Daydreaming

During the last couple days, I’ve been daydreaming quite a lot and I just feel like writing something about one specific dream.

Timo Tolkki is a Finnish guitarist. He played guitar and did vocals for Stratovarius – a melodic power metal band – till 1994, when Kotipelto was hired for vocals. Afterwards, he focused on playing guitar until he left the band in 2008. After departing, he wrote several albums with different bands, for example “Angels of the Apocalypse”, which was released by Timo Tolkki’s Avalon. He is among the world’s fastest guitarists.
On “Angels of the Apocalypse”, he played the guitar and bass. During the last few days, I created this plot where I somehow meet him; this exact detail is missing. However, after talking for a little, he decides to go on tour again. He wants Timo Tolkki’s Avalon to go on tour – and he wants me to play bass for him. Yes, although there are hundreds of bassists out there that are miles ahead of me, he wants my fingers to pluck the strings. With Fabio Lione on vocals, Jörg Michael on drums, and Antti Ikonen playing keyboard we then go on tour across Europe, playing shows everywhere from Lapland to Malta, from Lisbon to somewhere in Russia. Just everywhere. Fabio is reaching amazing vocal levels on stage, Timo is shredding like there is no tomorrow, everything is cool. I play a sexy four string with jazz pick-ups that create a nice nosy tone with clear highs and growling lows.

After returning from this masterpiece of a tour with lots of fun on stages across Europe, we come home and continue our lives. But the seed has been planted. Timo calls us together to start working on a new album. Its atmosphere is similar to Stratovarius’s “Dreamspace” but with a different line-up of course.  Lyrically, however, it’s more about struggles in life, with a hint of positivity and a little irony. An album that’s supposed to make the listener happy, yet it’s thought-provoking. Although carrying the comparable simple spirit of “Dreamspace”, it contains a lot of shredding and extreme vocal ranges. Despite the genre being melodic power metal, I might happen to sneak in one or two lines presented with black metal vocals – just for a bit of contrast.
With a new album by the name of “Madness Repeats: Stories from the Dreamspace”, we head off on a multi-month world tour. With a bunch of sexy custom instruments*, we make our way across the continents of this world. The tour flyer has “Timo Tolkki’s Avalon” in big letters, underneath the album cover art: similar to the “Dreamspace” cover, but the cube is broken, glass shattered all around, the bright light reduced to a candle. The tour dates are sorted by continents – shows in Europe, Asia, North and South America, and a section for shows in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Antarctica. After the date for our Antarctica show, which is just a little joke because the flyer is overloaded with dates, we would post a photo on facebook with us on a stage and penguins as audience.

* to be precise, I'm thinking about a Fender style jazz bass. White 
corpus with a mat white cover over the electronics. Bridge pick-up in 
70's position. Unlike normal Fender basses, mine has 24 frets on the E 
string and an extended fretboard on the higher strings that goes up to 
27 frets, giving me the range of a 22 fret five string while still 
having a jazz bass's thin neck. I've seen a guitar (an ESP, I think) 
with such a triangular extension to the fretboard but I can't find it 
anymore. Think it was a Flying V. This is basically what I mean.

The tour is amazing – we see so much of this world in such little time, it’s almost too much to even comprehend within just a few moths. Our fingers are bleeding from sliding along the fretboard too fast but that doesn’t stop us from breaking speed limits and headbanging. After one of our shows at a festival, I meet Garrett Russell. He came backstage after seeing me wear a Silent Planet shirt on stage and the security guard knew him, so he let him in. We talk and have a good time and become friends.

This is the gist of what that specific daydream is about. There is a little extention that I sometimes think about. After going on tour with Tolkki, my bass playing has gotten a million times better and I end up playing as sort of a freelancer for bands that need a musician real quick because their original band member is sick or on honeymoon or something. So I end up playing guitar for Soulfly and Children of Bodom, bass for Helloween, and so on.

Then I’m back in reality. Quoting Hector, on todellisuus piinaa hetkittäin selvinpäin. Anyway, that’s all I got right now. Being two weeks into the semester, I can say that my professors and lecturers are so much better than last semester. Some of them were good, but this time all of them are at least decent. Someone who actually enjoys teaching in linear algebra; friendly and interesting people in linguistics, cultural studies, and English pedagogy; one really fascinating and one really fun lecturer in educational sciences. I’m happy. And I’ll only write three exams this semester, which feels a lot better than last semester with six… but the dates for them are July 17, 18, and 19. Not much of a problem because two of them are pseudo-open book, meaning I can bring the printed out powerpoint slides and a single handwritten page, respectively, into the exam. It’s gonna be alright, I think.

