The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

December 2004 Archive


December 01, 2004

Option 1:

  • Buy my book. One copy each for all your friends will be sufficient.

Option 2:

  • Click this link.
  • Choose one of the Annual Compilations.
  • Write me an e-mail specifying which one you'd like to have (you can ignore the text below the table for now).
  • First five people to write in will get it by mail. All gone now.

Posted by Horst at 08:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Camper Van Beethoven live

If I hadn't gone to my favourite record shop, bought a record and found this flyer in the plastic bag, I would have known nothing about this gig tomorrow, and I know that I would have been really angry if I had found out afterwards that they had been in Vienna and I hadn't been there. I saw them live in 1989, and even though the support band was booed off the stage after only four songs, I remember that concert as the best I've ever been to, so even though they're probably not as good any longer, there's no way I'm going to miss this. If I still get a ticket. However, since their promotion is so bad that I only found out about this by chance, it probably won't be sold out. Hopefully.

Update: Got the ticket.

Posted by Horst at 09:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


December 02, 2004

I just can't seem to be able to decide.

And why aren't the darn things getting any cheaper? I thought the whole tactics behind the free fall of the dollar compared to all other currencies was to boost American export sales?

Posted by Horst at 02:25 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)

European women forcing objects

Apparently my surrealist predisposition is considerably stronger than my pornographic imagination. I suppose this explains a couple of things about my sex life, but reading this spam mail, it also prevents me from seeing anything other than three women sitting around at table at a pastry shop in Budapest, first dancing with, and then eating weird things that have escaped from some Gary Larson cartoon.

Posted by Horst at 03:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


December 03, 2004

Camper Van Beethoven ticket

Left to right, top to bottom: Victor Krummenacher (bass), Jonathan Segel (violin, keyboards, guitar), David Lowery (guitar, vocals), Greg Lisher (lead guitar).

Longish setlist of some 25 songs, well over 100 minutes total. Took them a bit to get into it (especially as the venue was pretty empty at the beginning), but after five songs or so it turned into a smashing concert.

By the way, they are still looking for their gear that was stolen in Montreal. David's green Surfcaster was much missed tonight. There is still a $1000 reward for finding the stuff. Contact them if you come across any of these items anywhere.

Posted by Horst at 12:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

This entry contains explicit language that may offend some readers and/or put them off eating Mars bars for an unforeseeable period of time. It also contains memories of a holiday in Scotland in 1989 and a poem from my book "Cursed". Please proceed with caution.

I think it was in 1988 or 1989, I don't remember the details all that clear enough anymore, but it was one of the Septembers that I spent in Scotland, and I remember that the weather was really bad, so it was probably 1989, because 1988 was that September on Orkney with lots of sunshine and everything.

Anyway, I was kind of on my way back from whereever I had been before to Glasgow, and I stopped in Fort William and spent a night there at the local youth hostel.

Fort William

Up-
street
down-
street

past the mock-up for the new
chair-
lift
wading through
fluffy Loch Ness monsters

we did not climb
Ben Nevis

(from my book "Cursed")

Anyway, there were these three English folks at the youth hostel, two girls and a bloke, and I'm sorry to say that I completely forgot their names, but if I remember correctly they had this used Ford Escort that was kind of at the verge of falling apart.

Anyway, we started to talk at the youth hostel, and they asked me if I would come along to the pub, and I said sure, and we all climbed into that Ford Escort and got to the pub. We had a few beers, played a few rounds of pool billiards (is it "rounds" with pool? I know it's "frames" with snooker, but I don't have a clue about the language of pool), which I promptly lost, despite the fact that I had some of the most extraordinary flukes in my entire billiards-plaing career.

Anyway, we drove back, and I noticed only at the youth hostel that I had lost my wallet with all my money, return ticket and everything at the pub. I found the guy (I think his name was Neil, but I'm not sure) in the shower, but he was friendly enough to drive me back to the pub right away, and lo and behold, someone had found the wallet and given it to the barman. So I'd had quite a stroke of luck there.

The thing with the Mars bar is actually totally unrelated, or probably not, because I completely lost the context. It was 15 years ago after all. What I do remember is that when we drove to the pub, or back from it, one of the girls started talking about something to do with Mars bars, and I forgot what it was, but I distinctly remember that sentence: "I don't know what it is, but every time I see a Mars bar, I want to shove it up someone's arse."

