January 26, 2007

The future

The future to me is undefined. Mythical, almost. A fantasy, far away, one that you will never reach.

Imagine my shock that all of a sudden events which used to have a mythical sound to it are turning out to be real.

A plan that was thought up eight years ago, and that we all laughed about as it was just funny, but come on, who really thought it would happen??

So as I am filling out my new 2007 calendar I come to this one date - the mythical one. And it's real. Scary.

January 24, 2007


It's almost a miracle.

One thing I never thought I would need in my current job is my Japanese language ability. But, here it is, finally an opportunity to show a little bit more of what I can do: I've been appointed as an interpreter.

Of course, the project team neglected to confirm this to me after months of silence. It now also turns out that I am not really available anymore during the new period.

Nevermind all that. It only leaves me with the slight detail that I haven't actually properly spoken Japanese for over 1,5 years now. Not to mention the fact that I will be interpreting during (what are likely to be) highly technical tests. Yikes. I definitely have some brushing up to do!

January 13, 2007

Room 11 - One of these days

Because I've finally discovered YouTube, and because the live gig of this band was awesome - enjoy :) (unfortunately can't find any good live videos though...)

Oh, and the singer is completely inspiring me to dress more adventurous again, love her style!

January 11, 2007

Random bullets

I have a few things in my head, but can't get them written out. This is the gist of it, in any case.

  • Inspiration - why can't it just be? I can feel it is kind of back, partly due to a very fun Monday night (see also the next bullet), which is very good. But still - I just want it to stay. Especially because every time I'm on a high, that high gets higher and unfortunately the inevitable low is lower than before.
  • Inefficiency - I have had an afternoon full of amazement. To give you the story very quickly, last year I applied for a volunteer job and didn't get it due to lack of experience (the magic word). Today, after another round of complete inefficiency on their side, I was back for another interview for a slightly different volunteer job. It turned out not to be an interview, but more an announcement to tell me I had the job (yay!). Somewhere in between was mentioned that they aren't quite happy with whoever ended up with last year's job. Gosh, really? Where are snarky responses when you need them!
  • Office politics - My boss is letting me in on all kinds of confidential stuff which is good (especially because my position is the most insecure - again). But so annoying, because my colleagues are still doing the same thing which is completely going to change in a few weeks and then I'll be stuck (partly) with trying to fix things. Gah. I hate how everything in this office needs to be so politicized, in a sense.

January 10, 2007

M-flo - Come Again

While trying to come up with a brilliant job application I've been bopping along to M-Flo - a favourite Japanese band. And they have one of my favourite karaoke-songs! (not this one though...). This song is a few years old - they're part of my Osaka-memories. *Sigh*

January 09, 2007


Why does it always feel so good to book tickets to a next destination?

Being bored of life?

Whichever it may be, I decided that I might as well do my best to try to make this year as good a travelyear as last year was.

Starting with five days in Saint Petersburg in March. And maybe after that it's time to switch my Russia fascination to something else for a while!

January 05, 2007

Buildings - books on and photography of

Last week I visited the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam again to see their latest exhibition: Spectacular City.

This is one of my favourite museums in the country and I love the things they do with architecture and (usually) urban spaces. This exhibition shows photographs of cityscapes - photographing the future, in the words of the curators.

And that is really what it is too. There were only a few shots of 'old style' cities. Most impressive were indeed the cities of the future - the huge metropoles in Asia, Latin America and so on. There were quite a few aerial shots which made you realize the immenseness of it all - quite scary, in a way. Especially because of the lack of people in many shots it all felt quite spooky and very distant.

One of the cool things about the museum is its book shop. I'm not an architecture freak but I do love discovering great buildings (old & new) and I have wanted a book on Japanese architecture for some time. So, this shop finally had one. Very very happy.

One of the buildings described in the book is Tod's in Harajuku - I've walked past there plenty of times and it is indeed a pretty cool building. More recent in Tokyo (and one that I haven't seen myself) is the Mikimoto Ginza 2 store, clearly by the same architect Toyo Ito.

But, there isn't only good architecture in Japan. On the Pechakucha night a few weeks ago one of the presentations was on the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. I didn't know the building but it's stunning. Great shots of it are here. Would love to see it in real life once.

[PS, I was curious why another one of the cool Harajuku buildings wasn't in the book, but I just discovered that the Prada building was apparently designed by Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron so that explains it. Article and pictures (at the bottom) here & here]

January 04, 2007

Must haves:

I'm not a big brand freak, but: I love these shoes!

Definite must haves, except that I have no idea how I'm supposed to get them. Being on the other side of the world kind of complicates things...

(through Gridskipper: Tokyo)

January 03, 2007


I said I don't do resolutions. Well, I don't. But I do have plans for this year of course!

Amongst the most obvious: find a proper job.
Today was my first day back at the office and it was quite a shock walking into the canteen and realizing that I have now been at this place for 1,5 years! I think I owe a colleague of mine a bottle of champagne as a result of the bet we made and which I have now officially lost (if I would have left this job before Dec 31 I would have won the champagne - something that seemed inevitable when we made the deal back in oh, March ....).

But anyway, what else.

I've been looking for my first plane tickets again - I figure I might as well travel if I can't do any fun work.

So - advice please: My Russian visa is still valid until April 1, so I would love to go to St. Petersburg before then (read: end of March). However, there's only a very small chance that my Petersburg friend will be in town at that time from her regular life in Japan. Plus it's going to be COLD! And dark. Not something I particularly need at the end of what will most likely be a very long winter. Still... should I go? (oh, minor detail - if friend isn't there I need accomodation which will make things a lot more expensive... yikes)

Other travel possibilities for now seem to be the US (NYC, Washington DC and Maine) in early summer, and Spain in September. Oh, and London hopefully and another short trip somewhere. But as always, things will undoubtedly change before I know it.

And besides that I'm mostly just looking forward to a lot of fun stuff that's planned in the next few weeks - concerts, parties, good stuff.

Happy 2007! This year will definitely be better than last (*^-^*)