Graffiti In Lüneburg

I like good graffiti. Huge pieces with vibrant colors and cool lettering are right up my alley. I think it is great if local officials allow it in highly visible places from talented artists. I hate it when some asshole scrawls his lame ass tag on the side of some 400 year old building. It is just ugly and disrespectful. Those little chumps should be stripped naked and spray painted pink and then be forced to walk through the center of town. Trains and busses however, when artfully done, are pretty cool. Like moving art pieces.

In Europe there is a lot of really cool graffiti, some of which is way ahead of what you’ll find in many American cities. I’ve been most impressed with what I have seen in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Berlin. Lüneburg has some great writers as well. There is a long wall along the grounds of the LG MTV where local graffiti artists (writers) are allowed to paint. There are some really amazing wildstyle pieces there. There are a few other places in town where good graffiti is allowed but I think the MTV is the most prominent. I just saw the other day a LG city bus that was totally painted top to bottom. It was commissioned by a local business to our local graffiti-badass trica123. If I ever have a house with a suitable exterior wall, I’d love to commission some kid to do a large piece. I imagine German zoning laws would cause problems though.

Click on the picture below for more examples.

Edited for grammar and anger.

Uptight Tonight

Last Saturday M and were driving to her uncle’s for a 70th birthday party. Shortly before the Elbtunnel I felt a sharp pain in my heart and a heat move through my body. I also nodded out for a split second. Did I mention I was driving? At first I brushed it off and thought maybe I was just tired but that didn’t explain the pain. And then my anxiety started playing with me. I decided to go to the hospital just to have them check it out and see if I had anything to worry about.

When I arrived at the ER, I had a pulse of 160. About 5 minutes later it was around 45. They found that alarming. After about an hour the doctors could say with certainty that it was not a heart attack or stroke. What I thought would just take a few hours turned into a bit more that I expected. They couldn’t rule out an irregular heartbeat or a bad reaction to the medication. They wanted to keep me there under observation for a few days, so although ich hab’ die Schnauze voll von Hospitals, I agreed. After four days and a battery of tests (again) and after finding nothing wrong, they released me yesterday afternoon.

I figured it was another chance to have another set of doctors have a stab at me (Ha!) and try to figure out what, if anything, was wrong. Although they can’t rule out a possible irregular heart beat, they couldn’t find anything wrong. Nix nada zip. Which is good. Maybe it is all in my head.

I’m sick of needles, syringes, injections, blood, rubber hoses, medication, decaf coffee, IVs and being hooked up to machines, monitors and cables. However the nurses at Albertinen Hospital in Hamburg are very easy on the eyes. Indeed. Especially on the 5th floor. Station A if you want to be more specific. Night shift if you want to know what I’m talking about.

This did not go unnoticed by my roommate, Herr Müller. The man is, I shit you not, 100 years old. I guess they wanted to see what kind of comedy gold would ensue by placing the youngest and oldest together. He was still pretty sharp although he kept misplacing his teeth. He was only there to have the battery in his pacemaker replaced. According to the doctor, pacemaker batteries last, on average, 10 years. He was so frech with the nurses. If I would have said what he did, they would call it sexual harassment. Some examples:

Nurse: Do you live alone Herr Müller or in a senior home?
Herr Müller: Alone. I have a big bed. You should visit me sometime.

Nurse: Would you like something to drink?
Herr Müller: A bottle of champagne for the two of us would be nice.

Nurse: Would you like something before you go to bed?
Herr Müller: A kiss!
Nurse: Umm…something I can actually fulfill?
Herr Müller: Oh you know how!

While the nurse is removing a bandage from his arm…
Herr Müller lifting up the blanket: Climb in. It’s a lot warmer under here.

When I was packing to leave…
Nurse: Herr Russell is checking out today.
Herr Müller: Ah finally. Some time to ourselves.

Once after the nurse rolled her eyes and left he turned to me and said, “Young man, at my age I have to take advantage of every opportunity.”

I can’t have nothing but respect for that.

I would’ve like to talk to him about some of the experiences he had in his life but he was real hard to understand. It’s not often that you meet someone who has lived so long and seen so much. He also kept telling me these jokes and rhymes in Low-German. I just couldn’t understand. He did tell me about how back in those days, ladies didn’t pursue men. If they found a man interesting they would drop their handkerchief. If he was interested he would pick it up.


And did men in black run around twisting their mustaches while tying damsels in distress to train-tracks? My how times have changed.


The first movie I ever saw in a drive-in theater was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982 (I think) in St. Louis, Missouri. Needless to say I thought it was awesome as did everybody else in the whole friggin’ world. The other thing I remember being hugely popular at that time was the Atari 2600. If I remember correctly, it arrived one Christmas morning and I didn’t get to play with it until my dad had thoroughly and properly “tested” it. That took a couple hours. So sometime in 1983 when my friend Bobby McDonald from down the street got the E.T. video game, I was excited to go over and play it. I remember that after five minutes of game play I was so disappointed because the game was so crap. It just didn’t make sense to my 6 year old self. I think I went home after that and played Pitfall or maybe played on a nearby pile of dirt with my Hot Wheels.

When I was in high school years later in Dallas I met a girl at my church who was in my first grade class along with Bobby and I. We must have both been about 16 or 17. It was complete coincidence. We didn’t remember each other at all from back then but I asked her if she still knew Bobby. She sadly said that he died not too long before that in a car accident. I don’t remember what the circumstances were but I remember being saddened by the news. At that time I hadn’t seen him in seven or eight years so to be honest it didn’t weigh too heavily on my soul for long. It was just one of those things you hear about. Not everyone makes it.

What? Why’s everyone so sad? Aw my bad. I didn’t mean to harsh your buzz bro. Back to the Atari!

I was thinking about that shitty E.T. game and Bobby the other day for some reason. Then today I saw this video by Wintergreen. I’m glad to see everybody else thought that game was shitty.

Woohoo! Entlassen!

I finally came home from Reha today. That was 3 long weeks of mostly geriatric surroundings. It was a nice place but I’m glad to be back home. I did lots of nordic walking, morning gymnastics and other therapeutic exercise. Getting up at 6:30 to run fake jog at an extremely slow pace (I didn’t want to look like a show-off) in -10°C weather wasn’t as much fun as you might think but I toughed it out. I lost some weight and got into shape and now I am totally buff. Na ja, nicht wirklich, aber vielleicht gibt es ein paar alte Freundinnen, die meinen Namen bei Google eingeben und dann diese Seite finden. Jetzt denken sie sich: “Schade, ihn hätte ich nicht loslassen sollen”. Ha ha! Pech gehabt Mädels! Es sei denn, sie können Deutsch. Between activities I played lots of Soduko, went for long walks along the Elbe Seitenkanal and watched lots of really horrible daytime German television. There were some exceptions, namely Kojak, Miami Vice and the Simpsons.

Anyway, thankfully my heart has received the all clear from the doctors. I’m extremely grateful for that. So after all the tests and examinations it appears to have been a one time fluke. They still have no idea what caused the blood clot but I have no limitations on my lifestyle. I can run, bike and frolic just as much as I used to. However, because of family history of heart disease, I still remain in a high-risk group. I have to take beta-blockers for a year and I have another examination in a few months.

I heard the Arctic Monkeys album. If you forget about the insane hype and just listen to it for what it is, it is a really solid rock album. The Kooks new album is good as well.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work. Ugh.