A Wee Bit of Afternoon Delight in Belfast

If you are reading this, then it is already too late. I have lost myself and set my identity ablaze. Belfast has corroded the false idols of my unquestioned beliefs in the American ideals of Truth, Liberty, and Justice. This corruption of the soul I believed to be my “self” struck like a blazing flash of lightning satori that left the moveable corpse of my body thunderously shuddering. While my vision of enlightenment struck in an instant, the events that occurred during my two months prior, in Belfast, were what allowed such a momentous revolution of perspective to occur (and yes, your stereotypical notion that all great things which occur on the Isle of Eire are precipitated by Guinness are indeed correct in this instance).
Day Zero (or the day I tore down the walls of the unquestioned beliefs of my childhood) began when my best friend from age fourteen, Kristian, awoke me Saturday morning, the 11th of March. After a wee bit of hot shower meditation and high-fiber breakfast, my consciousness was pulsating enough to leave my dorm, and set sail upon the flowing black asphalt sea towards St. George’s Market in Belfast’s City Centre.
When we arrived at 14:35 all that was left of the famous farmers market were fish/livestock carcasses and a mop-up brigade who wielded their weapons of purification with the confidence only found within true masters of the custodial arts. With the market closed we headed with our bodies slouched, and hands in our pockets to the recently constructed Waterfront Centre. It seems like the alternative-adolescent crowd of Belfast congregated their studded-pierced-tattooed-Mohawk-spiked bodies by the shore to worship the holy sacraments of PDA, skating, chillin, and extreme parkour. Unfortunately along came a pair of neon-yellow female Enforcers of Justice who threatened to bombard these “loiterous” youths with the Fire and Brimstone of their mighty pens and notebooks, if they did not move their adolescent ritual of coming-of-age to a less recently monetarily flooded (and thereby touristy) area. As the police officers walked past, I, wearing the finest of Chinese assembled American labeled outdoors-wear, exchanged a courteous smile and nod to these .40 caliber Smith and Wesson clad Defenders of Peace and Equality. I grinned while muttering some manner of compliment to my law-abiding matriarchs under my breath, eliciting a chuckle from my friend Kristian, and went on my merry way in search of better company amidst the crowd of Belfast.
Then, out of the gray it started to rain. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide: except for Belfast’s most famous public house, The Crown Bar (Est. 1826). We were finally able to push our way past the herd gathered around the waterhole at 17:00 and obtain the black elixir of life that defies the natural laws and order of the universe; falling away from the center of the planet and towards the white-frothy cream at the top (more commonly referred to as Guinness). There was not an open old aristocratic (thereby exclusive and closed off) booth in the place. So with weight on our feet and frosty beers in our hands we emptied our goblets to their temporary resting place in our circulatory system.
With our bodies warmed, we set out into the drying streets in search of dinner. On our walk back Kristian spotted one of the famous Belfast murals depicting the conflict between Catholic/Nationalist and Protestant/Unionist. Consumed by his mighty brew, Kristian wanted to venture into the periphery of West Belfast’s Sandy Row Ulster Protestant Neighborhood. Not being one to turn down an adventure I obliged his request.
We paused at the mural to read:

“YOU
ARE NOW
ENTERING
LOYALIST SANDY ROW
HEARTLAND of SOUTH BELFAST
ULSTER-FREEDOM FIGHTERS
QUIS-SEPARABIT.”