It's one of those sentences that stay with you forever.

Posted by Horst at 11:45 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)


December 06, 2004

Greg Spenner shouting like a moose

Well, I don't think they could fool me.

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 11:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


December 07, 2004

  • You realise you first saw this band fifteen years ago. Then you realise fifteen years was almost half your life ago. Then you realise that 2 times 15 is not exactly your age anymore.

  • You notice that the same is true of the two previous concerts you've been to.

  • You forget your earplugs at home and hope they are selling some at the venue.

  • You can't get through to the bar because lots of men in their late thirties are blocking the way, all of them queuing up for earplugs. Then you suddenly realise you are one of them.

  • You somehow appreciate the fact that they are playing Brian Wilson's Smile before the concert rather than some weird drum'n'bass sh*t. Even though you hate the Beach Boys.

  • Everybody in the audience around you looks either like a music journalist in their early 40s or like a teenager who's only here by accident and who's never heard of the band before.

  • A teenager that could well be your child, and if they were, you'd disapprove of their drinking habits, especially as you are drinking only a fraction of what they seem to be able to stomach. And afford.

  • And they're all pierced in the weirdest places. And probably also in even weirder places, which, thankfully, you can't see.

  • At the CD stall, you find yourself being the only person who knows all the albums on sale and end up advising other concertgoers which ones to buy because even the person selling them is clueless.

  • The musicians seem to have gained quite a lot of weight since you last saw them, and they've all got grey hair now.

  • Everybody your age leaves in time to catch the last subway home.

  • So do you.

Posted by Horst at 08:51 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)


December 08, 2004

Sorry, only a brief entry today.

That's because today is a holiday for most people in Austria, excluding people for whom normal holidays don't apply (doctors, policemen, train drivers, etc.) and shop assistants. The idea is to give everyone off work so that they can all go to the shops, shop like mad and thus save the Austrian economy.

Well, actually, it used to be some Catholic holiday, and the shop assistants also had this day off until a couple of years ago.

Sorry gotta rush — the Austrian economy will collapse if I don't do my shopping bit today.

Posted by Horst at 01:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The most annoying weblog posts are those that I just can't write because they're a little too private to be published on a non-anonymous weblog. Especially if it would be a particularly funny posting. Maybe I should start an anonymous weblog somewhere else after all. But then I don't really want to write two weblogs. Duh. So I suppose there are simply a couple of stories that you are never going to read.

Posted by Horst at 11:31 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)


December 09, 2004

What is it with all sorts of people getting tongue piercings lately? A while ago I was afraid that there might be some virus going around that made people lisp uncontrollably, but then it turned out that people are actually perfectly healthy, it's just that everybody seems to be getting their tongues pierced these days (heck, contrary to all my expectations even Zoe now has a hole in her tongue).

Now as a very simple-minded person, I must say that I am somewhat unable to see the use of a tongue piercing; in fact the only context that I can easily think of where it might come in handy is to improve oral sex. And maybe that's just what this is all about, a new surge of many people's interest in improving the stimulative power of their tongues. Or it's just some new fashion trend, though I'm not sure whether the fashion item is the piece of metal inside the mouth (which is mostly inconspicuous) or the lisp (which isn't). Or I'm just plain unimaginative.

It's also interesting that in his latest book [German edition here], Desmond Morris has no less than three pages on why shaving their pubic hair has become quite popular among women these days, but only two hardly convincing paragraphs on the possible attraction of tongue piercings. What he does have, though, is one paragraph with a terribly graphic description of what happened to a woman whose tongue piercing was hit by a bolt of lightning. Seriously.

Your comments and opinions are welcome.

Posted by Horst at 07:20 PM | Comments (5)


December 10, 2004

Lately, I got afraid that I might suffer from Spurlock Syndrome. This is not an actual illness (yet), it's just an observation named after the guy who made the film Super Size Me. Not only did he eat nothing but fast food for 30 entire days, he also made sure he'd never walk more than 1900 steps per day, because apparently that's what the average American walks per day. In my attempt to lose some weight, I did some calculations recently and realised much to my horror that on most days I'm down to much less than 1900 steps, so as an immediate remedy I decided to walk home from work every day instead of using public transport. It's one of those strange resolutions that you know right away are just too ludicrous, and really unrealistic to uphold over a longer period of time, but I thought the same thing about smoking, and I quit that four years ago. But then stopping smoking sounds a lot easier than walking home every day. I think I've turned into something like a lazy blob. It's ridiculous.

