30 December 2003
How are we ever going to have drunken sex I wonder. Jane has not even finished her 1st glass of red wine and I am already on my 4th. Excuse me while I go and pour some alcohol down the throat of my lover.
Update: We decided to watch Private Benjamin with Goldie Hawn instead. I believe there is indeed something called Lesbian Bed Death.* Or rather, Lesbian Sofa Death would be more appropriate tonight. Or any other night. There is something about my sofa. Because between sitting on the sofa and ending up in bed, it always goes from "Lets have sex" via "Let's watch that movie!" to "Yawn, I am tired, let's go to sleep."
Should I be worried that we are now on an average of only once a day? Maybe we need therapy before it all goes from bad to worse. Will sleep on it........again.
* And you thought I just made that term up didn't you? Go on! Admit it!
27 December 2003
Stupid Evil Bastard has a very interesting piece about living with ADHD/ADD. It is called ADD and life with constant medication.. His situation is not exactly like mine. However, it is very similar with regards to the way I feel about medication.
LIke him, I lived most part of my life without medication and I did reasonably well. I now take Ritalin, be it slightly irregular since I usually don't take it during weekends and holidays, and it is sometimes hard to tell what it does for me. I can sometimes say that I don't feel the differenc but then other people will tell me. Andon days where I feel like i am perfectly normal, Jane will ask me: Did you take your Ritalin today? Others notice it more than I do.
Which brings us to the question: Should I take it for me or for others aswell? When I am so loud and unconcentrated that it bugs others (for example, after a day of hard work when they are tired too), should I take my meds because MY behaviour makes it hard for others?
Oops, being unstructured again.
I'm not fond of the idea of having to take this pill every day just so I can focus my attention a little better. It's too much like relying on a crutch when I should be able to just do what needs to be done, but [...] I can't deny that it is a big help.
Indeed. That is exactly how I feel. How come other people can say things better than I can?
A Japanese Personality Test.
Based on your opinion about certain animals, it tells you what kind of personality traits you value most. Not sure it is all correct but in the end, it said that the thing I would give up last of everything, is My Passion. I think that is true. It also said the thing I value least, out of Friendship, Basic Needs, Passion, Pride and Children, is Children. Well, I don't have any kids yet so maybe that is why. It is a fun test. And, as I said, true as far as passion goes. Because life would not be worth living if you lose your passion. It is what keeps us going, keeps us looking for the thing that lies beyond the horizon.
So the date is now set. 1 April 2004 I should be on a plane (or a boat) to England to start a enw life. God I am scared to death. Especially since I have no saving whatsoever. I will be SO poor the first few months. Not sure if I can do it. But one can only try.
I am making a big calendar/planner thing for on the wall. That way I can see what I have to do and when I have to do it. Visualise things. See the people at the British Embassy, quit my job, find a place to live in Leamington Spa (If you know someone or something????!!!!) find a job there. And build myself a new life.
I am scared. But at Christmas dinner I told the whole family that it will be 1 April. So I can't go back now without looking like a twit. But that is OK. Ik makes me more motivated to go through with this.
I have always wanted to live abroad. But I never dared. Jane and I have been together for a year now. I would think that is a good enough reason to combine my urge to live with her and my wish to live abroad.
THe first day of the rest of my life starts today. Let's have a shower and go out to buy myself that planner/calendar and fill it out (or do you fill it IN?)
26 December 2003
Funny George W. Bush pictures.
Properly photoshopped this time. Usually people just chuck the head of Georgy Porgy on there and think they are funny. There are some really poignant pictures in there. I like this one about the Insanity in the family as The Disease nobody talks about!!
Number of versions of "A Christmas Carol" this Christmas: 4 (including Blackadder's....)
Number of turkeys eaten this year: 0 (thank God)
Number of family members at the party yesterday: 25
number of grandfathers lost this year: 2
Number of crying nans yesterday: 1
How different people deal with grief. Cool Nan (My mother's mother and still very Cool) cried when my dad remembered how we lost 2 grandfathers this year. Hip Nan (my father's mother, had a hip-replacement, hence the name) just sat there babbling. She did not even notice how I tried to grab her hand. Did not need it it seems. Well bugger to that. Hip Nan does not like it that her only son, my father, does not visitor as much as her two daughters. And me and my sister don't visit her enough either. Doesn't matter that we have to work.
When grandfathers die, there are two ways nans can go:
1) They mourn and cry for a while and pick their life up again and make the most of it.
2) They sit in a chair all day and say how lonely they are and how the world seems to forget about them.
I have a nan going either way. I should avoid having favorites. Because it is unfair. After all, they are both a product of their upbringing and their marriage. But somehow, I can not hide my irritation when Hip Nan says: "I was expecting you to come and visit but you haven't." And yet at the same time she has not asked ONCE about my job, even though the probable bankruptcy of the place I work is national news. Like the world revolves around just one person. And the sad thing is: She knows that the world is not revolving around her. And she is trying to hold on to it, she is trying to make the world revolve around her by making us feel guilty. "What are you doing at New Year's Eve Nan?" "Oh, I don't know. I will see what happens." "You can come to us if you like." "Oh well, I don't know. I will see what X (dad's sister who lives close to nan) does.Maybe I can go to her." Giving us the impression that only if nobody else invites her, she will come to us. Fine. Then don't. If you have a grudge with your son not coming over often enough, then say so, don't play the guilt-card.
Hmmm....mayne I should take this post down again after a few days. Or maybe sooner yet. Because I don't dislike Hip Nan. She is still my nan. This has become a completely differnt post than the one I had inmind. This is what happens if you let your fingers run away with your thoughts: dribble.
25 December 2003
Off to my parents. Why is it that people can never avoid spending Christmas with their family. I don't really mind actually. This year was a hard one. I lost both my grandfathers within 4 month. Today both sides of the family will be there. It will be hard to see both nans without granddads. It will be difficult for them, not so much for us. I feel sorry for them. So if there ever was a reason to be with my family over Christmas, it is now. So I will squeeze myself into thatpair of tight trousers,put on that pair of highly uncomfortable shoes and wear that blouse that is way too cold for this time of year.
All for the good cause.
Merry Christmas everybody.
24 December 2003
Most people with a long distance relationship try to be together at Christmas. Not Jane and me. Jane has gone to her parents for Christmas. And I am still here. Jane will be back on 27 December. So we will be apart. And the house is cold. And lonely.
Interesting how quickly you can get used to someone benig around you all the time. I live in a very small student flat. I have 2 rooms and share my bathroom and kitchen with my flatmates. So I thought after being together for about a month: yay, some more space. But after I came back frmo the airport yesterday, I thought the bed was too big and my sofa too empty. And I had only been alone for 4 hours by then.
I am pathetic. I am turning in to everything I always said I would never be: a sad, pathetic love-struck almost 30-something who clings to her lover. Ugh. The positive thing is that Jane fears she clings to me too much and I fear I cling to her too much. And neither of us is bothered by the clingy-ness of the other. So that is not really a problem........
23 December 2003
The scene: Tuesday morning, 5:49am. Train station, ready to get on a train to take Jane to the Airport.
What happened: Bloke comes out with a pile of fresh newspapers.They are free newspapers so you can just take one if you want to scan the main news. I reach out for a paper. The man doesn't look up and says: 'That is yesterday's, but if you want it, go ahead.'
I say thanks mateand wait for himto unpack his first pile of today's paper. 5:50 and the train leaves at 5:51. I ask the man if I can get a new one from the pile he has in his hands. He does not answer, lifts a pile a fresh papers and puts it in the rack. I lean forward to pick one up but the man pushes me away. He unties the rope around the pile. 5:50:30. 30 seconds and the trainleaves. The man does not look up. I ask him for a paper, after all, he has unloaded half of them into the rack so what is his trouble in handing me one. He does not look up and says: 'You can get it somewhere else. I am still busy here.' I tell him my train is about to leave. He shrugs and says: 'Not my problem.' I fume and push him aside and grab a paper and run for the train.
Some people deserve to be without a job. Others don't. I will laugh if that man ever loses hos job. What a fucking arsehole. How hard is it to simply be polite? After all, it is a free paper so he does not have to do ANYTHING, not take money from me, nothing. All he had to do was step aside so that I could take one and run for the train.
I suppose the man is an insect during the rest of his day; trampled on by other people; by his wife; by his children. No respect for this man because all he does is unpack free papers in the morning. So I suppose the only joy this low-life has in life is pissing travellers off; people who actually have a real job. Unlike this low insect not even worth to be stepped on with my expensive Salomon-boots.
Sorry. Am I being vindictive? Me? Never.
Political ads always bothered you? Well, have a look at the ads at Bush in 30 Seconds.
In a quest for more original ads, people are invited to make their own 30-second ad about Bush. You can vote for 20 ads a day and pick the ones you like best. The best ads will be aired on TV during the election campaign next year. Great fun for the whole family. Some really good work.
