Movies Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Thursday 27 March 2008
A Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp - sounds great. However, it's a musical, and that turned out to be as big a negative as I'd feared. While some of the singing is nice, much of it is ridiculously bad, as if the actors had to improvise it on the spot. Beautiful Burtonesque visuals and over-the-top bloodshedding add some value though. 5/10
Music Portishead - Third Saturday 22 March 2008
Portishead's third album comes 11 years after the second and 14 years after the 1994 classic Dummy. Beth Gibbons sounds the same as ever, but the music is now much cruder and sounds dirtier - sometimes resembling the more psychedelic work of dEUS, and sometimes sounding a lot like 80s band the Klinik (electro new wave), strangely. While I loved the sound immediately, the music needed to grow on me, but it is doing just that; I've heard the album about 10 times now and am liking it more and more. 9/10

On May 8th I'll see Portishead live in Brussels, yay! I'll have seen 5 of my 10 all-time favourite bands live then (also Depeche Mode, Front 242, Nitzer Ebb and Tool).
Movies Death Proof Saturday 22 March 2008
Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are two of my favourite movies, but since then Tarantino has been steadily declining imo - I thought the Kill Bill movies were mediocre. However, Death Proof pleasantly surprised me, probably because it is more about dialogue, atmosphere and crazy behaviour than about violence. The bits of violence are as extreme as you'd expect though. This is the ultimate girl power movie btw, more so than Kill Bill. 8/10
Traveling Southern Rwanda and Burundi photos Sunday 16 March 2008
Parts 4 and 5 of my East Africa photo report are up. Part 4 is about southern Rwanda, where we visited the Nyungwe forest and the macabre genocide memorial in Gikongoro, and part 5 is about our short but enjoyable passage through Burundi.

After passing through Burundi we arrived in Tanzania, where we spent the second half of this journey. I'm not sure when I'll get to finishing this photo report; Tanzania is much traveled so those pictures aren't as special, and I want to focus on my site about the Antwerp language again for the next few weeks.
Traveling Africa photos Wednesday 12 March 2008
It's been six months since I returned from Africa, but I finally found the time to start on the photo report! I've put up parts 1, 2 and 3 about Uganda, northern Rwanda and Congo respectively. The definite highlight of this journey was climbing the active volcano Nyiragongo in Congo, and I've got pictures and two movies of the lava lake for you.

Here are the usual teasers...
About me Moved Monday 11 February 2008
After a very intense month in which we first painted the whole house we've now both moved our stuff so I'm officially living in Antwerp again. Most of my stuff is still in boxes in the garage though so it'll be a while before I'm really settled. I've made pictures throughout the whole month, I'll make an album about it later.
About me New house + next trip Monday 7 January 2008
Happy 2008 etc! I have a lot of news to share already.

First of all, Lotte and me are going to live together in a house with garden in Antwerp, in the neighbourheid called "Kiel" which was added to the city for the 1920 Olympics. It's not in the city center but it's an excellent location to reach the major highways out of Antwerp, and that's exactly what I wanted after all my traffic misery in recent months. We're gonna start painting the whole house later this week and will move in in early february. I'll post some pictures soon.

Secondly we've just bought tickets for what will be my next big trip. On July 10th we'll fly to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) in southern Vietnam. From there we'll go through Cambodia and perhaps Laos to Thailand, where we'll leave from Bangkok on August 4th. The highlight of our trip should be Angkor Wat, the one really great historic monument that I haven't visited yet.

Meanwhile I still haven't put up any pictures of my Africa trip last summer, but I still hope to get to that soon - I'm slowly sorting and filtering the thousands of pictures me and Danny took.
Photos Photos of Ardennes and Tongeren Saturday 29 December 2007
Lotte, Puk and me spent the last three days in the Ardennes, relaxing in the hotel sauna and swimming pool, visiting the towns of Durbuy and La Roche, and making a few nature walks. On the way home we also visited Tongeren. Here are the pictures already!

Music Christmas lights Tuesday 25 December 2007
In the USA many houses put on spectacular sound & light shows during the christmas period, which makes for nice YouTube movies. This one is entirely different though: two Tesla coils that emit long sparks and electric noise are controlled in such a way that they sing Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Music Wim Vandekeybus - Menske Sunday 23 December 2007
We went to see a modern dance performance choreographed by Wim Vandekeybus called Menske. It was the first time I went to see something like this, but I had high expectations because I once saw a movie of a dance performance choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and really loved it, and Wim Vandekeybus is just as famous.

Unfortunately this performance was mostly a piece of painfully arty-farty theatre with less than 1/4 of the time spent actually dancing. The dancing itself was quite cool to watch and full of ingenious symbolism, but it was never impressive and certainly not interesting enough to make up for the excruciatingly boring and lengthy dialogues in between. The best thing about the whole show was the music by Daan, who reworked some songs of his band Dead Man Ray. 4/10
TV Smurf on TV Friday 21 December 2007
A few weeks ago I was in a talkshow on the Antwerp TV station ATV to talk about my book. I managed to get a recording on Youtube, here it is. I appear after about half a minute. The other two guys are members of Katastroof, Antwerp's most famous active band. They were the central guests of the show; I was invited because my book includes some of their songs and because they're going to use my spelling for the Antwerp language from now on.

Photos Barcelona pictures Friday 14 December 2007
I've put up a picture report of the four days I spent in Barcelona with Lotte. There are pictures of the city itself - still my favourite in the world - and a more detailed account of Lotte winning the Enjoia't jewelry design award, with pictures and movies of the award ceremony and of her exhibition.

Movies Ratatouille Sunday 9 December 2007
Quite simply the best of all the 3D animation movies to date. Nice story, the culinary experience lovingly detailed, very beautiful images and some very funny moments - I really enjoyed this. 9/10
Movies Battlestar Galactica - Razer Saturday 8 December 2007
While we're between seasons 3 and 4, a Battlestar Galactica movie is released that actually takes place between seasons 2 and 3. This obvious qualm aside, this is a good movie which shows us some of the shocking events that we already heard about during season 2. The many flash backs make it quite complex to follow. 8/10
Vacation Back from Barcelona Monday 3 December 2007
I'm back from 4 days in Barcelona with Lotte. I'd been there once before in 2002 and since then have called it my favourite city in the world. Meanwhile I've been to 23 new countries but Barcelona impressed me as much as it did back then; it's still easily the most beautiful and interesting city I've been to.

The reason for going this time was Lotte's jewelry. Last year she won the Enjoia't award for jewelry design in the student category and as a result there was an exhibition of her work in a gallery in Barcelona during the last month. We went there for the closing of that exhibition and because Lotte was going to participate in the same competition again, this time in the category for professional designers.

I'm very proud to say that she won once again and will now have a solo exhibition of her work in Barcelona's biggest jewelry gallery next May! The award ceremony, in a Barcelonese night club, was a thriller because we didn't understand much of what the presenter was saying (all in Catalunyan) and thought the prize had already been awarded to someone else. But then Lotte's name was announced and it turned out that this was for the big prize and that the previous names were for the runner-up positions :)

I made many pictures of Barcelona, of the exhibition and of the Enjoia't award ceremony and have a lot to tell about it all, so I'll try to make a photo report here.

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