Posted by Horst at 07:07 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


December 13, 2004

Moose shadow?

Click on the picture to enlarge it. Thanks to Ralf for the link.

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 10:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


December 14, 2004

I don't know who invented Punsch, I don't even know what's in it (well, I think it contains rum and sugar), but it's ubiquitous in Vienna in the weeks before Christmas. Allegedly, only 11% of the huts at the Christmas markets are actually allowed to sell the stuff, but it looks more like every single hut is selling it, and since that doesn't seem to be enough, they put up little wooden huts selling the stuff pretty much everywhere in the city. There are even Punsch huts where you can get drunk for charity.

They say the stuff is good to keep warm on cold winter days, but that's ridiculous of course, especially given the fact that during the past two or three winters the temperatures barely dropped below 0°C. I think it's more of a conspiracy to have people drop their inhibitions and go shopping like crazy. The correlation of Punsch huts (+10% more than last year) and the turnover on the shopping streets in Vienna (#10% more than last year) is certainly strikingly obvious.

The problem that I have with the stuff is the sickly sweet smell (slightly reminiscent of vomit) and the fact that at this time of the year, you can get drunk in Vienna without drinking a single drop of alcohol, only by inhaling the fumes from the Punsch huts.

Oh, and library patrons with so much alcohol on their breath that you almost dissolve. Or wish you could dissolve.

Posted by Horst at 01:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)


December 15, 2004

This is the 666th entry on this weblog, and I have absolutely no idea what to write today.

Posted by Horst at 11:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


December 16, 2004

Things start to get really weird when suddenly your life feels like you are becoming a character of the short stories you are just writing. Not only did I see Lily, one of the characters from Story 3, on the street a few days ago; I am also currently caught in a Johnson situation, named after a character in Story 2, whom I wrote into a weird and unlikely situtation which is almost identical to one that I find myself in at the moment.

Lily seemed to appear out of nowhere; oddly enough she looked exactly as I had imagined her. It was as if she had materialised right from the piece of paper computer file into which I had written the story. She just passed me by in the street without even looking at me, and I thought — this is her. The setting seemed to be wrong somehow, bt other than that it was perfect.

The Johnson situation is a particularly tricky one because I haven't finished Story 2 yet. So far, all I've written is this Johnson character musing about a lot of things, mostly his past, when somewhat unexpectedly, he ends up in aforementioned weird and unlikely situation. I stopped writing there, concentrating on Story 3 while thinking of how to have him deal with this situation. I wish I had continued writing the story. It's odd enough to find myself in a similar situation as Johnson, saying the same words to another person ("Surely you must be joking"), but knowing what Johnson would have done would be really helpful now.

Or at least knowing whether this weird and unexpected situation is good or bad. Johnson doesn't know it yet either.

Posted by Horst at 01:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


December 17, 2004

I'm somewhat mystified about the way Google works. One day I'm getting lots and lots of hits because my German London Underground map appears on the first page of Google search results for "London", but on the next day it's no longer even in the Top 100 results. One day I'm the number 1 "Horst" on Google, the next day I'm number 25. Now I'm aware that the WWW changes every day, but this seems a bit extreme really.

While I'm talking about Google, John wanted to know what I'm thinking about Google's plans to scan millions of library books and making them searchable on the Internet. Actually, the information offered by Google at the moment is barely sufficient to think anything about it. So for now, I'm only thinking three things: One, where are they getting the personnel and infrastructure to scan all these books when a library like VUL does not even have the staff to merely catalogue a much smaller number of books; two, making hundreds of thousands of 70-year-old books available online is not exactly going to revolutionize science; and three, I don't know the full details about the legal situation here, but it's possible that by digitising these books, Google gains the copyright for the digital editions. Now that might be something worth thinking about.

