June 29, 2007

I like Thursdays

Or at least, I liked my last Thursday:

Lots of fun, great show - almost 2,5 hours of loads of favourite songs. I'm getting all excited about going to many more concerts again. There's this for example, which is becoming increasingly tempting....


More fun stuff yesterday: I had lunch at my old place of employment. Such a good ego boost! Have to do that some time soon again ;-)


I'm also loving the book that I'm reading at the moment: In search of Kazakhstan, the country that disappeared. A travelogue-type book describing life in Kazakhstan, with a combination of current affairs and history (oh, and no mention of Borat). Very interesting, but the places he describes are so different from what I've seen. I think he also goes to Baikonur so that should be a good test to find out how to really judge the book.

June 27, 2007


Okay, Jojoebi appeared out of nowhere and tagged me. So, 8 random facts about myself.... But first: the rules.

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. (I'll uhm, ignore this one....)
5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

My random factoids (can't promise they'll be unknown to all of you):
  • Most decadent traveling experience ever so far has been Moscow: picked up by diplomatic car from the airport, flying in a private jet with four others. Aaaaah, bliss.
  • Two of my creative accomplishments during university: I starred in a movie and I am on a CD!
  • I want sunglasses!
  • I am really bad with my finances and fear I'll get into big trouble once I need to be responsible :-/
  • My most favourite career/dreamjob would probably be something in journalism-type work.
  • Worst type of men to (almost) fall for: the married type.
  • I'm really having difficulty being involved in the campaign for reparations for comfort women. I'm pretty sure more is expected of me at my volunteer place, but really... it won't help!
  • I hate it that I don't have any foreign travelplans booked :-(

June 26, 2007

Democracy is overrated

Someone told me a few months ago that in my search for the perfect career I should pay more attention to the times that I get worked up or upset or excited about something. Admittedly, this doesn't happen all that much so strongly.

But, the thing that made me mad today was on the front of tonight's newspaper: one of the three coalition parties in the Netherlands (and many of the opposition parties) still thinks we should go ahead with a second referendum on the newly agreed European treaty.

Although it'll be months before an official decision is made I'm sure this'll be in the news for a while coming. It was a bad idea in the first place when they tried it two years ago. You cannot have the public decide on such a complex and huge issue by just answering Yes or No in a referendum.

Although I can understand that the policitians need to show the public that they did take the concerns at that time seriously. But they should also have the confidence that they did listen well (if the debate would have continued in a constructive way like it should have) and that the current treaty is the result of those concerns two years ago. Why does it warrant another referendum? Because I'm not confident that we'll get a Yes-vote out of it this time...

The European Union strikes me as inevitable and the Netherlands has a lot to gain from it.

Okay, maybe I'm overreacting. I hope they'll decide against it after all.

But still, is it bad that I sometimes think too much democracy is a bad thing?


I seem to have lost all inspiration for blogging lately. Not sure why, I think I'm too busy with other stuff.

Things are good though, I think:
  • of the bbq's I mentioned below, one was rained upon heavily, the second was wisely cancelled, the third one is expected to be sunless and wet as well.
  • more fun stuff this week: seeing Pearl Jam! I saw them over 10 years ago, as the first major live gig for me to see. So, this will be one big nostalgia trip I think :-D
  • just home from a totally bizarre movie: Inland Empire by David Lynch. I think I need to sleep on it for a night before deciding what I actually think of it other than BIZARRE.
  • no more guy-stuff to complicate things for a while - which is very good actually (sorry, no more juicy details to share for this story...).
  • I'm busy trying to find ways to pull off a 'new & improved' machi. I think I finally got kicked into action last week although now I just need to figure out how to make it work.
  • although I'm very confident that this jobhunting crap WILL finish someday, I can't quite imagine anymore what it's like to not have to constantly be on the look-out for interesting vacancies, to not feel guilty anymore about not writing new application letters etc etc.
  • one week to go until dental surgery :-/ I was completely freaking out about this last year, this time around I've hardly given it any thought so far which is very good.
  • I cannot believe that I've been writing this blog for over 2,5 years already and it's still up and running....
Okay, not sure if the above summarizes into 'life is good' but weirdly enough it does feel like it.

June 21, 2007

BBQ Season

As of today it's officially summer. Coincidentally, I will also have my first bbq of this year tomorrow.

Considering the fact that there have been a few semi-heatwaves already, I'm making up for lost time: I actually have three bbq's planned within the next week.

Unfortunately it looks like it might just probably be raining for at least the first two of those. Definitely bad planning!

June 19, 2007

More on today

I guess that when several people start saying the same things to you, you should start reconsidering your own view maybe?

My head hurts from the meeting this afternoon. Very confronting but very good. Still, new ideas, new inspiration. But also a desperate need to get out of here on the next flight out.

So, I've been looking at tickets to the US in two weeks time. And then I started googling night classes in writing and journalism (don't laugh).

If I am seriously going to consider the latter than there's no way I can get to the US any time soon. Or any other place for that matter. *sigh*


This morning was spent trying to sort out some stuff for a Russian friend of mine - she's coming to visit for three (3!) days in August and - of course - needs a visa.

