Thursday, 30 April 2009
It’s just a couple of minutes before the moustache operation ends. My friend is convinced and I am curious who I am going to have lunch with. ;) I actually liked the interaction part of this operation so much that I have another challenge for you up my sleeve! Stay tuned.
I took this picture almost three years ago at the beautiful old Oud Eik en Duinen cemetery in The Hague.
Trivia: I like visiting old cemeteries.
I was still hungry for music when I got home, so I searched and discovered this:
Feist - Sealion Woman
Feist has more nice songs, you should check them out!
And while searching for new music I was thinking of ways people express themselves and let their emotions out. Music, visual arts, literature… Can people express their feelings in every profession without being a musician, an artist or a writer? If I am sad and broken-hearted can I write a project plan that tells other people how I feel? Is it possible to write a love story or a thriller in a form of a project plan? I will think more about that. Making music and drawing are definitely not my strong points. Writing seems to be the only way for me to let the pressure out. I haven’t used it much until I’ve started this blog. I still have to learn to make it work.
Trivia: I’ve spent two years learning to play guitar when I was a child. Not much success.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Another nice aspect is that there are mirrors hanging in every room of the building (except maybe for the office supplies storage room). That’s great because not only you can check your hair and make up at any moment and place, you can also try on a jewellery piece and see yourself in the nearest mirror.
So far I have discovered 7 toilets and at least five of them are marked as ladies’ :). This is very logical, because 90% of the employees are women, but it’s still quite unusual.
Don’t forget to submit your arguments to convince my friend to get rid of his moustache. Remember, there is a lunch waiting for you! Two days to go…
Trivia: I have 38 ready made necklaces and chokers + about 20 I made myself.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
I spent the day trying to put together a planning for the project I do at Versteegh. Running large projects is not Versteegh’s core business. So there is no MS Project. And this project is just too complicated to make it a simple Excel table. So I’ve been surfing around in search of a good template and found XL-EasyGantt. So far it seems to have everything I need, but I will have to see it work during the project before I can form a solid opinion about it. Ask me in two months.
Trivia: for all my IT projects I usually need MS Visio and MS Project.
Sunday, 26 April 2009
- cleaned the house (feels like I served a sentence!);
- got a TV!
- made some pastry (recipe here);
- booked tickets for four theatre plays.
In 15 days of my vacation I will do and see:
- 4 flights;
- 2 theatre plays in Moscow;
- 2 theatre plays in Kiev;
- 1 art auction in Kiev;
- 5 large book shops in Moscow;
- x art galleries and museums in Moscow;
- 1 books and CD market in Kiev;
- 1 artists market in Kiev;
- 1 meeting with classmates;
- at least 2 friends visits;
- at least 1 meeting with a friend;
- shopping for Photobeads;
- shopping for myself;
- 15 blog posts;
- some more stuff I cannot remember now.
I also would like to get some sleep while on vacation, but I might have to postpone that until I’m back in the Netherlands.
Seeqpod seems to have gone broke and unreachable, which is disastrous for my blog as most of the music I have posted so far comes from Seeqpod. I will try to replace it.
Trivia: I prefer active vacations.
Anyway, now the flight is booked it’s time to think about the programme. We want to see two theatre plays while in Moscow so I was looking around for what’s on. I always thought theatre in the Netherlands was very expensive. I’ve changed my mind. Theatre in Moscow is very expensive. You do get to see the STARS, though. I will call my mother tomorrow and we will make a choice. I am very excited!
Trivia: I’ve been to Moscow more than twenty times.
Friday, 24 April 2009
I’ve been spending money today. I spent €60,85 on tea and lunch with a friend, a bright pink singlet, white Sloggi pants, a grey bra from COS, a pack of tissues and a bottle of cough syrup. And then I paid €61,79 for 15ml eye cream and 125ml facial foam cleanser. They better be good!
Trivia: I prefer Lancôme skin care products.
Thursday, 23 April 2009
I have rediscovered БГ and Аквариум recently. They’ve made a lot of very beautiful new songs in the past 10 years. I will try to get hold of some CD’s in Kiev. This song is twenty years old, though. But I still think it’s very beautiful. And it reflects my feelings at the moment. Please ignore the ‘video’, I could not find any other version.
A couple of days ago a friend has let me know he prefers not to have contact with me because he finds me too attractive. And that could jeopardise his relationship with his girlfriend. I appreciate his honesty. I understand. I accept. But this makes me sad. Am I losing a friend because I look good?
