So Berlin…

We left Amsterdam for Berlin late on…whatever day it was, Thursday, and arrived at Tegel in the evening. It was the most ridiculous customs experience ever. Basically, the way Tegel is set up, you get off your plane and you are right at your baggage claim. Convenient. Then everyone just walked out. There were 2 police/guards standing at the exit and they did not look at a single passport, did not ask a single customs related question. Nothing. You just walk out and you’re outside and getting a taxi. It was easier than traveling to Canada pre 9-11. I couldn’t quite get over it.

We stayed at the East Side Hotel which is directly across the street from the East Side Gallery – the largest remaining portion of the Berlin Wall. Very cool. The hotel had all sorts of related art, and our floor was filled with photos of Trabants. Score! Haha easily amused.

On Friday we decided to take the 4 hour walking tour given by New Berlin, which starts at the Brandenburg Gate. It was really the best thing to do, as you walk by all the major attractions in the area – the Gate, Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, Hitler’s Bunker (an apartment complex and parking lot were built on top of it), a portion of the Berlin Wall, which is itself, oddly fenced. Went by the old Nazi Air Force headquarters, which then became a center of the Communists and scene of a massacre of protesters in 61 (i think). It has a wonderful mural of the ideal socialist life haha. Fabulous. Then Checkpoint Charlie which is wonderful. Just so fantastic. I got my passport stamped with the old CCCP and East German stamps and they write up a fake visa for you. We went through some beautiful square surrounded by French and German matching churches and the philharmonic concert hall. Then to another square with St Hedwig(!) catholic church and Humbolt University where the Nazis held their book burning. Ended at the Museum Island where the guide told us how the Berlin Wall fell completely on accident. Great story and I must look up the press conference on youtube.

At the end of the tour it started to rain. We went off to find Zoo Station. Unfortunately Zoo is actually Zooogischer Garten so no signs had the abbreviation. One good thing is one sign was for the U2 train and had the station name. Good enough I guess.

Then to the Victory column, the set of the “Stay (Faraway, so close)” video. It was weird to see it in real life, it looked like a prop. Climbed up to the top. No more stairs for me for a long long time now. It has a great view, too bad it was raining. It, like the Cologne Dom, was filled with graffiti, and some was U2 related. I wanted to add song lyrics from Stay but I just couldn’t. So in the underground walkway I added “Rock and Roll stops the traffic” hahaha.

From there in the rain and darkness we went to see Hansa Studios. Rather unremarkable but I had to. Ate at the restaurant next door, then back to the Reichstag and BrandenburgGate to see them lit up. Things were crazy in the area because they were setting up for the Europafest celebration of 50 years of the European Union.

The American Embassy is being built in Pariser Platz with a sign explaining. I was looking for it to say the construction was being done by Halliburton but alas it didn’t.

Before going to the venue on Saturday we walked along the wall across the street from the hotel on our way to the station (and yes I totally just got “into the void” in my head), to go to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Very cool amazing place, great stories about escape attempts etc, but a bit overpriced and very crowded.

And I ate french fries out of a vending machine. In one of the stations they had hotdogs and sausage in vending machines and another machine with french fries. They cook them in the machine in 45 seconds and come out into a cup like coffee vending machines. They were actually really hot and quite good. Let’s say I’ve had plenty worse from real restaurants. I’d definitely have them again haha.

Then the shows, another post.

I attempted to change my flight home from Tuesday til Sunday or Monday so I could keep on the tour through Vienna. But Delta sucks and they wouldn’t change me. If I could have found a cheap way home I would have just “missed” the flight home and gone on with all the girls, but the cheapest price for a new ticket was 1700$. We had a whole plan involving “losing” my passport and telling the casino I wasn’t allowed to leave Germany until I got another one blahblahblah. The travel that I’d need to arrange to get to the next cities was cheap and would have worked, there was just no way for me to get back home. Very depressing, I really don’t want to leave.

