Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

But wait!

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The tiger is still sleeping, and will continue to do so indefinitely.

However, I have resumed blogging on http://www.martinborchjensen.com, where I will be offering observations, recommendation and above all reflections on how this ‘life’ thing really works.

If you enjoyed my posts here you might want to check it out!

 

Martin Borch Jensen

 

 

 

Written by Martin

2014/07/10 at 14:52

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Goodbyes

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And so the time has come for me to leave Baltimore for good. It has been a good time all in all, definitely “an interesting place to live… for a while”. Probably my first view of ‘regular America’ (unless Florida counts, NYC and Alaska clearly don’t), and I suppose this blog will tell a better story about it than any last minute parting words.

I used to live in Latin America, now I’m in Gays.

The past week or two has been predictably intense. Lots and lots of experiments to get done of course, I also made a concerted effort to go out with a bang. Numerous goodbye dinners were arranged, gay clubs were visited (a blog-worthy story in itself), $1 oysters were consumed, tequila bottles were emptied and furniture-rearrangement/Britney singalong/blackouts ensued. I even managed to squeeze in a (business) trip to San Francisco right before leaving, resulting in three consecutive red-eyes and a 9-hour time difference to get back to Denmark. So the beat drops, and I’m tired now; but tomorrow it’ll kickstart and I’ll be back to TCB.

さようなら friends and strangers, much appreciate all the good times and I hope I puffed you up more than I fucked you up.

Jennifer told me to take some pics of her and other people in the lab. Not one to just give people what they want, here is instead one of her eating pie…

And one from the lab. Hammertime!

Written by Martin

2012/11/18 at 09:20

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Greg

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In the nick of time, Greg gets his own blog post. The reason I haven’t written about him isn’t his lack of impact (our endless discussions about principles alone should disprove that theory), but rather my inability to snag nice photos of him. I mean, this is pretty much what I had to work with:

So what changed now? Well, to use his own words: “My essence can only be captured when my head is pressed against a womans chest”

Written by Martin

2012/11/10 at 22:34

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Music I’ve recently discovered and enjoy listening to

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Sometimes I feel like sharing but don’t feel like writing a bunch. This is one of those times. Hope you enjoy it.
Ronald Jenkees

Alt-J

Grimes

Goldfrapp

Ghostland Observatory

Lana del Rey

Nero

Sneaker Pimps

Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Written by Martin

2012/11/07 at 11:47

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Halloweekend, part 2

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Delays delays, where were we now? Oh right, Halloween, supposedly the one day a year when girls can wear pretty much nothing in public and not catch any flak for it. Plus, for once we actually had the entire collection of roommates gathered for the night out (first time since I moved in, to be honest). Sara and I stumbled upon a treasure trove of Renn Faire outfits that a previous inhabitant had left in the basement, so it was exceedingly simple to turn her into a gypsy. With the previous owner being of the female persuasion pickings were a bit slimmer for me, but I did find a couple of cloaks to replace the bedsheet-cape I’d planned on making. Greg went with the ever reliable $5 toga, while Trevor turned some old clothes into a Ponyboy outfit. George, lover of all things glowy, went all out with a purchased Tron outfit that he pimped out with superbright 12V LED strips.

Pony boy, the gypsy, Toga dude, Tron and… what are you supposed to be?

So what exactly was I doing? Essentially what I’d planned to do in New Orleans two years earlier, though at that time it fell through. Though costumes of specific characters can certainly be cool, I rather enjoy the challenge of throwing something less obvious together from a bunch of random items. The idea had been to do some kind of hoodoo-ish skull facepaint and then some skirts and tingle-tangle for a shamanistic look of sorts. Back then I couldn’t get what I needed at Walmart and ended up as a kickass ‘The Grand Prize’ instead; but thanks to the cache in the basement and some necklaces I’d gotten in Hong Kong, this time Walmart only needed to sell me a 97 cent tube of facepaint.

It thus appeared that I was all set for the shaman, but at the cusp I was overtaken by an ensconced urge to instead replicate the tiger pattern of Gully Foyle in one of my favorite books. In retrospect there was no way to avoid this, but it was one of those things that you never notice until it’s already happening. In any case Sara did an absolutely bang up job of replicating the picture on the cover of the book, and I was pleased indeed.

Oh right, Gully Foyle of course.