Trivia: I prefer songs in Russian when I am sad.
A little jewel from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (I am more than halfway through): “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
One of the pictures by Aadt I like:
Little man by Aadt
And I found this hilarious song by Lars Hollmer:
UNAFFAIR - Lars Hollmer
The woman sneezes in the beginning and the man falls asleep halfway? What an unaffair indeed!
Trivia: I have no vibrator.
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
My computer is running out of memory every time I use any graphic design software. So I’ve been cleaning up throwing away loads of photos I certainly don’t need. And then I found a little film I made a few years ago for my video class. We had to choose a piece of music and make a video clip using our own film material. It was fun! This is what I made:
My I-Tunes has messed up the music somehow, so the sound is not so great. Here is the composition (Yonderboi - Partie Sept) with the ‘clean’ sound:
Trivia: I enjoy making photos more than shooting a video.
Monday, 20 April 2009
Trivia: I have a magnetic wall with all kinds of stuff stuck onto it:
Inspiration: tickets from some theatre plays, films and concerts I’ve visited. These things are a great source of inspiration (in work, life, everything).
Motivation: sayings that remind me to go on and give me some energy. (“Show me the money!” works best.)
Time reminders: no, this is not my agenda. I have an electronic one. These are to have a quick look without switching to another window and sometimes I note things on them if I am on the phone or chat.
Art: some eye candy I can’t live without. The opposite, non-magnetic wall has some paintings too.
The world: I don’t really use this map to find or look up things, but I like to have the world on my wall. And sometimes I do look up things, because this map gives me a better sense of scale. The map is in Russian.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
(I like the second half most of all)
I did not wake up with a holiday feeling. But then I decided to make my kulich anyway and slowly but surely I came in that special Easter mood. A day when you exchange Easter breads and painted eggs with your neighbours and family. A day when you eat nothing but Easter bread and eggs. And nowadays it's also a day when you hear church bells all over the city. Did you know that in the beginning of twentieth century Kiev had 1500 churches? If they continue building them as fast as they did in the past five years, they will soon catch up.
Anyway. Here's my kulich. I made it using this recipe, but used only one third of ingredients. It's been a while since I made a kulich and I was not sure I would succeed. So I decided to count on myself and maybe Jeroen (if he manages to finish his paper in time for a tea tonight). No kulich for the neighbours this year.
And did I tell you I was very good at decorating eggs? Look at them, aren't they gorgeous? ;)
My kulich turned out to be just the way it's supposed to be, so next year I will bake several of them on Saturday so I can surprise my Muslim neighbours. :)
Trivia: I was baptized at the age of 15.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
So I decided to make some jewellery. I have to make at least four pieces of jewellery every month for the Photobeads Pattern Express. Sometimes I design things for beading magazines too. All of those are due by the end of the next week, but it does not hurt to have them ready now. I’ve started beading about a year ago when I started Photobeads and thought it would be nice to show some examples on the website. I never really liked beaded jewellery. And even now I wear my own creations only when I go to visit my customers. But I’ve got two right hands and I like making things. Now that I have a perfect excuse to make something I will probably never use I actually enjoy it a lot.
This is how it looks like when I'm creating:
Today I’ve made a bracelet, a pair of earrings, restrung a necklace and started designing a necklace for a magazine. And my headache is gone. Only the cough remains. My neighbours must be terrified!
Trivia: I have 53 rings + about 20 I never wear.
This is the biggest NOTHING day so far. Nothing happened today. And many things did not happen. For example I did not meet a friend for a morning coffee. Which is a pity because I was looking forward to it. I still cannot talk, so we rescheduled for the next week. I did not have a lunch with another friend. Which is a pity, because he has a very busy schedule and it can take weeks before we can have a new appointment.
I did not go out for groceries. Which is a pity, because I really need fresh vegetables and fruits. I need vitamins to get better, but have no energy to go out an get vitamins. I’ll have to do it tomorrow, otherwise I really have nothing to eat next week. There is always a lot of food in my house. When I say I need groceries, it means I can actually easily survive without for another week or even two. But now I really have to go to the supermarket.