It was surrounded by the beautiful sights of vacated old redbrick factories protected by walls topped-off with shimmering coils of flowing curls of razor wire. Our odyssey continued down the road, and as we were walking three young boys with buzz-cuts and tracksuits spilled out of a toyshop and onto the sidewalk. “Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!” These nine-year-olds each began to familiarize themselves with the sound, feel, and smell of firing a six-shot with their recently purchased cap-guns as we past. “Bang-Bang!”
Two shops up the road at Take-Out Palace, two middle-aged men were standing on the corner leaning their “wife-beater” blue tracksuits with accenting silver-chains against a new black Land Rover Discovery. As we snuck by and hastily crossed the street, we were came across a crowd of twelve-year-olds running around a Camo-colored ATV driving down the middle of the street. We had seen enough, and ducked down the next corner block to get back on Great Victoria Avenue.
On our left were the skeletal remains of some half torn down cinderblock building that had not withstood the changes of time since The Troubles. Coating the cinderblock-bones of the building was a ghost in the shape of a man, hidden by a black ski mask, black clothing, and an AK-47. In the shadow of this haunted-wall were six children from the age of four to seven and wearing mixed clothes, ranging from Bulls Championship t-shirts to the customary tracksuit, standing between Great Victoria Avenue and us. As we approached they stopped digging sticks into the sidewalk, and looked up at us. I was about to walk past, and looked into their eyes to exchange a smile and “Hello,” but all that I received were mischievous giggles and glaring smiles as I passed by. Right as they were behind me I heard in choir unison “Yankee, Yankee, Naa-Naa, Naa-Naa, NaA-NaA!” I looked over my left shoulder as they danced triumphantly in their End Zone, like six-year-old T.O.’s.
I wanted to turn around and explain to these children how their actions were guided by the ignorance sown into society by the symbols and institutions that rule over the individual. But instead I just turned my eyes to the black abyss stretching out in front of and below my feet, stuck my hands into my pockets, and chuckled at the consequences of such a wacky and absurd idea.

St. Patrick’s Day in Belfast, Northern Ireland

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March 17 was P-Day. Shit was crazy. I woke up at 9. Showered. Shaved. Mixed up a tasty Black Bush (Bushmills Brand) Whiskey and hot honey water. The fumes were sharp and pungent and cut my nose because of the increased volitility of the alcohol at a warm temperature. I washed down my drink with a bowl of Muesli and Mimosa. Hell, I even got one of my best buds from home, K-Bizz, to have a morning drink.

We met up with Charcoal (another American studying in Belfast from Virginia), and headed to the parade in Belfast City Centre. The parade began at 12:30, and we left at 12:25. Not to worry, we were used to being late, especially since we were a good 25 minute walk to City Centre. We were suprised that the closer we got to the City Centre the more people were passing us in the other direction. Then we saw the Music Man from Canada who was walking back towards the university hugging a bag of cabbage, and a backpack of assorted organic goodness. He told us the parade was a bust and already over at 13:00.

We walked back to the University talking about whether the fact the parade sucked or that we missed it sucked harder. We all voted for the former in a unanimous vote. As we were walking back we passed The Botanic Inn (“The Bot”), and noticed a line of maybe 30 people waiting to get inside at 13:15 on a Saturday. The crowds had come for the St. Patrick’s Day madness and Ireland/Italy, France/Scotland rugby matches.

After 20 minutes of waiting outside, we were let it the doors. Fighting through an impentrable fire hazard was almost entirely futile. I got halfway to the bathroom that was on the complete opposite side of the pub, and realized that resistance was futile, and waited at the bar five minutes to order two Budweiser’s and two Harp’s. I am not one to usually drink American “Buttwiper” beer as K-Dog once so wisely put it, but I needed to get a beverage in a bottle, so I could throw it in my pocket and carry back the pints of Harp, and suprisingly since St. Patrick’s Day is really an Americanized abombination of a 1/2 holiday, I figured it was appropriate to drink the Americanized abombination of a 1/2 beer. Don’t worry dear reader, those beverages were not all for me. My friend Charcoal shared them with me as we enjoyed the first half of the Ireland vs. Italy rugby game before we refueled. While we watched the game we met some wild Irish blokes from the north that were down for the Patty’s Day festivities.

Ireland trampled Italy, but fumbled the ball during overtime and let Italy score an unnecessary try. This would come back to haunt the Irish when after many more beers and rugby watching France beat Scotland by a greater deficit than Ireland beat Italy in the last play of the game, and won the Six Nations title. Everyone was pissed at the last call of the game, and angry. The DJ threw on some song from Jock Jams Vol. 1, and within the span of two songs people were merrily dancing and clapping around.

