Sunday, July 11, 2010

i am no longer in denmark

Since I am no longer in Denmark I decided to switch my infrequent updates over to ESCAPE ILLOCITY so that I wouldn't be a liar. I was going to add one last post about my last two weeks of travel but there wouldn't be much substance to them so I decided to pass on that.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

i stole a goal

I was playing in my last match for my football team before I leave Denmark. All season long I hadn't scored an official goal (the one I did score came against a team that showed up too late so the ref left so we just scrimmaged them for fun) and I decided today I had to get one. After we came back from an early deficit we had a comfortable 8-5 lead. My teammates were trying to get me the ball because I've sort of become the team's token shitty player on the basis of I am the shittiest player on the team. In my defense, everyone else is European and therefore better than me.

Since the other team was down by 3 goals they started playing aggressively with their keeper. He was coming up to the midfield line on throw ins and corner kicks. With less than a minute to go we caught him off guard and it became a 2v1 with me, my teammate and the goalie. The player on my team had the ball and kicked the ball over the head of the keeper. It was on target and had the speed to get in the goal. I chased it from the moment it was kicked and when it was about 1 foot from the goal I redirected the ball in with my head, not only scoring my first goal but stealing one from my teammate. Since he had scored earlier in the game I feel no remorse for my actions. After all it was a nice pass.

So ends my European playing career. The whistle blew soon after and I walked away undefeated with one goal to my name. I think I may have a chance at making the US team.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

12 days to go

In 12 days I will no longer be in Denmark and this rarely updated travel blog will be inappropriately titled. I'm leaving for London that day so I can be at a bar during the US/England World Cup match. That should be interesting. After I am flying east because it is a lot cheaper. Prague for 5 days, Budapest for 4 and Berlin for 3. I'll come back to Copenhagen for one last night and then leave for Texas in the morning.

I don't want to go to Texas.

I also managed to hurt my foot playing football. I walk like their is a pebble stuck in my shoe, except instead of being a minor annoyance the pebble has gone vato on me and is now shiving the entire right side. Not cool.

I also watched Eurovision for the first time. And I voted in it. Who did I vote for? Moldova. Sadly they did not win. Saxophone and power violin wins my vote 9 out of 10 times.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Everything about Copenhagen is awesome except the weather.

Bad weather follows me everywhere I go. It's like I'm in Loony Toons and I have that black cloud following me around just raining on my head.

It's May and I'm lucky if it breaks 10 degrees (and that's Celsius, bitch.) It's currently raining outside and I'm supposed to play a football game in a few hours (that's soccer, bitch.)

At least the bad weather forces me to actually spend time working on my final paper. If anyone wants to read a 15-20 page summary exploring masculinity in blaxploitation and hood films let me know.

I've also learned to cook since I came to Denmark. I can now bake bread, cook a whole chicken, roast roast beef, and saute like a champ among other things.

I'm procrastinating right now because I have to finish my aforementioned paper, finish an article about the Danish version of Comic-Con, start writing my second 15-20 page paper about Soren Kierkegaard, and finish reading a book that has absolutely nothing to do with any of the above but I only have 200 pages or so left and I hate not finishing books in a timely manner.

I also need to buy my plane tickets to England, France, and some other places I haven't decided yet. I also need to hope that the volcano in Iceland erupts again on June 27th so my plane gets grounded and I can stay in Copenhagen longer. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

make money money money

One of the many perks of studying in Denmark is that I don't really need a job. After serving almost a 3 year sentence at H&M, I finally have my freedom from the repressive world of retail. The only problem is that everything in Copenhagen is expensive and I spent too much money in Italy. So while I don't need a job it would sure be nice to have one.

Instead I have to be a little resourceful with how to make money. Since prostitutes need to pay taxes here that's out the window. Since selling my body is not an option, I will sell my dignity in its place.