I did not go to a salsa lesson today. Which is a pity because I really like to dance, and because I was just getting to know people in my group and it’s fun. I don’t want to miss any lessons, so I will do my best to go on Sunday. It’s in café
I did not talk to someone I hoped to talk to. (When I say ‘talk’ I actually mean chat. I cannot talk now anyway.) Which is a pity, because I really needed that talk. I have written a long letter instead, I hope I am not annoying. And I hope tomorrow will be better. Instead I talked to three other people. Using three different programs – gmail chat, MSN and Skype. That’s very confusing. I had a very nice somewhat philosophical chat with a friend. We thought it was a pity that we live so far away from each other and cannot have these conversations live. But today it’s actually good, because I can type, but cannot talk.
Trivia: I can accept things easily if I understand them.
Thursday, 16 April 2009
It’s funny how people reacted to the Microsoft Dynamics presentation. Everybody was really enthusiastic even though the possibilities are most of the time exactly the same as in SAP Business One (which we’ve seen on Tuesday). GUI goes a long way…
I have two meetings tomorrow and I am looking forward to them. I just really hope to get (some of) my voice back. I cannot stand the taste of Doctor Seleznev anymore. I must have had about six litres of it in the past two days! So now I am switching to another tea:
It’s too early to go to bed, so I will take a hot bath and stay in it till I’m sleepy enough.
The sun is gone, it’s been raining last night and several times today and it’s getting colder. But green is still in my mind. Should I hold on to it? I will think about it in bath. Bath = good thinking.
Trivia: my medicine stock consist mostly of painkillers to fight headaches and all kinds of stuff against cough and sore throat.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
My cold does not want to leave me. Today I’ve lost my voice and got a nasty cough. So I drink this tea:
Try replacing “from” by “against” and it will make much more sense. The good news – it helps!
I was surfing around and found this book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo “He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys”. If you follow the link, do read the first three pages in the book preview. If you are too lazy for that, here’s an excerpt: “Men find it very satisfying to get what they want. If we want you, we will find you. If you don’t think you gave him enough time to notice you, take the time it took you to notice him and divide it by half.” Or: “Here’s the truth: Guys don’t mind messing up a friendship if it could lead to sex, whether it be a “fuck buddy” or a meaningful romance.” There is also a film by Ken Kwapis “He's Just Not That Into You” which is being released in the Netherlands tomorrow (!).
I have to sit through (and pay attention to!) a four-hour long presentation of Microsoft Dynamics tomorrow after which there is another meeting (more interesting as far as I can judge) that will take at least two hours. I’d better go fix myself now and hope I feel less sick tomorrow.
Trivia: two things I hate: cooking when I was not planning to and putting make up on without going out afterwards.
I told him he should get rid of the moustache, but he wouldn’t listen. And I just don’t seem to be able to come up with a strong argument that would convince him. So I need your help!
I will give a free lunch at café Dudok in
If you cannot make it to the
The deadline for contributions is 30th of April, 2009. After that my friend will choose the best argument and shave off his moustache. If he does not choose anything, we will pass the matter to an independent jury. If they find a good enough argument my friend will have to follow their advise and shave.
Trivia: I've never been to Dudok Rotterdam or Dudok Arnhem.
Monday, 13 April 2009
For this exercise you will need:
Kids: 10 boys and girls age 6 to 12 (I used Adem, Ardan, David, Aişenor’s cousin, Aişenor, Aişe, little Mubera, big Mubera, Damla, Gizem + three-years-old Miraç who joined later)
Place: a piece of land with some grass and other plants (I used my front yard, approximately 2x5m)
Tools and materials: some plants in pots + gardening tools (I used 3 little shovels, a pitchfork, a small pitchfork, a rake, secateurs, a watering pot, a broom and a pair of gardening gloves)
Time to complete: 2 hours
Aim: Get some of the old plants out, plant the new ones and clean the place. It is important that children do not injure or kill each other using the tools, nobody is supposed to cry, there should not be any serious fights and everyone should be able to complete several different tasks of their interest.
If you have a cold and feel too weak to have this exercise – too bad! Children are waiting at your door at least one hour prior to the agreed time, deal with it. If you don’t like spiders, worms, caterpillars, centipedes, snails and beetles – your own problem. They will all be brought to you for close examination.
If you think you will actually do something in the garden – you are wrong. You will have to manage: “What shall I do now?”, “Shall I dig a hole here?”, “May I water the plants?”, “Shall I kill this worm?”, “Where do I put this snail? It’s still alive!”, etc. Make sure they don’t dig the good plants out and put the new ones where you want them to be.