After all, I’m doing fine right now. Life is kinda fun again. I’m trying to get closer to God and begin to understand how prone mankind is to failing miserably on a spiritual level… just think about how addicted we are. Addicted to being online, addicted to pleasure, addicted to not caring about others, addicted to our own happiness, addicted to a consistency that won’t get us anywhere. It’s sickening, but I’m hooked as well, even though I find it so sickening. It feels like there is a long way ahead of me and it’s going to be a hard and demanding but also a satisfying journey. Yeah.

A few last words: listen to “Dreamspace” and stay alive.

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Failing but fighting

This week, I went to the maths building and this time, I even found somebody who could actually give me my results (third time’s a charm). Turns out I only failed one exam, linear algebra. Studying four and a half days before the exam probably was not much of a good idea, but studying for the other exams was quite demanding because I didn’t really do anything during the semester. Now I’m doing maths for two or three hours every day (can’t really handle more) to prepare myself for a second try on 3rd April. I want to rant so badly about a certain faculty because they don’t make learning easy, but I will refrain from doing that… for now. Five out of six in one try isn’t too bad either, I think, especially considering somebody decided to put all these exams in a time frame of two weeks.

Apart from that, I’m feeling a little weird right now. For some reason, I either crave unhealthy food or want to harm myself. Don’t really know why the choice is between these two. Last weekend was the first time in four or five years I actually cut my forearm, but it had only been two months since I burnt myself the last time. Sucks quite a bit because it’s fairly warm right now (at least by my standards) and wearing even a thin jacket is not ideal. And all the junk food makes me chubby. I want to try to not get back into self-harm because, around midnight or so, I kinda realized that I’m defacing the image of God for no good reason. Yes, it does feel good, but I don’t think it’s worth it, as hard as resisting often is. Listening to this song is quite comforting, I think.

So, I’m gonna spend the next two weeks studying maths. During the semester break, I actually wanted to do research on pirates because I want to write an essay on how pirates are being romanticized and what they really were like. Seems like that has to wait a little longer.

Stay alive.

Emotions are confusing

So… I’m still waiting for the results of my last exam, although I suspect that there is a list somewhere and my prof just didn’t say anything about it. I’ll find out whether that’s the case tomorrow because  I’m gonna go to the main campus anyway and a little detour to the maths/IT building takes a maximum of 15 minutes.

During the last week, I’ve thought about emotions. Specifically, a question that apparently comes up fairly often in online forums – “Is it mania or do I really have a crush?”
But before that – story time: Last Sunday, some friends and I met up to partake in carnival celebrations (which translates to “drinking alcoholic beverages”). We were walking around in town (well, “town”) and got to know some weird but friendly people. At some point, we decided to take a break and settled down on a bench. A female friend who tore a ligament the other day and was walking on crutches was too slow to score a seat and had to stand. I looked at her and asked whether she would like to sit down (I was in a similar situation a couple years ago and know how much it sucks). She then proceeds to just sit on my lap. Yeah, I mean, why not? But drunk me is the most peaceful (and giggly) thing you’ll ever see and wanted to cuddle, so we cuddled. I didn’t think anything about it. When we all moved a couple minutes later, said female friend took absolute power over the bench and lied down on it. As I looked at her, I kinda felt this urge to be close to her and maybe even had this thought that I might possibly have a desire to kiss her.
I don’t know a whole lot about her. I’ve seen her maybe five or six times and just last Sunday I learnt her actual first name (she introduced herself with a nickname). The closest we ever got was while sitting on the ground somewhere, showing scars to each other.
I don’T know what is going on right now. I’m extremely unstable although the general direction seems to be rather uplifting. I therefore think that it might just be the beginning of another episode. About half a year ago, I was hypo, got in more of a mixed state in December (which might have been caused by Christmas as well) and have been in this weird state ever since. And unfortunately, the aforementioned online forums aren’t much of a helping hand either.
I would try and analyze this situation, but I must admit that I have very little experience with having a crush on someone and even less with really being in love. This thing has only happened once to me so far.
One might ask questions along the lines of “do you often think about her?” and the answer would be yes. Yes, because this feeling I had last Sunday was unusual and I keep thinking about it. But I was drunk and it might have been nothing more than a wish for less loneliness.
Another way to tackle this is to simply find out, I guess, but that… probably doesn’t really work either for multiple reasons. I’m socially awkward, even more so when I like someone. The presumably biggest obstacle that occurs to me, however, is a little more tricky. This entire plot has one critical twist. She is mostly into women. Like, 90% lesbian, if you will. Yah. I guess only time will tell, but knowing myself I don’t have the balls to make a move anyway. Any advice is appreciated.

