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

August 2006 Archive


August 01, 2006

I know a woman who has a spine like a dinosaur. Seriously. Well, not entirely seriously, and it's not a dinosaur spine either, because dinosaurs had those longish elastic spines, I actually mean the thingosaurus with the huge pointy spine -- please don't ask me for its real name, I'm not a three year-old, so my knowledge of saurian species is fairly limited.

God knows what the thingosaurus needed that spine for. While the longish elastic neck of the dinosaur makes some sense in a giraffish sort of way, I certainly can't imagine a practical use for a huge pointy spine. Unless it's to ward off attacks from one of the flying saurs, or achaeopteryxes or whatever they were called. But even then it still makes no sense to walk around with a dead creature of some kind sticking to one's pointy back. Well, whatever.

Anyway, I know this woman who has a really interesting, almost saurian kind of spine. At some point she told me that this may be the proof that humans and sauruses are related; in fact she might even be the missing link.

I said that's nonsense, in fact sauruses and birds are much more closely related than sauruses and humans.

That may be, she said, but have you ever seen a bird with a pointy back? Or a bird with a longish elastic neck like the dinosaur? Evolution might have been more complicated than we know.

Okay I said, so if you're related to the sauruses, then you can surely tell me what the thingosaurus used his pointy back for. What do you use your not-quite-as-pointy back for?

She shrugged. Nothing very specific, she said. I took that as a sign that the whole human-saurean relationship had no scientific basis after all.

Then I saw another woman with a spine just like hers on the underground today. I was this close to asking her what the thingosaurus used his pointy back for, but then I chose to just let that moment pass. She got off at the next station.

Posted by Horst at 08:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


August 03, 2006

I thought it might be worth mentioning that the first posting on The Aardvark Speaks was published exactly four years ago, on Saturday 3 August 2002. How time flies.

Posted by Horst at 11:07 AM | Comments (3)


August 04, 2006

I am currently considering various possible uses of a lab coat. A white lab coat, to be precise.

For some reason I always wanted one of those without never really knowing why. I somehow thought lab coats looked cool. In one of my novels which I never finished, an (unidentified) person in a white lab coat keeps showing up and playing pranks on the other characters. I think my penchant for lab coats might be connected to my chemistry teacher at high school, who was always wearing a lab coat, for obvious reasons, and who was also a pretty cool guy, and even more so when he put on his protective goggles.

Which he would always put on, even if he told us before the experiment that there would not be any visible reaction. I think he was aware of the coolness factor of his lab coat and the goggles.

Anyway, a recent scavenger hunt organised by Mig on the occasion of his daughter's 17th (I believe) birthday involved me playing a somewhat goofy character in the library, and I thought this would be the perfect occasion to get and finally wear a white lab coat.

Which I did. Which it was.

Only now I have this lab coat at home and don't really know what to do with it. Conducting chemistry experiments at home just doesn't make much sense, and neither does wearing a white lab coat at the library, where it's all dusty and dirty (even though one of my colleagues persistently wore one whenever he was on duty at the reference desk).

I certainly can't wait for the next scavenger hunt that requires me to play a goofy character. It's weird how the coolest objects can lose all their coolness in just about a second.

Posted by Horst at 06:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


August 07, 2006

Clouds

Posted by Horst at 07:14 PM


August 08, 2006

Clouds

Posted by Horst at 09:00 AM


August 09, 2006

Clouds

Posted by Horst at 12:03 AM


August 10, 2006

Clouds (4)

Posted by Horst at 09:11 PM


August 11, 2006

Clouds (5)

Posted by Horst at 12:28 AM


August 12, 2006

Clouds (6)

If people look at clouds, or if you show them pictures of clouds, they will invariably see things in them. Like it's impossible to just look at clouds, you have to look at things. Like they're some kind of perennial, if constantly fluctuating, Rorschach test. Which in term kind of proves that people rarely ever appreciate things for what they are, only for what they project into them.

What I like about flying is that once you're flying above the clouds and look out of the window, you can see majestic landscapes, as if you are moving over some bizarre ice planet. On my last flight I looked out of the window and once the plane had passed over one of those ice planet landscapes, four smaller clouds floated by, and they looked just like the number 1368.

It was one of thoes film moments where a character sees something, doesn't believe he saw it, closes his eyes, looks again, rubs his eyes, looks again, only to confirm it's actually true.

I didn't believe what I saw, closed my eyes, looked again, rubbed my eyes, and noticed this wasn't a good idea because whenever you rub your eyes your vision is fairly blurred for a minute or so afterwards, and aeroplanes fly past clouds fairly quickly and clouds also tend to change their shape rather quickly.

Anyway, these four clouds were definitely in the shape of the number 1368.

The problem with things that you see in clouds is that if you see certain things, you start looking for the significance of what you have just seen. The attempt may be totally futile, but for some reason you still start doing it.

I was on the lookout for the number 1368 during my entire holidays. However, it failed to reappear, so it must have been a coincidence after all.

Posted by Horst at 05:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)


August 13, 2006

Clouds (7)

Posted by Horst at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)


August 15, 2006

Why is it that I have an especially strong urge to meet certain people when they're on holidays and want to go to certain restaurants or cafés when they're closed?

