Sunday, 26 December 2010

Leaving

I am about to leave. I’m all packed and (almost) ready to go. I’m anxious to travel on my own at night in a place I’ve never been to before. I’m afraid I will not manage to see and do everything I would like to. I am scared of loneliness at the breakfast table in my hotel, loneliness in restaurants and in my hotel room in the evenings. But I am going. I will discover beautiful sites, make loads of photos, taste new foods, do some shopping and even dance if I’m courageous enough. I will add a new country to my list and say goodbye to this strange year.

I am going to Malta.
Wish me luck.

Salad For Girls

I watched Roman Gershuni make this Salad For Girls and all of a sudden felt terribly girly. If you don’t understand Russian here’s the list of the necessary ingredients (the instructions you can see in the video): Romaine lettuce, arugula, one red grapefruit, walnuts, Roquefort cheese, sugar, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil.

Of course I didn’t have all the ingredients at hand – the shops are closed and I forgot to do groceries yesterday. I have replaced:
- Romaine lettuce and arugula with a lettuce mix (ready-cut, found in the fridge) luckily containing some arugula;
- Grapefruit by two small ripe tomatoes for the salad and bottled lemon juice for the dressing;
- Roquefort cheese by the soft Turkish cheese that comes in a tin.
I used honey for the dressing and I forgot garlic.

The salad was delicious! I will add caramelised walnuts to my salads more often. And next time I will certainly try garlic.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Kerstboodschappen

Boodschappen is Dutch for groceries. Kerstboodschappen are Christmas groceries. It’s an enormously long list of (mostly) food supplies necessary to survive the two (who said Dutch were greedy?) Christmas days when the shops are closed and your friends and family demand haute cuisine state-of-the-art meals. Also people tend to be sensitive to decorations this time of the year. While decorating your house and table don’t forget to show you know it’s Christmas. Because the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is not about you. That’s why starting from December 20 people are stressed about their groceries.

I had a list too. It was not long, but certainly consisting of items I do not buy or use on a daily basis. Today was my last chance to buy all that stuff. Otherwise – no Merry Christmas for me. So I went out, suffered extreme cold, worked my way through the huge crowds of highly stressed people and got everything I needed:
a card and an envelope
Lonely Planet guide to Malta&Gozo
a lipstick
a showerhead
silicone remover
silicone multi tool
super water resistant silicone white
super water resistant silicone transparent
tile joints cleaner
tile joints whitener
tile joints grey ‘whitener’
Now guess what I’m gonna do this Christmas? :-)

Just now, when I’ve put down this list I’ve realised that I forgot the groceries! I guess I’ll have to rely on what’s in the fridge and the freezer and hope the Turkish shop on the corner will be open.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Product placement

Maisie walked into the kitchen. She wanted to make a cup of tea which she’d take up to her room, eager to get back to her fancy Acer Aspire One Happy. It was new, white with pink, had loads of buttons and needed her immediate attention.

When she saw her mother busy cooking in the kitchen Maisie quickly changed her mind from a cup of tea to a glass of water. Maisie’s mother loved to cook despite the fact that she was an outrageously terrible at it.

“Ah, there you are, honey! We can eat in about ten minutes. Would you set the table, please?” Her mother was enthusiastically slicing apples in her Elite Collection™ 14-Cup Food Processor. Since she got this machine two months ago, she was cooking even more. Maisie hated the machine. This shiny expensive thing with all its bowls, blades and discs did not make her mother cook better. And a good cook (like Cindy’s mother for example) didn’t need a machine to cook delicious meals.

“I’m not hungry.” – Maisie said heading for the door. “How can you not be hungry? You’ve had nothing, but a boiled egg in the morning!” “Two. I’ve had two eggs and I am not hungry yet.” “Well then, if you have nothing to do anyway, go bring some food to grandma.”

“You can use my old Navigon to get to grandma.” Maisie’s father entered the room in a rare state of excitement.  “I’ve got the new NAVIGON 70 Plus Europe 23, just had a test drive. It’s perfect!” “Dad, grandma lives across the park fifteen minutes walking from here. What the hell would I need a navigation system for?!” “I’m just saying you can use it if you want.”

Maisie took the bag with Tupperware containers and rushed to grandma. She knew the script by heart: fifteen minutes through the park; grandma on the couch smoking and watching TV; “put that crap in the dustbin, how’s school, get the hell out of here”; fifteen minutes back.  She wanted to get it over with and walked really fast. She stopped half-way when she literally bumped into a man that stood in her way. He was unshaved and looked her up-and-down with a kind of hungry look in his eyes. For a moment Maisie stared at him and suddenly a great idea struck her.

“Would you like some food? My mother prepared it with the help of the Elite Collection™ 14-Cup Food Processor. It’s delicious!” The man stared at her mute of surprise. Masie took seven Tupperware containers out of her bag and pushed them in his hands. The guy looked flabbergasted. “Have a nice meal!” – said Maisie and ran back home to her wonderful white-pink Acer.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Femke weg

Dus Femke is weg. Raar. Jammer ook. Niet dat ik op GroenLinks stem of zo. Ik vind Femke gewoon cool. En ze was er altijd sinds ik in Nederland woon. Nadat ik een kamer in een studentenhuis had gescoord, mijn studieboeken had gekocht en de weg naar de dichtstbijzijnde supermarkt had gevonden, ontdekte ik Femke Halsema. Ok, GTST was eerst. Daarna Femke. Ik ontdekte haar niet als politicus (mijn Nederlands was toen nog niet zo sterk en ik was nog niet belast met enige kennis van de Nederlandse politiek), maar als fenomeen. Ze was jong, zag er leuk uit, droeg van die aparte jurkjes en was lekker stellig. Ze kwam ook voor in een soort reclamespotje op tv (heb niet kunnen vinden op YouTube) waar ze paard reed en tegen een boom aanbotste. Weet iemand nog waar het over ging?

Ze hield het de hele tijd stug vol: goed eruitzien, leuke kleertjes en lekker stellig. Zelfs jong zijn lukt nog steeds aardig. En ze is niet echt heel hard bezig met personal branding. Ze doet gewoon haar ding. Heel bijzonder.

