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Just read a great little feature here on wordpress.  Its an interview with Rodney Walther the author of the self-published book Broken Laces.

How to Sell Your Published Book.

Give it a quick read as it has a lot of really relevant information for people who are self publishing out there.

If you’re looking for where i’ve moved to be sure to check out thebadedit.tumblr.com where I will continue to post.

 

This was to be a travel themed blog ever so long ago when I was in Copenhagen, but I find myself firmly rooted in one place and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  I’ll write about writing now because no one has ever tired of self referential content, most people all of the time not withstanding.

 

If the link above doesn’t take you where you wanted to go… just tap your heels together three times and close your browser.

See you somewhere,

Johann

I really love Otis Redding and I enjoy Kanye West. Nice to see Otis in the mix anywhere I can get him; he even does a fair showing in hip hop.

http://soundowl.com/embed/19cj
Download Kanye West & Jay-Z Otis (feat. Otis Redding)

 

For those who are a little more old fashioned you can’t go wrong with the classic.

Ok, so you’ve added your graffiti to the handicap stall in a Starbucks.

Obviously there were easier targets to make your mark, but you chose something bold to grab attention and fulfill that sense of thrill that we all want to foster deep inside. The other day I jaywalked across a one way street in NW Portland so I think we are kindred spirits, thrill seekers with nothing to lose and everything to gain from willful acts of disobedience and defiance of social norms.

Now the question is: where do you go from here? If you start off aiming to high and succeed it can kill the ambition of any aspiring avant garde artist… was it too dangerous? Will you forever be turned away from the seemingly mundane graffiti targets like the side of a police station in broad daylight? Will you scuffle away from the obviously easy and now less rewarding Highway exit signs… because where is the fun when you’ve already exposed yourself to danger that dwarfs these?

Bruce Lee once said that man must always exceed his limits, but he never met you.

How, after having flown so high, can you calmly walk among those you see as ants milling about with no clear purpose and no accomplishments to their name?

I can’t answer these hard questions. I can only wish you luck for the road ahead; untouched by the meek and those who would only seek the low hanging fruit… your footsteps alone will show that such a road can be walked.

Godspeed Starbucks Graffiti Guy, Godspeed.

5 days farming and out in the lightly developed country side away from distraction… aside from the Internet, Television, and video games.  The time I spent on the farm that was most fulfilling was the time spent doing actual work outdoors, so naturally that was what I spent the least time doing.  Distraction is addiction and the dopamine receptors in my brain are used to being flooded every time I scan a page for vague summaries and keywords being instantly satisfied by drawing short pointless conclusions… based on preconceived notions and opinions.

A full grown male RAM outside his natural habitat.

I can’t get that from feeding peanuts to sheep, not right now at least, but I know its more satisfying.  I have a connection to the action, an understanding of all parts of the action: I fed an animal.  I fed my brain.  The internet, how I consume it, is junk food and i’m dead set on bringing it everywhere that I go justifying its invasion of my life by forcing as much “good content” and as many “good experiences” as I can into my web surfing.

When they start an Internet-Anon, someone let me know.

If I farmsit again, I ought to try it tech-free just to see how I walk away from the experience and maybe i’ll give the animals just a little more attention.  I could figure out just how hard I can tug on my electronic leash.

And I could get a tan… or become the Queen of England.  Both being equally likely.

I’m a picky eater.  I’m in rehab.

I was the butter and bread guy, the chocolate is candy guy, the plain burger (just buns, meat, and ketchup please) guy.  My food outlook mirrored my life outlook:  limited experience and what little I know is good enough and needs no alteration, certainly not from outsiders… they just don’t understand my Shangri-la of dry chicken breast; no sauce.  I was the Holden Caulfield of the culinary world and Michelin star chefs were the phonies.

Imagine this burger at every barbecue and now imagine telling yourself that burger is in its most delicious form

It is a symptom of a larger life philosophy that is largely unwritten and full of references to a glossary of experience that went mostly unexamined and analyzed, but I managed to place it in my manual for life anyway.  Food is good.  More food is better.  More food sooner is better.  Simpler food is tastier.  Fewer ingredients are tastier.  Advertised food is obviously tastier (unless it conflicts with the previous rules).

The mind rejects stagnation, it fights it with aplomb, yet it struggles when that stagnation is self imposed.

“You could use some protein Johann and maybe a smidge of excercise.”

Thanks, but I think I’ll watch some TV.

“Really?”

Yeah, Dexter’s Lab is on right now.  I know this is good, i’ve seen the episode before.

“Are you listening to yourself right now?  Doritos instead of Mexican food? Watching things you’ve seen before instead of going outside?  How old are you anyway?”

You should know that Subconscious.

“I know what the number is, but I have a hard time believing it.  If you’re not using this drive, energy, motivation, creativity you’ve got, I’ll let your energies go to more productive things.  Have fun getting fat and aimless.

What was that?

“I said have fun while I’m gone.”

Oh, cool.  Hey are you taking hand-eye coordination with you?

“No, why?”

I’m gonna play some Call of Duty later.

You wake up one day and wonder what exactly happened.  You put some tomatoes and cilantro on your pizza instead of getting cheese, walk around downtown unprovoked, finish a book in a day for the first time in a while.  You’ve been asleep… and you woke up in time to move to Copenhagen.

I feel like I have bedhead… on the inside.  Time to take a mental shower, comb my hair, and shave my soul’s neckbeard.

And maybe later I’ll eat some soul food.

Retrospective on the successes and failures of Copenhagen soon to come.

“But Johann…” You say. “You’ve already showed us pictures of Strøget before”.

Yes.  I have.  This is kind of like a Baywatch rerun on the USA network that you haven’t seen before, you sit down and watch it just because its there… and you used to like Baywatch, right?  Back when it was on air?  Don’t lie to me.