Another thing I decided today is that I will try to not drink alcohol in excess anymore. I was out last night, managed to get home around 1 am and made myself breakfast at 12 pm, still unable to walk in a straight line and with shaky hands. I felt like shit which is weird because I’ve never had a hangover before.
Hangover + I do stupid things when drunk + health + faith = I should stop this. Trust me, I study maths. Now I just need to find a new way of coping with my life (quoting Snoop Dogg: “Don’t do drugs. Smoke weed”).

Stay alive.

Semester is over

Some amazing(ly exhausting) two weeks just passed. I wrote my first exam on 6. February, my last on 20. February and four more inbetween – literary studies, linear algebra, pedagogy and so on. The good news is that I already know that I’ve passed four of them. I’m positive I’ve passed the introduction to pedagogy too, but linear algebra is going to be a close one.
Of all exams, only three are actually important for my final (as in, when I graduate in ideally four years) grade. With an average of 3.0 this semester, which is somewhere between 61% and 65%, I’m certainly not among the best but I don’t really care. The first semester is over, eight more are to come, things will get better (hopefully).

In my last post in December (I can’t even take care of a blog. I would be a horrible father), I mentioned a presentation in one of my classes. Eventually, it wasn’t Depths II but what Garrett said to announce it during the Legends of the Fall-Tour. To my surprise, it went really well. I was nervous as shit, but my teacher thanked me for it multiple times… I’m always confused when people really like what I’m doing and suspect something else behind it. I wrote an essay about the German Army of WWII and was waved from handing in a third essay because it was so good. Maybe that overshadowed my presentation a little? Maybe I got sort of a “cuteness” bonus because of my condition? I can’t believe I was that good.

After all, this semester was quite interesting. I realized a few things that I did differently compared to when I was studying bachelor’s physics. I was in a completely different mood to begin with – fairly depressed in physics and hypomanic in maths/English. But I also had a different attitude towards the other students.
In physics, I wanted to live this amazing life that’s portrayed in American movies and TV shows. I had no other source of information on what a student’s life usually looks like and expected this Californian wonderland. I got to know a lot of amazing people that were so nice and open-minded. I enjoyed being around them and eventually just went to the lectures because I didn’t want to be lonely and had nothing else to do.
In maths/English, I started out wanting to graduate. I had (still have) a set aim which is to teach maths and English, although English is more of a “it’s the only subject I am qualified for”-choice. When the semester began, I knew what my life would be like and was more interested in learning and passing than meeting people. I still found two or three nice guys amidst literally hundreds of students but just let it happen instead of forcing anything.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. I’ll try to be a little more active during the semester break.

Stay alive.
(I sure will, got tickets for an ABR show in August.)

52 weeks

There isn’t much I could say right now. Uni distracts  me quite a lot, but I still feel down quite often. Especially when I’m trying to understand a week’s maths lecture on Friday (because that’s the day I do maths), I just want to lay down and sleep. So far, however, I can keep up the pace.
Right now I’m calming down a little, due to two weeks of free time (Dec 24 – Jan 8). I’m still doing quite a lot for uni – trying to get through an entire semester in three days so I can take the exam this semester already. This lecture is divided in two parts, one in winter, one in summer, but I would love to get it done in just one, because it would make next semester easier. Shouldn’t be too hard because it’s didactic (pedagogy? I forgot what’s the difference) of geometry.