So, Monday checked out of the hotel but my flight didn’t leave for London until 7:45 so I had all day to see more of Berlin. I wanted to go to the Franciscan Monestary ruins, and I did, but they’re closed Mondays. So I just decided to wander, and I wandered on past the Berliner Dom, so what the hey, I went in. Very different, and things kept saying it was a Protestant church – but dear lord it was the most elaborate ornate looking non-Catholic church I’ve ever seen. Very different from the Cologne Dom, but very ornate in its own way. You can go all the way up to the top of the dome and get a good view of the city from there. I approve haha. More wandering, and I wandered past the German Historical Museum. David had mentioned there was an exhibit on the Art of Propaganda that he was going to go to, while I had decided to go to the monestary ruins. But since I ended up walking by and had time to kill I went to see it too. I love propaganda so it was very cool. Showcased propaganda from WWII from Germany, Italy, USSR and US. More wandering and I remembered the car in Hard Rock so I went out back that way, took some pics of the U2 trabbie, and went to the half ruined church that got bombed out but was left that way while they built a new church next to it. (Woah some movie I put on has Charlize Theron and Johnny Depp, and he’s apparently evil?…hot but weird tho, and Clee Duval)

Got a cab to Tegel and wow I hate that airport. It seemed neat when you arrive, but not when you depart. Language wasn’t an issue so much as just the way it’s set up. There aren’t long rows of check in desks for each airline, like American airports – there is a check in for each gate, and every airline can use it depending if they have a flight leaving that gate or not. So I was confused that I couldn’t find a British Airways checkin station, I had to ask, and you just check in at the gate you’ll be leaving out of. Ok fine, but they wouldn’t let the London flight check in until the flight before was practically off the ground. Once I checked in I figured, I’ll go sit at the gate. Except you can’t go to the gate until it’s your flight. But there are no signs, and I’ve never seen it set up that way before. So I try to go through security and this guy starts yelling at me in German. And I say I don’t know German and he’s still yelling in German, and I again say DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH. He just keeps yelling and saying “pass”. Wtf. I go back out the door I went in and there is one of the police/guards in this little booth and he speaks German to me and again I’m like, ENGLISH! So he finally does start speaking in english, and he tells me you can’t go to the gate until it’s your flight, and when you do he has to check my passport. That’s fabulous, there’s not a single sign saying that the booth was a passport check or that I had to show anyone anything.

Ok fine, so I don’t go to the gate, but now what the hell do I do. There are no lounges, or even big spaces with chairs. There are occasionally little nooks with chairs. So I end up sitting on the floor in front of the check in for the gate, cuz I have no where else to go. Finally I go to the passport guy again, and he’s flipping through it looking for my Berlin stamp. Except I don’t have one because as you recall, no one looked at my passport when arriving in Berlin. But I didn’t say anything, and he saw the Düsseldorf stamp so I let him assume that I came from Düsseldorf haha. The whole thing was incredibly frustrating and irritating. The theme so far of traveling in Berlin I guess.

On the way to the airport I actually saw a Trabant driving on the road. That made me happy.

Flight was delayed but not badly and Glen picked me up at Heathrow to bring me to Gatwick, which was much appreciated. The cops walking around Heathrow all were carrying huge automatic weapons – rifles or something. It was pretty scary. My London hotel for the night gave me a room with 3 beds, 2 of them bunk, 5 pillows and still no sheets. Why don’t they use sheets in Europe? Could have used this room when Alex was with us, there is at least room to walk.

Berlin Photos

try and tear me down

I am in a netcafe near the venue. I still need a ticket for tonight but Iäm not worried. Damn german kezboards. I just wanted to say I am *this* close to not coming home. And the more I think about it the more I can work it to stay until Sunday. I probably won’t but I want to more than anzthing. Not looking forward to the forthcoming depression. I should go get back in the queue and find a bathroom. Later.


(of course nin played “the fragile” at Amsterdam2 :P)

Happy Birthday To Aaron

Amsterdam show today. So irritated. I was going to get up early to go to the Van Gogh museum. But the wind/weather sounded terrible and I really wanted to sleep so I did, til around noon. That still gave me plenty of time to check out the museum then go to the venue. Except I got lost and it took me and hour and a half to find the damn venue. By that time it was like 2:30 and I wouldn’t have enough time to go and get back to the venue by 4ish incase we were let in for anything. So I stayed at the venue and froze with everyone. There were many more Americans there now, including this guy who I don’t remember his name, but I recognize him from someplace – most likely Cabazon we decided. Him and his wife were cool, from Houston and talked alot while we froze. Brandy brought our tickets and said there would be a sound check. Except that when she came back at 4 to prepare, Trent radioed that he changed his mind. Moody bitch hehe. lovetrent. So we got to freeze some more outside instead.