You will have to deal with questions, lots of questions: “How does this weed come here?”, “Why is this worm so fat?”, “Did you see the new garden of your neighbours?”, “When did you get married?”, “What about that man yesterday?”, “And the man with the red car?”, “May I have some soil and seeds in a pot?”
You will receive tons of information: “We had an Easter breakfast on Friday”, “We have so many relatives – I don’t even know half of them!”, “My sister has twins in her belly”, “My sister has married a guy she’d never met before”, “My mother has breast cancer, but the doctor says she is getting better”
My front yard looks good and I am really tired (blame it all on the cold!), but I think I would make a good mother :).
Trivia: I have no brothers or sisters.
We started around 19:00 and went on till midnight. We had the Da Vinci Code as warming up. It’s a strange game – very easy, but I’ve won so I liked it :). Jeroen and I have refused to play Settlers of Catan claiming it’s no fun without expansions. So we played Charlemagne. By the end of the game I’ve actually started to understand it and realised I could not win with the strategy I have chosen. I need to play it once more to see whether I actually like it. We’ve finished the marathon with Entdecker - Exploring New Horizons. It’s easy and fun and does not take much time nor concentration to play.
And then there was tarot. I’ve been having only one thing on my mind lately, so we went for it. I was not entirely sure what to do with the outcome so an extensive girls talk followed during which the guys had to entertain themselves with chess, beer and intelligent discussions.
Trivia: I have Settlers of Catan with an expansion, Carcassonne – the City and Travel around the World in 80 Days.
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. This book has been on my bedside table for more than a year and I’ve been meaning to read it, but somehow missed the right mood to start. No I’ve started and I know Jonathan will not disappoint me. I was so impressed by Everything is Illuminated! Even if he never wrote any other book anymore, he still would have been a great writer. I think the fact that it all happens in Ukraine and my Jewish roots play a great role. But even if you don’t have that background – read that book! But back to Extremely Loud. I have only read 15 pages so far and it reminds me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (a book I highly recommend too) by Mark Haddon. Probably because the story is told by a boy. So far 15 pages are full of jewels like this: “[…] the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls!”
Well, maybe today’s youth is not completely lost yet? Or maybe he is not a typical example…
Trivia: I read novels in three languages: Russian, English and Dutch.
Friday is dancing day. Not only did I have a lesson today I have also stayed till 23:00 for the “free dancing”. I’ve spent three hours dancing salsa, merengue and bachata. Way better than sports! (My feet hurt.)
Free dancing was not very crowded and it seems some people come to these parties even if they cannot dance salsa at all! I’ve spotted several men and a group of women. The women were not Dutch. It was a mixed group, but I know for sure that at least one of them was Romanian. Her face, clothes and the way she danced, walked and looked said that. Back home after dancing, I was talking to John and asked him whether he knew of any book or a website about recognising the origins of people by their look. He said there was no good source because this is politically incorrect. I find it very confusing: I (and many other people who travel a lot and have good visual memory skills) can very often tell what country people are from just by looking at them. And yet there is no scientific research on this topic, because it’s politically incorrect? It’s not like you can stop me from recognising Polish people on the street by not researching this topic. This just does not make any sense.
Another observation: in masculine cultures women are more feminine than in feminine cultures. (Masculine and feminine cultures as defined by Hofstede.)
Eye candy: Sunset in The Hague - I love Dutch skies!
Trivia: I am 163cm tall.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Röyksopp - Triumphant
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Is it possible to have a writer’s block if you only have to write twenty sentences?
Some quotes to show you what’s on my mind:
“I like men with a future and women with a past” – Oscar Wild
“All men are the same, but some are more same than the others” - Noël Coward
“A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one” - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
“A woman never forgets the men she could have had; a man, the women he couldn't” – author? So true!
I hope tomorrow will be more inspiring. Some good music to help you fall asleep:
Trivia: I have a double CD of Yello.
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
But then I talked to a friend who recommended a video to me. I watched it and changed my mind. I am not going to blog about the nonsense of getting married in two months. I am going to think about where I stand now: in work, love, everything…
And here’s the video:
Trivia: in my life I said “I love you” to two men.
Monday, 6 April 2009
OK!!!! I confess. I did not choose. I just opened the box with seeds and wrote down the names of all vegetables I have in it. But I do intend to grow all of them this year. Dill, parsley, basil, chives and garlic are the usual suspects. If I have a garden, I have that in my garden. Zucchini are really easy to grow. Squash is probably as easy as zucchini (not sure though) and it looks funny. Cucumbers, lollo rosso and radish are really nice to have in the garden. There is nothing better than freshly picked vegetables in your salad!