I know it's nothing we can control, the country that you're born into, but it makes so much difference. I have now had to declare that she is under my care for the whole three days that she's here, and hopefully that will be enough evidence for the Dutch consulate to grant her the visa....

Very fun that she's coming of course, but sheesh, the bureaucracy surrounding these things is incredible.

June 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by macchi.

I spent part of today discovering a part of my own country unknown to me: the Betuwe. Despite me flying off to various parts of the world over the last few years, I'm determined to also see more of my own country at the same time. Today was kind of accidental, but turned out to be very nice.

During the next two/three months I have at least a hiking weekend planned in Overijssel, a barbecue weekend in Zeeland and a reunion weekend in Friesland. All in parts of the country that I've never really visited so am quite looking forward to those weekends (even if the main aim is not exactly sightseeing)!

This picture is one of my favourites of the afternoon - a stork watching over its nest. I really like the combination with the dark, threatening sky in the background.

And some more pictures of the day below....

June 14, 2007

A book post

  • am waiting excitedly for the sequel of the exchange which resulted in this book a little over a year ago. My book is waiting to be sent out (not telling what it is yet, in case the recipient is reading) but apparently some books have already arrived at their destinations.... very excited!
  • my boss gave me his copy of De Joodse Messias yesterday (literally translated as The Jewish Messiah). I've read some of the books by the author, Arnon Grunberg, but this is quite a controversial book. My boss is now describing Grunberg as 'sick and perverted'. Very curious ...
  • amongst the stack of books waiting to be read are books on Ruanda, Kazakhstan, Europe and the world in general. I think it'll be non-fiction for a while....

June 13, 2007

Escape vs. ...

This past half year has been really hectic, as you know.

One thing that I'm still happy about though, is not taking (all of) the initial professional advice that I got. The happy pills are still in my house somewhere, in a box unopened, and in a way are a reminder that I don't need them, don't want them and can be fine without them.

But sometimes it would probably just be easier. Either that, or allowing myself to escape.

Or I should just go to bed and sleep.....

June 08, 2007

Londinium, continued

Pictures from the three days in London are finally up here! Enjoy, as usual lots of buildings, very few people.

Antony Gormley

One of the coolest things we did in London was seeing the Antony Gormley exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. At first I wasn't quite sure what the exhibition would be like but it shows some fascinating stuff.

This must be a sign

I've been thinking for a while now that I should pop over to my old place of work to say hi and see how everyone is.

I think the universe, or something, is telling me that I should too: a letter and fancy certificate from the colleague I shared my office with, bumping into an old colleague on the train home tonight, a missed call from yet another colleague, and meeting even another one in the city. This is getting scary.

June 07, 2007

Wild Spirit

I first heard of this exhibition via I am not a tourist and had been waiting for an opportunity to take a look at Steve Bloom's photos.

They are definitely stunning! Unfortunately I only had a few minutes to walk past on my way to a meeting but definitely worth having a look when you're in the area.

June 06, 2007


Dutchcookie started talking about Princess Days (tongue firmly in cheek!) ages ago, which caused a bit of an uproar on-line...

Tomorrow will be a true Princess Day though. Finally!

- sleeping in
- hairdresser
- shopping
- talking about me
- soaking in the sun
- and I might just add in a facial or something else nice

All very girly, but I can't wait. Absolute bliss. These past three/four weeks have felt so chaotic, but at least now it's time to spend some of that hard-earned money. Yay!

And then followed by a weekend of few plans (so far, at least) - even better.

June 05, 2007

Uhm, right.

Best (or just, plain dumbest) quote during the past weekend:

Him: "I wasn't here [shiatsu massage seminar] yesterday as I was at a workshop on Tibetan Buddhism. But well, it's pretty much in the same league, isn't it?"
Me: "Huh?"
Him: "Well, Shinto is the Japanese version of Buddhism, right? So it's pretty much the same thing."

Right. Sure. Bye.


The above pictures are the view from my hotel last night. They're not as good as I was hoping they would be, but still, a pretty good view if you ask me.

But anyway, Rotterdam. I've been going there more regularly lately but it's still a city I don't understand. I'm only ever there to see a movie, or a concert, or whatever but never really in the city. Everytime I go, I get a stronger feeling that the place has potential. It is starting to feel like the kind of city that has some really cool places to go out at, to eat at, etc. if you only would know how to find them. Which clearly I don't. Yet.

Passing across the Erasmus bridge yesterday though, and seeing the architecture and so on in that area, the city has definitely done a great job on putting on a new image. It's definitely on my list of places to get to know better!

Speaking of Rotterdam, for more and regular shots of the city, check out this photoblog.

June 02, 2007

On scapula, supraspinatus, latissimus dorsi and more

If I ever come on here asking for advice whether or not to take another interpreting job - tell me not to do it.

I was thinking of getting certified, but unless my Japanese dramatically improves (and I see no reason whatsoever why it should) I really don't want to do this anymore.

The money is nice, but it's just not worth the stress, the anguish, the insomnia, the insecurity and so on in the week preceding and on the days of the job itself.

On the plus side, I do meet interesting and different people but it's just not good enough.

Luckily, tomorrow they will be talking about how to reduce stress so I'll definitely be paying attention! For now, I'm heading to my tv to watch the second part of the video that they sprung on me this morning... Argh.