Unfortunately (though expectedly) it would appear that this excellent book is on few curricula in American schools, as not a single person recognized the reference even when I told them. Of course I fed inquirers some malarkey or other (I am the ‘who’ in the cry ‘who’s there?’), in protest of the urge to dress up as something recognizable. So Mr. Tron stole the limelight, but I was feeling pretty darn good in my orange hair and dashing cape. And thus I frolicked around, talking and joking with anyone who happened to be near me, asking any- and everyone whether they were supposed to be that guy that Johnny Depp played in that pirate movie, and overall had a splendid night. And if there’s a lesson to this post, it is that good times happen when everyone is in a good mood, pretenses are crushed by fantastic outfits and the quipping flows freely. Halloween makes this a lot more likely, and I love it for that.

Written by Martin

2012/11/02 at 15:50

Posted in Events

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Halloweekend, part 1

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In my last post I predicted an upswing to follow the woeful day I’d had, and how very right I turned out to be. Days packed full of successful experiments, with the adrenaline of finishing everything on time rolling seamlessly into evenings of radiance and revelry. It’s amazing how much your attitude changes situations (or at the very least perceptions).

First happening Friday was the previously mentioned deep frying party, intermittently attended (with partial overlaps) by myself, Sara and her bride+bridesmaids-to-be friends, and George + date. In the end George never had time to get his pierogis and fried ready, and the bachelorette party had to bail early to attend a bike party (more on that later).

Good luck trolls on the prowl

So instead we ended up cooking a miscellany of items at hand, including shrimp, scallops, squid, sweet potatoes, banana, pickles, girl scout cookies and ice cream.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to deep fry properly, having only made a single semi-successful attempt at samosas previously. I found that keeping the temperature stable within a pretty narrow range was both critical and challenging, since dumping in too many things at once dropped the temperature a good deal. I also found that it required a lot more attention than I’d have expected to cook things for just the right amount of time, watching their bubbling decrease to monitor when they would start absorbing the frying oil. I had added beer to the batter, which I think probably helped getting the bitelets nicely puffy (but who’s to say based on a single event).

Sure, it does kind of look like an alien spawning pool from that angle.

Anyway, a big success. With an experiment planned for 07:00 the next morning I had definitely not planned to join the trolls at the brewery that hosted the final stint of the bike party. But when the time came I found that I had a quite irresistible craving for a party, so off to join them we went. They had spent ~3 hours biking around Baltimore (with a few beer stops) alongside hundreds of revelers, many in costumes, and even as we neared the site there were noticeable good vibes in the air. The event was mostly in the courtyard of the brewery, though the building was open for gawking at the giant tanks and for endless refills of their draft creations. The DJs were pretty good, people looked swell and there was MoonBounce; in other words, anyone of sound mind was bound to have a blast. Whether I fall into that category or not, I danced, bounced and pratted my ass off, and didn’t regret going even when I had to get up Saturday morning.

And when I got back from the lab on Saturday, it was of course time to get ready for the great hallowed gathering in Fell’s Point, something I’d barely missed in both 2010 and 2011 and was rather looking forward to. But more on that in part 2.

Transformations in action

Written by Martin

2012/10/30 at 01:24

Posted in Events, Food

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Meh

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Berger cookies are a Baltimore thing, or so I’ve been told. That’s one argument for me to try them before leaving, and another argument is “Why not?”. So try them I did, and was sorely disappointed. It’s a crummy little wafer with a ton of chocolate fudge frosting all over it. OK sure, chocolate fudge frosting isn’t the worst thing in the world, but what the heck?  Though coming from the land of sild, leverpostej and akvavit I suppose I should hold my tongue.

Needs more fudge frosting

In other news, today was terrible. Problems with a paper, experiments cancelled because of a missing password and absolutely couldn’t get in the zone for making a presentation. Bleh. But somehow it wasn’t quite as bad as it should have been, because I for some reason felt that it was only a short period of crap which would naturally be followed by a terrific day or two. I do find that the pendulum often swings like that, but to straight up expect it? I’m wondering whether it’s a byproduct of my intermittent fasting, where I’m so used to hardships lasting only until the next day (which is what makes it so doable). And perhaps also the fact that I get a shot of hunger-induced euphoria every other day, coupled with a total lack of food-induced drowsiness. Or it could just be psychosomatic truth that I’ll soon get better. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.

Written by Martin

2012/10/24 at 23:01

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