21 December 2003
No other word for it. Watching Louis Theroux and the Nazis on the BBC. 11-year old girls with their hand in the air giving a nazi-salute. Playing a computer game called Ethnic Cleansing where a skinhead kills blacks in a ghetto.
I want to say lots moer about this. But there is nothing in my head. This is the kind of show that you watch and when the credits roll, you sit back and wonder if you actualy really saw that. Are there really people who are that blind and stupid?
I can not put it better than the Radio Times:
There is so much that's poisonous and disturbing in these 90 minutes, it's hard to know where to start. Perhaps with two sweet, blonde 11-year-old girls, Lamb and Lynx, who enjoy playing a game called Ethnic Cleansing on their computer and dancing around a swastika drawn on their kitchen floor. The girls are stars on the neo-Nazi circuit because of their singing act, with songs extolling racial wars and hatred.
it is done. It is bald. The christmas tree now has NO needles left. As you havde read earlier, Jane hoovered our tree because it was shedding its needles. This morning I got so annoyed with having to shake the needles out of my underpants, that I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and hoovered up ALL the needles. We now have a Minimalistic Japanese Art Tree. No more is it a Christmas Tree. I have left the lights and the Chrismas Angel in the tree and I will leave the tree until after Christmas.
More than ever, I see the need for a digital camera. I wish I could show you all what it looks like. It is great.
19 December 2003
I came to the conclusion that it falls into the category of mildly addictive. Just like bubblewrap. You know that feeling when you receive something through the post in a jiffy-bag and you couldn't give a toss what's actually IN the bag. All you want is to rip the thing apart and molest the bubblewrap. Or is that just me? Well that is what its like. After trying it I just couldn't stop and within half an hour I realised that I would just continue until the hoover packed in or until every single spine had been sucked away to the great Christmas tree in the sky. So with huge amounts of will power I put the vacuum cleaner away and did something else.
Oh my lord. I just read on A Spot of Blog that Jane has vacumed our Christmas Tree. Interesting. I am working and I read on her blog that my girlfriend at home has been vacuming our tree. Hehehehe.
Don't go snowboarding. Don't do it. I went last night, indoor snowboarding. And now I am feeling totally wasted. Absolutely tired. I got up at 4am yesterday to start work at 5am. So I was very very tired when I got home. I thought: let's have an afternoon nap and regain some energy.
In the evening, I really wanted to clear my head of all the work-stress. So I went snowboarding with Jane. Disasterous. I am not a good boarder; I only boarded twice in my life. But I do enjoy it. But last night was a disaster. Not concentrated at all. I cried because I just could not do it. I cried because I just got scared. I did not have the confidence to throw myself down the hill. And nothing more dangerous on the slopes than a snowboarder who is scared. Like elderly people in a car on the motorway. I cried out of pure frustration. But I did not give up. I ploughed on. And on and on. I hated it.
And now it is the next day and people at work ask me what the hell I have been doing last night. Drinking?? No. Snowboarding.
18 December 2003
How come my Christmas bonus is never as much as I hope it is? How come when all the taxes have come off, I am left with nothing but a few hundred euro more than my regular salary? Bugger. Maybe I have a vision that I make more money than I actually do? Donno.
I am SO tired. I am SO done with the place I work. My mind is already gone and I am more and more wondering why I don't just leave now? What exactly is stopping me?
17 December 2003
We hear today if we are going to live another day. I mean that today we will hear if we will be subsidised some more or will be be bankrupt by the end of this day. I am already working for 4 hours. My girl is still in bed, nice and warm. And I am waiting to hear of I have a job or not. Who cares about work when you have a nice warm body to sleep next to?
Tonight there is a dinner with a lot of the people who work here. Depending on the resulot from today, it is either a farewell dinner or it is a celebration of living another month. I am shipping Jane off to Lord of the Rings for the night. Not sure why people love that shit so much. I have never seen a single frame of the movie but anyone who says a three-hour movie is 'a bit fast, the book is much slower', needs the brain checked. Boring, boring, boring.
Normally I do not post things like this. But this time it was a little bit too funny. And correct:)
You are a Gender Nazi. Your boundary-crossing
lifestyle inspires awe in your friends and
colleagues. Or maybe they're just scared you
will kick their asses for using gender-specific
language. Either way, the wife-beater helps.
What kind of postmodernist are you!?
brought to you by Quizilla
15 December 2003
Death penalty would be no tragedy .
That is not my opinion.But the opinion of the Australian Prime Minister AND the Leader of the AUstralian opposition. I blik my eyes and re-read what John Howard has said:
The death penalty is fine for Saddam Hussein, even though a decision has yet to be made on how the captured former dictator will be tried, say the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the Opposition Leader, Mark Latham. Mr Howard told Channel Nine yesterday that if the death penalty were imposed, he would support it "absolutely".
Pretty shocking that is. Why do they not immideately re-introduce the deathpenalty in Australia. Apparently the two leaders are in favour of it. How can they say things like that? I am sure that they mean: well, how nice if they kill him, then we can say we are against the death penalty OFFICIALLY but on a personal note we would like him dead.
Thank God the New Zealand leader Helen Clarke immideately said that New Zealand is against the death penalty and would oppose it strongly if Saddam was sentenced to death. Maybe New Zealand people are better. Maybe that is where I should move to.
But there are some smart Aussies. Asshows the Letters-page in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Now that they've caught him, what are they going to charge him with? They can't charge him with having WMDs, as none have been found. Nor can they charge him with involvement in September 11, 2001, or having links with Osama bin Laden, because on both of these charges the CIA has said there is no evidence.
And they certainly wouldn't dare charge him with gassing the Kurds because they supplied him with the gas and turned a blind eye.
14 December 2003
The capture of Saddam reminds me of the death of Princess Diana. Almost the same circumstances: having sex whilst history is being made. Today, as that day in 1997, I got up about 2pm. Had a shower with girlfriend and lazily logged on to the internet to see if there was any news. And I stared at the screen. And turned on the TV. And saw some amazing footage. Whilst I was making whoopie, the world was staring at the TV in awe. And I missed it. Again.
Does me having sex make history happen? Should I have sex more often? With different women? Or should I pick one woman to make history with on a regular basis? Choices choices choices.
Saddam Hussein has been captured. AMerica will use this to claim victory. I am happy for the Iraqis. I hope life moves in a better direction for them. However, I doubt that violence against the Americans will stop. Because I don't think Saddam was the one who caused the violence. The terrorist attacks are by other people who hate the US and the West. Even so, I am waiting for the capture of Bin Laden. Somehow I fear this might help the re-election of Bush. Blech.
13 December 2003
The BBC had a bright idea: Let the nation decide on the best book ever. For weeks The Big Read encouraged people to read. Famous Britons pleaded for their favorite books. And now the finale is coming. And what is the result of all this?
The Times today writes that the sale of DVD's of the books discussed in The Big Read has gone up spectacularly!! So instead of people thinking: wow, that sounds great, I need to read that book, they thought: oh great, I need to watch that film!!!!!!
Interesting. Not sure that was what the BBC had in mind. It certanily made me pick up my copy of Wuthering Heights, look at it and think..............nah, read it 10 times now, can't be arsed to read it again. Will watch the film. One of the MANY films;)
12 December 2003
It is always bad when someone you love gets hurt. It can make me cry. The injustice of a loved one hurt is too much...... Jane makes me cry. She used to think she wasn't worth much. Just the thought that she was hurt before I knew her. Just the thought that she did not like herself much. She is a beautiful person (not that I am biased...........) and I don't believe that she was a completely different person back then. She was always beautiful. She always had the potential to make someone extremely happy. She was always beautiful.
And so last night we were watching a film on TV, and I looked at her. She had her arms around me, lying on my sofa, I looked at her.... and I cried. And again when we were in bed, ready to sleep, I cried. Because it makes me angry that someone as wonderful as her has at any time in her life felt worthless and depressed. It feels fundamentally wrong. unfair. And unnessecary. Because she was always beautiful.
Still not sure if my work will be here by next Wednesday. Wednesday they decide on an extra 5 million euro to save us. If we do not get subsidised, we die. On Thursday morning. It is strange working here. People are advising each other to take all their personal belongings home because in case of a bankruptcy, everything that is in the building will become part of a financial construction and wuill be confiscated by those to whom we owe large amounts of money. So I shall take my guitars and amplifier home. Because it also means the end of the band I was in with a few colleagues.
I wish they would decide already!!! I will be sad if we go down, but at least there will be certainty. My biggest fear is that they decide on Wednesday to give us 2 million to tie us over until they have tried to find other solutions. Because if they DON'T find those solutions, we will still go bankrupt. Only then it wil be horrible to work here inbetween.
09 December 2003
06 December 2003
I don't want to be here. Here is in Holland. Jane and I got here this morning after a hellish night. We flew out of London Stasted at 6.10am. But since there was no trains or busses going there at that time in the morning, we have spent the night at the airport. Darn I am tired. Oh well, makes for a good sleep.