I was in the midst of manic merriment when I got tapped on my shoulder and a green plastic tophat was thrust into my hands. It was no ordinary green plastic tophat that was thrust into my hands, it was a green plastic tophat filled with fallen soldiers by the names of Guinness, Harp, Budweiser, and Magner’s. I accepted the hat, lifted it into the air to toast the gods and threw back the cool and sweet-carbonated dark liquid. The elixir of happiness. I think it was here when I remembered that K-Bizz had told me he was going to split, even though it happened 2 hours prior.
Dancing and hugs ensued. Arms around my shoulders. Masculine and heterosexual gaiety was the dance of the day. What was it’s bottomless fuel? Fallen soldiers with a slight marinade inside a boat shoe. I would like to say that the first and last sip were distinctly different, and altogether unbearable, but that would be a lie. Tossing a shoe back of fallen soldiers envigorated my soul like a box of Sugar Babies.

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The craziness continued, but it was 18:00, and we were going to see Cut Chemist at 21:00 at the Spring and Airbreak. Charcoal and I left The Bot, and made our way back to Elm’s Village. I went back to lie down for a little more than an hour before K-Bizz and I went to grab a bite at Bishop’s Fish and Chips. The meal was lousy and filled me to my wind-pipe. It was heavy and not pleasant.

We got to the Spring and Airbreak at 21:30 and it was almost empty. I did however find my French friend Marinera, my Irish friend Tipperary, and her brother Juan. K-Bizz had crabs in his pants, or something. He was dancing like a madman, and doing reasonably well. I would have jumped out there and shown him how it was done to the funky break beats that were saturating the scene, but I was hungover and full.

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There was only one cure: a pint of Stella and a pint of water. Both were delicious, but Marinera’s French friend Don Quioxte was drunk as a leech and hitting my glass of water, because apparently it was a feminine quality to stay hydrated and happy in France. The joke was on him though when his obvious attempts at opening a jar of Marinera on the dance floor were ended by a severe burn!

So Cut Chemist finally went on at midnight. Charcoal came, but only after opening some seratonin channels, and ten minutes into the set. I didn’t see him all show since I was front row and center clinging like a thirty year-old woman to her beauty, except I was clinging to the barrier. Cut put on a great set. The most interesting parts of the show were when he filmed the crowd jumping around to House Of Pain’s “Jump Around” after telling them he was also “Irish”. He said he was going to put it on Youtube, but I’m still waiting Cut!

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The other cool thing he did was film three people from the audience telling him their name and where they were from. On my left He picked Juan from Tipperary and on my right he picked Marinera from France. Since France took the Six Nations title she recieved a hearty dose of “BOOZE” from the crowd. After Cut recorded this, he went back to his crazy technological abombination and waited for Tom, his Visual DJ to compile the video. After it was put onto a DVD he put it into some crazy godlike turntable that played audio as well as the corresponding visuals, and he could scratch video and sound together. He then proceeded to scratch my friends into garbled stillframes.

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The show soon ended at 1:45. K-Bizz was exhausted from dancing and had to get up at 4 to return to Boston. Charcoal had to check in on his buddy who opened the floodgates of seratonin when he found out his sister who was supposed to fly out to visit him from Iowa got into a serious car accident and in the middle of surgery to save her life. I just went to bed. All around the best St. Patrick’s Day in the history of the universe. It’s a fact, check the Slatkin book of univere records.

Off-Line

I have most certainly been slackin on my posting for Slackin’Slatkin. My humble apologies. I would like to say that it was all a result of having better things to do than write posts online, but unfortunately that is only a part of the answer.

About a month ago, right as my posts were dwindling, I discovered Pandora’s Box. It has unleashed a world of distraction and destruction of brain cells comparable only to the holocaust I waged against my neurons in Dublin, but I am getting ahead of myself. What is it you ask that I discovered? I do not know if I should tell you, because then invariably you will be in the same place I was. Then again the only way that we can learn something is from experience, not from someone telling us not to do something (that only makes it more tempting).

So friends, please do yourselves a valuable lesson and check out www.quicksilverscreen.com or better yet www.dailymotion.com. They are both websites that stream many television shows currently on-air or on DVD instantly to your computer. Granted the resolution is not HD, it is still watchable. It is like having a remote to actually choose whatever television show you have ever wanted, and holding that remote all the time. Pandora’s Box might have been a little harsh, maybe it is like Prometheus giving man fire. Zeus forgive me!