The venue was the Paradiso which was an old church. Very cool inside and super small. Something like 1200 people. The stage was so small that there was about 4 feet between Ali and Josh’s risers, add Trent’s table and piano, and that left about 2 feet for Trent to move from the front of the stage to the back. Just so small! Given the smallness I didn’t get rail, was right behind Sue. Then some people showed up who I could tell were going to annoy the shit out of me, so I decided to go up and sit front row of the balcony. I could actually see the whole show this time, it was neat.

Nothing super special. Pilgramage, Mr Self Destruct, Last, Heresy, The Beginning is the End, March of the Pigs, Piggy, Closer, Line Begins To Blur, Burn, Wish, Help Me I Am In Hell, Eraser, Reptile, Survivalism, No You Don’t, Suck, Hurt, Hand that Feeds, Head Like A Hole. Something like that, I think I’m missing a few. I was glad to get Line Begins To Blur – I missed that song muchly. I love it live, it’s so pretty. Trent at one point decided to give credit to his band, introducing each one, then with Aaron mentioning it was his birthday. People started to sing, so Trent threw the mic out into the crowd to sing to Aaron. It was cute. Someone threw some kind of stuffed animal at him haha.

So starting in Cologne, while queing the incorrect song lyrics keep coming up in conversation. And I think Trent has heard us joking about “smash up my jelly beans” as a line from Gave Up and he decided to stop playing it. jk of course. But he left it out again today.

2 shows left to get The Fragile and We’re In This Together. Well…2 if I can find a ticket to Berlin2.

We leave for Berlin at almost 8pm tomorrow so I’m going to attempt to get to Van Gogh. I actually can’t wait to leave this city. I think it’s way overrated, unless you’re a pot head. In that case, game on.

Oh and “The Beginning is the End” when it begins is just drums, and it sounds like “My Sharona”

Atomium and Amsterdam

The last half day in Brussels brought going to see the Atomium – a giant blown up structure of an atom built for the 1958 World’s Fair. And it definitely looks like something that came from the 50s. It’s totally fabulous. It reopened after a restoration project and you can take escalators and an elevator into each of the “spheres” of the structure. Totally cool. It could use more history and old photos from the construction and the fair but it was still great. Picked up our luggage after and headed by train to Amsterdam. The train took us through Antwerp, The Hague (which I thought was in Switzerland or something) and Rotterdam. Everything looks much like Belgium, since they were all one in the past, same type of architecture and set up. I’m quite tired with the “low countries” now, I’m ready for Berlin. Did see traditional windmills however, just in seemingly random spots. Pretty neat. They also have modern wind turbines. Oh and we passed FOUR nuclear power plants on the train ride – 2 right around Brussels. I thought that was interesting/exciting.

Brussels Photos

We have an apartment again – and I don’t remember booking a “suite”. It’s pretty nice but I have to pay special attention to the bill, because 1. I booked through expedia and thus have already been charged, and 2. they better not charge me extra for a suite I didn’t book. They are doing renovations of the hotel, so I’m thinking maybe this was all they had for us…Our suite is in a separate building like in Cologne but up 2 sets of very small spiral staircases, then the suite itself has another small spiral staircase. I’m going to kill myself trying to get out with my 50 lb suitcase. A bellhop or someone carried it up for me haha.

We took off to walk around the area a bit. It’s very cold, yuck. And while it’s fairly pretty I’ve decide this is just not my kind of city. I just don’t get the right vibe from it. Nothing seems extremely interesting to me, the pretty things are quite spread out and not gathered into a true “city center” like Cologne and Gent and even Brussels. It has a definite more dangerous feel to it, and it clearly can be a city of depravity hahaha. I get that vibe from it, where I don’t really get that in Las Vegas, the supposed Sin City. I’m glad we’re only really here one full day. People can call me lame for not whooping it up in Amsterdam. I’ll have to think of some ridiculous story to tell people at work hahaha.