Maar vanaf nu krijg ik Femke dus niet meer te zien als ik weer eens een aanval van omgevingsbewustzijn krijg en dat probeer te bestrijden met het volgen van politiek debat op TV. Balen. Ik vraag me af hoe vaak ik nog last zal hebben van die aanvallen…

 
Lekker stellig

Friday, 17 December 2010

Hipstagram

I fell victim to iPhone photography related applications. If you know of any institution that treats this kind of addiction please let me know.

iDroste before&after

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Evaluation

Today I spent forty minutes looking for the right notepad and the right page. I have about 20 notepads of different sizes with plain, squared or lined paper with all kinds of notes and scribbles. Somewhere in one of those notepads, amidst the notes and scribbles there is a page that I needed to find.  On that page I have written down my goals for this year – 2010. It was a short list of four of five points and today I felt like evaluation. Something inside me was demanding an evaluation claiming a day later might be too late. So I spent forty minutes looking for my goals.

I found them. Four. Take dancing lessons. Achieve financial stability. Get a car! Visit a new country. In that particular order.

Ok, evaluate. I took dancing lessons. Many people might have a different definition of financial stability, but I am very happy with the balance between my finances and my freedom I have managed to achieve this year. I have a car.

Right! Here’s the catch. I haven’t visited a new country yet! Now I have sixteen days to reach that goal. No, wait. It’s not that easy. I plan to stay in the Netherlands for Christmas. Which leaves me five days to leave towards a new destination. And to make it even more difficult: I’ve been almost to all countries in Europe and the ones I haven´t visited yet are rather cold this time of the year.

But no matter how complicated it seems,  I will visit a new country this year. Watch me!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Ill

When I’m ill – a regular cold – I start behaving a little weird. Like: huh? Examples? Here you go (I warned you!):

I don’t like to touch water with my hands. No, it doesn’t matter whether the water is cold or hot. Yes, this means no washing. At all. Sorry.

I don’t like to eat. I only eat when I am forced by the hungry feeling in my stomach. Or my mother (more effective). If I have to eat I prefer warm, fluid food with little taste. Like miso soup. Not that I ever have that when I’m ill…

I sleep in a seated position. Even if I can breathe freely and I have no headache. Kind of back to the times when people believed they would die if they slept flat on their back. I am not particularly afraid of death when ill, but sleep seated anyway.

I don’t like to sleep with lights out. When there’s someone else in the house, I prefer to sleep with the door open. When I’m alone, they door may stay closed, but the small reading lamp has to be lighted.

I always feel like… knitting! As soon as I get the first signs of a cold, I crave for a couple of knitting needles and a ball of yarn. Actually I think I can turn this around: if I feel like knitting it’s time to take an aspirine.

I told you – weird.

Suits my winter mood: Apocalyptica - Nothing Else Matters

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Emancipation

On the yesterday’s flight the entire crew consisted of men. The captain and the pilot were men, the purser was a man and all three flight attendants were men. Male flight attendants are no surprise, although I did find it surprisingly refreshing about seven years ago when I first met one on a Swiss Air flight. Male pursers came later and then I thought that men were successfully conquering this new field of professional occupation. Yesterday was the first time I flew with the whole crew being male.

‘Wow! Emancipation!’ – I thought to myself. ‘This is good. I’ll definitely blog about it.’

Today I sat behind the computer to write down my thoughts on emancipation of men and women and on how surprisingly slow and at the same time surprisingly fast the progress is. And suddenly I thought: ‘What if this male crew is not a sign of emancipation, but a sign of yet another field taken over by men?’ So I decided to write the initial post about how fast or slow emancipation goes after I have had a flight with a female captain.

Now waiting in excitement…


The male easyJet crew brought me to a place where I was able to make this picture.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Bad weather

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Trending?

#wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks #wikileaks

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

My baby

The waiting room was not warm enough so I kept my coat on. A friendly man has served me a tea in a plastic cup. The tea was close to disgusting. Warm drinks machines never produce drinkable tea. These machines can be found in places where you’d rather not be: train stations when it’s late and cold, reception rooms of larger companies where you wait for your job interviews, waiting rooms in hospitals… I guess the nature of those places contributes greatly to the lousy taste of the tea too.

I drunk my tea, checked the magazines (glossies from August 2010), glanced at the visitors (three men) and lost myself in my iPhone. Every once in a while I glanced at the large glass wall dividing the waiting room and the large space where it all was actually happening. This glass wall is a good idea, because you don’t stay in awful uncertainty while waiting. You can just watch them do what has to be done.

All of a sudden one of the men from the other side of the glass wall walked in and asked me to come along. I am not good at instant panicking, but I did realise there must be a problem. “Look – this is the problem.” He scratched her to illustrate the problem, but somehow I felt like it was my skin he was scratching. “You can have it treated properly. Or you can have us apply a temporary treatment, but that won’t solve the problem and we will not be able to give you any guarantees.” “How long will she have if I don’t have it treated?” “How long do you need?” “One year.” “She might just make it.”

She looked very vulnerable, undressed, cold. I felt sorry for her. One year is a very realistic term, maybe even slightly too optimistic. We both know it. But saying it out loud made it come very close. Something turned inside me. “Apply a temporary treatment.” I went back to the waiting room, avoiding to look at her.

I dared to look again when she was wrapped in some kind of bondage. I made a picture and resisted the temptation to come over and pat her. In about an hour they removed the bondages, cleaned her and we could meet outside. She looked gorgeous! I was overloaded by a mix of emotions: love, joy, guilt, excitement, pain – I never thought I was able to feel all of that! We left the place.

“You look fantastic!” I told her. “And now we will drive fast in the fast lane annoying all those big fast cars. And I will certainly take you some place far next year. We will travel thousands of kilometres together. And you know what? How about a thorough vacuum clean on Thursday?”

My baby Opel Corsa has a new windshield!

Brooke Fraser - Something In The Water

Social networks part 2

I have discovered Foursquare. Made a profile (sorry, no pic yet) and connected it to my FB and Twitter accounts. I let foursquare detect all my friends who use it and added them. I looked around on the site, tried different things and then moved to my phone. Places nearby: a tram stop, a supermarket, the local vet, Maarten and Kris, one of the local mosques. Wait, who are these Maarten and Kris guys?

The full address is listed. The place has a mayor. I checked his profile. The guy checks in at two locations: his home and his work. And suddenly I got curious – I already have the guy’s address, how much time will it take me to find out his phone number, place of work and date of birth.

Foursquare: home address, first name, FB profile, work, 3 friends. Facebook: surname, studies, work confirmed, relationship status, 85 friends. Use name and surname to find Twitter profile. Twitter: website of the sport society he is active in. Website: e-mail address and cell phone number.

5 minutes. I didn’t bother looking for the date of birth – got bored.

Now tell me – why should I use Foursquare?