I love the masses of bikes I see everywhere I turn.

Bike accommodations on the Metro, and light rail make it easy to commute from the suburbs and ride your bike where you need to go once in town.  Or if you are adventurous there will be bike lanes for you wherever you need to go, and right of way laws where the infrastructure hasn’t reached.

I like this kind of advertising... because it tells me that pedestrian traffic is high enough to warrant it... And I like pedestrian traffic.

Obviously there is some sampling bias in choosing the main walking street, but you’ll find this everywhere else as well.  Running across a band/venue combo I like is not something that should just happen on the internet through a targeted ad.  An environment should be reactive to the people in it, and the way information is disseminated to a car heavy city versus a pedestrian city is hugely different; namely more crass, brash, and simplified because no one stops to read at an intersection.  Thats not to say that flyer ads are more sophisticated but they are by their very nature different because of the information they have the ability to relay.

Your honor that hot dog stand was dressed provocatively! I say it brought that purchase on itself!

I love a city with towers and I love a city with verticality.  Copenhagen satisfies those two loves while being a medium-rise city (intermittent high-rises do not a high-rise city make) mostly because of the density and the multi purpose buildings staggered away from the sidewalks at appropriate distances.  The point of interaction between the pedestrian and the shops is the door, not a set of steps up or down or some barrier that visually separates them.  I would argue that cities could measure a drop in store walk-ins if they compared streets of similar pedestrian density with adjacent and seperated storefronts…

A random tangent, I apologize.  But I do wonder what it would take to transform a space from a car wasteland to something more pedestrian friendly whenever I find my mind wandering.  I blame years in the midwest.

Thats 4672 cyclists by 2:00 on a weekday... on that one street... just in that direction.

I’ll leave you with this.  I have immeasurably enjoyed taking up your precious time and hope that you will let me do so again soon.

Till next time,

-Johann

Took a walk today around the lakes of Copenhagen, man made and rectangular but very nice to walk around.  It was a little blustery but not totally cloudy out so it was as good a day as any I think.

Lake approach

There is a nice little cafe to the right and a tunnel under the street to the left.

The weather reminded me of Portland, but then again so do the bikes and smokers.  The cities are the same size, but I feel like Copenhagen is denser as far as pedestrian traffic is concerned and even where living space is concerned.  Portland has a defined downtown but the Pearl is new and unique in its utilization of vertical space for homes, whereas the mid-rises in Copenhagen have been here for quite some time and the pedestrian routes are well established… entrenched even.

A canopy of trees almost ready to cast of the cold weather... almost.

I went visited outside of “peak hours” for joggers, strollers, and meandering  folk.  Stopping abruptly to take photos did not inconvenience anyone as a result.

I can't help but love the buildings in this city, but I won't stop to think what lake front property might cost...

There is a bike rack like this one every 50 feet along  the four lakes… there are likely as many bikes parked here as there are being ridden at this moment through downtown Portland.

Color returning to the cheeks of Copenhagen.

At first I didn't like the graffiti everywhere...

But their assault on the concrete seems less abrasive now that the city is regaining some color.

An old toy store? Thats all I can surmise from what sits in the windows.

I like this disheveled place, though I can’t place exactly why.  Maybe because it is more deteriorated than anything else along the lakes by an order of magnitude.  I look at it every time I walk along the lakes… a yearning for restoration?  Whatever the reason, I like it.

This was just begging to be photographed.

End of the journey, four lakes later... time to turn around and head back.

It is exceedingly nice to walk around this place and even better when the weather cooperates.  I think this summer is going to be splendid.

Till next time

-Johann

Updates have been spares and photos have been sparser these past few weeks. And its true, I’ve neglected you so much that Child Services would not be out of line if they were to come take you away from me. But i’m not going to let that happen… and instead of coaching you to deceive their investigator I’m actually going to start tending to you again like the good nurturing blogger I am.

I've got my blog recovery plan all mapped out.

For the past two weeks I have been in a hostel and tiny hotel room, surviving only with my wits and greasy street food.  But I’m back in my old apartment and I’ve got my sister Bekka in tow ready to take on Copenhagen once more.  The past few days in the apartment have been retracing the steps I took when I first got here: new passport, arranging meetings with her school, etc.  But it has been nice having a home base once again.

Before we delved headfirst into those dealings we had a few days in a hotel by a large square at the entrance to Strøget the very long pedestrian street and shopping district.  Wonderfully crowded and filled with pale faces grabbing as much of the temporary sun and 21 degrees (celsius!) as they could.

The square we walked through before reaching Strøget

Turning slightly to the right you can see the Palace Hotel and Town Hall.

Town hall in all its splendor.

It was a perfect day to take pictures and there were several more like it in rapid succession.  Thus I have many more pictures to share.  But I’ll draw them out just a little and editorialize where I can.

Till next time (soon, I promise)

-Johann

Quick update from the Danish frontier.

My sister has arrived!  And because only men should be subject to hostels we have moved into classier budget hotel accommodations.  An apartment has been secured a week from now and faux touristy things will entertain in the meantime. We are in a pretty central location so we can walk to a lot of fun sites.  Bekka has also brought a decent camera and I found a replacement for my schizophrenic camera.  So expect a 200% increase in photos of relevant and possibly even interesting things.

I started my “intensive” Danish course today and it turned out to be rather fun for the whole three and a half hours.  Jeg kan kun tale lidt dansk now!  3 hours of class learning have overtaken over a month of book learning in a single stride.  I should be speaking mostly danish in no time!

The socialists are also paying for my courses and for my course materials and I really can’t complain.

Things are back in motion.

Till next time,

Johann