Tomorrow is a show day, and Paradiso is in the general area of the Museum District. Plans are to get up early and go to the Van Gogh Museum then go right to the venue. It’s supposed to be cold and rainy again.

Amsterdam Photos

All the rest

Maybe I should talk about everything else that happened aside from meeting Trent Reznor.

Gent – the 2nd day we went out to the Dr Guislain museum of psychiatry. When I discovered it, it was the main reason for staying in Gent over Antwerp for a few days, it sounded so cool (especially to me). It is in Belgium’s most well known asylum – part is the museum, and part is school area, with a new psych hospital close by. Dr Guislain apparently pioneered alot of psychiatry in Belgium, building the hospital based on research of what works best in treating patients. Unfortunately the “History” part of the museum didn’t really go into what exactly these elements were, which would have been interesting. But they had alot of history of Dr Guislain, the hospital, others that worked with him for improved treatment for the mentally ill and for mentally retarded children. A bulk of the museum is “outsider art”. They have a current exhibit called Beyond Good and Evil, and featured works with those themes – not just from patients, but from other…”normal”? artists, and other tribal cultures as well. Quite interesting but to me, the “outsider” patient art was more interesting. I want to make crazy art. Maybe if I stop taking my meds hahah. There is a fine line between “outsider art” and “toddler art” however – some of the things just…unworthy of such a distinction. Other stuff was quite amazing including this very involved installation that I can’t even describe – strange dolls and just…stuff. And it wasn’t just a collection of crap like what Psycho Ted left behind in the REA terminal. Most of the artists had blurbs about them, not going into details about what exactly is wrong with them mentally, but describing their life and situation. Not all of the artists were mentally ill either, some just considered “outsiders” or “folk”. It was really interesting.

Spent 3 or 4 hours there, and by that time, the Castle of the Counts was closed (closed at 4, last entry at 3, and we thought it closed at 5) so we missed out on that. Nights were early and I wasn’t feeling well that day so I stayed in the hotel the rest of the night. Watching bad American movies with Flemish subtitles haha. Tommy Lee Jones should have fired his agent after “Volcano”.

The 3rd day, with somewhat crap weather – cooler and cloudy – we went out to Lede to see the Castle of Mesen rather than stay in Gent and go to the Castle in town. Castle of Mesen isn’t quite a castle, but it looks more like an old hotel with a church attached and it was used for a variety of purposes one being a boarding school. Oh, and it’s in ruins. Ha. Beautiful place, and by far the most ruined building I’ve ever been in. It’s quite what I would imagine the Overlook Mountain House in the Catskills to look like if they hadn’t gutted the inside and just left the shell. All the upper floors in Mesen were collapsed – thankfully with exception of the theatre space, though I had to climb up a sketchy ladder to reach it – which made it interesting when trying to access other areas of the building. The chapel area had more intact stained glass windows than Transfig back at home. Very surprising. As a whole the place hadn’t been stripped too much – large sections of decorative railings remained, as well as some very pretty ceramic tiles. If my suitcase didn’t already weight 50 lbs some of them would have been coming home with me. There are a few other buildings on the property – which is actually in a public park – including what seemed to be a stable, and school area. Very pretty place. After a few hours there, we returned to Gent, got dinner, and early night again.

Gent Photos

Obviously I haven’t seen much of Brussels other than the walk from the hotel to the venue. Strangely – while we took a taxi from the (wrong) train station to the hotel, we passed an area of town where police were setting up big barbed wire fences – the type that they had set up between trenches during WWI. What the hell? The news last night said there was some kind of large protest against the Bush Administration at the EU on Sunday, that must have been it. Anyway. The hotel is not far from the Grand Place, and before the show today (Monday) I headed out to walk around with the camera for an hour or so. Very very pretty buildings around the square, again, something you just don’t see in the US. I couldn’t find the peeing boy statue though, it’s somewhere around here, but I bought some chocolates of him instead. I feel better having gone out this morning, haha I did see something while I was here. I still want to go to the Atomium tomorrow before we catch a train to Amsterdam. I guess it’s going to be dependent on whether or not we can keep our luggage at the hotel after we check out in the morning. I don’t know how close and convenient it will be to get to the Atomium then back to get the luggage, but oh well. It was the one thing I wanted to see in Brussels.

