October 24, 2014

Mourning Post, day 48 - Mourning Attire

The week after Marko van der Horst passed away there was apparently a big display of books and items in the Central Library of Rotterdam under the theme of 'Mourning'. Yesterday, while i just happened to be cutting out a pattern to sew myself a mourning dress, my girlfriend Arrianna sent me this link to a current exhibition at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 'Death Becomes Her'.

This past week i took everything out of my closet that wasn't black. I hear you thinking, 'Aren't mourning clothes a bit old fashioned?' Well, they are i guess but honestly, at this point, i really understand the importance for mourning clothes. One, it simplifies everything which is always a good thing, especially now. Secondly, over the coming months, life may be going on around me and i may even be joining in, but grieving the loss of Marko is going to be a very long process. If i am in black and there are obvious signs of mourning attire, i think it will remind folks that i'm still fragile. A sort of 'handle with care' sign. Plus, i may appear on stage in the near future. There is no way in hell i can appear in the clothes that i wore when performing with Marko. I had to do that once last week for a last job i had to finish for Heineken. I could have died when i saw myself dressed like that without him. All my performance clothes are all now in a cardboard box.

By coincidence, since my wardrobe had gotten to a sad state of disrepair, i had just got organized my sewing materials in August in order to start making myself a new one. My favorite old Danish coat had finally worn out after 18 years and my toes are literally sticking out of my shoes. Tomorrow, Arrianna and i take a road trip to Amsterdam to one of the biggest flea markets in Europe. Really hoping to come across some good finds. So to the Dear Vendors of Amsterdam,... The prettiest, blackest most affordable items are mine. (Real affordable! Destitution is ever near but damn it, if i am going down, i'm going down in a pretty second hand dress.)

October 7, 2014

Mourning Posts

On the 4th of September my soul-mate and artistic partner, Marko van der Horst, took his own life. This is the first time that i have actually written those words. I will only say a few things about his death. No, i never saw it coming nor did anyone else and No, i don't know why.

Yes, of course, i was and, at times, still am consumed with a world of guilt. A million questions of 'what didn't i see?' and 'what could i have done?' or 'shouldn't have done' tortured me. Thankfully, i have been surrounded by very trust worthy friends who have the vision and wisdom to guide me through handling these feelings, otherwise i would have absolutely destroyed myself. The thing is, had he spoken to me, or any of his dear friends, and told us he was feeling so terribly, we would, of course, have done things differently, but he didn't. I didn't know. I had no idea. No one did. Of course, the guilt and the horror of this will rear it's ugly head and haunt me for the rest of my life but i try my best to keep it in a place that makes life manageable. It is, however, the fight of my liife to do so.

Marko was quite an amazing and unique character and there are countless stories that i and others could tell you about him but for now, i would like you to know these two things...

Firstly, Marko was the fun-loving, charming, witty fella who made everybody laugh. If Marko was along, everyone knew it was going to be one hell of a fun ride. He loved nothing more than to make people laugh. But, although he often stood out in a crowd and was ever-charming on stage, inside he was real bashful and was uneasy with the role. He was thus not unlike so many other artists who are so good at masking their worry with much frivolity that no one is aware of it's depth. Nor would he be the first to be so sensitive that he found his life's problems unbearable.

Further, as a partner and lover... Saying that he loved me isn't saying nearly enough. Marko van der Horst celebrated me. We truly had a rare love. Many remarked upon it. One of our names was rarely mentioned without the others. People admired our love. This all makes what i'm about to say next really really hard...

I think that one of the reasons that Marko couldn't tell me his problems is because he loved me so much that he just couldn't let me down.

With all this said, it doesn't give us any answers and even if we had some, they may not make us feel any better. There has been, however, a lot that has happened since Marko's death, that have given Marko back to us, so to speak. That last, impulsive decision of his life has nothing to do with the Marko that he let us know and thus i and his friends have been focusing on celebrating the incredible 45 years of his life before this. Doing so has given us a lot of healing. As tragic as Marko's death is, the most amazing, strange,  uncanny, almost spooky, sometimes even funny, often completely unbelievable things have happened since. It seemes like the heavens are screaming at us: 'You will never understand it, but it was so meant to be.' There are many, many a story to tell.After Markos death, it was most practical to communicate to everyone at once via Facebook. Although i used to cuss this site as a necessary evil, it has proven to be an amazing source of support for me, his family and loved ones. I will slowly be archiving my Facebook posts made during this time to this blog and will also continue my writings here under 'Mourning Posts'. The empowerment i have gotten from sharing these stories combined with the support i have received from the readers is playing a large part in saving my life. Equally important, it has done a lot to give back to me, and all of us, the glory that was Marko van der Horst. Marko was a incredibly beautiful, giving, tender, charming man and he deserves that... he deserves to be remembered well.