Tomorrow Feyenoord (my favorite football team) plays ADO Den Haag. Should be a walk-over. I like that Jane is coming along with me. She understands how important football is:) And Monday I get back to work. I shudder to think what it is like, now that 42 people have been fired and left and the sword of Damocles is hanging above all our heads. On December 17, there will be a decision on our survival or our downfal. UNtil then, I would prefer to stay at home, under the covers. With Jane.
04 December 2003
When I chose to leave my job, some weeks ago, I had not set a definate date yet. I finally did that last week. I am not communicating it since it is not important to other people yet. Only for me and Jane it helps knowing a definate date.
Maybe you know the feeling: oncde in your life you want to do something great, something that makes other peopel think: Wow, that is really courageous. And to me, it is quitting my job and moving to another country to start a new life. I would be giving up a promising carreer in journalism because I don't see much chance of me working for the BBC for a few years yet. So this was my equivalent of Running the London Marathon once in your life. Or climbing Mount Everest. You know the feeling.
And now, the place where I work will quite possibly go bellyup. And I am devastated. not only because it saddens me, but also because I feel stripped of my choices. It feels like I am halfway along the marathon and somebody has just told me: we have shortened the marathon to some 21 kilomeres because people were finding it too hard to run. Does that make sense? Now that I will quite possibly be without a job in a few months anyway (assuming we will indeed go bankrupt), it feels like it takes away from the momentum of my choice to leave my job. After all, I would be without a job anyway so what better time to make this step? It makes sense. I know it makes no difference to the choices I am makking. I am still moving. But somehow it feels like I am not running the Marathon, or climbing Everest. Somehow now it feels like I am doing a practice run. It doesn't feeel so BIG anymore. In a very strange and childish way I feel cheated out of the Grandeur of my choices. Does that make sense?
I am SO excited. I am going to see Eddie Izzard Live in Birmingham tonight. I am sure I will miss just about half of all the interesting jokes because he talks so fast. But that means there will still be more than enough to laugh about. Cool, I can not wait.
In the mean time, things at work seem to go from bad to worse. I feel like the whole place is falling apart this week. Editor in Chief is considering his position, other people are aswell. By the time I come back on Monday, maybe half the broadcaster has fallen apart. Bugger. It is a shame. I started there right after graduating from university and now it is falling apart. Hang on, I just had a thought. It goes in a separate post.
02 December 2003
For those of you who can read Dutch and who actually care about things like this:Quick Scan regionale omroepen.
This is the report of the study that was done into the problems of the broadcaster that I work for. The outcome of this study is shocking. If the Provincial Council does not come up with about 5 million Euros, my broadcaster will have to file for bankruptcy in a few months. This means that everyone will lose their job. And since the Province subsidises not 1 but 2 regional broadcasters in massive financial trouble, the Province will need to fork out about 10 million euro to keep both of them up and running. Will they do that? I don't know. It is a political decision they have to make. Based on the report, I could well understand if they said: I don't think so, not after the way these two broadcasters have fucked up their business.
But what about the people who work there? If there is no support, it will mean the end of about 250 jobs.
For those of you who do not understand: the Radio/TV in The Netherlands is the most complcated structure in the world. Yes, there is advertising, no it is not commercial. Yes, there is state influence, no it is not a state broadcaster like the BBC. The regional stations, like the one I work for, are financed by the Counties/Provinces they serve. Province Limburg subsidises RTV Limburg, and province Utrecht subsidises RTV Utrecht. The province of Zuid-Holland subsidises 2 regional broadcasters. Why? Because the Province is huge and because it is the main focus of economical activity in The Netherlands. There is Rotterdam with its harbours, and there is T Hgue with its government and international instititions. Two completely different areas in the same province. And to service them both properly, the situation grew that there came to be 2 regional broadcasters. Subsidised by the Province Council and the other part of the money comes from advertising. Still confused? Still interested? Try reading this brief history of Dutch broadcasting and maybe it will become clear.
And me? I am in England. I seem to be away everytime important news is made about my job. I was in Wales this summer when it became clear we were in massive trouble. My grandfather died and the day before his cremation, we were informed that they were going to fire 42 people (read: I was not there with my head and sat as a zombie thorugh the whole thing) and now, when the report that will decide everything comes out, I am abroad yet again. I feel I am missing all the important bits. On the other hand, I am glad to be away from it for a while. It has been less than fantastic in the past months. I think I will have to prepare for a future elsewhere. Oh hang on, I was already doing just that.
But what if I leave? What if everybody is so upset with the report and the bleak future that they leave? It will be like rats leaving a sinking ship with only a captain left at the rudder. Is that fair? Is that cowardice? Should we not all stay and try to rescue this broadcaster? I don't know. I think a lot of people will be doing a lot of long hard thinking.
01 December 2003
30 November 2003
Had word from the boss the other day not to expect anything from the company. The company had to fire 42 people and I offered to leave voluntarily in exchange for a few months worth of pay. With that money, I could make a small (tiny) start when I move to England. After all, you don't want to go without a penny in your pocket. The boss was willing to discuss it but it looks like there isn't even money for this idea of mine. They need some 4.5 million euros to keep the Radio TV Station up and running. There is no way the provincial government is going to come up with that kind of money.
SO what do I do now? Wait more years to save money? Or take the risk and pack up for a new life? I have set a date for moving. But not telling yet when it will be. In any case, I am packing up right now. For another visit to England. Have to catch a train tomorrow at 3:15 am to take me to the airport!! Humbug. I knew there was a downside to Ryan Air. And it is this one: They fly from airports so remote that it is almost impossible to get there at a decent time.
28 November 2003
These are strange days at work. Today is the last day of the 42 people that lost their job. Most of them have been leaving over the past week, saying goodbye, taking a few days off as to avoid the Big Goodbye today. TOnight there is a dinner with about 25 people and after that about 50 people have said to come for drinks in the local Irish pub.
I still have my job. Monday marks a new beginning for those who are left. Can we still make great radio and television with the people we have left? Can we still motivate ourselves after such a devastating blow? Especially since we might go belly-up anyway. On December 17th, the County government will decide if they will give us 4.5 million Euro to survive and to give money to thos ewho got fired. If we don't get any money, it is the end of regional radio and television in The Hague. The seat if government will be without a regional broadcaster.
People have ben angry, accepting, sad, down hearted, hopeful, spiteful, jealous and resentful ever since the sackings were announced. Almost all 42 people have filed protest against their sacking so it will be a long courtbattle, costing the company more money. I can understand it from an individual point of view. But it is dragging down those who were lucky enough to keep their job.
Last night, on the radio, we had a short section where those who stay said goodbye to those who leave. The rpesenter, who got sacked, cried, I cried when I heard it. And then a listener called to say it was so moving. And an hour later, a woman rang the doorbel of the studios. She had heard the goodbye on the radio and wanted to wish us all a lot of wisdom. She had hopped on the bus personally to wish us all strength. That was so sweet of her. It wil be a very emotional evening tonight.
I am off for a week at the end of this day. Go to Jane and put it all out of my head. Hopefully. And when I come back on December 8, there will be a smaller team, that has to work harder to produce the same quality. I hope we will make it. But right now, all I want to do is go home, have a sleep, and then enjoy the evening with colleagues and soon to be ex-colleagues. I wish all of them well.
27 November 2003
26 November 2003
FreeRepublic is a group of (very conservative) conservatives. They have a couple of campaigns going that are pretty funny. But the best one is FReepers Against Voter Fraud!. In their own words:
The whole point of this exercise is to get more conservative voters involved in changing the laws to close loopholes which make it easy to cheat, to promote the enforcement of existing election laws and to take part in the election process at the local level all with the goal of intercepting future fraud campaigns. In other words our goal is to STOP THE RATS FROM HIJACKING THE ELECTION PROCESS AND TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!
I wonder if they can see the irony of that statement. Seeing they are strong supporters of the only US president who was never actually elected, who only got the job by 1 (ONE) vote in the High Court. I think they don't see it. If there is anything Conservatives lack in the USA, it is a sense of humour and irony.
25 November 2003
Someone please help meout here. More and more on the web, I see stuff like: Syndicate this site. Or: live RSS feed on your website. What the hell are these two things and how do you combine it with Blogger?
Please tell me? I am confused and a Google for Syndicate gives me all these sites about crime syndicates:)
The Bubble of American Supremacy :
"The Bush doctrine [...] is built on two pillars: the United States will do everything in its power to maintain its unquestioned military supremacy; and the United States arrogates the right to pre-emptive action. In effect, the doctrine establishes two classes of sovereignty: the sovereignty of the United States, which takes precedence over international treaties and obligations; and the sovereignty of all other states, which is subject to the will of the United States. This is reminiscent of George Orwell's Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
George Soros knows what he is talking about. A millionaire with a brilliant ghostwriter I think. But still.