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Pieces Form The Whole - The Social Network

Monday, 6 December 2010

Social networks

21:20 Twitter-twitter-twitter. One of the twitterers I follow has posted something that caught my attention. I zoom into the conversation (a great feature btw).
21:22 I follow the conversation until I find someone’s response interesting. I click through to see the profile and read more tweets. There is a link in one of the tweets. I choose to follow that link.
21:26 The link leads to an article about marketing. It’s quite entertaining and short (very important!) so I read it to the end. I then follow to another article listed as related.
21:28 I scan through the article, but don’t really read it. It’s not very interesting and my attention is already caught by an item on the list of “interesting resources”. I follow the link.
22:17 The link brings me to a website with loads of resources  on social media. I get carried away and read several articles. I want to find out more about the author which is possible by clicking on her name.
22:20 I find myself on a website of a person (for a change). But I don’t stay for long – there’s a link to her FB profile. Off to Facebook.
22:26 Scroll through the posts on the wall, read the comments. There’s a funny comment by one of the friends, I check out her profile.
22:29 Scroll through the posts on the wall, read the comments, watch a video posted two days ago. Go on to the ‘Info’ tab. There’s a link to her account on Twitter which I follow.
22:33 I read her tweets for the past three days and decide to follow her. I am about to leave the page when I see the link to her website. Why not go there?
22:37 Hey, it’s a blog! I read the last five posts. Then I read the comments to these posts in reversed order (starting with the last read post). After reading the comments and occasionally commenting myself I decide to check out the people who commented.
23:02 After checking out three blogs (one post each) I suddenly find one worth reading through. I get carried reading more and more back in the time. I stop in August 2010. I need to follow this. And I want to recommend it to more people. Add it to Sasja’s frequent reads is my way of doing so.
00:09 After updating my blogroll I decide to check some of the other listed blogs – it has to stay frequent. After going through all of them, placing comments and laughing at some pictures I end up checking the visitors of one of the blogs.
00:47 I see seven absolutely worthless blogs and one Twitter profile. Scroll through the tweets (nothing exciting) and go back to my own page to see the tweets posted by the people I follow. One of the friends reflects on an issue he’d mentioned before which reminds me that I wanted to read a particular post on his blog. I move to Facebook to find the address and click through to the blog.
01:08 The post I wanted to read has been written in the beginning of September, although it feels like yesterday. It takes some time to find it, but finally I manage. I read, comment and suddenly realise there must be more people I know who have a Twitter account. Go to Twitter and try to trace those through LinkedIn. And Gmail. And Hotmail. Done.
02:11 02:11?! WTF?! And I still have to blog!


The Social Network is not an art house film, but surprisingly inspiring nonetheless.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Sinterklaas

Next time I really will be done cooking BEFORE my guests come! I can’t remember a party at my place that wouldn’t start with me still in the kitchen. This time was no different. I also have dropped my homemade amandelstaven (is there a name for them in English?), although maybe that was for the best because I don’t believe they’d worked out very well anyway.

What always surprises me is why my guests seem to be unable to eat quite as much as I have to offer. Somehow after the vegetable pie, a salad, oliebollen, pepernoten, kruidnoten, mango milkshakes,  crisps and olives they all declared to be full and didn’t want any cheese, bonbons or ice-cream anymore. So if you feel like Ben&Jerry’s or oliebollen with hot chocolate feel free to drop by on Sunday (which is already today). I have a lot more so don’t worry - you won’t starve.

Despite the amandelstaven disaster it was a great party. Fighting for presents in a game was hilarious and it seems everybody has taken home at least one very nice present. I really need a much bigger table and more chairs so I can host bigger parties.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Dirty snow

What happened to my ability to admire snowflakes?
Why does the sound of fresh snow under my feet never excites me anymore?
Where’s the urge to throw snow balls and make snowmen?
How did the smell of the world covered in snow change that I am not able to enjoy it anymore?
When did I stop considering snowy landscapes beautiful?

When I see snow I think: dirt, slippery roads and traffic jams. I think my childhood is gone forever. And somehow that seems connected to being a car owner. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t have a car before…

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Conviction

Speak with conviction! I do have my own ideas on speaking up and being articulate, but I simply have nothing to add to this:

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

P.S. In the meanwhile I am busy with preparations for the Sinterklaas celebration with friends coming Saturday and thinking over my Christmas cards for this year.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Sabbatical

Instead of a non-stop writing marathon November became a nearly writing-free month. I stopped blogging because I wanted to write a novel. I have written about four thousand words (instead of 50.000) of which one thousand is written in a writing block, so I’d have to type that in before getting the official word count. And I didn’t pursue the writing of my novel because I was dissatisfied with the way the plot was evolving, unsure about the writing style and puzzled about the genre. These latter doubts about my novel’s genre were reflected in my writing style that resulted in the plot taking a direction I didn’t like it to go. And of course my travels to Italy were a major distraction.

Now November is over and it’s time to draw some conclusions.
1. I am not so motivated in writing a novel. The reason is either the lack of a plot, or my slightly perfectionist approach to writing, or the fact that I’m more fascinated by short stories, or maybe even the fact that I don’t really have the patience for writing as a way to fill my day.
2. I like to combine writing with pictures, music and videos. Multimedia seems much more suitable.
3. I like blogging. Whenever I think of anything that happened last year, I think of a corresponding blog post. And that’s fun. I like to have a journal. I tried to keep a journal several times before. Every five years or so I started a new one with a firm intention to hold on to it and keep on writing. It never lasted for more than three weeks, though. This time I’ve been able to keep it up for more than 18 (eighteen!!!!) months. I’d better keep on doing this. Even though blogging deprives me of topics to twitter and FB about.
4. I really crave for writing on other topics than personal. I’d love to write for a company or an organization. I’m not sure any organisation will find my style and skill suitable, but I guess there’s just one way to find out.

One of the latest discoveries (Thanks Anna!): Bright Eyes – First Day Of My Life

Friday, 19 November 2010

Special powers

My mother warned me not to watch too much TV. Especially TV series. Ok, my mother didn’t, but someone else certainly did. I knew it would go wrong one day. NCIS, Bones, Dr. House, Heroes, Prison Break, Gillmore Girls… The latter might be the less harmful of them all, but you never know.

The Great Deep Unconcious has chosen Heroes. Which means – people with powers. I must have some powers too. I do not heal instantly (tried), I cannot become invisible (tried many times), I cannot split in two (many attempts failed), I cannot fly (even though I do not need pills to travel anymore), but there must be something! Walking through walls for example.