We have a very short time in Amsterdam as well, 2 nights I believe, and really only 1 full day – a show day for me. We fly from Amsterdam to Berlin, so timing of the flight will determine what I can do there. Aside from walking around and seeing the red light district and the night life in general, I want to go to the Van Gogh museum. Eh Amsterdam doesn’t really appeal to me because all I know about it is the drug stuff. So I’m not really upset. I’d much rather cut Amsterdam short (and miss the 2nd show) to spend more time in Berlin.

Brussels 2

How can the 2nd Brussels show really compare? haha

Today it snowed. Lucky for us, S, V, Sue and I were in a coffee shop for most of it. Sue got blamed for bringing the snow from Canada though.

Nothing special for us today, and how could anyone expect anything else from the band. We almost had another Hurt fiasco but it was kept under control and Trent didn’t seem to get pissed. But maybe next time he plays Brussels he’ll decide that the town shouldn’t get to hear that song if they’re going to be disrespectful. I may think it’s boring and I may be tired of seeing it, but still…it’s a great song, and everyone should shut up during it haha.

Setlist was something like: Mr Self Destruct, Sin, Terrible Lie, March of the Pigs, Something I Can Never Have, The Beginning is the End, Closer, Burn, Wish, Help Me I Am In Hell, You Don’t, Survivalism, Only, Suck, Reptile (yay), You Know What You Are, Hurt, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like A Hole…so a bit different and mixed up. No Gave Up…I didn’t miss it but I’d rather it over Suck. I don’t have alot else to say about it. The massive post yesterday took it all out of me. 🙂

I realized that I need to see so many shows because when in front I spend probably 1/3rd of the time with my eyes closed. 🙂 And I think that every now and then I do need to watch from farther back just so I can see it all.

My wishlist for the remaining 3 shows: The Fragile, We’re In This Together and The Becoming at least one more time. And any time he wants to throw in something from total left field, like Physical or And All That Could Have Been, that’d be fine too.

Hell I’m happy with anything.

Full Circle

First a little story.

Some of you know how I was led into my NIN fandom and some of you don’t. I don’t like talking about it, not because it is bad, but because it’s strange. Long story short, I had an odd dream that revolved around Julie, an old friend and ex-babysitter who was a heroin addict. The dream wouldn’t leave me alone, it led to me pulling out The Downward Spiral and listening to it for the first time in years. That was 1999. I don’t think I’ve seen her since around then or shortly after she got out of jail/rehab in 2000.

We left Gent for Brussels this morning. I had set the alarm for 8:30 and it woke me up out of this dream I was having. In the dream there were these weird storms, with lots of lightning flashing everywhere, and I was at work at the old small Tops grocery store on Nash Road. The storms ended and the power came back on in the store and we let customers in again. Who walks in, Julie. She sees me and comes over so happy to see me after all these years, and hugs me, and tells the friends that she was with how much she always liked me and how happy she was that I was there.

I thought it was strange I dreamed about her when I haven’t seen or thought about her in a long time.

We caught the 10am train to Brussels, found the hotel, and I wandered through the rain to the venue at 11:30. Rain – the good weather couldn’t last forever. Thankfully it stopped and most of the rest of the day was rain free. There were 3 people ahead of me, and Sue arrived shortly after I did. Brandy came out a bit later and said something would be happening later. Good news of course. We figured Year Zero listening party, with maybe waffels this time haha. S and V joined and the time passed away. We were moved over to the back stage entrance where the Spiral entrance was to be (odd), waited there and the band arrived and walked by. Later John came out to say we’d be going in for a few songs and the band would come out and sign one thing each.

33 shows later, I met Trent Reznor. I finally got a fucking meet and greet.

Now this completely blows my mind. At one point in the morning I realized how odd it was that I dreamed about Julie, and it reminded me that a dream about her is what started all of this 8 years ago. I just CANNOT get over this. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I commented to Sue about it, without going into details, because it was just so weird that she suddenly appeared in a dream. At the end of all this, I still cannot begin to wrap my mind into this odd phenomenon. That’s what I’m calling it haha.