President Bush declared war on terrorism, and the nation lined up behind its President. Then the Bush Administration proceeded to exploit the terrorist attack for its own purposes. It fostered the fear that has gripped the country in order to keep the nation united behind the President, and it used the war on terrorism to execute an agenda of American supremacy.
Of course the man was heavily critisised for saying this. Mostly by Americans who think their country can do nothing wrong.
24 November 2003
From The Sydney MOrning Herald.
On Tuesday night, Channel Ten mischievously put an event called The Q Test against Nine's National IQ Test. It was what the industry calls a "spoiler", designed to draw younger viewers away from what Nine hoped would be a blockbuster ending to a successful year.
Meanwhile, Seven counterprogrammed with Prime Suspect 6, a murder mystery for people who are actually smart, as opposed to those who need to test themselves. And that did more to poop Nine's party.
I just laughed at that. Well put. I wish they would broadcast Prime Suspect 6 in The Netherlands soon.
I know to most people, it makes no difference but it does to me. For years and years I have struggled with money. Not because I did not have any, but because I knew no limit in spending it. Not even on expensive things like CDs, DVDs, books or stuff like that. No. It just disappeared. I never got into major trouble or massive debt (if you don't count a 14.000 euro student loan) but just chronically overdrawn. I would get my salary and it would be just enough to cover my overdraft so it would always be gone again by the time the rent, phonebill and insurance premiums were paid. Not very encouraging.
But since about a year, I have started to get my life in order. I take my Ritalin more or less regular, I try to be organised and I have learned some tricks to control myself when in a shop (Do I really need allthose 5 computer magazines? Isn't 1 enough? You can always buy anothe rone after you finish this one. And usually it woudl turn out I did not need to buy the other ones because it was a simple impulse to want to buy all 5 of them).
And this month, without me knowing or realising it, something very strange has happened. I needed to pay for new contactlenses and for a dentist treatment. All together some 500 euro. So I was annoyed because I would be overdrawn again. But something strange has happened: I have paid the dentist, I have paid for my contacts and I am overdrawn by only 30 euro. And my salary is about to come in any day now. How did that happen? Does that mean that if I had not paid for those two massive expenditures, I would have saved 500 euro?
It is a small thing for most people, but I am sitting here, and I counted, and counted, and counted. And no matter how much I count, add up, subtract and divide, and there is no way I can end up like this. Unless I have indeed made a huge step forward in controlling my finances. It sounds stupid, but it almost makes me emotional. I am 28 and for the first time I am NOT simply paying off my complete overdraft with my salary. What is happening?
Last week my ADHD-shrink (you have to see them or you don't get your Ritalin) siad that she has seen me change in the past year.She says she has seenme grow more confident, that she has seen me more in control, that she has seen how I learned to accept that I too can be happy, that happiness is for me aswell. And then she said it: "I can see how you have grown to accept your love for Jane".
That is it. If I look at how I have changed, how I have learned to control my impulsive buying for example. They are all tips I learned from Jane. And she is the one who made me feel like I was not a failure when I DID make an impulse buy. She is the one who likes me when I am not on my Ritalin. She likes me when I am on my Ritalin. She is the one who calms me down when I get hyperactive. But not by saying: Geez, you are loud today. No. She puts her hand on my arm and says: It's OK sweetie, you can relax.
Usually I would end this post with [/soppy git]. Just a bit of self depricating humour, downplaying the importance of what I just wrote. But I don't want to downplay it. I couldn't if I tried.
22 November 2003
Jayzus Chroist!! That was nailbiting. Even without knowing the rules, that was tight. Australia ahead, England ahead, Australia levels, extra time, England lead, Australia levels and England scores a drop goal some 20 seconds before the end of the extra time.
We can breathe now.
Go England Go!!!
What was that joke I heard yesterday? The difference between Australia an yoghurt? Leave yoghurt long enough and it will grown a culture:) Hehehe.
I was supporting the New Zealand All Blacks but they are out. So it was a battle of my past and my future. My instinct is to always go towards the future. So England it is. Go Wilkinson Go.
Funny how I can be so ongrossed in Rugby wiythout knowing half the rules. I learned to appreaciate cricket by just sitting down and watching it for hours. I will get the hang of rugby aswell.
Long live TV5 Europe, a French language station, that airs the Rugby World Cup live. Otherwise us poor Dutch folk would not be able to watch it!!
21 November 2003
The English newspaper The Guardian has asked 60 people to write as letter to George Bush, now that he is in the United Kingdom. Maybe he picks up a newspaper and reads The Letters. But then again, he granted an exclusive interview to the tabloid The Sun so I don't think we can expect Bush to read at all realy.
And for those who still claim 'ordinary Iraqis' are happy that Saddam is gone and welcome America, read this:
Dear Mr Bush,
Iraqis do not believe that you sent hundreds of thousands of troops to their country and spent billions of dollars in order to liberate them from tyranny. Nor do they believe that Saddam Hussein was even remotely threatening to the US or its interests. They see you as an occupier, and they will deal with you the way dignified and stoical people have always dealt with arrogant aggressors. You are failing to divide Iraqis and your imperial project is a failure.
The US is a great and resourceful nation, and it has many options in dealing with difficult situations. The best option for Iraq is to withdraw the troops immediately. The US can then gain Iraqi goodwill by providing genuine aid to an independent nation. The funds recently approved by congress could be spent on helping the process of rehabilitation of the Iraqi public sector and for development programmes formulated by competent Iraqi authorities in a completely transparent manner.
Let me tell you that the people of Iraq see through you, and now see the US armed forces as jittery teenagers. They pity them and are not afraid of them. You hide behind young boys and girls and raise the spectre of 9/11 to try to win your election. Do not tell me about responsibility for civil peace in Iraq, because your policy is to foment conflict. It is better for everyone if you leave Iraq.
Iraqi opposition politician to Saddam Hussein, living in exile in Britain
What is the use of bombing Istanbul? How sad is it that extremists feel the need to bomb a country where there is relative peace between Muslims, Jews and other people? If they can pull Turkey into this conflict in the Middle East, the whole region has destabilised. Exactly what they want. I am not religeous, but pray to God Turkey has the leadership not to get drawn in.
On the side there is this small observation: Since George W. Bush is president of the USA, there have been more bombattacks and more deaths than ever before. An obvious example of his succesful fight against terrorism. Somebody please shoot this man.
20 November 2003
So The Netherlands beat Scotland with 6 - 0 last night. After losing to Scotland 1 - 0 on Saturday. Of course I am pleased. But not happy. I am please beause they won with a host of new players. Most of the arrogant bastards who have beenin this team for too long had been sidelined. And with good results. And so I am pleased. For the young lads. Who were deemed not good enough by the voach. Because he believed his 'old squad' would qualify for Euro 2004. And only in the last popssible chance, the coach admitted that the old guys had let him down. And that he needed to change the squad. And he did. And now of course he claims he had always planned to do this. He was not one match (1-0 in Scotland) too late with the young players. No. He was just in tmie. Because they won.
They say the winning coach is always right. He is not. And he knows it. He should leave. Bugger off!!
18 November 2003
Massachusetts backs gay marriage.
Unfortunately it is not quite that great. The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that banning gays from marriage is unlawful. But of course, only according to the current laws. Courts in Hawaii, Alaska and Vermont have also previously ruled that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but no state has yet issued marriage licences to gay couples. In Hawaii and Alaska, the rulings were followed by the adoption of constitutional amendments limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
So I am not cheering yet. I am hoping it won't come to that. But these days, America seems to be governed by a bunch of raving lunies. It seems that for some reason, most Americans are fairly relaxed about most things but you only see the extreme right wing Christian fundamentalists stand up and yell. And they are heard. And it pisses me off.
I read somewhere: Bush stole the elections by promising to be a compassionate conservative. He was elected by the Middle Man. He does not have the mandate to be a fucking right-wing fundamentalist. Exactly what I feel.
17 November 2003
Women in New Zealand have reported an increase in wifebeatings after the NZ All Blacks lost the semi-final against Australia.
The Dutch team lost to Scotland Saturday. Jane, count yourself lucky that you weren't there!!
On Saturday night and Sunday, refuge workers said they received calls from women wanting to leave because matters had come to a head with their violent partner due to the rugby.
NZ wife-beating up after rugby loss.
16 November 2003
But then again, he knows it. BEcause his mission statement is : This page is about me and why everything I like is great. If you disagree with anything you find on this page, you are wrong.
The Best Page In The Universe.
But I tend to find he is absolutely RIGHT in lots of things.
By now everyone is probably aware of McDonald's new ad campaign: "i'm lovin' it," which is really a contraction of the phrase "i am loving it," that happens to be an anagram for the phrase: "ailing vomit." Ah the irony.
Great laugh, especially because he too thinks The Matrix is crap and a waste of money!!
15 November 2003
Too long I roam in the night.
I'm coming back to his side, to put it right.
I'm coming home to wuthering, wuthering,
Heathcliff, it's me--Cathy.
Come home. I'm so cold!
Let me in-a-your window.