Yesterday I decided to try this special power of mine. I was at a friend’s place and left in a hurry because I had to go home and call my mother. Once in the lobby of the apartment building I didn’t bother opening doors. That’s too slow. Walking full speed through a glass wall seemed much more efficient. So I did. Walked through the glass wall. Or… Well, at least I‘ve tried…

The wall resisted. All I managed is to leave a clear full colour imprint of my forehead, nose and lips on the wall. I took a step back to admire the image. But I couldn’t really see. I couldn’t really breathe either. I sat on the stairs for some minutes getting myself together, fighting the pain in my head and the nausea. When I could see clearly again, I looked at the imprint on the glass and decided to wipe it off with my handkerchief. I left the building through the door. How dull.

I was worried half of my face would turn blue the next day. “If they ask anything at work I’ll say my boyfriend hit me” – I thought after I told him the story and he laughed (!). But it turned out ok. Nobody noticed anything and the pain is almost gone now.



Crying was a part of the experience.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

No plot = BIG PROBLEM

Even though Chris Baty thinks no plot is no obstacle to writing a novel, my result oriented self thinks it is. I haven’t reached 3000 words yet, but I’ve already changed the direction twice. I started from zero to see where it would bring me. I changed after 500 words because I’ve got an idea about a plot as well as about some of the main characters. I was determined to stay in the mainstream fiction genre, but that was boring. Besides, the plot didn’t seem exciting anymore. At 2700 words I felt a need to change. I’m not sure the plot will work, but I feel like trying. And the genre is changing to geek-chick lit.

While I was struggling with my writing I used an old Vogue magazine for some early Christmas crafting.

And when I decided to change the plot and the genre, I needed some internet research (love it even more than writing!) and stumbled upon this:


Lykke Li is my favourite.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Sperm shortage

Flying EasyJet can be quite entertaining. Look what I found in the on board magazine:

I have started writing. The novel is called '152'. From now on you can see my word count at the right side of this blog. I have to reach 50,000 words by the end of November. Feel free to tell me off if you think I make too little progress!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Novel

I am going to do it - I am going into thirty days of literary abandon. I’ve joined NaNoWriMo and I am going to write a novel in 30 days. I've bought a notepad (it was slightly cheaper than a laptop) to be alble to write on the go. Tomorrow I'll spoil the first pages. Most probably I will never let anyone read it, but I’ve got to start somewhere. I am still not sure how much time the novel writing will consume. I do suspect however that there will be no time to blog everyday anymore. Let’s see how me, this blog and the novel will make it through this month. Wish me luck!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Fern flower

Looking for a parking place in and around my street after dancing is like looking for a fern flower on Ivana Kupala night. Both take place at night, both are equally impossible and both are equally rewarding.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Hydration

Consuming a sufficient amount of fluids every day is important. Not drinking enough can cause a headache. It’s just one of the thousands of bad things that can happen to you if you dehydrate. But it’s a reason enough for me to make sure I get my minimum of 1,5 liters of fluids a day poured inside. Fluids = tea. Summer version of fluids = tea or water. I hardly ever drink anything else. Do you have a problem with that? I don’t.

I mean, I didn’t. Until a smartass friend of mine (I love my friends, really!) said the other day that tea dehydrates and this needs to be compensated for with more fluids. So all this time I’ve been drinking just enough to avoid headaches, but not enough to prevent all those hundreds of other bad things from happening! I didn’t have enough energy to panic.

I was just determined to google out a formula that would help me to calculate how much tea is equivalent to 2l of ‘regular’ (non dehydrating) fluids. And I was going to make sure I compensate. So I googled a little (a couple of minutes). And then I googled a little more (some more minutes). And then I suddenly found a review of black tea published by The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (yeah!).  And this fantastic review says 'there is no evidence base for the assumption that all caffeine-containing drinks should be avoided in situations where fluid balance is, or might become, precarious'. According to the review ‘it was found that tea consumption did not produce a diuretic effect unless the amount of tea consumed at one sitting contained more than 300 mg of caffeine (equivalent to six or seven cups of tea)’.

I am going to whack my friend with the review from The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Eat (or rather drink) this! And stop scaring the hell out of me (like the last time with the dentist's x-rays photos).

Oh, and I am going to drink more tea, because it’s good for my heart, my teeth, my mental state and helps me look young so I can still get attention of those twenty-something boys. ;)

Discovered by pure chance:  Boozoo Bajou – Night Over Manaus

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Images of Italy

Instead of boring you with details of my trip I thought I’d feed you some pictures:




Rich colours.





Romantic corners.





Local traditions.





Arts and culture.





Picturesque places.





Narrow streets.





Ever present eye for detail.



I know I have time. And I know I will need it. Trying to conceive that this country might be my new home.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Flying

I love travelling. And I love flying. The idea of getting some place far just in a few hours makes my heart leap. A big YES to flying. Except for one little problem: I get really-really sick during the take-off and landing. Which is no problem, because I have my magic travel pills that make sure I don’t get sick. The side effects are a little problem, though. I get slightly dizzy and very sleepy for hours and hours after the flight. And THAT was not an option when I was flying to Italy last Friday. I wanted to make sure we’d still be able to enjoy the rest of the evening.

I remembered my victorious Efteling experience last August and decided to give it a try. No pill. I just need to sleep enough, make sure I eat well, drink enough and have no headache. Then I’d have a chance to win this one too. The plan looked perfect. It just didn’t work. I slept for five hours, had to do some biking around the city which meant no proper drinking. I had no time for a proper lunch either. I still had pain in my back and shoulders and I was tense because of the idea I might get terribly sick on the plane. This combination gave me a headache.

I travel alone pretty often and it’s never a problem, but this time I felt really lonely. There was no one to hold my hand and tell me it’ll be all right. There was no one to chat with to forget my worries during the take-off. It was the first time I was kind of afraid to fly.

I’ve survived the take-off, the whole flight and the landing. I came off the plane tired, still a little scared and suffering quite a headache. I was not so fit for an enjoyable evening after all. Hmmm. We had an enjoyable evening though. The headache was gone after I’d had my pizza and a glass of wine. And the tension dissolved into thin air after a nice massage when the candles and the fireplace were lit.

It’s only on my way back yesterday that I was able to truly enjoy the victory. I was flying! And I was not sick. Another victory! So what’s next? Sailing? Space travelling?
Escher in Lounge 4 @Schiphol

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Absent

I didn’t write for the past several days because I wasn’t there. I’ve had an overwhelming weekend in Italy. And I had to get away from the computer because my back and my neck were in pain. Now I’m back and I have a lot to share. Hopefully I’ll find a way and the time to catch up.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Mortality

Why are insurances and banks so keen on making full colour magazines? I’m talking about those dull publications consisting of photos of happy people and irrelevant articles. The ones you get in your mail whether you want it or not. They come packed in a plastic bag and go straight into garbage bin in the same plastic bag, unopened. I once opened such a magazine from my health insurance company. It was so intensely and depressingly boring that I didn’t even manage to remember what it was about.