I write articles on occasion for an English language newspaper in Copenhagen. The pay is decent, the articles are not required to be too long, and I occasionally get free stuff. A few weeks ago I took a friend to see an opera that was absolutely terrible. So I have that going for me.

Tomorrow I am going to some sort of economics conference. I think I may get some free food out of it and I only have to write a 500 word article. I also get extra money because this is going in the real part of the newspaper not the weekly entertainment guide I usually write for.

In another effort to earn some money last week I participated in an economic experiment. It was simple game theory. Essentially you get 20 points at the start of each round and you have a choice to invest some in the group pot or to hoard some in your private account. You get to keep whatever you put in your private account but everything in the group account has a multiplier that splits between the 5 people in your group. That means if all 5 people put 20 points in the group pot then everyone gets 40 points. If everyone keeps there own you only keep your 20, and of course you can put any varying amount that in turn reflects how much you keep and how much everyone else gains. There were different rules for each round but that was the essence of the experiment.

John Nash would have said some anti-Semitic shit if he saw this experiment. Anyone that is a near functional-retard can tell that if you put all of your points in the pot and everyone else does too then you make a lot of money. Every 5 points are worth 1kr, and 5kr is about 1 dollar. Assuming everyone played the smart way you would end up with about 45 dollars. NOPE!

I should had known there were going to be problems when it started. The experiment is suppose to last 2 hours. At the beginning of the 1st round you have to answer some basic math questions to show you understand how the experiment works. These were 4th grade level problems. And yet it took about 15 minutes for all 25 people to answer them before the experiment could begin. Then after the 1st round concluded we had to answer 10 more questions because they added two new types of rules. Another 20 minute wait. At the end of the experiment which had already run long by about 20 minutes (i.e. they accounted for how stupid people could be by making the experiment longer than necessary AND THE IDIOTS STILL TOOK TOO LONG) they asked us some more really easy math questions.

1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
2. If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

I am pretty sure the people that designed the experiment just copied/pasted these from the same website I just google'd it from.

I ended up earning a little less than 30 dollars. I spent that money on beer and cigarettes.

While I haven't done so yet due to a nagging cold, I am also planning on participating in a medical experiment. They take some blood, give you a vaccine for something, and then you just have to come back a few weeks later and give some more blood. It's worth 50 dollars to them which is better than what the Red Cross gives me for twice as much blood (who wants free ice cream over 50 dollars?)

Except for the money that I spend on alcohol the rest of these earnings are being saved so I can afford to travel. Just through my newspaper gig alone I've earned enough to cover the cost of airfare for my eastern European excursion. The best part is all of this is 100% better than any single day I have ever worked at H&M, Best Buy, Office Depot or Albertsons because I have not had to deal with one single fucking customer.

Monday, April 5, 2010

failing hard in italy

I've been meaning to write down what I did for the second part of my trip to Italy but I was sidetracked by my laziness. Going to school for one day a week for only 4 hours leaves you with a lot of free time. When you then have a week off from school due to Easter it becomes a challenge to even get out of bed. Going from having little responsibilities to absolutely none is tough to bounce back from. Tomorrow I have to go to class again and at some point I have to start writing my final papers. There is a good chance that I won't start for another month.

So back to my awesome journey of self-discovery while I backpacked through Italia (you see this is how the locals call it so I'm better than you for using it). After Missy and I left Bologna we decided to take a day trip through Florence. Normally this would be awesome because Florence is a not that big of a place so we can see all the awesome shit in one day. Except on Mondays, because the Uffize is closed that day and the botanical garden is also closed on the first Monday of every month. Guess which day we went?

While the two places we most wanted to go were closed, there were still a lot of other cool things to check out. The Basilica di Santa Croce was pretty rad and the weather was nice for the first half of the day. After awhile though the weather took a turn for the worse and walking around became much less enjoyable.