Heathcliff, it's me--Cathy.
Come home. I'm so cold!
Let me in-a-your window.
Ooh! Let me have it.
Let me grab your soul away.
Ooh! Let me have it.
Let me grab your soul away.
You know it's me--Cathy!
Of course you all know these are the lyrics of Kate Bush' Wuthering Heights. The BBC is in search of the greatest books in literature history in their series The Big Read. In each program, a famous Briton pleads in favor of his/her favorite book. Tonight actor Alastair McGowan made a case for my all time favorite book: Wuthering Heights.
The darkness, the passion, the hate, the deep despair. Fabulously descibed by *oh shock* a woman.
'Are you possessed with a devil,' he pursued, savagely, 'to talk in that manner to me when you are dying? Do you reflect that all those words will be branded in my memory, and eating deeper eternally after you have left me? You know you lie to say I have killed you: and, Catherine, you know that I could as soon forget you as my existence! Is it not sufficient for your infernal selfishness, that while you are at peace I shall writhe in the torments of hell?'
Everything there is to be said about the book has already been said. But the show mentioned something I did not know. When Emily Bronte died, she was burried in the local cemetery. Years after her death, the place was closed. Because the ground had started to shift due to all the slosh of decayed bodies from centuries of dead people. It seeped into the town well and poisoned people.
Fits the theme. Read that book.
And the Dutch team lost aswell. Actualy, it is not so bad. They are a bunch of arrogant losers who do not deserve to go to the European Championships Soccer. I will support Scotland this Wednesday on the re-match!!!
On Green Fairy a link to a good article about abortion and the right-wing religeous nuts who make so much noise that there seems to be no middle ground left. The main issue is of course the qustion: why is abortion murder and murdering an abortion-doctor an act that will get you in to heaven?
The world religions all insist that human life is sacred and inviolable. The Christian right believes that abortion in any form is one of the most brutal manifestations of secular modernity. Fundamentalists are entirely unmoved by the argument that a woman has the right to choose, since it smacks of feminism, which they regard as another of the great evils of our time. No religion has in practice been good for women, and in adopting a pro-choice position, some liberal Christians are beginning to redress centuries of oppression by taking women's rights seriously.
The Guardian - The Sacret Facts of Life
Bloody hell!! I am at work, and thank GOD TV5 Europe has the Rugby Worldcup LIVE!! New Zealand vs Australia. Very very emotional moment when they do that Hakka!! Go All Blacks Go!! I sit here wearing my All Blacks t-shirt. After the match I will change that for my Orange shirt to support the Dutch National Team(aka: the Bloody Arrogant bastards:) when they try to beat Scotland later today for a place ni the European Soccer Championships in 2004.
14 November 2003
Bugger. What do you say when your boss approaches you and asks you to present something and stresses that there are big opportunities in the 'new' company? .At the end of this month, 42 people will loose their job here and those left will have to work extra hard to make decent radio and TV, but obviously that also means more chances to sometimes do things you would otherwise never get the chance to do.
I am not sure I want to hear that. It just makes matters more complicated than I need them to be right now. I LIKE this oplace. I came here suring my studies and I stayed. But I also enjoy thinking about my 'other plans'. They are just making it difficult for me. Bitch bugger bum.
13 November 2003
On 20 November, there is a big demonstration in London against the War in Iraq and against George Bush. If you go to one more Anti-War demonstration, let it be this one. Show George Bush that he is a wanker.
Stop the War Coalition (UK)
12 November 2003
And for the second time around,I have returned from England with a heavy cold. Burning throat, runny nose and so on. Must be that I am not resistant to the English strain of flu. Bugger. If you hear a very clogged up newsreader on your radio tomorrow morning, it will be me.
11 November 2003
Is it bad when you eat 1 litre of vanilla pudding in a night just because you feel like eating? In my defense: it is beautiful pudding!!!
Remember Jessica Lynch? The US Soldier who was supposedly shot down during a brave fight in which she was said to have defended her batalion until the bitter end? Rember how that turned out to be rubbish?
And remember how she was rescued in a fabulously brave rescue, filmed by a TV crew. And how it turned out that the whole rescue was nothing but a massive PR stunt because the hospital was as good as deserted and that the Iraqui doctors had tried to hand Jessica over to the Americans but the US Soldiers shot at the ambulance Jessica was in? Well, that same Jessica Lynch is once again used as a pawn in the battle for good PR in Iraq. The battle that the US Army is loosing fast. Very fast.
Iraqi doctors rubbish claim that Lynch was raped
In I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, published yesterday, the author, Rick Bragg, said medical records indicated Private Lynch, who was evacuated by helicopter from a Nasiriyah hospital in a US commando raid, had been raped.
"The records also show that she was a victim of anal sexual assault," the authorised biography said.
"The records do not tell whether her captors assaulted her almost lifeless, broken body after she was lifted from the wreckage, or if they assaulted her and then broke her bones into splinters until she was almost dead.
"But Jessi remembers none of this. When she awoke in the military hospital, it was during treatment, not torture. When she came to, the cruelties were over."
So, who exactly knows that she was raped if Jessica herself does not remember anything?
Like most people in this world, I like people to like me. And like most people in this world, I realise you can ontbe friends with everybody so there will always be people who do not like me. Good, no problem, does not freak me out. Then what does freak me out? When people dislike me before they even know me. For some reason it is extremely importantto me that people dislike me after they have come to know me and are therefor able to make an informed decision on liking me or not.
Example: I have ADHD. This means I am frequently very loud, impulsive and busy. I tend to dominate a party. Especially when it is a party with people I do not know. Itmakes me nervous and anxious to make a good impression. However, I get so 'hyped up' by wanting to make a good impression that I frequently end up being hyperactive, leaving the people who do not know me behind with a feeling of 'who the fuck was that?'. This is what I hate: if people end up disliking me because of that impression. Because I am not like that all the time. I am not just loud, impulsive and busy. I am also lots of other things. Social. Friendly. Caring. Loving. Smart. Arrogant. Whatever. And for some reason I want people to weigh ALL the facts before they dislike me. Strange huh........? I don't mind people disliking me. I mind them deciding they don't like me before they really know me. But the problem is that people who don't like you usually don't take the time to get to know you.......problem.
Example: I go to a shop and buy 4 bunches of roses for my girlfriend because I feel that 1 bunch is not enough to show her I love her. So I ask the bloke for 4 bunches. As he is packing them, I realise that I can ill afford 4 bunches of roses; it was impulsive again. What now? If I tell him that I have been impulsive and I would actually only like 1 bunch, he will certainly think I am an idiot. So I buy the 4 bunches, my girlfriend realises I can not actually afford them so she is not all that cheerful about it, and I feel like a fool for having been impulsive again and on top of that, my girlfriend is not as happy with the roses as I had hoped she would be (because she ralises I have been impulsive again and how sad it makes me sometimes that I have been impulsive again and so on.) So instead of a cheerful happy occasion of giving her roses, it turns into a dissapointing moment of me feeling stupid.
If the salesman had known that the impulsive behaviour comes from my ADHD, I would not have had ANY trouble in telling him that I was impulsive and that I really can only a afford 1 bunch so please, put the other 3 back again. But you don't tell total strangers all that. If anything, it would make you look like an even bigger idiot. And after all, it is none of their business. I should just be able to say: Sorry, I was impulsive, I would like only 1 bunch of roses and not 4. And walk away without feeling like an idiot.
Started cognitive behavior therapy today. Interesting concept. Not that I am severely depressed or in dire need of therapy. But The above things piss me off enormously. Like this weekend at Jane's place with her flatmates. I tried not to be impulsive because I wanted them to like me or at least get to see the 'whole' me. So I spent the whole weekend trying to be calm, resulting in my being in fact quite hyperactive and manifesting myself in the house like a whirlwind. They must have thought: what the hell.
ANyway, Cognitive Therapy sounds interesting. And it sort of was. I need to avoid looking at it as a ration thing where I rationalise everything to the extend that the whole AIM of the course flies right over my head because I analyse it to death.
So what is Cognitive Therapy? Well, to quote Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, : "The thing that upsets people is not what happens but what they think it means." Cognitive Therapy tries to make your thought processes clear to you. How certain thoughts influence your emotions and behaviour. Example:
Situation: Friend is late for dinner.
What do you think: "She might have been hurt on the way here."
How do you feel: Worried or anxious
What do you do: Call hospital ERs to find out if she's there
Think: "She didn't bother to let me know she was delayed."
Feel: Annoyed or angry
Do: Chew her out, or act chilly, when she does show up
Think:"I needed the time to fix the house up anyway."
Do: Relax and enjoy yourself
Three completely different reactions to the same situation. And how you FEEL about his is based on what you THINK about the situation. So inthe next few weeks, I will be trying to first recognise the thoughtpatterns, and then try to change them. I can see why this could be very effective indeed.