A bank where I have my savings account sends me a magazine that’s called ‘Spaarmotief’ which literally means ‘saving incentive’. Huh?! I already have a savings account. Which means I already save money and do not need incentives. Spaarmotief is not about saving money for a new gadget of education for your children. The magazine is packed with articles about all kinds of environmental projects run by the bank. They suggest that if I want to save the nature I should put more money on my savings account. I must admit I do find it a rather weird incentive. I also fail to understand how sending me a magazine that I throw away immediately contributed to a better environment.

Today I received a magazine that beats them all. This one is at the top of absurdity that my simple mind is not able to comprehend. Today I received a magazine from Dela – an insurance company that covers the costs of your burial. I already pay for the insurance. What else do they want from me? Why do they have to remind me about my mortality? On the cover of this issue of the magazine (called Chronicles) they have a smiling man. Apparently his father is dead. Why is he smiling? Who the f**k is he anyway? At the back of the magazine there are loads of coupons you can fill in if you want more information. Help! How do I unsubscribe? Where is the coupon for less information?!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Accepted

“She came in this morning and asked where J. was. I told her he’d come in later as usual and she said ‘Pff’.”
“What?! Did she say ‘Pff’?!”
“Yes!!! I don’t trust her.”
We have a new colleague and it seems she’ll have a tough time getting accepted.

I have mixed feelings about the concept of being accepted by a group. I didn´t feel accepted when I was a kid. And it always felt terrible. But somehow I never did anything to change that.

Later, when I grew older I found myself perfectly accepted by the groups I wanted to belong to. I didn´t have to do anything for that, I just fitted in well. I also grew to realise that changing yourself for the sake of being accepted is just not worth it.

I could say I don´t care much whether I am accepted or not. But now I think it´s not true. Because when I heard that conversation about the new colleague, I felt the warmth from being a part of the group. Although, sometimes I do wonder what they say about me when I am not around. ;)

You’ve heard this some weeks ago here, but it’s too relevant to skip. So now the video: Gabriel Rios – The Boy Outside

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Incentive

Just curious: what kind of incentive and how much of it exactly do I need to stop suffering the pain and start doing morning exercises for my back and shoulders?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Travelling

It’s been three years since I had a decent vacation for the last time. My definition of a decent vacation is going to some country I’ve never been before and travel all around it visiting as many places as possible in the shortest possible period of time. I like to exhaust myself visiting the sights, exploring the cities, ‘hunting’ for food and watching people. I like to see the differences. I like to get familiar with places. I like to go shopping discovering some unfamiliar shops. I like to buy jewellery.

One day several years ago I was suddenly struck by the idea that I wear jeans from Italy, shoes and underwear from Belgium, a sweater from Portugal, a jacket and a necklace from Kiev and a ring from Spain. But lately more and more of my wardrobe is from the Netherlands or from Kiev. I do some shopping in Brussels every once in a while and I did manage to bring some stuff from Riga earlier this year. But my country list is still three countries too short and the international element is disappearing from my wardrobe. This needs fixing!

I urgently need a plan on how to generate extra income enough to pay a vacation to three new countries plus shopping. #challenge

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Activism

Yesterday in Blijdorp, at the apes pavilion someone was speaking of silent forests and apes threatened with extinction. He talked about the importance of the protection work that’s being done by various international organizations in Africa, projects that stimulate local population to turn to farming (breeding) rather than to hunting and about how difficult it was to make the local organisations sustainable and self supporting. I found it very interesting. I listened till the end and didn’t have a slightest inclination to switch to another topic or simply walk on to next pavilion to admire butterflies. That sudden interest surprised me. Engaging in this sort of topics is just not me. How come I stood there and listened?

I found the reason pretty soon: the person I listened to was not trying to convince me (or anyone else) that he’s doing important work. He was not trying to convince me to engage in this sort of activities. He was not blaming me for my consumptive behaviour. He was not asking for support of any kind. He didn’t look or sound fanatic in any way. Wow! I wish all nature, political or humanitarian activists were like this. I mean ALL of them. We all would be much better off.

I grew up with the notion that wasting natural resources is plain bad. You don’t throw away stuff that can be reused. You switch off the light. You don’t let the food spoil. So I didn’t. Until I moved to the Netherlands. Where food is going to the waste bin every day. Where plastic bags are being used in huge amounts and thrown away after a half-an-hour use. Where shops are warm in the winter even though the doors are open. And where an enormous amount of people is fanatically engaged in an organisation of some sort or other trying to ‘fix’ things with nature, politics or human rights somewhere else on the planet. Living here has gradually turned my default settings to “screw the environment”, “fuck the politics” and “who cares about human rights anyway”. Which is quite scary when I think about it.

No, I don’t blame the Netherlands or the activists. It’s me. And I have to do something about it ASAP! And without being fanatic about it.

Very sweet discovery: Lisa Mitchell – Neopolitan Dreams (the official video is very nice too)

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Tree

It’s neither too sweet nor too bitter, not too heavy or too light, not too sophisticated but not too simple either. It’s certainly not cheap. It’s just good. It’s certainly a good choice if you want entertainment, but don’t want any mainstream humdrum. The Tree. It’s just a very nice film. Go and see it.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Not happy, guilty

Remember I wrote how I felt happy when a friend of mine had a big problem? That was a pretty weird feeling. Yesterday I came to the conclusion, that one friend with a problem is really enough. When the number of friends with problems grows I stop feeling happy. The good thing about this is that it confirms that I actually do care about them.

There is one more side to the coin, though. If the number of problem friend is more than three and the time the problems last is more than a week, I seem to lose the ability to support them. In the past seven days six friends were ill, three feeling depressed, a very nice colleague had a miscarriage and another one appears to have cancer in a very advanced condition. I was checking up on the ill ones and giving encouraging talks and listening to the depressed ones. I felt my energy flow away and didn´t seem to be able to restore it anyhow. And all of a sudden I just stopped giving support. It feels like a spring that dried out. Realising that I actually do not have problems didn´t help to revive the energy and support spring.

Now I feel a little uncomfortable because I´m letting my friends down. I also all of a sudden felt admiration for Mother Theresa because of her ability to accumulate energy and divide it efficiently. That´s something I certainly need to learn.

I´m going into a long and hopefully very inspiring weekend. After that I´d have my energy back. In the meanwhile I hope some of the friends will get well.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Traffic action

It’s been more than a month now and I’m getting used to it. Traffic jams twice a day three days a week are a part of my weekly routine now. I move along with hundreds of cars patiently waiting until we pass the bottle neck and can move freely again.