But I met Trent Reznor. And I didn’t throw up, or cry, or stumble over my words, or trip over my own feet, or any other equally embarassing possibility. I should start from the beginning though. I’m trying to remain calm haha.

We went in as the band began playing The Frail. They followed with The Wretched, La Mer, Into the Void, Please, and Wish. It’s been awhile since I remember hearing Please, it was nice. Todd, Trent’s mic kid, was giving us all chocolates. They had something in them, and after I asked if it was liquor, he was like “maaaaybe”, so I asked if he was trying to get us all drunk haha. He gave me some other chocolate after that had chili pepper in it, it was weird. Anyway. They finished up and left, Ali staying on stage to mess around with his equipment. We were instructed to all stand against the barrier and then down along the wall and the band members would come out to talk to everyone. First out was Jeordie. To be perfectly honest I had no idea what to say to him. I really know nothing about him except past bands, and just…nothing. So I just was polite and asked how he was doing, and had him sign my big ticket (we had 2, spiral and venue ticket). Apparently he was in a better mood today than he usually is during meet and greets. Josh followed, and you could tell he was still stuffed up and sick. I asked if he was feeling better, he asked where I was from and said Buffalo – the one place they played all around but never in. He didn’t believe that they hadn’t played Buffalo, so I went through “Rochester, Erie, Toronto 5 times” He said they’d have to do it next time. I love Josh. That is all. Aaron followed. He’s so short. Really nice though, asked my name. I told him that 2 years ago in Reno he walked by Adr2 and I carrying a pizza and we had no clue who he was. He replied, “And you still don’t know who I am.” I said, “After the show, we looked at eachother and said, he fucking walked by us with a pizza.” One of the crew guys standing there said he liked that story. Ali didn’t end up coming down, apparently he’s really shy.

Then Trent. I watched the soundcheck songs at the rail, but everyone smooshed in for the M&G and so I moved down to the end of the line. I paced around waiting, and strangely I wasn’t nervous at all. He spent a decent amount of time with everyone, talking and taking pictures. The girl in front of me asked me to use her phone to take a picture of them, and then left. Me and Trent, face to face. And I still wasn’t nervous. He introduced himself (ha!) and shook my hand. I said “Finally” haha. Gave him my Spiral ticket to sign. I said, “I don’t have a camera but could I have a hug?” And with absolutely no hesitation he hugged me, and said, “A hug is just as good as a picture.” And it wasn’t some stupid halfass hug, it was a real one. And he smelled good. He was just so nice, and smily with people. So I let go and no one had to pry me off or anything haha. I still wasn’t nervous. I thanked him for everything and for the last 2 years being so great.

Sue and I had talked about M&Gs earlier in the day, and I had gotten nervous and wanted to cry just talking about it. But I was perfectly fine when it happened. I walked back outside, and she was like, “Are you ok?” I am/was sooo ok. Then they noticed how bad I was shaking and pointed it out. Shit. But I realized when I handed my ticket to Trent, I wasn’t shaking, and didn’t look stupid. It was just after that I was shaking and just could.not.stop. I called Adr2 cuz she’s the only phone number I have, and she had to hide at work while I told her everything. I almost cried at that point but I didn’t. I just kept shaking. Sue and I went to the bar to get a drink so I’d stop shaking haha. At at that point there was a gathering of NIN fans in the bar and I was able to find a ticket for tomorrow’s show. Yay.

So we waited to be let back in for the show. And at this point what else do I say? At rail slightly to the right of Trent. The setlist was much like London 1, but we got Dead Souls and Big Come Down. It was good and strange. Things seemed to be going very well, and Trent seemed pleased with the crowd. The whole place sang the “doesn’t it make you feel better, the pigs have won tonight…” part of March of the Pigs and he just watched, and smiled. Things went well until Hurt, when we all thought we were going to have a “Grand Rapids moment” and Trent was going to walk off. Halfway through the song, someone yelled something, someone else yelled something back, everyone’s going shhhh and Trent just stopped mid verse and stood there. As if he was thinking whether he should throw the keyboard over and end the show or not. In the end he didn’t, but I swear we all held our breath waiting for it to be the end of the show. Sadly, after he started again and for the remaining few songs he was totally gone and out of it. Just going through the motions. And it was so strange to see, just a complete change in him from before that moment to after. I don’t think we ever saw that from him before, even at the shows he was most pissed off at. You could just feel it, that he just turned himself off. (Reminded me of myself haha) Thankfully I guess, only 2 songs follow Hurt.