September 25, 2014

I lost my everything...


The joy you brought us is immeasurable. 
To lose you is unbareable.

Marko van der Horst
March 12th 1969 - September 6th, 2014

September 2, 2014

Hand-Drawn Flyer

This flyer took me way too long to make BUT i sure did learn a lot doing it. Slowly getting better at that hand lettering stuff! So here it is, the latest flyer for our little shop, The Jumping Flea Market.

August 26, 2014

A Day at the Office

When you work as a performer, you find yourself in some wacky-ass situations, a lot. It almost becomes 'normal' until you recall it later and think, 'Dang y'all, that was one wacky-ass situation!'. Today was no exception...

Marko and i were hired by our pal Paul Posse of Posse Espressobar to do a little gig this afternoon. (BTW, his place kicks ass. It's in an old warehouse in Katendrecht. Trust me, it's really cool...Go visit it.)

So, the gig is that Marko and i are to be performing in a Bakfiets (bakers' bicycle as shown below) which will guide a group of folks from the NHOW hotel over the walking bridge to the bar). So, we're in this bakfiets with two ukuleles a singing saw and our washtub bass. we play a little bit at the hotel and then our driver starts cycling. There is a group of about 100 folks walking along with us. At a certain point i stand up and i'm playing the bass. I've got my back to the road because that is pretty much the only way i am able to stand. It's a tight fit in this sucker. A bit wobbly too but, it's going well until...


we ride over this tiny little curb which throws me backwards over the front of the bike. Marko makes a dive for me and can just catch my legs which he has pressed against the inside of the wooden car. This leaves me dangling by my knees over the front of this Baker's Bicycle for what feels like an eternity till about 5 guys coming rushing over to help me out of the tangle. Yep, that happened. I didn't hear anybody laugh out loud, which is a credit to the international IT TEAM of the Nike coorporation whom we were guiding through the streets but honestly,... if i would have seen this i would have had a hard time not rolling around in laughter. It had to look absolutely hilarious, i must admit. There were folks filming when it happened and i can imagine this footage has major viral video potential. And if that happens... i'll be in South America somewhere donning a fake moustache and changing my name to Pepé.

Inkalicious Dip Pens

How i love them. Haven't mastered this ink stuff yet and my fingers have the 'Havana Brown' stains to prove it but i sure am enjoying trying to figure it out. My latest...

Tune Out, Turn Off, Be Small


It's been a while. Marko and i had a mad summer of performing, teaching & selling at festivals. We had an absolutely amazing time. The folks, the food, the art, the music. Wonderful stuff! But, those festivals are also the shit. They usually entail us packing up our entire shop, 24 workshop ukuleles, our own instruments plus sound equipment which we then lug to locations both near and far far away. Many days would start around fucking-hell A.M. and would end around crazy o'clock the following morning usually followed by a long drive home. Whoever thinks that artists and musicians are lazy can kiss my ass. I really love doing fests but honestly, by the end of July, we were ab-so-lute-ly exhausted. Mentally & physically 'kapot'.

We did our last summer festival on the first weekend of August and then we shut down EVERYTHING. We didn't actually stop working but we turned off the 'noise'. Our shop was only open via appointment and most importantly, I put a 'Gone Fishing' sign up on all of our web- and social media sites. Man, i can't tell you how much i have enjoyed turning off Facebook. Not that i don't 'LIKE' Facebook. It's an incredibly cool thing BUT! There is a whole hell of a lot of stuff i don't miss about it.

Shutting off has been a real eye-opener actually. I've come to realize that i've let internet and online media become a distraction instead of using it as the awesome tool that it is. Oh, and another little thing i realized, I've been posting things on FB which i should have been posting on my own blog and eventually linking to Facebook. As you see, that is also going to change.

I've been tackling this break with great enthusiasm in general. I wanted to go back to those pre-internet days when everything was 'smaller'. Just me, my LW Radio and my tools and 'stuff'. That's it. No email, no telephone, nothing. Just long dreamy days of creating, reading, playing and listening to stories on the BBC. It was difficult to get in the groove in the beginning. I did a lot of sleeping the first week. The last couple of weeks though have been really beautiful. Sounds strange but, It feels like my days are much longer. Being 'small' has been freakin' wonderful. I recommend it highly.