You know, patience is not one of my main virtues. And though traffic jams offer an excellent possibility to train my patience, I try to fight back and turn waiting into some sort of activity. I’ve discovered that while you stand packed in the jam, you can see the drivers in the car in front of you and the one behind. The distance is very small and there is enough time to seek contact. You check the driver in your mirrors, wave, smile or move and sing along with the radio tunes.

Excellent! For several weeks already that’s what I do while stuck in a traffic jam somewhere between Den Haag and Utrecht - flirting! I consider myself quite an experienced flirt , but traffic jam flirting is a whole new field for me. Given the amount of response I’ve received so far I still have a long way to go. Where in a bar or a meeting 55% of men would respond one way or another, my score in the traffic is about 2%. I’m still trying to figure out the reasons for such a low number of reactions. If you have any tips, please do share! I’d be grateful.

Before hitting the road on my way from work today I stopped at a gas station and cleaned my car windows.

Monday, 11 October 2010

A new coat

I need a new coat. I love shopping, I really do. But there are two things that don't make me cheer if I have to buy them: shoes and coats. The shoes have to fit well, otherwise the feet will hurt. And then they also have to combine well with various outfits which of course is a great challenge given the amount and the diversity of the outfits I can pull out of my closet. It's nearly the same for coats. A coat has to look nice and be comfortable and practical at the same time. And it has to combine with different types of shoes which makes the challenge even greater.

Tempted by the sunny weather I went downtown for a walk. The shops are open, why not have a look at coats? I went into three shops that sell coats and tried one coat on. I came home with a bag of 75 tea-lights, two aroma candles, incence sticks, two mascaras, loads of perfume samples, new pyjamas (which I probably will not use as pyjamas) and a toothbrush. No coat.

Another try next weekend?

Another discovery: Revolver – Get Around Town

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Signs

I am in a romantic mood lately:

Friday, 8 October 2010

Magic road

The mist again. Up until now I've only experienced it looking out of the train window. Every time I was admiring the fields covered with a blanket of mist with cows slowly swimming in this strange substance. Today I was in the car. No cows - cars. And trees along the road. And giant wind turbines (or rather their feet).

I was admiring the view. I had enough time for that in the huge traffic jam this morning. I looked at the cars disappearing behind the mist curtains. What's behind that turn? A misterious dark tunnel with green lights and strange sounds? Will the road turn into river and cars into boats? It will be quiet and the silense will be disturbed by the sounds coming from strange birds flying around in circles, curious about the boats. I imagined a magical forest with giant trees and exotic flowers. I saw misterious landscapes.

I know the road by heart, but the mist makes it very easy to believe I don't know what lies ahead. Amazing!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

My Best Face

Remember this article? Some time ago a friend posted the link to my wall. According to the research of the dating website OkCupid iPhone users seem to be more attractive and even have more sex. Well, guess what? OkCupid is the dating website I've joined a month ago. I came there not so much for dating, but rather for adventure and inspiration. I didn't rule out the possibility of meeting someone special, but was rather attracted to the shiny stuff. Like the flowchart to my heart. Or the photo research.

Yes, the photo reasearch. I have submitted my photos to be judged by random men who use OkCupid. Interesting results. My best photo is the one of me in my Dr.House t-shirt taken in my bedroom. Somehow most vegetarians find it very attractive. What's the link? Dr. House is not vegetarian as far as I can recall. The picture of me that you can see on the right side of this blog is less popular. Although, it is more popular among children between 18 and 22! The picture of me in Riga, trying to picture Vovka with my iPhone seems to be the least successfull. The only people who appreaciate it are artists, deviants, dorks, geeks and liberals. Maybe I should remove it from my profile. You can see the full report here. And if you are curious how your own photo's would score - you know where to go.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Good news

My accountant has finally completed my tax declaration for 2009. Good news - I seem to be getting some "free money". I also already seem to know how I'm going to spend it. My life is certainly not getting any cheaper, but hopefully much more beautiful. The trees outside are losing their leaves. Why am I in such a spring mood?

I made this photo a couple of years ago: Christmas in Lisbon

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

5 euro

I found five euro on the street today. I was walking, looked down and saw it lying on the pavement. There was nobody around, I took the banknote, put it in my bag and went on. It's not a great amount to start jumping around in joy, but great enough to have a nice feeling about it.

It's been a long time sinse I'd found money for the last time. There are all kinds of explanations for that. I don't walk so much. I don't consider coins of less than one euro to be money. I don't look and hope to find any. Anyway, I've forgotten how it feels. So I was 'listening' to the feeling.

To me finding money feels more or less like getting money for my birthday, or receiving a tax refund - free money (although in the latter case not really, but still feels that way). I don't know how you treat this kind of money, I usually tend to spend it for a little extra. I imagine what I could do with that amount of money. I come up with three or four things that fit in that 'budget'. Then I try to choose one. And finally I end up buing at least two or even all of them. Thus, I tend to spend my free money several times which is physically impossible. Meaning: free money make my life more expensive.

Maybe I should just drop the 5 euro banknote on the street next time I go outside. That might save me five or even ten euro.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Crazy

A toothbrush, toothpaste, some make-up, clean underwear, deodorant, perfume, painkillers (just in case), chewing gum (never without), my wallet, my phone, the phone charger to use in the car and prints with the driving directions. It’s 00:30 and I am ready to go. 596km in 5 hours and 38 minutes.

He: “You are crazy!”
I’m afraid he is right.

Well, instead of driving through the night I am going to take a bath now. But tomorrow I will refill the oil in my car. The oil was not the reason I didn’t go, but it did give me an anxious feeling. I know there will be no next time. But if there is, I’ll make sure I’m ready!

Someone reminded me of this song some days ago, love it: The Gossip – Heavy Cross

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Party

Saturday, 2 October 2010

DNA

The usual check up at the dentist’s. There is work to do and he wants to check the tooth he treated half a year ago. This means a photo. Or actually three because the first two where too dark and unclear. He always makes loads of photos. X-ray photos as you might have guessed. Finaly we made an appointment for the next Friday to replace some fillings and do other stuff that has to be done.

“How was it at the dentist?” – a friend asked later today.
“He made some photos, as usual” – I answered.
“Ow, but that’s not good for your health. It brings damage on DNA-level” – he said.

HELP!!!! My DNA is being ruined! Suddenly I was covered
by a wave of panic. Huh? Usually I don’t have to think twice before taking in a heavy antibiotic to cure whatever even though I know my liver might suffer. My stomach probably looks like a colander by now because of all the painkillers I use to fight my headaches, but that doesn’t bother me. But my DNA is apparently off limits. You can’t touch it! I’m not very consistent in my concerns about my health, am I?