10 November 2003
Back from 5 days with Jane. I HATE leaving. Eventhough I know I will be back soon (in 3 weeks as a matter of fact), I still hate leaving. Spent most of the weekend hanging out together as they call it. I went to look for rooms to rent and came home with a bike instead......? Oh well, at least I now have a wonderful Raleigh Chinook bike to move myself around on once I move to Leamington. I am convinced the thing was stolen as I bought it from a guy on the street. He was waiting in front of a 2nd hand junk store to sell it and I said I was loking for a bike. He asked for 45 Pounds, I offered him 35 and the deal was done. Heheheeh. Cool bike with front wheel suspension.
What else did I do? Well, I had a good look around:
Leamington Spa: Properties to rent: Belvoir Lettings
Rooms in Leamington Spa
And now I realise I will not have to worry too much about finding ANY kind of place to live in Leamington Spa. I am quite happy to live in a student flat for a few months until I get my life sorted out. Order of importance:
1) Place to live
2) Job (any kind of job, even at local pub would be good)
3) Get a car (to enhance job prospects for 'real job')
4) Live with Jane (hopefully September this year)
Obviously this does not mean I am not putting Jane on top of the list. it just means that it makes sense to organise MY life first before I can start sharing it with someone else.
All looks pretty organised if you ask me. Scary!!
08 November 2003
I am in England. It is 8am on my 3rd day here. So far it has been an interesting experience. Jane has, erhm...interesting flatmates to say the least. On my first night here, on Thursday, one of her flatmates came home so incredibly drunk that other flatmates spent the night in her bedroom because they were afraid she wouldn't wake up anymore. After a good talk, we came to the conclusion her drink was spiked in the pub. Lesson 1: DON'T TAKE DRINKS FROM STRANGERS IN THE PUB. She was lucky though: her friends saw her talking to this man and dragged her away from him and, much to his dismay, took her home. He can only have been planning something bad because if a woman is no longer able to stand on her two feet, what man would object to her being taken home by her friends? Only a man who is planning something really nasty with an incapacatated woman if you ask me.
But she is fine again now. Bit shocked. Reported it to the police. But she is fine. She was very very lucky.
But there is more to this house.
7 girls. One eats when she is stressed. Eats too much when she is stressed. And spends her life apologising for even existing. Pisses me off when people apologise for simply walking in to a room. So when she was binging again last night, I played innocent and said: wow, you eat a lot. She said I should leave her alone and that she was fine and I should not worry. But hell, all she did was eat. And then the flatmates sit in the living room together, looking at eachother, knowing this girl is 'occupying' the upstairs toilet. WHat can they do about this? Tell her she needs help? Tell her she eats to much? She already knows that and is, apparently, in therapy. So what do you do about someone who dominates the house? Who completely fills the place with her emotional presence? Chuck her out? That destroys her. Tell her she needs help? She already knows that. Yell at her? That destroys her.
And the worst thing about 7 people living in 1 house, is that nobody here seems to want to clear away their junk. The kitchen has almost no space left for all the dirty cups, mugs and plates. So I did the dishes when I was bored yesterday. But then nobody feels the need to clear away the massive pile of CLEAN dishes either. So iit is one big fuck off mess. I looked at all that and I vowed to Jane that I would take her away form this all.
Later today, we are going to have a look at a room. Just so that I know how much money i will need to spend once I live here. To get an idea of what kind of places are on offer. We were supposed to have a look at another room last night. But when we called to tell him we were coming, he said it wasn't a good time because erhm....he...erhm..he had the police there 'for a minor problem' and could we make it Sunday? No thanks. We kindly declined.
05 November 2003
I am off to England for a few days. Will be back late Monday night. The plan: looking for places to stay, see what jobs are going around in Leamington Spa. Basic orientation on my future place to live. Anyone here willing to get me a job around Leamington Spa/Coventry/Birmingham?
And then, when I have moved, what kind of job should I do? Paramedic? Tax Collector? Sales Assistant? Busty Barmaid? Suggestions welcome in the Comments Box.
04 November 2003
75% of all Dutch people believe Israel is the biggest threat to world peace. The European Commission says it is very unhappy with the resluts. Why? Is there something wrong with thinking this? Israel responded by saying the poll was flawed. Cabinet Minister Shalom says it is an error in the report that 59% of Europeans see Israel en not countries like Syria, Iran, North-Korea or Afgehnistan as the biggest threat to the world. I interpret that as: he refuses to see something is wrong with his country.
And of course the Israeli Minister of Diaspora-Affairs(???) immideately said it is proof of growing antisemitism in the world. Well, correct me if I am wrong, but Israel is not the same as "all Jews". I have nothing against the state of Israel as such. Nothing against Jews as such. I have massive problem with the way they seem to claim the exclusive rights to suffering. Whenever someone critisises Israel, all they have to do is scream "Anti-semitism" and the whole world feels sorry for them. The result is a ridiculous fear by world leaders to be qualified as anti-semitic. And so Israel can continue to claim the right to defend themselves. And they can continue to do so by killing innocent Palestinian citizens. All Israel has to do is say: But they are terrorists. Or they are breeding ground for terrorists. I think Israel sees every Palestinian woman as dangerous. After all, she could give birth to a terrorist so why not kill the women and children before they become terrorists?
And the world just watches and accepts it. And whenever the UN wants a resolution against Israel, America blocks it. Because in every resolution, America wants to mention that Palestinians are terrorists. Why can the UN not accept a resolution that says: Israel should stop the bombing and killing of innocent civilians? Because that is what Israel does.
Sure, it is what terrorists do aswell, but why the hell protest against Patestinian terrorism and then more or less sanction Israeli terrorism? The answer is simple: nobody wants to be called anti-semitic. It seems to be the worst thing you can call someone. And Israel knows this. And plays this trump card over and over and over again.
The sheer existence of Israel is indeed a threat to world peace. Does not mean I think it should be destroyed. But it is a fact that Israel causes a lot of war in the Middle East. And that they are a bunch of bloody hypocrites. Just like all those countries around them. They are no better or worse. They build a wall to keep Palestinian terrorists out. SO they say. But they build the wall with a few detours so that they can include some of the most fertile land. Land that is OCCUPIED TERRITORY.
I don't support Palestinian terrorism. I hate it as much as Israeli state terrorism. And calling Israel on it is NOT the same as being anti-Jewish. It has nothing to do with it.
So when 75% of the Dutch people say they see Israel as a threat to world peace, it is not the same as saying 75% see Jews as a threat to world peace. I shits me to no end that the whole world kow-tows to Israel. And George Bush has made things so much worse. He is blinded by his own Christianity. At least under Clinton there was hope for peace because he had the guts to tell Israel to stop being a terrorist itself. Let's pray that Bush does not get re-elected.
03 November 2003
Ever tried to explain your father on the phone why you can not help him when he says: "My computer does not work. Why?"
You know, when he clicks before he tell you what he sees on screen because he thinks he knows what he is doing? And then making fun of you when you tell him to just LISTEN instead of clicking left right and centre.
What better way to start the day with the news that a man has his head caught between his truck and the back-door and that his head is just about to come off. Great. Some days I am glad I am not a reporter anymore but that I can stay behind my desk andproduce newsstories. Our camerawoman just called to tell us she was sick when filming. Poor girl. Must be a horrible sight: we don't even do close-ups of things like that and still she gets sick. Must be quite nasty.
01 November 2003
More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity. Those companies donated more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush - a little over $500,000 - than to any other politician over the last dozen years, the Center found. [snip] Nearly 60 percent of the companies had employees or board members who either served in or had close ties to the executive branch for Republican and Democratic administrations, for members of Congress of both parties, or at the highest levels of the military.
Source:The Center for Public Integrity
31 October 2003
Bush: I've Created "More Peaceful and More Free" World
In his first full press conference in four months, President Bush vowed the U.S. would stay in Iraq despite the increasing resistance to the U.S. occupation. When he was asked if the number of U.S. troops would be reduced over the next year, he refused to answer saying it was a "trick question."
He also claimed yesterday that: "The world is more peaceful and more free under my leadership." He repeatedly characterized the resistance within Iraq as orchestrated by terrorists. This despite public opinion polls in Iraq that there is widespread opposition to the U.S. occupation. He said the recent string of bombings in Baghdad represent "the same mentality... that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001."
The man is the biggest danger for world peace ever. Even Ronald Reagan wasn't this stupid. But it gets worse.
...the White House has manipulated its web site to prevent Internet search engines including Google from archiving portions of the White House website related to Iraq. Over the past few months the White House has come under criticism for altering archived pages as the situation in Iraq worsens. In the most widely noted case the White House altered the headline for its coverage of his speech aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. The web page originally read " President Bush announces combat operations in Iraq have ended." But several months later the text "combat operations" was changed to "major combat operations" as it became evident that the fighting in Iraq had not ended.
Excuse me? Am I reading this right? Falsifying history? And nobody in the Democratic party raises his hand to protest? How quick were the Republicans to try and impeach Clinton for privately shagging Monica? And this just gets swept under the carpet? It made me so angry, I immideately bought a t-shirt from Democracy Now. I encourage you to do the same.