Towards the end of our stay there we sat outside the Basilica on the steps listening to music, waiting for the time to come to leave for the train station, when all the sudden a police van came out of nowhere. Off in the distance we heard shouting and chanting and decided to take a look. It turns out it was a protest (non-violent and therefore lame) about foreign workers rights. Not as cool as I would have hoped for and unfortunately nowhere close to being a riot. My dream to partake in a riot will have to wait for another day.

Once that settled down we decided to book it to Siena. We took an earlier train and hoped that we would be able to find Missy's friend without having her number or an address. While we were on the train one of the people sitting not too far from us received a ticket for something, probably not having a ticket. I couldn't understand what she was saying but she was pretty pissed about it and the meter maid had to get backup. Sadly for the second time in the day the riot I wished for was not meant to be.

Eventually we were able to meet up with Missy's friend and settle down. The next 2 1/2 days were spent mostly relaxing. Who knew that going on vacation could be so tiring? Thankfully Siena is not that big of a city if you stay inside the walls so I was able to do some exploring while Missy stayed in bed trying to overcome her cold.

That night, sadly, did not end well for me. I came to Denmark with the goal of not making an red shirted ass of myself. That lasted maybe a week at best. In Italy? Day 6. We decided to go to a club that night and before hand had a small pre-party at the apartment. This led to drinking games in which I re-learned a valuable lesson: do not play drinking games with half a bottle of Jamison.

I should have known it was a bad sign for me when my reflexes were so slow that a car slowly ran over my heel as we waited outside the entrance but I persevered for some odd, idiotic reason. Within what seemed like 5 minutes I had ruined someone's jacket with my weak stomach and left. Covered in my own filth and unable to locate anyone that I came with, I decided to leave and find my way back to the apartment. I had no idea where I was, no idea how I was going to get inside, and no way of knowing when anyone would come and let me in. I drunkenly stumbled until I found the Piazza del Campo and used that as my navigational point to orientate myself. Due to some sort of miracle I also was able to run into Theresa's roommate who was also heading home from the club.

I threw my clothes in the washing machine, cleaned up and passed out on the couch. So much for dignity and self-respect.

The rest of the trip in Siena was less eventful and less embarrassing save for my poor navigational abilities. I can find an apartment that I've only been to twice in the dark while drunk yet I can't find a giant park with a map and directions. Siena is a city that exists only to pinpoint all my failings as a person.

Rome was much better. At first I was worried because everything on the way to our hostel was dirty and covered in shitty graffiti but once we settled in and got out of the bad parts of the city it was great. The Colosseum was quite the spectacle. The best part might have been the guys standing around outside dressed up in crappy Halloween costumes to look like Roman soldiers. They stood around chain smoking and asking, nay, yelling at all the tourists to take a picture with them for money. I declined.

Once again my terrible luck came into play when the weather decided to piss all over my travels by raining. We made it back to the hostel and took it somewhat easy because we wanted to get up early and go to the Vatican before there was a super long line to get in.

Except for the part where I was molested and the Pope covered it up, everything about Vatican City was amazing. Also I lied, the molestation wasn't too bad either (low hanging fruit is my favorite). St. Peter's Basilica was easily the most impressive of the churches we went to. I have no idea how something like that could have been built without today's technology. I'm going to assume slave labor and human rights abuses made it a lot easier.

The Vatican Museum was overwhelming with regards to how much impressive art work is jammed in there. I could have spent an hour just looking at the ceilings of the first hallway and walked away awestruck. However since I'm not an art history major or a sentimental loser, that situation did not occur. Out of everything that we saw in there my favorite was easily the School of Athens. That painting has been in so many different textbooks that I've had to read that seeing it in person was kind of cool.

The Sistine Chapel on the other hand was a tad disappointing. It isn't a lot of fun craning your neck to look at the ceiling while the guards yell 'No photo!' 5 times a minute. Since I am the original bad ass though I went ahead and took really crappy photos all stealth like. They turned out horrible but that's besides the point.