Anyway, besides uni, I’ve been to a few concerts, because why not. Lionheart on Nov 2, Böhse Onkelz on Nov 21 and Dec 22, Dame on Dec 12, Bülent Ceylan on Dec 10. With the exception of the Böhse Onkelz concerts, a friend accompanied me to all of them. Being social and stuff.

That’s about it, I would guess. I don’t really like Christmas season, but it’s over now and I’m looking forward to Dec 31. The new year is gonna be fun. The first day back at uni, I (the entire Intro to Literary Studies class, that is) will write a test on Hamlet and another play based on it, because nobody read the play. Yeah. The day after, I’m gonna give my oral presentation. Instead of talking about “Depths II”, I went for a quote by Garrett Russell, because I would’ve talked way too much otherwise (7 minutes are nothing).

Despite this year being more of a mixture of things – it even had its good moments, like my realization that I want to study maths to become a teacher – I’m glad it’s over. That’s why this post is entitled 52 weeks – the name comes from a Böhse Onkelz song called “52 Wochen”, and I’ll just leave the lyrics here for you (translation is rather free to convey the meaning). In 2016, this song was released on their “Memento” album, which was their first album since 2004 (which is when they released “adios”). It’s more of a generic and stereotypical Onkelz song, but it indeed has a deeper meaning. I’d give you a link to a video where you can see me in a pogo on Dec 22, but nobody seems to have filmed it. Instead, enjoy a recording from another city with a really calm crowd (really strange for Dortmund to be so behaved)

Böhse Onkelz – 52 Wochen (52 weeks)

Das Jahr war lang und stressig, (This year was long and stressful)
War herzlos und gehässig, (Was cruel and bitchy)
Es hat mir alles abverlangt (It demanded everything from me)
Es ist vorbei, Gott sei Dank! (It is over, thank God!)

Karma, Prüfung, Schicksalsschlag, (Karma, trials, strikes of fate)
Blamiert bis auf die Knochen, (Embarrassed to the max)
Doch auch das schlimmste Jahr (But even the worst year)
Hat nur 52 Wochen. (Only has 52 weeks)

Ich mag den Tanz in’s neue Jahr, (I like how we’re celebrating the new year)
Die Zukunft ist für alle da, (Future is for everyone)
Wo ist der Erste-Hilfe-Kasten?, (Where is the first aid kit?)
Das Jahr ist um, Zeit, auszurasten. (This year is over, time to fuck shit up go mad)

Frohes neues Jahr, (Happy new year)
Das alte kann mich mal, (The old one can go fuck itself)
Ein Jahr mit einem Herz aus Stahl, (A year with a heart of steel)
Ich wein’ ihm keine Träne nach. (I’m not crying over it)

Das alte war ein böses Jahr, (The old year was an evil one)
Es gibt kein nächstes Mal, (There will be no next time)
Ich lass’ dir eine Blume da, (I’ll leave you a flower)
Du Arschloch, du kannst mich mal. (Asshole, go fuck yourself)

Ein Jahr ist eine lange Zeit, (A year is a long time)
Kann nützlich wie ein Tripper sein, (Can be as useful as an STD)
Ein kein Auf, nur Nieder, (No highs, only lows)
Verpiss dich’, komm nie wieder. (Fuck off and never return)

12 Monate nur Sorgenfalten, (12 months full of sorrow)
Nichts um mich dran festzuhalten, (Nothing to keep me here)
Ein Jahr Wolkenbruch und Frust, (One year of rain and frustration)
Das gibt Haare auf der Brust. (Makes a man out of you)

Ich mag den Tanz… (I like how we’re celebrating…)

Frohes neues Jahr… (Happy new year…)

Auf die Leber (To the liver)
Und auf alles, was in ihr ertrinkt, (And everything that drowns in it)
Ersaufen wir das alte Jahr (Let’s drown the old year)
Und alles, was uns sonst noch stinkt. (And everything else we don’t like)

 

Stay alive.

Don’t you dare darken my doorstep, stranger

Yeah… uni is keeping me busy so far. Fortunately, all my classes are so nicely scheduled that I have Friday off. I use that one extra day to do revision of my maths class which really prevents my brain from doing anything else afterwards. But it’s a nice kind of brain-deadness and I feel good after understanding proofs that maybe aren’t the most difficult but still above average.