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Dutch

Ok, I can see you are not in the mood for guessing. So I’ll tell you the answer and won’t ask questions anymore.

The immigration and Naturalisation Service took the time to look through the 7 documents I’ve submitted with my application. They spent one year staring at my papers. And then it downed on them that a successfully passed state exam on Dutch language (the one meant for Dutch) is not sufficient proof of my command of Dutch language. So they suggested I pass the exam for foreigners.

Boy, I was pissed! Boy, the foreigners’ exam was boring and slow! But I did it. And now I am free of permits, applications and all the other formalities that chase and annoy every foreigner.

I am Dutch now. Saturday I’ll celebrate the fifth anniversary of my Dutchiness. This will be the first and the last time I celebrate this. Because, I mean, do you know many Dutch who celebrate their being Dutch every five years?

A new discovery: Maria Solheim - Lady of My Life

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Anniversary

Five years ago Her Majesty has signed a paper with 99 names on it. By doing so she was granting the Dutch nationality to all those people at once. My name was among the 99 lucky ones. It probably took her just a couple of seconds and voilà! But of course the signature of the Queen was just a decorative formality. The preceding procedure was long and frustrating though.

I’d collected all required documents and submitted them to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service. The lady behind the glass has examined the pile of papers I’d brought with me, checked something with a couple of colleagues and finally said my file was complete and I should go home and wait for my nationality. “Usually it take about nine months” she said.

I went home and waited. For months. Then one day I finally received a letter from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service stating that I still need to submit one more document. Apparently the lady behind the glass was wrong.

How long did it take the immigration office to count the papers and conclude one was missing? Cast your vote at the right side of this blog!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ironic

I went to Ikea to get a new dishwasher. Sigh. I wonder why a trip to Ikea always takes hours even if there’s no traffic jam in front of it and I need only one thing of which I know exactly where to get it. Sigh. I was checking the availability of the dishwasher on the Ikea website and discovered they have an iPhone application with an Ikea catalogue. Sigh. I also discovered that nobody works on Monday afternoon. Everybody goes to Ikea – there was no parking space. Sigh.

While waiting for my dishwasher I saw a big stand in the middle of the hall with lots of cute stuffed animals. “For every soft toy you buy Ikea donates €1 to help educate a child.” I assume Ikea made sure no children labour is involved in making of those very cheap soft toys. Otherwise such an action would be very-very ironic.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Sea buckthorn

A very good friend of mine is ill. He has a sore throat and a very high fever. Yesterday I brought him some groceries and a small bottle of the sea buckthorn oil. He used it, but complained about the taste. And then he complained again. Tomorrow he is going to see his doctor because he doesn’t want to apply the sea buckthorn oil to his throat anymore. I hope we are still friends. ;)

This is absolutely irrelevant, but today I spoke with a man who actually knows what sea buckthorn is!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

My first

I’ve got my first speeding ticket – yay! Ehm... Hmmmm.... I know it costs money, but still this first experience feels like an achievement rather than a disappointment. I have recalled some other first times trying to see whether I had a similar contradicting experience.

The first time I’ve visited the Household Fair felt like an achievement, but I think it doesn’t count because most visitors do not realise it’s very wrong to be there.

My first letter from the screening programme for cervical cancer felt like a sentence. “You’re officially not young anymore”.  Besides, I didn’t do anything for that, except for getting older.

At last I found an appropriate event to compare with my speeding ticket. I thought about my first hangover. I was nineteen and wanted to get drunk total loss just to experience that. I managed. I do remember being terribly sick and I do remember the horrible headache. I don’t remember feeling like a winner, though.

I think this speeding ticket is my first positive negative experience. I’ll hold on to it. :)

I think I shared this before, but now it seems appropriate: Tosca – My First

Thursday, 23 September 2010

My darling?

Honestly, I was writing a post for today and got quite far with it. And then I found this little animation film. This is so brilliant! I will post today’s post tomorrow. (Yeah, what's on my mind?)

Sunlight

The boy from the logistics department walked into my room: “I am here to pick up some boxes. They said I had to be in the dark room.”

They call my office ‘the dark room’ because I refuse to switch on the lights. I sit in the corner of the room surrounded by windows and enjoy the natural light as long as there’s a bit of sunshine outside. I always thought this was because I liked the sunlight so much. But recently I realised: it’s because I hate bright artificial light.

I remember a room where we had our math lessons at school when I was about ten years old. The room was on the first floor. It was the first lesson on Tuesdays, starting at 8:30. In the winter, when it was still dark outside, the room was filled with the bright yellow light from the lamps on the ceiling. It was the coldest room in the whole building. Our mathematics teacher was not mentoring any class, so there were no parents to fill the slits in the windows with foam rubber and seal them with long stripes of paper. You could hear the freezing wind whispering through the windows. I liked math, but somehow I always felt lonely and abandoned during those lessons. I didn’t enjoy the school in general, but in the winter I simply hated it. For the cold rooms. And for the yellow lights.

The lights in my office are white, but somehow when they are switched on I feel a tiny bit abandoned like many years ago during my math lessons in the cold room on the first floor. I prefer to stay in ‘the dark room’.

Philip Glass - Metamorphosis 1

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Dead

My dishwasher stopped washing. I sighed. I did the dishes by hand. I complained to a friend. “Shall I come around and have a look?” - he offered. “Do you have any previous experience fixing dishwashers?” “No, but I’m an engineer. I fixed other appliances before.” “No, thank you. I believe in my girl power.” - I declined.

I have tried all possible programmes. Not that there are many: ‘70 degrees’, ‘50 degrees eco’ and ‘40 degrees 30 minutes’. I have switched it on and off. I read the manual. I have checked the tap. I read the bloody manual again. I took the whole damn thing apart! I checked the pipe inside. I put everything back on its place and ran another programme. The result? I noted the strange noise it makes and I figured out there must be not enough pressure for the water to go up the pipe. I saw my girl power failing, gathered the last bits of it and called a repair company.

The man came within an hour after I called him. He headed straight to the kitchen, switched the machine on and sat in front of it silently for a couple of minutes. When the machine started making that strange noise he switched it off and stood up with a sad expression on his face. “I am very sorry, miss. The motor is broken.” – he sad with a soft voice. He had an appearance of a doctor telling you that your child’s heart is inevitably failing. I almost went into a grief mode, but shook it off realising it wasn’t my child, but a cheap dishwasher from Ikea. The cheapest you can get, actually. “I am very sorry…” – the man repeated. I fought the grief. He took the money and left in silence.