More specifically my essence has been stolen by the newish Sci-Fi Channel show, Battlestar Galactica. Brilliant acting, cinematography, writing, and story that convincingly examines excellent political questions ranging from torture, terrorism, and the judicial system to philosophical questions examining what it means to be a human being.

I watched all of Battlestar Galactica and the Clerks animated series. I am working on The Tick and Batman Beyond at the moment (but this time it will be a slower process).

I have also been busy writing (and not recieving) 3 grants to study Zen Meditation and the effect (as well as difficulties) using Zen meditation to curb social disorders in adolescents in Japan. Mammalian Biochemistry practical reports and exams, as well as Existentialism readings of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche have been occupying my physical and mental spheres.

One of my best friends since 7th grade, K-Bizz, came to visit me in Belfast for the week. We had a grand time seeing a bunch of live concerts; Electric Eel Shock, …And So I Watch You From Afar, The Winding Staircase, Tracer AMC, and Cut Chemist. We also watched Pan’s Labryinth, traveled to Dublin for 2 days and enjoyed a pub crawl in Temple Bar, and had a dinner party at my flat for Kristian to meet my International friends. St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday, and that is a story for a whole other post!

Into Great Silence and Reflections

I just returned to my room after viewing Into Great Silence at the Queen’s Film Theatre.

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“SYNOPSIS:

Philip Groening’s portrait of the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps thrills the senses even as it eschews outward sensation. An exquisite cinematic recreation of devotional space, the film employs superb craftsmanship in cinematography, composition, sound engineering, and design–together with a magnificent austerity–as structuring elements in the creation of a work of rare and rarefied beauty. The implied narrative is very simple: time passes. Men engage in chores, meals, and contemplation. Passages are felt with great profundity; however, as the seasons change, daily activities are repeated, and the aged commune with the very young. Only prayers and songs fill the monastery with spoken sound; this is otherwise a wordless world. But the screen and the soundtrack abound with life as various cycles play out audibly, each with its own rhythm, intensity, and tonal range (padding feet, the movement of tools and furniture, ringing bells). The film’s special sensitivity to these traces is extraordinarily keen. Indeed, camera placement, duration of scenes, and the orchestration of delicate echoes render the film an experience more to be inhabited than witnessed, suggesting the inner life of things with tremendous power. This is an exceedingly powerful work of documentation, and of film art.”
–© Sundance Film Festival

It was quite a contemplative and meditative adventure. I understand how some people may think it was as exciting as watching snow melt, but I think it is because the pace of their lives is so much slower than ours. There is no rush, since their only goal is death. It sounds morbid, but I think that the connection they believe to have with God is strong enough that they adopt a monstic life to be as close to God as one can possibly be on earth, before they return to having a father once again.

One of the interesting aspects of the pace of the film, and for that matter the monks it follows, is that when you remove all the distractions from life, and break it down into the most basic and simple aspects of it, everything takes on a new light or perspective. For example, if it is a windy and rainy afternoon and you are watching one of your favorite movies, you will probably not pay any attention or enjoy the beauty of the swaying trees, the patter of the rain on the roof and ground, or the ripplling puddles that make the ground seem as if it is vibrating with life. However, if you were a bad David Slatkin, and sent to the “Thinking Chair”, it is this magical world you would fall into due to the lack of other external stimulation, and the slowed down meditative pace of the moment. It is during meditative moments such as these, where the otherwise most ordinary phenomena become the extraordinary and beautiful experiences we generally overlook. But I digress.

