Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lesson Learned

Today I woke up and dressed like a Calamity Jane for Halloween. I was the only one dressed up at work. Jackie wasn't allowed to dress up since she spent the entire day in meetings in Amsterdam. She didn't even get home until about 7:30. Our plans to attend the Institute Halloween gathering were thwarted. I unbraided my hair and took off my bandana. It looked like it was about to be the worst Halloween ever. Again. Two worst Halloween's ever (in a row!) would almost make the holiday irredeemable and forever poison the potential for fun. But we just couldn't let it happen.

The solution? Two girls, four costumes (80's rocker, Calamity Jane, Pirate, Hippie), brownies, great music, dance party of the century.
Best Halloween ever.
-Ray La Montagne-

Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But

We carved pumkins.-Arctic Monkeys-

The Other Side

This weekend Jackie and hopped the border and went to Lille. It's a little town in Northern France, but the train station would have you think that it's not France, just random Europe. Upon leaving the train station, you'll find that you are not in random Europe. Nor are you in France. You're in India! Apparently, during the late fall and early winter months, an Indian Festival takes Lille over; huge plastic elephants line the streets, the train station becomes a Taj Mahal-like facade, and Bollywood films are shown round the clock. Luckily Jackie and I came during "Happy Days" when several activities were free. After exploring the Matisse sculpture garden, the most amazing playground, enjoying the autumnal splendor of the season, and visiting the token church, we headed to the Opera House and caught a live percussion performance. As we watched from the balcony, I noticed that the sculpture heads adorning the vases throughout the building were actually spewing. Gross. We made a casual attempt to find the largest bookstore in Europe, but found a fnac that satisfied our musical craving. Discovering new music gives me such a high, I'm scared to see the withdrawals that would take place if I weren't allowed to do it every so often. Before heading home, we stumbled into an old square where vintage maps, old books and newspapers were being sold and a few intense chess games were happening. I was super tempted to buy this really old-looking map of Brasil that they had, but I really didn't want to spend 15 euro on it. I'll probably regret it. I do love old maps. Oh well. We enjoyed the lights for a little while and then caught the train back to Brussels. And the best part? Lille is only about 40 minutes from home!See how excited we are to be on the train? Yep.

-Scissor Sisters-

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Do You Realize??

There are two musical artists I'm a huge fan of. They have very different musical styles, but I appreciate them in the same way. Only today I realized that they (Jamie Cullum and Brandi Carlile) look exactly the same -- freaky! Am I the only one who thinks this? Seriously, are they related?

-The Flaming Lips-

Friday, October 27, 2006

When The Night Turns Cold

It's starting to get dark in Brussels. As soon as Daylight Savings Time happens (or ends? I can never keep track of what it really means...) we'll plunge into those dark, depressing days when the sun will rise and set while I am at work. The good thing is that for some reason I have a mental association between waking up in the dark and going skiing. So everyday as I pull myself from the lure of sleep into the blackness of morning, for a split second I think I must be going skiing. Actually, I may not think that anymore, but I still try to force myself to believe it for as long as it takes me to get into the shower.

-Tobias Froberg-

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

For Reasons Unknown

I'm not sure why, but I've been wanting to read Running With Scissors for a while. Since I don't have a lot of access to books in English right now I haven't gotten around to it yet. Today I went to amazon.com to see how much it would cost to ship something to Belgium and to browse their selection of vintage record players, and this was on the front page. Is it just me, or is there something terribly disturbing about this image?

-The Killers-

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Sound of Your Life Moving On

Sometimes life just moves so quickly. Life happens in a series of oft-ignored 'sometimes.' There are a few that I've tried to pay attention to while I've been in Brussels.

Sometimes our huge sliding-glass door gets fogged up. And I write messages to the world on it (backwards-- so the passerby can see, of course) I'm fairly certain that no one saw my greeting since we live on the seventh floor. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to work in such an adorable little building again. Really, I can't complain. You should see it when the blinds are open.
Sometimes I feel really lucky to live on this street. This as the view from my apartment. I have pictures of this view from almost every day since I've been here.Sometimes we get incredible sunsets.
Sometimes we get a free feather when we buy eggs.
Sometimes we get really cool thunderstorms right outside our window.
Sometimes we watch TV on our laptops. Actually, just The Office. I think this was General Conference.Sometimes Ryan makes us the most amazing dinners. And I pretend to be a photographer for Martha Stewart. But I'm sure her placemats would be ironed and starched.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I ate one of these every day.
Sometimes even the dogs here beg for money.Sometimes I can't believe that this is my backyard.
Sometimes I put on concerts for all of Brussels from our balcony. For free.
Sometimes the moon fascinates me.
Sometimes I like to take pictures of things up-close.Sometimes I wonder who chose the mod-bird light fixtures for the office.
-Lucas Reynolds-

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Sadness

I have no idea how it happened. I have had it on my concert calendar for months. I was more prepared for this show than any I attended this summer. I have had at least one of his albums on constant rotation, and after I got over my skepticism about the price, I finally decided that yes, Ryan Adams would be one concert I would attend in while in Europe. So you can imagine my dismay when I went to buy tickets for the show and found that it actually happened two weeks ago. Don't worry, Ryan. Maybe I'll catch you in America some time.

-Ryan Adams-

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let's Hear That String Part Again...

Sometimes life is so majestic or delicate or slow or whirling that at any moment I secretly expect a full symphony to start playing the soundtrack to that moment. I can hear it sometimes as I really watch people and see their struggles, their passion, their sorrow. I can hear it as I sift through my own disillusionment, fascination, boredom, curiosity. It fills the air as moments and memories are spliced and blurred. Devastation and heartache bring everything to a reluctant slow motion; triumph and delight sprint in a haze of euphoria.

Jackie and I went to Luxembourg this weekend. I was fascinated by these people and their faces, so I apologize in advance to those who cannot appreciate my photographic renderings of strangers.
-Sufjan Stevens-
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