No girl power can beat a broken motor. But hey, let’s face it: neither can an engineer. So viva la girl power! (I still have to repair the lamp in the bathroom. Or shall I call the engineer for help?)

Monday, 20 September 2010

Saturday night

What makes a good Saturday night? Good company? A walk on the beach? A drink or two? Some good food? Dancing? Bumping into more people you know? Random chatter and jokes? Getting some exorbitant yet flattering compliments? Dancing? Sex? Watching people (and myself) knowingly and willingly take the wrong turn, not caring about tomorrow? Any random combination of those things?

Last night was such a night - a good Saturday night.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

U very beautiful

It appears a dating website can show you life from a slightly different perspective. Today I received a message from a 27-year-old student from Denmark (not Danish, judging by his English):

Subject: wow,u very beautiful
Sep. 18, 2010 – 4:55am

Hi beautiful
how are you ?
you so so very beautiful woman , very much beautiful ,
you look much younger than your age , and wonderful
how come beautiful woman like you single ?????
are the guys where you living blinds or crazy ? LOL
I bet the guys standing in line for you ,
anyway
nice wonderful photo's
I hope i didnt bothred you , I know you reciving thousand of lettes in day , LOL Bcz every single and non single find you beautiful and wanting you
kiss and very big hug for you
keep in touch
ciao angel ,

I found this on some other profile (the same website): Frida Hyvonen - The Modern

Friday, 17 September 2010

Americans

Me: “So you’ve been in the Netherlands only for three months now?  That’s a very short time!”
He: “For an American that’s very long. Americans never spend more than eight days away from their country.”
Someone behind us: “Speak for yourself!”
Another voice behind: “Yeah, speak for yourself!”

What followed is a conversation about who came from where (Florida, Texas) and who’s been where and so on. The conversation didn’t have any depth or any added value, but they seemed to enjoy it. They didn’t have any problems discussing their being American in the full tram. Suddenly it struck me that their behavior is more or less the opposite of what I’m used to from Russian speaking community.

Russian speakers are much more reserved. We usually do not address each other just like that, very often we find it annoying if some stupid tourist happens to jump on us: “Are you also from Russia?”. We try to pretend we don’t see or hear each other and if we start a conversation, we do not hit right away with ‘where are you from’.

What is the reason for such a difference?

Here’s a nice short animation, one of those I saw at KLIK! in Amsterdam:
Prettige vakantie!!! – Nicolien Opdam
PRETTIGE VAKANTIE!!!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Blonde in the traffic

Traffic lights. Need to be in the middle lane to turn left some fifty metres further. One car waiting for the traffic light to turn green. Lined up. Green. The car in front of me is not moving. Signal. No effect. Change lanes. Green. The car in the middle lane is still not moving. No emergency lights on. Someone signals from behind. No effect. I can’t help peeking in the car as I pass. The driver is a fairly young nice looking lady. Ignores the signals and the traffic light. Yes, blonde. For real. Chill? Forgot how to drive? Waiting for a pink light?

I am not blonde and such actions are not my style. But I am still a female AND inexperienced driver. Very lousy combination. On my list:
- making a U-turn where it’s physically impossible to turn and block the traffic in a very busy street;
- trying to change lanes on the highway (yes, very fast) and forgetting to look out for the car next to me;
- driving off with the handbrake on;
- driving at night without lights;
- stopping in a traffic jam and trying to move again with the reverse gear turned on (LOL).

More to come!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Flowchart to my heart

I did it. I’ve registered at a dating website. Yes. Seriously. ’ I do things, so you don’t have to’ (a nice blog, by the way).  Because I am a bit anxious to be found on a dating website, refuse to pay money for it and have some nerdiness hiding deep under the cover of cuteness I have found a site that is free and is made by nerds for nerds.

And yes, the site is nerdy enough, just as I like it. There are hundreds of questions you can answer. The answers help to compare you to the potential dates. The answers to questions that you marked as very important are also used to make a flowchart to your heart. A flowchart!!! Needless to say – I love the site.

So here it is: the flowchart to my heart. Besides the fact that I love the sight of it, it also reveals some interesting things about me. Apparently, if you are happy with your life you stand almost no chance to go on a date with me. Unless you brush your teeth twice or more a day. I have no desire whatsoever to have children with someone who brushes their teeth less often (according to the chart and is absolutely true).

I will eventually reveal the name of the website here, but first I’d like to play around undisturbed, please.

Wrong

Did I say I can live without a dishwasher? I take it back!

The Divorce Day

15 September is the Divorce Day. Not a bad idea. I figured (dûh) divorced people do not have any wedding anniversaries to celebrate. And celebrating an anniversary of your divorce might be emotionally tricky. The Divorce Day is not connected to your divorce (unless you have bad luck and 15 September is the day when you actually got your divorce), but does offer an opportunity to mark your state somehow. Just like the Father’s or the Mother’s day.

You might argue that people who’ve never been married also have no wedding anniversaries to celebrate. So why should divorced people be compensated and not those who’d never been married? The answer is easy: divorced people had their wedding anniversaries, but lost that reason for a party after the divorce. You don’t need to get compensated for something you’ve never had.

This year the Divorce Day will be held for the first time and I see loads of commercial opportunities in the years to come: greeting cards, flowers, restaurant arrangements and special city tours. I’ve already started writing the business plan. In the meanwhile I consider gathering some of my divorced friends for a drink next Wednesday.

I haven´t posted any photos of myself for quite some time. Somehow that feels wrong. So here we go:

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Exes

I either have too many exes or spend too much time with them. Or both.

'Discovered' today: Ben Folds - You Don't Know Me

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Driving vs. dancing

Things keep on going wrong this dancing season. First I got a rejection from my salsa school: too many ladies for the lesson I want to attend. Well, I guess that means no lessons for me then. I could go to another school, maybe I’ll do that.

I tried to arrange for extra ballroom lessons, but there the problem with males is even greater. Because of the broken computer/car stress last week I forgot to show up at the dancing evening to meet my potential dance partner. Tonight he didn’t show up at the lesson. I dressed up and put make-up on for nothing. I hate that.

I did have a nice drive through the city, though. After that PT Cruiser accident I feel really happy every time I manage to drive somewhere and back without hitting anything. I also enjoy parking because I actually manage to park my car properly and it doesn´t take me twenty minutes. So when I came home from my unsuccessful attempt to score a dance partner I didn’t feel any irritation or disappointment.

Driving seems to be a nice substitute for dancing. And the good thing is: I don’t need a man for it!

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