I am by no means a religious individual and have extreme difficulty understanding religious faith, but I am a very spiritual person. Even though I may not agree with religious outlook of these men, I respect and even admire very much about their lifestyle. Maybe it is because I have experienced moments of complete peacefullness, and understand how such a lifestyle would be successful in achieving that state, or maybe it is because I wish I was capable of having as much faith in something as these mute monks, but I think that would make things too easy. I think that having that much faith in an idea, or an individual, or even the self is dangerous, but moreso that it would be too confining. Maybe it has to do with the state of my life I am in, where I accept very little, and challenge everything, but I have always been that way. Ask my mum. I need to find things out for myself, so while I think a silent meditation retreat would be fantastic, and hope to do some Zen retreats in Japan this summer, but I cannot commit to an eternity of it or anything else. Life and the moment are too transitory for me be willing to spending such a (possibly) significant portion of my life in physical repetitions. I need to explore and experience everything around me. Such a desire has a medical diagnosis, ADHD. I am living in the seeker stage of my life where I am looking for truth, and something to give purpose and meaning to my life, and because I seek, I shall not find. Knowing the truth and living it are two very different things…

Anothing interesting aspect of Into Great Silence that piqued my curiosity was the smiling blind man. He seemed like more than any of the other monks to be the happiest, and even glad to be at the end of his life and soon to return to having a father (as he put it). He said that he often thanked God for making him blind, because it helped his soul. He also spoke of time and how the life we live on earth consists of the past and present, but after death there is only the present. In addition he stated that God loves everyone because when he sees a person he sees their entire life, and not individual events, and loves every person who accepts him. I don’t necessarily agree with the words he uses to describe the previous statements, however, if I approach it from a metaphorical perspective, and use God as a metaphor for the creative and destructive forces in the universe that are beyond human perception, then I can agree with some of his statements, and even explore others further.

I think time is one of the most fascinating experiences or things I have experienced in life. It is quite clear if one just accepts that time is linear, but if one questions the linearity of time, then it begins to muck things up a bit. I lack the cognitive power to explore that further at the moment, but have an item or question that I have been thinking about I believe to be worth recording. We know time is linear, because we can look at a clock, a calender, or even the sky. For me I can even say that the experiences of my life are recorded primarily by images, and I can play them back and forth in my mind just by closing my eyes and thinking about them. My eyes and thereby my sense of vision is my primary sense, and the one I use most for experiencing, recording, and percieving the moment and string of preceeding moments described by the past, but what would happen if I lost my vision? Last night I turned off my lights and it was pitch black in my cinderblock cell, and I was just standing for a couple of minutes and breathing. I then moved my arms just enough to feel the muscle feedback of the motion, and I realized that it was impossible for me to know if my arms actually moved, or if I just thought about moving them, and my brain sent back the message that they moved via the sensation. In the blackness, where is David Slatkin. What is curley hair to a blind man. It is a feeling. Without our sense of sight it becomes quite difficult to determine where we end and the external universe begins. Our experience would be much more based on the internal, rather than external world.

What is time to a blind man that can see no clock, see no calender, and see no sky. How does he access his past if not through the visual experience of the external world? I think that if you are unable to see your physical body, that the idea of self-identity is likely much more difficult to grasp.

Reflecting on the lack of discussion of the film and majority of meditative contemplation, I think it is safe to say that this is a film that will make you think, and if you like using your brain or meditating on life and the such, this is a film for you. Just remember to grab a coffee either before the start of the film or the intermission. It is a marathon to go through, but like running a marathon, it is a worthwhile experience.

Comics Update: Comics Marketplace

As much as I would love to include all my posts that I write for www.comicsmarketplace.com, I do not have the time to repost them here. However I will give you links to Comics Marketplace, which you should really check out if you like comics. It is just getting off the ground, but there will be some exciting updates to our page and mission in the near future.

The bottom line is to get www.comicsmarketplace.com into your muscle memory. Just do it. Its like breathing. You don’t question why you breathe, you just breathe. It’s like science, “This is the way it is, just accept it and learn it!” (ie the reason why I have given up on a scientific research career, too bloody didactic).

Here it comes:

“Fell”en Angel: Release of first Fell trade by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith

David Mack Documentry: (self explanatory)

The Couriers Movie: Announcement of Brian Wood and Rob G’s comic book adaptation of “The Couriers” to film.

“300” Wondercon:

Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable (trailer):

Mouse Guard: Acclaimed as Indy title of the year. Check this shit out! Bone meets mouse version of Watership Down.