Posted by Horst at 11:56 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


December 20, 2004

Lately, Horst has been complaining that I smell bad. To be precise, he said I smell "dusty" (at first I thought he meant "musky", but it was really "dusty"). The smell may have to do with the fact that I haven't taken a bath yet since I moved into Horst's flat almost exactly 5 years ago. Anyway, he has made it pretty clear that he wants me to take a bath now. Before the Christmas holidays, preferably. And he wants me to step into this contraption:

Washing machine

which is apparently some kind of moose bath with integrated whirlpool functionality (or did he say "whirling functionality"?). But somehow I trust neither Horst nor this machine. It looks as if the door must be closed while I take my bath — and I checked it closely, there is no door handle on the inside. Also there is hardly enough room for me inside, and I am very afraid of being locked into confined spaces. And what effect will whatever soap or bath gel that I am supposed to use have on my fluffy fur? What if I emerge from this machine and look like a different moose, and Horst doesn't recognize me any longer and throws me out of the flat? On the other hand, what if he throws me out of the flat because of my dusty smell? What am I supposed to do?!?

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 07:01 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


December 21, 2004

I just went through my list of unpublished weblog entries — the ones I wrote, saved as drafts, but then decided not to publish, or to publish at a later date. I found more than 15 such drafts, and with just one exception, I am glad I did not publish them. In retrospect, they are all rather weak, or naïve, or both.

Which made me start thinking about the weblog entries that I did publish, wondering how many of them are weak, or naïve, or both, and really shouldn't have been published in the first place.

Posted by Horst at 11:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


December 22, 2004

Trying to find adequate Christmas presents for a couple of people, but I'm so uninspired I can't find anything. Where does this obligation to give presents come from anyway? According to a recent poll, 15 per cent of all Austrians have decided not to buy/give any Christmas presents this year. But the problem is, if somebody gives me a present, I feel I have to give something back, even if they don't expect anything. I really should get rid of this notion.

Since I haven't had any linkage on my weblog in a while, I can offer you this page of kinky Christmas presents for teddy bear collectors [via sexblog]. Unfortunately, none of the people that I still need presents for is a teddy bear collector.

Posted by Horst at 03:38 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Blonde Redhead: Misery is a butterfly Kings of Leon: Aha shake heartbreak Mekons: Heaven and hell Wire: Wire on the box The Delgados: Universal audio
The Gun Club: Miami R. L. Burnside: A bothered mind Blues Explosion: Damage Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It in People Camper Van Beethoven: Tusk

They also make good last-minute Christmas presents. More details here.

Posted by Horst at 04:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


December 23, 2004

I'm thinking about retiring my tech weblog The Evil Empire at the end of this year. At about 25-30 readers per day, its performance is not exactly stellar, and over the past few months, my interest in maintaining it has been fading slowly. The original idea when I started it five years ago was to document the unreliability of Microsoft's products and their dirty business tactics for later reference. In the meantime, both have become common knowledge, so I'm not sure whether my service is really needed any longer. On the other hand, I somehow can't let go, and I'm sure that if something nasty happens in Redmond, I'll definitely be writing about it. So I'm at a loss here. I don't want to invest much time in it, but I don't want to abandon it either. So please, would anybody who thinks this is a valuable service please speak up now to give me a rough idea whether it's worth continuing.

Posted by Horst at 06:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Duh

The lastest discovery in male-female interactions leaves me baffled: apparently men make emotional input/output calculations in relationships. If they feel they put more emotions into a relationship than they get in return, they are more likely to leave their partner. Well, um, duh. Doesn't everybody? Or, if this is such a revolutionary discovery, how do women behave in this respect?

Posted by Horst at 09:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

In all this proliferation of button graphics on weblogs — believe it or not, there's even a button for moose content out there — it's a bit of an oddity that no-one has come up with an "I'm single and looking for a partner" button yet.

Surely people must be aware of the possible matchmaking potential of weblogs. So why not simply attract members of the opposite (or same) sex by writing witty weblog entries and putting such a button on your weblog rather than pay money for matchmaking services like match.com, parship.de or love.at? (One reason I can think of is stalkers, but surely that can also be a problem with professional matchmaking services.)

I wonder when we'll be hearing the first "I met my partner through reading his/her weblog" success story.

Posted by Horst at 09:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


December 24, 2004

Okay, since this has been going around and around during the past few days, it's probably time to state that despite the fact that I can't stand the guy because he is the impersonation of Capitalist America, Santa Claus was not invented by Coca Cola. I can understand why people would think so, though.

Posted by Horst at 10:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Merry christmas

We are taking our usual Christmas break and will most likely be back at some point between January 7th and 12th. Have a merry Christmas (or whatever you are celebrating) and a good New Year!

Oh, and best wishes from Horst, too!

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 10:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)



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