The Easters are very close to each other this year. Just a week in between. I keep on mixing the dates. I will bake a kulich for the catholic Easter next Sunday. I have agreed to spend the orthodox Easter with a friend who appears to be allergic to flour! So we will do some egg decorating together. I am very good at it. Wait till you see the pictures!
Trivia: I’ve never been to an Easter church service.
When I got home I decided to clean my apartment. Somehow I felt a need to be more thorough than usual. I’ve dusted the paintings (it was about the time – I cannot recall doing that in any near past) and even cleaned and reorganised my cutlery drawer! If you like cleaning as much as I do (Not!), watch this. Maybe you will change your attitude towards cleaning.
I love Sarah’s videos, but to me ->
(and I'd rather date a man)
Trivia: My apartment consists of four rooms, a bathroom, a toilet, a kitchen and a corridor.
Sunday, 5 April 2009
Some people I don’t know at all or can recall very vaguely came at me like they where old friends asking how I was doing. I felt a little embarrassed until someone explained to me that I did not have to introduce myself because everyone knows me from THE film. The film! Of course. Last year there was an unofficial premiere of “Sasja and Natasha” by Leen van der Berg at the Ukraine Day and most of the people attending have seen it. It’s very strange to be “famous” for something like this. I am not sure how I feel about that….
Trivia: it took us about two years to make "Sasja and Natasha".
Friday, 3 April 2009
Today I saw my neighbours planting all kinds of plants in their garden and I realised that I am hopelessly behind on my garden planning! I have to plant everything within the next two weeks and I did not even decide what I want to plant yet, let alone germinated (is that the correct term?) the seeds! Sunday is going to be busy…
Trivia: I've been to Jugoslavia only once - I've visited Novi Sad in March 1999.
Thursday, 2 April 2009
I have loads of work to do, it’s going to get very late tonight and tomorrow. I have to put together next issue of Photobeads Pattern Express before April 5th and I have lots of other plans for the coming days. Hopefully I’ll manage.
I had penne al tonno for dinner tonight. I have modified a recipe from Pasta (Cookshelf) by Tom Bridge. It's an original dish that is very easy and fast to make. I always have all the ingredients at home, so if I don’t feel like making something complicated or have no time or miss ingredients for other dishes I can always make this. Here’s my (simplified) version:
Ingredients for 4 persons:
200g can tuna, drained
250ml olive oil
60g roughly chopped parsley (usually I have frozen chopped parsley but today I used fresh parsley from my garden!) and some extra to garnish
150ml crème fraîche
450g penne (or other pasta of your choice)
salt and pepper
some black olives
1. Bring a large pan of slightly salted water to the boil. Add the penne and a little olive oil and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite.
2. Meanwhile put the tuna into a food processor or blender together with olive oil and parsley. Process until smooth.
3. Spoon the crème fraîche into the blender and process again for a few seconds to blend thoroughly. Season to taste.
4. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and place over a small heat. Spoon in the sauce and mix it with the pasta.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and divide the pasta between 4 warm individual serving plates. Garnish with olives and parsley.
You can add garlic to the sauce, substitute chopped fresh basil for half of the parsley and use capers instead of black olives. You can also use a so-called canned tuna salad – tuna in very small pieces already. Then you don’t even need a blender. Just mix all the sauce ingredients using a fork :). The sauce will not be as smooth, but will taste as delicious!
Trivia: I fell in love with cooking at the age of 32.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
I was browsing through the book on the train (no koetjesrepen today) and tried to avoid using the words 'data warehousing' during our first project kick-off meeting. I was trying to use simple human language in order to maintain the contact with people. And right after the meeting I was confronted with the notion of EDI – Electronic Data Interchange (speaking of simple and human). Yes, it’s possible to spend 7 years working in IT-services and not know what EDI is. I’ve read four Wiki articles on EDI in Dutch, English, Russian and Ukrainian (the latter not being particularly useful) and now I am looking for a human being who knows the subject and is able to explain it to me in simple human language.
I can’t wait till I start describing the processes. That’s when I get real close to the jewellery (see my eyes shine). There is a styling department! I’ve never worked in a company like that.
Trivia: I've slept no more than 6 hours last night, but I still feel loads of energy in my body.