I know buying a t-shirt won't help a lot but as a non-American, I won't be able to vote Bush out of the office. Everyone should know how this man conducts his business. So support organisations like Democracy Now in any way you can.
(Via Ruminate This.)
The broadcaster where I work is as good as bankrupt. Tough luck for those 42 people who get fired. But I still have a job. But I might be leaving soon. To England, to livewith Jane. But nothing is 100% definate yet. Of course I am calling around for things I need to organise. So I called my healthinsurance.............. Turns out I am insured through my work AND with health insurance I took out myself. They never told me I had insurance already. So, I paid double for something I never used.
In an attempt to clear up the confusion, I called the insurance company that my boss has insured me. Shame they have no record ofme being insured there at all. Huh? My payment slip for the past 2 years tells me I have been paying the insurance premium every month!!!! (yes yes, I should have spotted that I was paying it and made a phonecall. But I didn't. A payslip is full of things they take out of your salary so I did not notice it)
So now I am owed some 400 euro by my boss: he took the premium out of my salary but he never registered me with the insurance company.
But how do you get money back froman almost bankrupt company?
Bugger. How difficult can it be to run a financial administration? And where is the money they took out? No wonder they are about to break down: some idiot has been running the finances there!!!
Update: Just got email. I will get all the money back with my salary of November. Haha! Never made such easy money by making 1 single phonecall. I am pleased. I wonder if I need ot pay taxes over that. I suppose I do.
28 October 2003
The Ramadan has started. This means that Muslims are not allowed to eat, have sex and think about sex until sunset. Amongst others. So for the news today, I had to film a report about the prostitutes in the city: do they see a decline in business during the day now that their muslim-customers stay away? Indeed he said. Some 60% even!!! But the strange thing is: the drop in customers happens at nighttime. And at nighttime, people are allowed to have and think about sex agani. So why do they say away at night? Possibly becasue after sundown, muslims are usually eating with their families during the ramadan. Can you imagine: the whole family is there except Achmed. Because he has gone to a hooker. Hehehe.
But then: not allowed to have stimulating thoughts? How can you ask a man not to think about sex during the day??? Even I can not do that, let alone a man. Did scientists not say men think about sex some 250 times a day on average? How can Allah ask this of his followers? If they manage, I have the utmost respect for them. I somehow doubt it though.
The owners of sexshops also reported a decline in business during ramadan. I have been in eroticshops before. Some are better than others. The seedy ones are uite disgusting: they have videorooms where men wank for an hour and then go home. Eewwww. Christine LeDuc is a nice exception here: staff that know what they are talking about, helpful and the shops look very welcoming. So, I have seen my share of dildo's and buttplugs. But what I saw today completely outclassed my imagination. Buttplugs with a diameter of (not kidding)12 - 15 centimeters!!!!! I just stared. And thought: AAAUUUUUUUUUU!!!
26 October 2003
I thought George Bush said America went to Iraq to help the Iraqi people and to liberate them. Then why the hell are American troops now basically at war with the Iraqi people?
Rocket attack hits Baghdad hotel
If they try to shoot your representative, it is a hint that they don't want you there. Get out where you never should have been in the first place. Let other countries solve this. Namely the ones that have no big economic interests, or at least do not have the power to monopolise business (read: those who opposed the war). America does not want Europe to step in. Why not? Because hey, what if all those nice big fat oildeals do NOT go to American companies after they have to compete in an open market with others. Can't have that now can we? No, instead, just ask the world to give YOU 87 billion dollars that you promise you will spend on rebuilding Iraq?
That 87 billion is easily spent if it turns out that you give orders to American companies that are 15% more expensive than other companies. But hey, the others are not owned by the vice-president so they don't stand a chance.
George Bush is an even bigger disaster for the world than I feared when he was elected. I thought he would be taking America down with him. But he is in fact taking the whole Middle East down with him. And stability in Asia on the side. Maybe some day he can drink too much again and drive his car off the road? I for one would not miss him.
25 October 2003
On Monday I have to return to work. Back to the hell-hole where they fired 42 people this week. The place where people are job hunting in work time, calling their legal councel, crying, working and pointing fingers at eachother for who is to blame for the misery.
Great. Just what I need after loosing my granddad completely unexpected and after spending a few days with my grandmother, trying to help her out with getting her new, single, life on the road. How sad. I left her this afternoon and I had to cry. I did not want to leave. But she has to be alone at some point, she has to move on with life. But I was hoping that it did not have to be today. Not just yet. So I offered her to stay. But she refused, saying she would need to be alone at some point, to face the loneliness and sadness. But not today. Not just yet.
But I left. She told me to go. And I now understand how parents feel about their children: you don't want them to hurt. Because it hurts you.
I know I know, this is old news. The series That's My Bush was aired years ago (before 9/11/2001) but it has hit Dutch TV only now. And by GOD it is not funny!!
It is typically American sitcom-material: lame jokes, nothing really daring and worse of all: it manages to fuck up a great potential succes. G.W. Bush doesn't need satire. The man is a joke in real life. You can not possibly portray him any more stupid than he alrady is. And that is where this progam fails: they try to make him funny and dumb at the same time. But he already is in real life.
What is it about Americans and sitcoms? Why can they not make a decent one? And why can the British do it by simply getting almost anyone off the street and giving him a pen or a typewriter? But most of all: why do US networks drool over British Comedy and then demand an American re-make?
Example: Coupling. A BBC-series about 6 friends and their personal lives (read: sexual adventures). NBC is looking for a sitcom to replace "Friends" and it has its eye on an American version of "Coupling". Firstly: why the hell not just air the British version? Aparently, the British actors are not pretty enough. The American actors are all nice, pretty and slim. Secondly, the things that make the series funny are the great innuendo jokes.But they are deemed 'too much for American TV'. So they simply scratch them. Why the hell would NBC want to buy a comedy about sex when it proceeds to delete all explicit sexual jokes. Mind you, there is more sex in "Sex and the City". So, how was the remake recieved?
You have to watch the US and UK first episodes of Coupling back to back to get the full shock: the British one is vastly better.
It is as if ER were the one made here and Casualty was American, the difference is that striking and is true from the writing and acting to how it is shot.
"Coupling UK" was supposedly too rude and explicit. Referring to girlfriends who won't go away as 'unflushables' was deemed too much for US audiences. Puhlease!!!
Here are some quotes from the British "Coupling":
- I've always wanted to date a gynaecologist. I wanna know I'm special.
- I really thought I'd gone to his house, you know, to heal our spiritual divide. But it turns out I was just gagging for a shag. Those two are so similar.
- I like films with lesbians in them because it's nice to think there are attractive women out there who can't find a boyfriend.
By the way, through "Coupling" is finally know what a Porn Buddy is: a friend who, on hearing of your death, will clear the porn out of your house before your parents get round.
That aint so bad now is it? I for one love Coupling. It is witty, funny and hilarious at the same time. For those who share my opinion,there are only 3 words: "Lesbian Spank Inferno" (a Google search on that ONLY gives us the Coupling episode so it is work-safe to read more:)
But of course the prime example of US networks being chicken-shit is that they wanted a re-make of Absolutely Fabulous because the references to drugs, sex and alcohol were too much for the poor American audience. Roseanne Barr bougth the rights to make it but after scrapping all the sex and drugs jokes, there was nothing left. Oh they bleeped out rude words in the British Original version. But they left in "Bollocks" because they could not decide if it was rude or not. So Ab Fab was aired on BBCAmerica and Comedy Central. And of course the American re-make died a quiet death. Nobody heard from it again. Because the original is simply better.
The only really funny and original American sit-com I have ever seen was/is "Will and Grace". But then again, did the BBC not have Gimme Gimme Gimme? What was that about again? Oh hang on...... about a single woman living with a gay man......
23 October 2003
Will be gone for 3 days. Looking after nan. Who, surprisingly, has no internet. My nan is a fabulous woman. Openminded like nobody her age I have ever met. I told her that my ex-girlfriend is getting married. To a man. My nan smiled and said: "I did not know she was Bi. Congratulate her from me." Sounds simple doesn't it? Well, to my nan, it IS that simple. I don't know if she understands all the emotions and implications behind having a 'different' sexual preference, but she simply doesn't care. As long as people are happy.
I told her she was a fabulous nan. I mean, how many people her age would indeed be genuinely interested in what her lesbians granddaughter's ex-girlfriend does?
Now that nan is a widow, I shall visit her more often and do nice things with her: take her out to town for dinner or lunch etc.
21 October 2003
Where did I want to be today? At my grandfather's cremation? Or with my colleagues who will have to deal with 42 people fired since yesterday? I felt torn. Obviously I went to my granddad's cremation but my head was halfway at my work. What a shitty situation to be in. And I won't be at work until SUnday again. So I am 'missing' all the emotions and the togetherness people are now feeling. I am feeling disengaged (sp?) from it all. Especially since it seems that if I leave voluntarily (something I am considering), A dear colleague will keep her job.