The Cross Bronx: Michael Avon Oeming and Ivan Brandon’s entire first issue of The Cross Bronx online!

Marvel Now and Then: Announcement of an DVD release of discussion of comics now and then at Marvel with Joe Quesada and Stan Lee (Hosted by Kevin Smith).

Crossgen Reprints: Checker Book Publishing announces printing of selected Crossgen trades

Dark Tower Trailer: by Steven King and Jae Lee

Brian K. Vaughn is Lost?: Comics scribe, Brian K. Vaughn announced as Executive Story Editor for TV series Lost.

Marvel Zombies Hardcover (Third Printing): New Suydam cover based on FF #49.

The Darkness #1 (Full Issue + other Top Cow releases)

The Darkness was one of the comics that got me back into mainlining comics into my cerebral cortex.

Darkness #1
“Created by Marc Silvestri, Garth Ennis and David Wohl

Mafia hit-man Jackie Estacado thought he had it all figured out. After he did his first “job” for the family at 16 years old he knew that, although short, his life would be filled with money, sex, and power. But on his 21st birthday, Jackie inherited the family secret?an unholy power known only as The Darkness–that would change his life forever. Now virtually unstoppable at night or in the shadows, he is master of his dark domain. Little does he know, that the Darkness now has plans of it’s own for Jackie.” (www.topcow.com)

Here is a link to a full online edition of Darkness #1 and other Top Cow Classics (Jeez, they are already celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Darkness, boy I feel old).

Technorati Profile

Ireland, Culture, Ethnicity, Nationality, and Built to Spill

While working on a presentation for my History, Politics, and Social Anthropology of Modern Ireland module, and I heard a song that caught my attention. The song is The Weather by Built To Spill. There is something about Built To Spill that I find to awaken some cosmic force or energy inside me. It is difficult to describe in words, but something about their distinct sound and lyrics interweaving human existance and celestial metaphors which clicks with something inside me, like asphalt and traditional Dutch Wooden Clogs that no one wears anymore except cultureless American Financial Executives on family vacations.

The Weather by Built To Spill

The Weather by Built To Spill

Do you want him to be outside, in the cool night, where the stars gravitate toward you.
Do you want him to be outside, in the cool night, where the fog wraps itself around you.
Do you want him to be outside, in the sunshine, where the clouds take their places for you.

And the wind and snow, and the rain that blows; none of those would matter much
without you.
As long as it’s talking with you, talk of the weather will do.

Do you want him to be outside, in the cool night where the stars gravitate
toward you.
Do you want him to be outside, in the sunshine where the song keeps itself
inside you.

And the wind and snow, and the rain that blows; none of those would matter much
without you.

Nobody’s hoping for better days;
Noone knows what to do.
You’re okay in your secret place,
Noone bothering you.

It might save time if I meet you there,
but I don’t care, I’d rather wait for you .

When noone’s home and the weather’s fine,
I’d rather wait for you

When noone’s home and the weather’s fine,
I’d rather wait for you.

Thunderbolts #111

Fanboys and Fangirls,

Assume the position you feel most comfortable to experience the transcendent experience of obtained through reading quality comics, because here is a six-preview of Thunderbolts #110 and #111 (Click on respective numbers to link to previews) by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato.

Thunderbolts #110Thunderbolts #111
I am not going to pretend to not play favorites. I think Warren Ellis is an absolute genius, and would agree with my assessment. Normally I find such egoism as tasteful as a mouthful of Brown Recluse Spiders, but Ellis’s work speaks for itself. If you don’t believe me, read Transmetropolitan (Imagine Hunter S. Thompson covering the Nixon campaign in the 22nd Century. Gonzo at its best!).

Tuning In!

This message is mostly for Trinity College’s Fred Pfeil Community Project reading group, Tuning In. I stumbled across an interesting video documentry on YouTube.com about LSD in the psychedelic revolution of the 60’s. Check this shit out! IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!
Power & Control LSD in The Sixties:

Part I:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/hZdz0G4lG6k" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Part II:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/47vt5Z5wxoI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Part III:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/vNODtfw0K3o" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Part IV:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/VoSBuY54TIE" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Just a Weekend in Belfast

Thursday started off the way that it seems most Thursdays will start off here at Queen’s, with Mammalian Biochemistry at 10, an hour of reading Kierkegaard at 11, The Modern Politics, History, and Social Anthropology of Northern Ireland at 12, Free lunch at a church at 1, and Existentialism from 2 to 4.