I’m getting used to my English classes, too, although they are somehow weird. I can’t really say why, they just are kind of out of my comfort zone. Especially one teacher (I don’t know what she officially is, but I really feel back to school in her classes) is very extroverted. That really makes me uncomfortable because I can’t stand someone talking endlessly and then demanding a response out of nothing. Despite that, she really is a friendly person and I’m glad I’m in her class.
What I’m really looking forward to are the last few weeks. Everybody has to give a 5-7 minute presentation on anything. We can literally choose whatever we want. All she demands is that our topics have a personal as well as an intellectual aspect, which makes sense considering the class is called ‘Integrated Language Skills’ and doesn’t have a real topic or anything. I’m not 100% sure what my topic is going to be, but Silent Planet’s Depths II has a solid 99% so far. It’s quite a lot of lyrical content so I’ll probably be focussing on the last few lines, although I might use a different part in the end:

‘ “I am the fire that is never quenched and I am the river that will not run dry”
And when I slept in that garden, Lord, did you see me as I was dreaming?
This is the end of everything, we’ll lose our divisions and forget our names.
The precipice of eternity. And I caught fire, I caught fire, I caught fire and you’ll watch me burn.’
-Silent Planet, “Depths II” (The Night God Slept, 2014)

I considered Depths (without the II) and I will probably use it instead of Depths II if I can’t manage to come up with a proper interpretation, but for now I’m working on this one. It’s gonna be fun. Garrett Russell, vocalist of Silent Planet, has a BA in English and philosophy and an MA in clinical psychology. His lyrics are amazing and I’m glad these guys put footnotes in their booklets to make my life a little easier.

Anyway, I’m living. It’s not as stressful as I thought it would be but it still distracts me for the better part of the day. Sometimes I still want to scream when waiting for my train, sometimes I leave my physical self behind and explore the empty void of my mind during a lecture, and sometimes I happen to have these thought of passive suicide. But, at least for now, my professional career is working for once. I know what I want to do and that’s already a step in the right direction.

Stay alive.

One thing I regret – not learning Greek

Quick update on my mood – rather neutral right now although I sometimes feel like I’m gonna break down for no or just a very stupid reason. I can control that a little by emptying my head (like, pretend I’m dead) but I guess that’s just because I realize it rather quickly. I don’t know what’s gonna happen when I don’t pay attention to my feelings.

Now about that regret thing. Lectures started just today. During the last two weeks, I was in a preparation class for maths in which a very nice guy (with a PhD) gave an introduction to “real” university maths. I really liked that and it confirmed that studying maths is (at least for me) a lot nicer than physics, although that may be caused by the uni’s… not so nice physics department, too.
Today I had my first lecture in linear algebra and “Introduction to Literary Studies” (because maths/English teacher). I liked the former, but the latter was weird. The woman doing that class is a PhD candidate and she reminds me of an old art teacher of mine which I never liked. This is just the first of four English classes I take during the first semester (each two hours per week) and I think teaching English is going to be a lot of fun, especially in higher classes, accordingly I hope that the other lecturers are better. I attended a lecture in American Literature while I was still enrolled as physics student and that one was a lot of fun.

What do I regret about this? I needed a second subject, next to maths, to enlist in teacher education and I had three candidates that I enjoyed during school – in a descending order: religious education, English and history. However, the university requires me to have a Graecum in order to study RE because, obviously, the gospel was originally written in Greek. A Graecum basically certifies that I know how to deal with old-Greek texts, like a Latinum does for Latin.
I’m not saying that I don’t like studying English – I expect it to be a lot of fun – but it is a second choice nevertheless. I don’t regret that I have started studying English and, in retrospect, I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I had made an attempt on a Graecum during school.

Anyway, just a little more on university. When I started physics half a year ago, my expectations were low in terms of getting to know new people. I just wanted to do my thing at uni and be left alone. Turns out those people I met are such friendly and open-minded folks that I ended up really liking them. I’m still in their Whatsapp-group because I want to know what’s going on, although that means being spammed 24/7.
Now that I have started maths (which is on an even level of importance as English, but I focus on maths because it’s maths) I intentionally wanted to get to know some people. Well, after all, there are two or three guys I can stand, but we don’t really have anything in common. Yes!

Well, then, time to abandon this blog for another few weeks until I want to vomit my thoughts right into the veins the internet again.

Stay alive.