from how many snakes were in it. Brutal.

Other dreams have been in kind but my memory tends to fail me if I don't write these things down right away.

My day yesterday was supposed to be short, but ended up being unreasonably drawn out and difficult. Pretty much nothing worked the way it was supposed to -- in an alarmingly consistent manner -- but just in really small ways. Luckily I wasn't trying anything too ambitious, mostly just trying to get to class and back home. I decided to leave early so I could take a look at some steadily worsening issues I've been having with my computer at the school's helpdesk downtown. I thought I was turning onto a familiar street and ended up walking in circles for 45 minutes until eventually making my way all the way back to the train station I got off at and taking the right route. This is the third time I've tried to go to the helpdesk, and each time there's some kind of problem with the cables that they have there. So this day I brought in all the cables I had, sure they would remedy the situation, only to find out that there cable was double wrong in a way that mine couldn't account for. In Danish language class, I'm beginning to get the pronunciations down. Hearing things repeated is the key -- I can say all the train station names flawlessly thanks to a certain pre-recorded friend on the S-tog commuter rail. So I guess that worked out, but that class balanced itself out karmically by making me stay after classes late and schlepp two zones on a packed bus to a cafe that night.

The first bus was so full I couldn't even get on it, the second one we were fortunate enough to be at the front of the line for. Not really having any idea where to get off, we were one stop too late in our estimations and ended up walking for too long in the already -10 celsius night. I also hadn't known that dinner would be included in this cafe excursion, in which we used practically no Danish despite learning how to order food earlier that day, and thus had already made myself slam down a shawarma sandwich while running for the bus I didn't get on to. Being morally unable to refuse free food, I had a sandwich anyway. It was quite enjoyable, but the lethargy of overeating soon set in. Now, in a strange place off the map of my usual train line, I had to find my way home -- an endeavor I was successful at, but not until two hours had passed. Thanks to the brilliant bus schedule at our local train station, I was somehow 36 minutes in between buses that run every 20. So, I set out that day at 12 pm to catch my 2:50 class, got lost at pretty much ever step of the way, still don't have a functioning external hard drive and winded up getting home about three or so hours later than I anticipated.

Needless to say, I ended the day with scotch and ping pong. Life may be incredibly arcane in its physiologies, ecstasies and defeats, but there's certainly something to be said about the overwhelming simplicity of its pleasures.


  1. i, too, had a terrifying dream in which my snake decided that biting me was its sole calling in life. it was one of those bizarro experiences where i felt the pain but was able to distinguish that it was not real.

    shmanywho, wonderful story (as usual) and a charming conclusion - one that has allowed me to make it this far without going insane. i'll never fully understand why a lush sunset can almost bring me to tears, why i still love drawing with crayons, or why the company of those i love can elevate any experience to sublimity, but i know that these simple things will always be present in my life.


    that sounds amazing.

    p.s. there? their? CAP???