To continue a familiar theme, it began to rain again. At this point Missy and I went our separate ways because she was getting sick of me. I can't say I blame her either. While she went off exploring one part of the city I did my own thing. We eventually met back up at the hostel, ate dinner and went around exploring some more with some people we met.

The next day the weather was perfect, the sun was shining, and I was on an airplane back to Copenhagen to meet up with my friend from back home. If you believe the saying that people make there own luck then I am the worst luck maker in the world. I couldn't fabricate a good time to save my life.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

working under the table

While I would have appreciated a better headline and text underneath the picture, I can't complain. I got paid to write something so at least I have a counter next time someone asks me what I plan to do with my English degree. This week I am interviewing a Danish singer and going to an opera. All for 30 bucks a pop. Considering I am on a bread and rice diet because I have no money I'm not going to complain. I would probably write just for a cheeseburger.

Full text below:

Within the last three years, Adam Young has gone from living at home with his parents to touring the world. His rise to prominence began, as so many other modern-day success stories have, on the social networks and streaming media sites of the internet. Since he first started recording music and putting it on his MySpace page, Young's solo project Owl City has tallied over 17 million page views, with some of his songs having been listened to over 26 million times. It's important to note that creating a successful website for your music doesn't always equate with tangible returns. And it's often been observed that the process of going viral can be the death knell for a young artist's career. Musicians such as the Black Kids have seen their internet success met with financial distraught. For Owl City, however, the attention has only continued to grow.

The Minnesota-born singer began his musical career in 2007 while his parents were out of town. He took advantage of the opportunity, and his troubles with insomnia, and spent the nights writing music. From these sessions came his first hit song "Hello Seattle". He self-released an EP and a full-length album that gained Young a massive following on MySpace. His viral success led to his signing with Universal Republic in early 2009. Since then, his single “Fireflies” has taken the number-one spot on music charts all over the world, reaching from his home country to the United Kingdom and even Denmark.

Given that the majority of Young's fans were initially drawn to him through links and embeds on the internet, it's not surprising that he has also picked up his share of mainstream critics, some more histrionic than others. Rolling Stones describe his music as "serious mush, like an amorous e-mail you'll regret in the morning" while the Guardian criticizes Young as having a "wide-eyed ingenue persona". Ironically both fans and foes of Owl City tend to agree that Young's lyrics can be described as lighthearted, without much substance, and even silly. But no matter the volume or frequency of his haters' comments, it seems clear that people have taken a shine to this style, in certain sets leading to Owl City's overwhelming popularity. A stand-out amongst the rest of Young's creative output, “Vanilla Twilight” works best as a showcase for his characteristic blithesome lyrics. The lyrics may lack the grace of Shakespeare's sonnets, but their subject matter, Young's high school love who moved away, is instantly identifiable and relatable by Owl City’s audience and fans. His simplistic lyrics have a striking quality to them that lulls you into a place where you don't happen to care. It's an odd harmony that draws you in against better judgment. Young attributes his musical influences to disco music and European electronic artists such as Dutch trance DJ Armin van Buuren and Scottish IDM group Boards of Canada. Also prominent is his vocal styling, eerily reminiscent of Ben Gibbard’s singing with dormant side project The Postal Service. The product of these influences can be seen in songs like Owl City's chart-topping single “Fireflies.”

Young's homemade combination of smooth music and easy lyrics has drawn in audiences worldwide. Owl City is the musical equivalent of "The Goonies" or "Predator," a campy movie you watch every time it is on television even though you have seen it more times than you can count. The plot stays the same, but the enjoyment you take from it doesn't lessen over time. Owl City's music is a throwback to the era where people gathered around and listened to music because they wanted to dance and enjoy themselves, not listen to lead singers preach awareness of various causes or belt out impassioned songs which only they themselves considered meaningful in any way. Owl City's music is straightforward and without nuance, it speaks a simpler and more universal language, and that's exactly why it has taken the world by storm.