It's been 21 days, the calendar says. But somehow that single bit of information feels inadequate to describe the feeling of time gone by. Some things seem so very far away, others instantly close.
It feels forever since I've set foot in my apartment. The kiss and carres of that girl equally so. But it feels like yesterday that Curtis picked me up from the airport in Minneapolis and gave me the whirlwind tour of the Twin cities. Discussing Beth Orton with Swedish Julia in London equally so.
The human mind is not a weblog. Memories aren't inserted and sorted by time. The feeling of time is rarely in synch with a calendar.
I couldn't have asked for a better way to finish up the four-city tour than to invade the lives of Curtis and Jody for a week. However impressive the scenery and setting of Minnesota, it paled in light of the royal treatment I enjoyed during my stay.
We went dazed away to the jazz of Stacy Kent, marveled at every kind of food on a stick at the State Fair, raced go-carts and dry-land sleds, laughed at banjo-playing, ate Vietnamese, Greek, and fine Minnesotan steak grilled in Curtis' garage.
It was grand. Inviting and delighting. I could easily see myself living in Minneapolis.
Mosquitos are one of natures grandest design failures. Instead of being humble members of the ecosystem, thankful of the blood they suck from creatures thousands of times their size, they opt for the ways of spite. Imagine how much safer the mosquito world would be if only these insects could be redesigned to avoid the unpleasanties associated with a bite. We probably mostly wouldn't care for their existance.
Unlike now, where we quickly move for a kill given the chance. It's just not smart. I vote for genetically modified mosquitos that will allow man and insect to live happily ever after.
I am of course under no small influence of the ten or more bites I've suffered the last couple of days, so don't sue me if these mutant mosquitos move for world domination or what have you.
Coming from the narrow, crowded, dirty streets of New York and London, Chicago was a pleasant surprise. There was actually green spots generously located all over. Flowers, trees, grass. A most welcome change.
But it wasnít just the change in scenery that made Chicago a wonderful place to walk around. The temperature was also adjusted to make it bearable to walk around for hours without being soaked in sweat. A good thing indeed, when you donít care for the commute by subway or bus in sunshine.
The environmental change brought along with it a change in mentality as well. In New York and London, I had been packing my schedule with around three items of art, comedy, entertainment, and sight-seeing every single day. It was time to slow down.
Hanging out with Jason (my employer on Singlefile and coconspirator on a long range of upcoming projects) was the perfect excuse for doing just that. Taking his amazing black turbo Audi for spins around the city, dining thai, middle eastern, mexican, and hanging out in the 37signals office kept us busy in the nice relaxed way that doesnít give you stress from rushing from one visual experience to another.
Visual experiences still present
I didnít totally shun the visual experiences, though. Most noteworthy was the Earth From Above exhibit that had seven years worth of photographic travels Yann Arthus-Bertrand on display and the Chicago Institute of Arts. The former was in Copenhagen about a year ago, but very rewatchable. The latter was slightly overwhelming in the depth of their many exhibitions, but equally impressive. They even had the original Picasso ďThe Old Guitarist" that I have hanging on my wall as copy back home.
Another amazing feature of Chicago was the architecture. The city burned to the ground in the 1871, which prompted a complete rebuild of the city according to the leading architects of the time. And it shows. Walking around downtime is an experience filled with leaning back my head and awing at the tall results of inspired architecture. Unfortunately, I didnít make it onto any of the guided tours (Jason was telling me about this 3-hour boat tour that should be really great), so I had to rely solely on my own random walkabouts to see it all.
All in all, Chicago appeared to be one of the most liveable cities of all the ones Iíve been to in the States. Should I ever think about moving over here, Iíd certainly have Chicago at the top of my list for destinations.
Thereís the laptop, thereís the mp3 player, thereís the camera. Rechargeable batteries are everywhere, and they require a decievingly hard skill to remain effective: keeping short term memory from evaporating.
For me, it usually works like this. Just before I enter my apartment, Iíll have the have the need to plugin said gadget into a power outlet in mind. And in the morning, Iíll find myself swearing, when the iPod still cries for a recharge, just as Iím about to leave. I forgot it. Again.
The only way to remember the trite of recharging is to act like youíre suffering from the inability to make long-term memories. Chant the following all the way up the stairs or riding the elevator, ďGotta recharge, gotta recharge, gotta rechargeĒ.
It works. Kinda.
The final stop on my four-city tour has been reached. And what a great place to finish off. I've "upgraded" my hostel status from the previous cities to that of enjoying the hospitality of my good friend Curtis. Actually, I've taken over his regular bedroom and send him along with his lovely girlfriend Jody up on the first floor. Hehe.
The house is really nice. According to Curtis, this is a small US house. Two bedrooms, large living room, computer room, entertainment lounge in the basement, etc. Small, yearh. I also got to meet the neighbors yesterday. Pleasant people.
Curtis gave me the sceneric tour of the Minneapolis lake area (ungodly beautiful) and downtown last night right after he picked me up from the airport. As we we're driving around, I commented on how wonderfully spaced out everything seems to be in suburban Minneapolis. "This is actually about as dense as it gets here," Curtis replied, "Oh, and this is the city. Not the suburbs."
The itinerary for the week hasn't been cast in stone yet, but it's definitely going to include seeing the State Fair (every kind of food imaginable served on a stick!) and biking around the many lakes in the area. Perhaps even rollerblading, if I decide to pick up a pair.
My brand new Canon S30? Dead pixel. Got it exchanged (after waiting 45 minutes) today. My brand new iBook 700mhz? Dead pixel. Going to have it exchanged when I reach Minneapolis. When does a guy get a break from dead pixels?
I am glad that I'm learning this before going back to Denmark, though. Being stuck with an ocean between buyer and seller is a bad outlook for dealing with dead pixels. But still, fuck!
All my previous entries gone? My 1+ year history of Loud Thinking vanished? Almost! Greymatter has just decided to do away with it all and restart my posting history at 1. Not good. Luckily, it left a rendered copy of my archive intact, so now I'll just have to scrape of all the data, and all will be good.
Of course, that's going to take some work. And when it's done, it sure won't be going back on Greymatter. Sorry Noah, but in an age that still haven't reached the point of omnipotent backups, one good scare is all it takes. I'll be taking off and moving to either MovableType or that new S*****g thing that's been cooking between me and a guy sending out tons of signals.
I'm a Macintosh owner now. The proud keeper of a 700mhz iBook complete with a DVD-drive and a burner. Not to mention 640mb of RAM. Oh, and it's running the latest and greatest version of OS X — The Jaguar. It's absolutely stunningly beautiful. The hardware, the OS, the applications, are all wonderful seen seperately, but together it's a masterpiece.
But, less talk, more tinkering. Must explore all