Existentialism is my favorite class thus far. Professor Cullen, who teaches it reminds me of a younger and more revolutionary Steve “The Tiger” White. After class Professor Cullen lead us over to Duke’s Hotel for some drinks and discussion. Over there I got to know Michelle, Gabrielle, Liz, and Caitlin, and followed this crowd of Irish Adventurers ove to Michelle’s flat. We quickly left to grab some Gordon’s Gin, Tonic, 3 packs Golden Virgina, 3 packs of skins, one fifth of cheap whiskey, and some delicious Indian delicacies.

Once we cut a path through the sheets of rain and crying Buddha’s slipped into Michelle’s apartment and indulged in delicacies of India, smoke and drink. As the hands of time shook hands around in circles, like our lives, and we ditched our plans to attend some live Jazz over at The Empire, and in it’s stead decided to check out 65 Days of Static, Tracer AMC, and And So I Watch You From Afar. The show was quite fantastic, and the bands I can only really compare to Explosions in Sky due to their Prog. Instrumental Rock vibrations.

Towards the end of the show I was getting anxious to hit the street, and when I finally did at 1am, I ran into a very drunk Team Belgium. The Belgians had just recieved their marks from exams the previous semester, and were celebrating their achievements in the local custom. They are quick adapters of Irish Culture, and I enjoy spending time with them very much.

It turned out that the party wagon was stumbling unevenly towards Staffan’s flat like the little engine that could. Somehow all fifteen of us Internationals slipped past the Neon-Yellowman Security at out dorm, and continued the party till 4:30am with no incident, aside from a visit into the smoke-filled flat by security at 3am, due to a noise complaint. It was quite the odd experience since not only did security leave as abruptly as they arrived, but they spent more time apologizing for interrupting our party, as if they were librarians asking students working late at night on a project to keep it down for the one kid sitting alone in the corner reading books for next semester’s courses because they have nothing better to do, while in reality we were making a loud 20 man and woman ruckas that was saturated in beer, smoke, and internationals.

My head hit the pillow. It stayed there awhile, well long enough to sleep through Mammalian Biochemistry. However, I think I learned more about metabolism, unconciousness, and the science of sleep, than I would have at the white blood cell lecture.

When my conciousness finally penetrated the cloud of my unconcious fog I decided to read Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. It was so fecking good I spent the rest of the day finishing it. It is an amazing book that anyone interested in Buddhism, life, philosophy, wisdom, knowledge, existentialism, or the life of David Slatkin should pick up and dive into that river of thought.

Michael, The Big Bad Beserker Swede, shouted at my window around 9pm to let down my fro so we could watch Layer Cake, but alas, my fro was not long enough, so instead I walked over to his room to watch it.

I love the opening sequence of the film, so here it is:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/Pltqh0xTsGs" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I spent almost all of Saturday in the rain walking to markets to make Latke’s for Mahtilde’s Dinner party. Here is the recipe, this shit was fucking delicious. The dinner was vegetable Lasagna, and it was good, even though it had some mozzarella, but the company was even better. We had all of Team Sweeden and Team Germany, and representitives from America and France. We listened to The Velvet Underground drank wine, whiskey, and beer, and dabbled in some smoke. Turns out that Swedes have the best drinking songs out of all the contingencies represented. Everyone left at 3am full of ambrosia and happiness and curled up comfortably into our respective plastic mattresses.

Sunday was a day of Laundry, Rugby (Ireland vs. France, France won, FECK!), Skyping Mum and Lou, and dabbling on the net.

Typical Belfast Weekend.

Cheers!

Here is a Shin’s song called “A Call to Apathy [Tentitive Title] that was playing between my ears this afternoon. A Call to Apathy [Tentitive Title] by The Shins