Perhaps it's because I'm on semi-holidays myself and actually have the time to think about seeing them or going there.

Whichever way, mid-August has its drawbacks.

Posted by Horst at 04:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


August 19, 2006

I used to sign my emails "-H" or "-Horst", always with a hyphen before the first letter. I never thought about why I did it like that, but it confused a few people.

"Is there any significance why you are putting a minus before your name?" they asked. "Is it a subconscious message that you do not feel worthy? Or that you are an inverted person?"

I didn't have an answer because I just didn't know why I did it that way. After all, if it was a subconscious thing, I certainly wouldn't know anything about it -- that's why it's called subconscious after all. I thought it was merely a convention of sorts to start lines of text like that, but that didn't really explain why I did it in emails, but not in conventional documents.

A few weeks ago I suddely noticed that I no longer put hyphens in front of my name. I noticed it merely by accident, not having paid attention to that thing at all. Out of curiosity, I went through my archive of sent emails, and noticed that I had stopped using the hyphen about eight months ago.

Does that mean that I now feel worthy of whatever? Or that I am no longer inverted? I don't have the slightest idea.

Posted by Horst at 07:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


August 27, 2006

I felt totally inverted today, and it had nothing to do with me signing an e-mail "-H" (see previous entry). It was one of the days where you feel like you're still yourself, but the world around you, and especially the people in it, are not what or who they used to be because they just don't behave in the way they usually do.

The day started in a somewhat unusual fashion, not by waking up and getting up, but rather by me leaving a café at 7 o'clock in the morning. I hadn't slept at all during the night, and I'm saying that my day started at 7 simply because that was when I noticed that there was daylight around me. Usually, I first wake up and then notice there's daylight; today, I noticed it when I left that café, and then I went to bed. And it felt as if things were totally the wrong way round.

I woke up about 10:30am, still with some alcohol in my blood, and up until now I am doubting whether I really woke up at all. Most of the day seemed to be something of an unreal blur; that may have been due to the residual alcohol. I think I behaved fairly soberly, but that doesn't mean I was sober all the time. At any rate, I'm still not totally convinced everything I experienced today was actually real.

And weird things happened. The most harmless of these was an ATM who refused to give me anything other than one single €10 note. Or me sitting in a park where I've never been before, reading a hi-fi magazine, which I've also never done before.

Also, I had two of the weirdest telephone conversations today. It was as if I was talking to impersonators rather than the people I wanted to talk to. The voices were right, but what was said was just wrong. Either the two people I talked to had undergone a personality change since I last talked to them, or perhaps they were just part of a nightmarish dream.

On my way home in the evening, I passed the café again where my day had started. It was dark outside again, and it felt spookily like I had come full circle, even though it hadn't been 24 hours since I had entered the café the night before. At any rate I hoped to get home quickly, go to bed and wake up tomorrow.

And I mean really wake up. Because if today was real, then I'm not particularly thrilled with the prospects that lie ahead of me.

Posted by Horst at 11:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


August 28, 2006

N.B.: For the benefit of my English-speaking readers, I should perhaps explain in advance that GmbH = Ltd and AG = Inc., and that I don't know the English equivalent of an OEG, only that it's a more risky kind of company than a Ltd.

I received a letter today in which the Allianz Insurance Company, the previous owner of the house that I'm living in, told me that the house has been sold to a different company, the IAH Westbahnstrasse OEG. I thought it was interesting that the name of the company was exactly the same as the address of the house.

I decided to do some research.

I also found out that there are 106 IAH companies, apparently one for each house sold by the Allianz Insurance company.

I found out that the IAH Westbahnstrasse OEG is owned at 33.33% each by three other companies, the ECOI Immobilien GmbH, the GGJ Beteiligungs GmbH, and the Immobilien Allianz Holding GmbH.

Furthermore, I found out that ECOI Immobilien GmbH is owned 100% by P&K Estate GmbH; GGJ Beteiligungs GmbH is owned 100% by conwert Immobilien AG, and Immobilien Allianz Holding GmbH is owned 100% by ECO Business Immobilien AG.

Both conwert Immobilien AG and ECO Business Immobilien AG are run by the Viennese real estate tycoons Günter Kerbler and Johann Kowar. Incidentally, the company that took over the administration of the house is also owned by Kerbler and Kowar. Even the websites of these companies [1] [2] [3] are remarkably similar both in design and in the way they don't say a lot about the respective companies.

P&K Real Estate GmbH is apparently owned 90% by Pirelli RE and 10% by Kronberg International.

I don't know what kind of impact the sale of the house is going to have on my life, but the business construct that the new owners have erected is complicated enough to make me feel uneasy, even though I'm sure it's legal and that things like this are done all the time. There must be some kind of benefit in setting up 106 OEGs and having every OEG owned by the same three GmbHs, which in turn are owned by AGs, but unfortunately I'm only a simple person with a doctorate in English literature, so don't have the slightest idea what it could be.

But I'm pretty sure that money is involved in some way or other, and that's what makes it truly frightening.

Posted by Horst at 10:41 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)



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