Thursday, March 22, 2007

Like Riding a Very Large Dog

I am in Stockholm today after a 28-hour drive yesterday from Paris. I think everyone loses a bit of their mind after being on a bus for that long. It was more than a day of nonstop driving (there were 3 drivers so we only stopped for ferrys and fuel). I got into my hotel room at 4:30 this morning. During the drive I watched the history channel's series on tyrants that I downloaded. The Rasputin one was pretty good. I also downloaded the new season of Lost, which I think was a good idea. I don't really do much TV unless for escapism. I hadn't seen much of this particular season, but watched the first one when I was miserable in Brazil a few years back and didn't want to leave the hotel because it was raining and the streets were littered with locals who wanted nothing more than to steal my watch and maybe stab me a few times. It was great. Although it is a terrible thought that you can just withdraw from your life for about six hours and watch TV, It was a much nicer prospect then being on a bus with 15 other people who, at this point in a tour generally dislike one another. Much nicer than another ferry.

And certainly better than whatever sort of odd, scandinavian-type foods that they try to convince you is delicious on those floating death buckets.

They do serve Underberg in the on-board cafeterias though.

And Mentos. Whenever I think of Sweden I think of those damn mentos commercials, and Ikea. Whenever I think of Ikea I think of my friend Iain's story about his coffee table. All of the Ikea furniture comes with some sort of bizarre, nordic name just to make you feel that much more alienated when shopping there. Iain bought a coffee table called 'Fud.' Fud is Scottish slang for vagina. I have, on more than one occasion heard someone say, in a room full of attractive women, 'did someone open a can of fud in here?' Anyways, Mentos.

This was the scenery for most of the drive. Grim at best.

I got extremely bored somewhere around hour ten. I decided to hide several people's mattresses, pillows and blankets in the bay of the bus. I also taped an apple to Ryan's shoe.

Hotel. 4:30AM.

I got in and took a shower only to find no towels in my room. I dried myself with a bathrobe and left a note for housekeeping before going to bed.

So, I'm in Stockholm today which is one of the most amazing places that you can be during the summer months. It gets really warm, but never too hot. The parks are all green and well-manicured and everyone is slim, blonde and attractive. It is, however, very much still winter here. It is quite a bit colder than Paris, which was dark and rainy for most of the time. The hotel was a reasonable walk to the venue, so while most people took cabs I opted for a long walk in the rain each day. It was really nice. The traffic moves in the proper direction so I know how to cross the street, and as little as I think I know about Paris I always come across familiar intersections, and even run into people that I know. We have Electralane out supporting us now. I like them a lot and have been listening to their new record. It's good for walking in the rain.

Paris was pretty ok. I remember the first few times I was in France I got so sick of cheese and bread that I wanted to have someone airmail a pastrami sandwich from katz's to me after about 3 days. In my dwindling youth I have grown to appreciate and even love most french food. Send on the polenta cakes and stinkey cheeses. I'll even take a crack at what they have done to beef (pronounched buoof). On the day of the second show the caterer at the venue walked in the door with this over his shoulder. Dinner is served.

The day before the first show in Paris I saw an old man on top of a shakey, old ladder putting this sign up. It was one of those pictures that I regret not taking. He was dragging each of the 5-foot tall letters up the ladder by hand. There was a small crowd gathering on the corner for the same reason that people go to air shows.

I also walked by this shop four times before taking this picture. It is only interesting when you realize that there is about 10,000 Euros worth of pens on the other side of that glass.

Early morning Stockholm. It should be a beautiful day.

Beds that are not my own that I have none the less been sleeping in


I don't really know what it's all about. Tomorrow I meet the fourth lighting tech on this tour. Usually I have one guy who does the set-up for a month, maybe more. This will be the fourth guy in two weeks. They are just dropping like flies. One to illness, one to a death in the family, one to general malaise. I called the lighting shop and told them that if they keep sending them, I'll keep breaking them. On the plus side we have made a life-size cut out of the singer on which to project his face singing a song during the show. I give it about fifteen minutes before someone does something terrible to that thing.

I just opened 2 kinder surprise eggs and got a sticker of a frog rapping and a plastic figuirine of a monkey doing kung fu. Sometimes I love Europe.