The venue was small, and great, and sounded awesome. No ringing ears in the slightest, and even the preshow music sounded clear and good. Apparently the venue in Amsterdam is an old church….

And I got a drum stick. I didn’t quite know that I had it. I saw it get thrown at the crowd, and I didn’t see it coming towards me, I actually was watching where the other one was going, but didn’t try to catch either. Then I look down and somehow the drum stick was in my arms. LOL. And no one else had noticed either, so no fighting. Go me I guess.

Got some fries and beer with S and V and Sue and Kim after and headed back to the hotel. David asked, now that you met him, what’s next? Meeting Trent again hahahahha. I have to remembr to tell him about how perfect the Terminal is as a set for a Year Zero movie/video and thank him for the tambourine.

Pardon me for a moment. OMFG i fucking met trent fucking reznor after all this time and all the missed chances before and i got a fucking hug and he smelled so good and i didn’t throw up on his shoes and he was so cute, and omg!!!!!!!!!!!111111111!!! Thank you. I’m finished now. 🙂

Oh who am I kidding, this will get me through at least the next few days hahahahahahahha. omfg. nothing can stop me now…

Gent Arrival

Thursday morning, way too early, we departed Cologne for Gent, changing trains in Brussels. We’re at a pretty posh place in Gent, one of the NH chain hotels, because it’s cheap. Gent is apparently cheap in comparison to Brussels and other European cities. I’m just excited because I bought a Belgian waffle from a street vendor haha. So yummy.

Anyway, we left to explore the center of the city. It’s supposedly a 15 min walk, but I think it was more than that plus we went around in circles a lot. Again, way too much walking. Made it to the center and checked out St Nickolas Church. It was very nice and very different than what we’ve seen so far, but it’s so hard to really compare to the Dom. After that, St Baaf with the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb triptych by the Van Eyck’s. Oddly…you have to pay 3euro to see the actual work, but they have 2 reproductions of it in the church, one of them huge. I was going to pay to see it anyway, so I can be an art snob but then a field trip or tour of teens came through and I didn’t want to wait for them. The church was also very nice, and very strange as it is decorated with strange water color looking paintings. Which also had priestly robes painted to match, on display in the crypt. With everything being in non-english I couldn’t quite figure it out but one of the clergy must have been an artist or something. One of the art museums in the town is closed for renovations and some of the religious works were moved into the crypt to remain on display. Cool to see other artists names I recognized like Rubens and Bosch. Lots to see in St Baaf but no photographs allowed, of course they want you to buy their postcard photos. That’s ok. Wandered around lots, then went back to the same area to go to the Belfry. 3Euro gets you to the top and through the 3 floors to see the bells, the clock works, and a great view of the city. Unfortunately it was quite hazy so, while very nice out, visibility was sort of crappy. Got a better idea of the city layout though. Also the belfry had the best weather vane ever. This huge copper (I think) dragon, complete with metal flame coming out of its mouth – which actually they’d somehow make him spit fire during festivals or events. They had 2 versions on display (and they’re huge) from ages ago as they had to be replaced. They’re missing a huge tourist merchandising opportunity by not selling stuffed dragons or small metal reproductions. Loved that thing. They actually didn’t sell anything…

More walking around, passed one of the castles, along the river, finally wandering back to the hotel. I’m in bad shape physically. Every muscle I have hurts right now, I’m an invalid. However tomorrow I hope to get out to the museum of psychiatry in one of Belgiums oldest asylums, and some of the castles. We plan to get out to Lede to the Castle of Mesen before leaving for Brussels on Sunday (show day). I only hope Mesen is still standing, as rumors of its impending demolition have it disappearing right around now, though nothing was really clear.


This is probably the only time I’ll be online from Gent – 10 euros for 24 unconsecutive hours….yikes. Photos to come.