The cremation was beautiful. It was nice, family around and nice food afterwards. Granddad went to God. That is what he hoped and so I hope it for him.
20 October 2003
I still have a job. Between 9:30 and 11PM tonight, everyone who will loose their job got a letter. I did not get one. I still have a job. Unlike some 30 others. I feel sad.
In 4 hours, I will know who will get fired at my job and who won't. The meeting will startin a few hours. Great week. Today I might findmyself without a job, tomorrow I am cremating my grandfather and on Wednesday, my girlfriend returns to England. Then on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I have to sleep over at nan's house to take care of her for a few days until she gets backon her feet again. I don't mind that as such, just a bit much after such a week.
17 October 2003
For years now I have been a fan of Irish singer Mary Black. Almost 4 months ago, I bought tickets to go and see her in Amsterdam this Tuesday. And now.......I won't be going because the cremation of my granddad is on Tuesday and it is at the other side of the country. So eventhough the cremation is in the afternoon, I will never get to Amsterdam on time. So if there are any takers for 2 tickets to Mary Black in Carré Theatre in Amsterdam on Tuesday 21 october....................
And the Irony? Last night, as my grandad passed away in a hospital in Nijmegen, Mary Black was playing a gig in the same city.
16 October 2003
Can dying be beautiful? Can witnessing death leave you feeling intensely satisfied? It certainly has left me feeling a strange mixture of happiness and sadness. I am very tired and going to bed. But it was beautiful. Laughed, cried, laughed, laughed, laughed and then cried some more. I want to write about it now, when it still feels fresh. But I am tired. But when I am old and dying, I would like my family to be around me exactly like things were this afternoon.
I have been up since a while. I should go to the hospital. But I am putting it off. Because when I get in the car, I will be onmy way to see my grandfather dying. It won't happen until later today. When they unplug the machines, at around 5pm. Nice and convenient so that those of the family who have to work can get there on time and be there until the end. Feels strange that it is all so planned like this. We didn't exactly phone everyone and say: What would be a convenient time for you to unhook Granddad. But everyone understood that some people have to work.
I am not sure I want to be in the room to witness it. But I want to be in the hospital. For my parents. Because my father is more upset about his father in law dying than he was about his own father some 3 months ago. And inbetween all this, dad is trying to set up his own business. Poor man. He has a meeting right now. I suspect there will be very little concentration.
And my mother, she is strong. Strong enough, like the rest of the family, to laugh about who granddad was. And to cry for what we will no longer have.
Yesterday we were all sitting in the Family Room at the Intensive Care Unit. Talking about Granddad. I said: Hey, we are all here and nobody is with Granddad. Anyone want to go? And they looked at me and all said: No, we are having a bit of a laugh and a chat about Granddad. It's not like he is going anywhere for a while so it is no problem that we are all sitting here for a bit.
I laughed. I love my family. I guess I never realised how much.
jane sent me a poem that was read at her Nan's funeral this summer. My mother cried when she read it and asked me to translate it into Dutch. I did and she will read it at the cremation. Thank you Jane, it is beautiful.
All Is Well
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Henry Scott Holland
15 October 2003
Tomorrow around this time my grandfather will have passed away I hope. There has been no change in his situation since he had his heartattack on Monday. Doctors have to wait 72 hours tosee if there is any improvement. After that, they switch of the ventilator. That 72 hours is tomorrow around 4pm. He breathes on his own they think so after they switch off the machine, he might live for a few more hours before he dies. I hope he doesn't. I hope he passes away quickly and peacefully.
The whole family rallies together around nan. We laugh about granddad's funny quirks, we cry because he won't be there anymore this time tomorrow. And me, I am home tonight, getting some sleep, backto the hospital in the morning. What better to take your mind of things than a new Weblog Lay-out?
Jane is coming to see me on Friday. So hopefully she can be there for the funeral. No matter how sad it is things have gone the way they did,but I am glad he did not die Mondayafternoon on the street. At least this way we have a few days to get used to the idea.
Sleep well Opa, we will take care of nan.
14 October 2003
This summer I lost my grandfather to lung cancer. I am almost 30 and still had all my grandparents. Quite unique in my circle of friends I realised then. Both my grandmothers have minor health problems. My father’s mother had a hip replacement shortly after the death of her husband. Due to complications, she is still in hospital but will be out this Wednesday. My mother’s mother had heart problems and can not be home alone because she might get another heart attack. The only one without problems is my mother’s father. Until yesterday.
After I came home from work, my mother called me. You know something is wrong when mothers say: Hello Marieke, this is mum Usually she says Haaaaai, it’s me. Granddad had a heart attack whilst on his bike. Bystanders tried to help him. They managed to get his heart beating again but they did not get the breathing right. So now he is in hospital in the Intensive Care. His heart works but he is more or les brain-dead from the lack of oxygen. He has convulsions every once so often and calms down again. There is no response to the every-important pain-test. When you stick him with a pin, there is no response. He feels no pain.
My whole family was there but only 2 were allowed at his bedside at any given time. My mother took me to see him. I have seen enough ER in my lifetime not to be shocked by people on ventilators. But when my mother leaned over and told my grandfather to go to sleep and that we would take good care of Nan, that he could let it all go, I cried. My Nan sort of smiled when she later sad: You will see that he is just going to sneak out on me. We all expected Nan to be the one who would end up in hospital first, with her heart problems. Turns out granddad had blue lips for a while now and shortness of breath. But he did not want any help. Because what would Nan do without him? He could not get ill. And so eventually is heart decided it had given enough ignored warnings and it just stopped.
And now? The doctors say they do tests for 72 hours and if there is no change whatsoever, they will let him go. We all agree that is the best for him, but still. Seems strange that it is the decision of the doctors. They said that of course they discuss it with the family but ultimately it is their decision to make when they consider treatment more harmful than helpful. It is now Tuesday. 72 hours is on Thursday. Feels strange to think my granddad will probably die on Thursday. Felt weird to call my work and tell them I would not come in on Thursday......
I used to think I was lucky to still have all 4 grandparents at my age. Now I see the downside of it: they all die very close to each other. I feel there is a lot of pain and sadness in store for us all in the next few months.
12 October 2003
I just LOVE this new site I found. It is from Margaret Cho.
You can go to Las Vegas, get married by an Elvis impersonator, in a drive thru, and be driven in a hearse to have a reception in a graveyard. But you have to be straight in order to do so. That is why I don't buy the argument that marriage is a sacred act between a man and a woman. Sacred? Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman got married. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Liza Minelli and David Gest. Liza Minelli and Peter Allen. Actually, Liza seems to be marrying all the gays.
Or this one abuot the Siegfried and Roy "tragedy":
Have the other tigers ostracized the one who bit Roy? Do they gossip about him around the waterfall, or do they see him as their hero? Or is there much more to it all. Perhaps there is a tiger conspiracy, and the one who bit will be mauled by another tiger, or shot by Jack Ruby, making the biter merely a patsy in the greatest tiger crime and cover up ever.
Call me world-wary but I had never heard of Margaret Cho. May the Lord have Mercy on me.
11 October 2003
Today I bought a DVD of the movie "Caligula". I had seen part of it when I was young (!!!!!!), I think around 16. All I could remember was there was an awful lot of explicit sex in it. But what the story was? Did not know. I wanted to see it back then because I am a big fan of Helen Mirren.
So I came across it today: the double DVD for only 10 Euros.
Now I can see why I did not remember ANYTHING about the film. Eventhough there is not JUST sex in the film (there is a storyline and quite an intresting one), I think I can be forgiven for only remembering the totally explicit sex. Think porn, hardcore porn.
I am reminded of my "Fight Club-dilemma". I hated that film. People raved about it how the violence was not gratuitous but useful to the point of the film. I never understood that: I got the point of the film even without the sickening violence that sometimes literally made my stomach turn. The same with "Caligula". I understand what the movie is about, I see the point. I am not sure that needs to be illustrated with cum-shots (I am not joking. In a mainstream film with people like Helen Mirren and Peter O'Toole).
These days, the film is considered a strange part of filmhistory. And the film is actually quite intriguing. I wonder if Helen Mirren would still play in a film like that these days. Whilst watching, I was constantly listening for the sound of footsteps from my flatmates, so that I could turn it off quickly if they happened to come in. I know the film is not porn but one could be mistaken if walking in during a certain number of scenes. I felt like the bloke who REALLY reads Playboy Magazine because of the great interviews: YEAH RIGHT!!!
Interesting detail: I bought this DVD with vouchers my nan gave me for my birthday. Not sure this is what she had in mind.
Did I like the film? Well, not sure. I find the story of Caligula very interesting. Desperate man who wanted to find out how far he could go. And to his stunning surprise, he could do almost anything. Nobody questioned him. Simply because he was the Ceasar. Interesting premise. Of course, he ended up murdered, as most Emperors did in those days.